The Honourable Thomas Albert Cromwell C.C.  

Senior Counsel

Executive Summary

The Honourable Thomas Albert Cromwell is senior counsel in our Ottawa and Vancouver offices. As a member of the judiciary, Thomas sat on the Supreme Court of Canada from December 2008 to September 2016 and on the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal from 1997 to 2008. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Mr. Cromwell was executive legal officer to Chief Justice Antonio Lamer from 1992 to 1995. He began his career practising law in Kingston and Toronto, and has taught in the Faculty of Law at Dalhousie University.

During his time at Dalhousie, he was active as a labour arbitrator and served as Vice-chair of the Nova Scotia Labour Relations Board. He was the first recipient of the Louis St Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association, is the recipient of four honorary doctorates in law and is an honorary fellow of Exeter College Oxford and the American College of Trial Lawyers.

An award in his name, The Honourable Thomas Cromwell Award for Public Service, has been established by the Queen's law faculty. He retired from the Supreme Court of Canada on September 1, 2016. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada.

He serves as the Chair of the Chief Justice of Canada's Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters and is a Trudeau Foundation mentor.

Representative Work

  • Mock hearings for matters at trial and appeal levels in three provinces
  • Advice concerning appeals and applications for leave to appeal
  • Complex mediations involving large public sector entities
  • Interest arbitration for large public sector employer and union

Publications & Presentations

  • Author of a monthly column in The Lawyer's Daily dedicated to access to civil and family justice
  • The Michael Hill Memorial Lecture, International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law (Edinburgh)
  • The Marc Rosenburg Memorial Lecture (Vancouver)
  • The Dublin Lecture, The Advocates' Society
  • Distinguished Visitor, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba, March 09, 2017
  • Authored/contributed to six books and numerous articles
  • Served as Chair of the Editorial Board of the Canadian Bar Review
  • Author of over 400 appellate opinions
  • Served on the editorial boards for CRIMJI and the Canadian Journal of Administrative Law and Practice
  • Speaker, "Fireside Chat with Thomas Cromwell," BLG Family Law Seminar, June 2019.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers in Canada (Administrative and Public Law)
  • C.B.A.'s Louis St. Laurent Award of Excellence, 1992
  • Her Majesty's Jubilee Medals, 2002 and 2012
  • Justice Medal, Canadian Institute of the Administration of Justice
  • Honorary Member, Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Canada
  • Dalhousie Law Students Society and Dalhousie Law Alumni Association Award for Teaching Excellence, 1992
  • Honorary Fellow, Exeter College Oxford
  • Honorary Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Honorary Fellow, CREATE Justice, University of Saskatchewan
  • Companion of the Order of Canada