Patrick Hawkins  


Executive Summary

Patrick Hawkins is a partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, and National Practice Group Leader for the Firm's Health Law Group.

He defends hospitals, other healthcare organizations and their employees in medical malpractice litigation as counsel to the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC). He appears regularly in court and before administrative tribunals, including in regulatory proceedings under the Public Hospitals Act and Regulated Health Professions Act. Patrick has served as counsel to hospitals and their employees at numerous Coroner's Inquests.

Patrick acts as general counsel and provides situational advice to healthcare clients on a wide range of issues, including physician credentialing, privacy, freedom of information, quality of care reviews, adverse event management and disclosure.

Prior to his call to the Bar, he articled as a justices' law clerk at the Ontario Court of Appeal.

He is a frequent speaker and author on health law issues with a number of organizations, including the Ontario Hospital Association, Law Society of Upper Canada, Ontario Bar Association, and numerous public hospitals and healthcare organizations.

Representative Work

  • Defends hospitals and healthcare providers in malpractice litigation, including obstetrical negligence, neurological injuries, breach of privacy, and occupier's liability.
  • Advises hospital senior management and boards of directors on healthcare legal issues, including incident and crisis management, physician relationships and patient disclosure.
  • Represents Chiefs of Staff and Medical Advisory Committees in physician credentialing proceedings before Hospital Boards of Directors and the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board.
  • Serves as counsel to the Ontario Hospital Association, assisting on new legislation and policy initiatives.
  • Represents health professionals in complaints before the regulated health colleges.

Publications & Presentations


  • Co-Editor, Canadian Health Law Practice Manual, LexisNexis Canada.
  • Co-Author, "Alternative Therapies," Canadian Health Law Practice Manual, LexisNexis Canada.
  • Co-Author, Quality of Care Information Protection Act Toolkits, Ontario Hospital Association.
  • Author, "The Board's Role in the Credentialing Process," Guide to Good Governance, Ontario Hospital Association.
  • Co-Author, Physician Leadership Resource Manual, Ontario Hospital Association.


Selected recent presentations include:

  • Presentation, "The Impact of New Legislation on Quality and Patient Safety," Board of Directors, St. Mary's General Hospital, March 12, 2018.
  • Presentation, "CPSO Reporting Obligations," Medical Advisory Committee, Scarborough and Rouge Hospital, February 8, 2018.
  • Speaker, "Privacy Class Actions," IC Funding Seniors Housing Leaders Symposium, January 19, 2018.
  • Speaker, "Privacy and Cybersecurity," Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Class Action Seminar, November 1, 2017.
  • Presentation, "Managing Physician Complaints," William Osler Health System, Professional Staff Association, June 27, 2017.
  • Presentation, "Mediation Best Practices in Physician Credentialing," Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada and Canadian Medical Protective Association Joint Meeting, May 2, 2017.
  • Lecturer, "Disclosure and QCIPA," Osgoode Hall Health Law Certificate Course, April 18, 2017.
  • Organizer and speaker on Quality of Care Information Protection Act, 2016, Ontario Hospital Association, Regional Conferences, Mar-April 2017.
  • Speaker, "Privacy and Cybersecurity," Property and Casualty Underwriters Club, November 23, 2016.
  • Speaker, "Privacy Law Developments Across Canada," Insurance Bureau of Canada, October 24, 2016.
  • Speaker, "Managing Physician Behaviour in a Professional Environment: The Board's Role," Ontario Hospital Association, April 1, 2016.
  • Speaker, "Critical Incident Review and Disclosure: The Legal Perspective," Ontario Hospital Association, February 4, 2016.
  • Speaker, "QCIPA: The Next Chapter – The Hospital Lawyer's Perspective,", Medico-Legal Society of Toronto, January 26, 2016.
  • Guest Instructor, "Informed Consent," University of Toronto "Ethics and Professionalism: Medical/Legal Seminars," January 18, 2016.
  • Speaker, "Governance and QCIPA Recommendations," Ontario Hospital Association and Canadian Patient Safety Institute Conference, November 1, 2015.
  • Speaker, "Privacy Class Actions in Canada: Unique Considerations in the Health Care Sector," Ontario Bar Association Conference, October 19, 2015.
  • Speaker and Panellist, "Perspectives on Disruptive Physician Behaviour," Canadian Medical Protective Agency and Ontario Hospital Association Conference, September 30, 2015.
  • Speaker, "Role of the Board of Directors in Overseeing Cyber Risk Management – Practical and Legal Implications," Ontario Hospital Health Care Governance Forum, September 9, 2015.
  • Speaker, "Privacy Breach Class Actions: Trends and New Cases," joint BLG, Deloitte and Aon Reed Stenhouse Seminar "Cyber Risk Survival for Executives," June 22, 2015.
  • Speaker, "Media Relations: A Lawyer's Perspective," BLG seminar for Hospital General Counsel, May 4, 2015.
  • Speaker, "The 5 W's of Access and Disclosure," Ontario Hospital Association Conference on Health Care Privacy and Compliance, April 22, 2015.
  • Speaker, "Privacy Update," The Scarborough Hospital, February 12, 2015.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Recognized in Acritas Stars 2019: Independently Rated Lawyer (Nominated as a stand-out lawyer by senior in-house counsel). 
  • Recognized in the 2020 edition (and since 2016) of Chambers Canada - Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business (Healthcare).
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2020 edition (and since 2015) of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Health Care Law).
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2018) of Benchmark Canada – The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a Litigation Star (Insurance, Product Liability, Health/Medical, Privacy).
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2013) of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Medical Negligence).
  • Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rated.
  • Recognized as a 2019 Acritas Star (and since 2017).

Client Testimonials

  • “I have interacted with other lawyers during my career. I would rank BLG and specifically, Patrick Hawkins, above any I have encountered. Thus, I have no hesitation in recommending Patrick and his team at BLG to any other institution requiring excellent and timely legal advice.”
    — Chief of Staff, Ontario hospital
  • “I have worked and continue to work closely with Patrick Hawkins. He has always been accessible to me, especially when urgent issues arise and they provide immediate and ongoing support in order to manage what are often difficult situations. (His) work requires meeting with staff from the front lines to the most senior level of the hospital and (he) communicates and interpret s the legal issues in a way that ensures confidence. I would say that (his) communication both face to face and in writing is one of (his) key strengths.”
    — Risk Manager and Privacy Officer, Ontario hospital
  • “Patrick knows our hospital and staff very well. He has become a trusted advisor to many of us whom have been faced with difficult situations. Any request sent to Patrick or his staff, is promptly responded to with clarifying questions and a timeline for a response.”
    — Chief of Staff, Ontario hospital