Brief Biographical Note of Chief Justice Warren K. Winkler

Chief Justice Warren Winkler, B.A., LL.B., LL.M. was appointed Chief Justice of Ontario in June 2007, following 14 years as a trial judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.

Court of Appeal for Ontario
January 11, 2010

Brief Biographical Note of Chief Justice Warren K. Winkler


Chief Justice Warren Winkler, B.A., LL.B., LL.M. was appointed Chief Justice of Ontario in June 2007, following 14 years as a trial judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.

Educated at the University of Manitoba, B.A. and Osgoode Hall Law School, LL.B. and LL.M., Chief Justice Winkler was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1965. He was certified as a Specialist in Civil Litigation by the Law Society of Upper Canada and in 1977 was appointed Queen’s Counsel.

Awards and honours include: LL.D.s (Hon.) from The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2010, Assumption University, 2006 and Brandon University, 2007; Award of Distinction presented by the Toronto Lawyers’ Association, 2005; Bora Laskin Award from the University of Toronto for Outstanding Contribution to Canadian Labour Law, 2007; Osgoode Hall Law School scholarships established in his honour, 1988; University of Toronto Law School Post-Graduate Scholarship in International Human Rights established in his honour, (2006); Annual Justice Winkler Lecture Series in Civil Justice Reform commenced in his honour by the University of Ottawa Law School, 2007; Award of Excellence in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Ontario Bar Association, 2008; and Massey College Senior Fellowship, 2008; and The Winkler Cup awarded annually at the Canadian National Mediation Advocacy Competition.

Chief Justice Winkler practised law and was a founding partner with Winkler, Filion and Wakely, Toronto, (1982) and previously as a partner with Montgomery, Cassels, Somers, Dutton and Winkler, Toronto. Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, 1993 – 2007; Regional Senior Justice for Toronto Region of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, 2004 – 2007; Chief Justice of Ontario and President of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, 2007 – Present.

During his service with the Superior Court of Justice, Chief Justice Winkler held a range of judicial administration portfolios, including Team Lead for the Long Trial List and for Class Proceedings. He judicially mediated many large national and international disputes, including: Air Canada Restructuring; Walkerton Tainted Water; Ontario Hydro and Power Workers; Windsor-Michigan Tunnel and CanWest/Shaw Cable restructuring. He has heard major class action proceedings involving: Hepatitis C; Breast Implants; Tobacco; Walkerton Tainted Water; Mad Cow Disease and Native Residential Schools.

Publications include: Co-founding Editor, The Labour Law Journal; Editor, Labour Arbitration Cases, Canada Law Book; Co-Author, Sack and Winkler, O’Brien’s Encyclopedia of Forms, 11th Ed. ; Co-Author, Willis and Winkler, Labour Arbitration: The Year in Review, Canada Law Book; Editor, Labour Relations and Employment, Vols. 1 and 2, Canada Law Book; Advisor, Principles of the Law Aggregate Litigation, The American Law Institute; Advisor, Class Action Defence Quarterly (Chalmers), Butterworths.

Chief Justice Winkler is a Founding Director of the International Conference of Mediation for Justice and a Member of the International Bar Association Class Action Task Force. He was Co-Chair of The Law Society of Upper Canada, Continuing Education in Labour Law. He is a Past Director, the Advocates’ Society; Past National Executive and Provincial Executive Committee Member, Canadian Bar Association/Ontario Bar Association; and Chair of several sub-sections such as: Labour Law, Environmental Law (Founding Chair), and Prepaid Legal Services. Chief Justice Winkler is also Chair, Long Point Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Fund and Member, Board of Directors, Bird Studies Canada; Honorary Chair, Jazz Performance and Education Centre; and Patron, Lawyers' International Food Enterprise.

Chief Justice Winkler is an active educator and speaker at national and international events on a range of topics, including: Access to Justice; Alternative Dispute Resolutions; Class Proceedings; Labour Relations; Judicial Mediation; and Civil Justice Reform. His expertise in Civil Litigation, Class Proceedings, Commercial and Administrative Law, and his skills as a Mediator have significantly contributed to grounding Judicial Mediation into the court process in Ontario. As Regional Senior Justice for the Toronto Region, he was the catalyst for a forward-thinking Practice Direction and Rule reform that was to profoundly improve access to fair, timely and affordable Civil Litigation for the users of the civil justice system in Toronto.

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