Ira Nishisato

Ira Nishisato  


Executive Summary

Ira Nishisato is a Litigation Partner based in Toronto and National Leader of BLG's Cybersecurity and Cyber-Risk Management Practice. A widely-recognized expert in civil litigation, Ira currently serves as Co-Chair of the Litigation Committee of the International Bar Association (IBA).

Ira's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, commercial fraud, intellectual property litigation, cybersecurity and information technology litigation, and international disputes and investigations. He has unique expertise in extraordinary remedies including Anton Piller (civil search), Mareva (asset freezing) and Norwich Pharmacal (equitable discovery) orders, and has appeared in nearly 100 injunction proceedings before Canadian courts.

Ira has litigated a diverse array of cases over his career, including cases involving administrative law, anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting, asset tracing and recovery, banking, broadcasting and telecommunications, class actions/mass torts, computer and Internet law, contempt proceedings, cybersecurity and cybercrime (including privacy, data protection and information security), conflict of laws, constitutional law, contracts, corporate/commercial law, defamation, fiduciary duties, fraud, intellectual property, labour and employment, officer and director liability, product liability, professional negligence, public and private international law, and shareholder disputes. He has also brought numerous applications for the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and judgments, for letters of request/letters rogatory, and to stay proceedings on jurisdictional grounds.

Ira appears before all levels of courts in Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal, Ontario Court of Appeal, Federal Court, Ontario Divisional Court and Superior Court of Justice. He also appears regularly before the Commercial Court in Toronto. He is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and since 2001, he has been the author of the annual text Ontario Litigator's Pocket Reference that is widely used by lawyers throughout Ontario.

Representative Work

  • Defended global tobacco companies against a $50-billion claim for recovery of healthcare costs by Government of Ontario.
  • Prosecuted claim involving a multi-million dollar, worldwide "e-banking" fraud perpetrated across multiple jurisdictions over the Internet.
  • Obtained emergency interlocutory injunction for U.S. broker-dealer and investment advisory firm Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. in a high technology contract dispute.
  • Designed and executed anti-piracy litigation strategies across Canada for satellite television providers Bell TV, DIRECTV and DISH Network and encryption technology provider NagraStar LLC.
  • Designed and executed anti-counterfeiting strategies for brand owners such as Louis Vuitton Mallettier and Zumba Fitness.
  • Represented global pharmaceutical companies in injunction proceedings involving allegations of false and misleading advertising.
  • Represented an Internet Service Provider in an action concerning intermediary liability for websites hosted by it.
  • Obtained court approval for numerous corporate plans of arrangement.
  • Developed nationally recognized expertise in obtaining injunctions and extraordinary interlocutory remedies, including over 80 Anton Piller orders, Mareva injunctions and Norwich Pharmacal orders.
  • Appointed as an "officer of the court" in connection with the supervision of Anton Piller orders in large-scale mortgage fraud cases for Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal, and in several trade secrets/confidential information cases.

Publications & Presentations

Publications & Interviews


  • Speaker, "Navigating the New Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Landscape - Toronto," International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, November, 2018.
  • Co-Chair, "Mastering Winning Discovery Techniques," The Advocates' Society, October, 2018.
  • Speaker, "Cybersecurity Readiness", Investment Funds Institute of Canada Annual Leadership Conference 2018, September, 2018.
  • Conference Chair, "Advocacy in the 21st Century", International Bar Association, May, 2018.
  • Speaker and Chair, "Sell your Judgment/Award! Third Party Funding for Litigation and Arbitration Proceedings, including Enforcement of Judgments and Arbitral Awards", International Bar Association, October, 2017.
  • Speaker, "Cybersecurity Awareness Month 'Fireside Chat'", Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, October, 2017.
  • Speaker and Chair, "Modern Litigation Issues Facing Corporate Counsel", International Bar Association, September, 2016.
  • Speaker, "Operationalizing Incident Response," ICRMC — From Governance to Response: An Advanced Cyber Risk Management, Toronto, April, 2016.
  • Speaker, "Cyber Risk Survival for Executives: Strategies, Legalities and Insurance," BLG/Deloitte/AON Seminar, June 2015.
  • Speaker, "Cyber Risk Survival: Legalities and Strategies for Preventing, Detecting and Responding to Cybersecurity Threats," Annual Toronto Fraud Forum, September 2015.
  • Speaker, "Cybersecurity and IT Risk: What an audit committee needs to know about this increasingly important area of risk," 9th Annual Conference for Audit Committees, November 2013.
  • Co-Chair, "When Red Flags Fly: Anatomy of a Ponzi Scheme," International Bar Association, October 2013.
  • Co-Chair, "National Expert Witness Academy: Cross-Examination at the Court House," The Advocates' Society, April 2013.
  • Speaker, "National Expert Witness Academy: Cross-Examination at the Court House," The Advocates' Society, April 2012.
  • Speaker, "Advocacy in Commercial Litigation," International Bar Association, October 2011.
  • Speaker, "Navigating Your Way Through Motions for Mareva and Anton Piller Orders," Law Society of Upper Canada, March 2011.
  • Speaker, "Mastering the Art of Complex Civil Motions," Law Society of Upper Canada, March 2011.
  • Speaker, "Has the Consumer Suffered A Disadvantage in the Acquisition of Goods and Services?," International Bar Association, October 2010.
  • Speaker, "Anton Piller Orders," Ontario Bar Association, February 2010.
  • Speaker, "Evidence for Litigators," The Advocates' Society, November 2009.
  • Speaker, "Options for the Resolution of International Commercial Disputes: Should Party Autonomy Always Prevail?," International Bar Association, October 2009.
  • Speaker, "The Courts and E-Discovery: Striking the Balance," International Bar Association, October 2008.
  • Speaker, "Litigation Risk: The Litigator's Perspective on Common Trouble Spots That Can Land You in Court," Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, October 2008.
  • Speaker, "Commercial Injunctions," Law Society of Upper Canada, March 2008.
  • Speaker, "Measures for Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy," International Bar Association, October 2007.
  • Speaker, "Remedies and Damages: Interlocutory Injunctions," Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto 2007.
  • Speaker, "Interlocutory Injunctions," Law Society of Upper Canada, March 2007.
  • Speaker, "Anton Piller Orders," Chartered Accountant/Investigative and Forensic Accountant Conference, 2006.
  • Speaker, "Cost-Effectively Managing Complex Litigation," The Canadian Institute Conference on Complex Litigation, 2006.
  • Speaker, "International Fraud, Mareva Injunctions, and Canadian Courts," Florida Bar Association, 2005.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2019 edition (and since 2013) of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Corporate and Commercial Litigation).
  • Recognized in the 2017 edition of Who's Who Legal: Canada (Commercial Litigation, Asset Recovery, Business Crime Defence, Investigations):
    • “The firm is home to some of Canada's leading legal minds, including Ira Nishisato, who is recognised for his expertise in a remarkable four practice areas."
    • "Ira Nishisato is highlighted in our research as a key part of the firm's asset recovery capabilities, winning praise as a first-rate practitioner in complex commercial fraud cases."
    • "In Ira Nishisato, the firm boasts another prominent practitioner in the corporate crime arena. He draws widespread acclaim for his expertise in cross-border investigations and corporate fraud proceedings.
    • "Ira Nishisato is a well-known name in the domestic market and is highlighted for his expert handling of complex commercial disputes."
    • "Ira Nishisato is a first-class practitioner who impresses commentators with his diligent approach to advising major corporations on complex fraud investigations."
  • Recognized in the 2019 (and since 2015) edition of Benchmark Canada – The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a "Litigation Star: Commercial."
  • Recognized in the 2017 (and since 2015) edition of World Trademark Review's WTR 1000 - The World's Leading Trademark Professionals (Anti-Counterfeiting).
  • Recognized in the 2017 edition of the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Litigation - Corporate Commercial)
  • Recognized in the 2009-11 editions of Chambers Global – The World's Leading Lawyers for Business (Dispute Resolution: Ontario):
    • “He is described as ‘an outstanding and hard-working lawyer’ and clients say: ‘One great drawcard is that the lawyers who work with him have a great deal of respect for him, and they strive to do great work because of this.’
  • Recognized in the 2015 (Investigations) and in the 2011-12  (Business Crime) editions of Who's Who Legal: Canada:
    • “Praised as an ‘outstanding litigator’ by his clients, he has acted as counsel in global, multi-million dollar fraud cases, including a worldwide ‘e-banking’ fraud carried out over the internet’
    • “Ira Nishisato is known for taking on ‘complex and challenging’ cases and has an ‘outstanding reputation’ for his litigation work.”
  • Martindale-Hubbell BV® Distinguished™ 4.2 out of 5.