The Honourable Michael L. Phelan

The Honourable Michael L. Phelan, former Justice of the Federal Court (retired), is an arbitrator and mediator with ADR Chambers.

Mr. Phelan’s experience and expertise is in public law and regulatory/commercial affairs with particular experience in competition law, intellectual property, indigenous disputes, governance and claim, class action, all modes of transportation, environmental disputes, labour/human rights, access to information and privacy, discrimination, workplace disputes, wrongful dismissal and trade remedies. He has been involved in numerous matters involving federal laws and regulations and has dealt with major federal tribunals, federal regulatory departments, government agencies, government contracting, federal policy making and legislative enactments.

In 2003, Mr. Phelan was appointed a Justice of the Federal Court, and ex officio, member of the Federal Court of Appeal, and then a Judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada in 2004. He was a judicial member of the Competition Tribunal from 2005 to 2012 and was re-appointed for a further term in 2016 until his retirement.

Mr. Phelan has lectured and written extensively on advocacy and competition law and related matters and has had a long association with many sectors of the transportation industry, especially in relation to aviation. He was also one of the Federal Court members designated to hear major intellectual property cases and has conducted cases in patents, trade marks and copyright. He held a similar designation in respect of indigenous cases.

Prior to his appointment to the Bench, Mr. Phelan was a Managing Partner at Ogilvy Renault (now Norton Rose Fulbright Canada) from 1999 to 2003. From 1985 to 1999 he was a Partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt in Ottawa.

Mr. Phelan earned his B.A. at Loyola College in Montreal and his LL.B. at Dalhousie University Law School. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1973.


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