Sean Gosnell

Sean L. Gosnell  


Executive Summary

With over 30 years’ of experience, Sean Gosnell has an extensive law practice focused on real estate-related matters. He provides strategic advisory legal services to public and private entities (including China based companies) on acquiring and selling real estate assets, obtaining development approvals, drafting EDCs and negotiating cost-sharing agreements. His advice extends to acting on a variety of litigious matters related to real estate, including compensation for land acquired by public authorities, commercial disputes and professional negligence claims. Most recently he secured the dismissal of a $2 billion claim against an international mining company.

Sean interrupted his career at BLG to be involved in the development of Canary Wharf as solicitor and assistant chief operating officer for Olympia and York Canary Wharf Limited in London, England. He has been successively recognized in annual editions of legal ranking directories as a leading lawyer. Sean is also active within both legal and industry associations, including serving as president of the Ontario Expropriation Association. He is a sought-after speaker, including presenting at the University of Windsor, Peking University, the Law Society of Upper Canada and the American Bar Association.

Representative Work

  • Acting for Metrolinx in connection with the acquisition of a number of properties and obtaining related planning approvals in connection with infrastructure projects in the GTA.
  • Secured the dismissal of a $2 billion claim against an international mining company.
  • Acted for land owners in a number of leading Ontario expropriation cases in the last 25 years, including Hillcrest v. Toronto and Torvalley v. MTRCA.
  • Provided land acquisition and planning advice to the City of Toronto on the assembly of the lands required to create Yonge Dundas Square.
  • Acting for several school boards in connection with EDC's and a variety of land acquisition and disposition matters. 
  • Acting for several Hong Kong and mainland China companies, including a world leading telecommunications company.
  • Participated in several milestones in the development of Canary Wharf, including the first major office lease. Co-led a team that negotiated the conditional acquisition of a large parcel of land near Canary Wharf and an associated development agreement with the local government authority and a corporation controlled by the City of Tianjin, China.

Publications & Presentations

  • Co-Author, “Bill 139 — The Proposed End of The Ontario Municipal Board”, BLG Bulletin.
  • Panel Member, “Ethics Update: Decisions and Operations of Toronto’s Ethics Commissioner,” Commons Institute.
  • Lecturer, Peking University, "An Overview of the Canadian Law of Intellectual Property Protection," Peking University is the top ranked university in China.
  • Moderator, "Panel Discussion: Intellectual Property Protection," Ontario-China Science & Technology Collaboration Forum presented by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation.
  • Panel Member, "Assessing the Reasonableness of Costs," Ontario Expropriation Association Fall Seminar.
  • Session Chair, "Investing in Tomorrow's Infrastructure - How Smarter Choices Can Help Battle Climate Change," Canadian Urban Institute.
  • Panel Member, "Infrastructure Improvements in the GTA: Where Will They Be, and How Will They Affect Land Development Patterns?," Real Estate Forum Land and Development Conference.
  • Contributor, New Law of Expropriation, Carswell, looseleaf.
  • Co-Editor, Business Interruption Insurance, Canada Law Book.
  • Associate Editor, Real Property Reports, the Canada-wide real estate law reporter.
  • Lecturer and Author/Speaker, seminars sponsored by the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2018 (and since 2016) editions of Who's Who Legal (Government Contracts).
  • Recognized in the 2017 8th edition of Who's Who Legal (Compendium Edition).
  • Martindale-Hubbell® 4.4 out of 5 Peer Review Rated.