Peter A. Downard


Bay Adelaide Centre
333 Bay Street, Suite 2400
P.O. Box 20
Toronto, ON M5H 2T6


Peter Downard is senior litigation counsel and principal Toronto contact for Fasken Martineau defamation matters. Peter has extensive experience as defamation counsel in litigation at trial, in the Court of Appeal for Ontario, and in the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as in numerous mediations and advisory matters. He is author of the legal text Libel (Second Edition, 2010; First Edition, 2003), referred to as an authority on libel law in numerous court decisions; sole author of the volume Defamation in Halsbury's Laws of Canada (2009); and a Lexpert leading practitioner in defamation. He regularly advises on conflict management, reputation protection and effective communication in the context of Corporate Social Responsibility ('CSR'). He is one of three appointed members to the Attorney General of Ontario's Advisory Panel on Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation ('SLAPP'). Peter was also lead counsel to former Ontario Premier Mike Harris in the Ipperwash Inquiry, 2004-2006; lead trial counsel in John Doe v O'Dell, (2003), 230 D.L.R. (4th) 383 (Ont.S.C.J) , in which his client obtained the largest judgment on record against a Catholic Diocese for sexual abuse of a child; and has comprehensive experience in commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution.