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Ronald D. Manes

Tel: 416 777 5433 Fax: 1 888 587 9145


As senior litigation counsel, Ron practises in areas of complex commercial and tort litigation at all levels of trial and appeal courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He has served as counsel to many public or quasi-public bodies, including the Federation of Law Societies, the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services, the Toronto Police Services Board, the Ontario Ministries of Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Toronto Computer Leasing Inquiry. Ron is a founding partner and Chair of Torkin Manes LLP.

Ron has represented clients in leading cases that are embodied in Canadian legal jurisprudence: Ferguson v. Imax on shareholders’ remedies, Able v. The Advisory Review Board regarding the right to a fair hearing by a government investigative board, Edwards v. Murmansk Shipping Company involving the then USSR claim to sovereign immunity from a civil judgment, Meditrust v. Shoppers Drug Mart involving the personal liability of the directors, officers and employees of a company for civil wrongs, Fraser v. Haukioja, most cited regarding the standard of expert evidence required by a trial court and the question of a physician’s responsibility for a patient’s permanent psychological disability arising in a medical malpractice case, Palmer v. Borgundvaag regarding the obligation of a trial judge to properly charge the jury on the facts. The breadth of Ron’s experience has enabled him to act as a mediator and arbitrator in a wide range of cases.

Ron was a five-term elected Bencher and is now a Life Bencher (Governor) of The Law Society of Ontario (the profession’s governing body), where he has served as Past Chair of: the Governance Committee, Certification Board, Strategic Planning Committee and the Access to Justice Committee. He has also served as Past Chair of several professional organizations: the Ontario Centre for Advocacy Training, the Law Foundation of Ontario, Pro Bono Law Ontario, Lawyers’ Assistance Program (LINK), the Volunteer Lawyers Service and the Osgoode Hall Law School Alumni Association.

Ron has been a national leader in access to justice. He is the founder of Pro Bono Law Ontario, the internationally recognized and award-winning organization providing access to free legal services for those in need without resources to pay for legal assistance. He also founded the Volunteer Lawyers Service which provides free access to legal services to a vast variety of charities and non-profit organizations throughout Ontario.

Ron has personally represented many pro bono clients before the Courts in a variety of important issues including the seminal case of Polewsky v. Attorney General of Ontario et al, establishing that a poor litigant could be relieved of the obligation to pay legal tariffs imposed by the Attorney General's office.

Awards & Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada© - Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury Litigation (2008 — present)
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (2014)
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Ontario Bar Association Award for Distinguished Service
  • Osgoode Hall Law School Golden Key Award
  • Lawyer of the Year (Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped)
  • Honoured by numerous organizations for contributions to the legal profession and the community

Community Involvement

  • Founder, Pro Bono Law Ontario
  • Founder, Volunteer Lawyers Service
  • Vice President, Victim Justice Network

Publications & Presentations

Article Mar 10, 2015

The Persuasive Advocate

The Litigator, Ontario Trial Lawyers Association
Book Jan 1, 1988

Manes' Organized Advocacy

Co-author, published by Carswell, 1985 and previously 1983.



  • LL.M., Harvard Law School (Laidlaw Fellow), 1972
  • LL.B., Osgoode Hall Law School, 1971


  • Called to the Ontario Bar, 1974