Introductory Statement
What do parties and counsel seek in a good arbitrator?

  • Knowledge of law and procedure
  • Comprehension of nuances
  • Just, Fair and Reasonable
  • Confidentiality
  • Good Listening Skills
  • Authoritative but Tactful
  • Practical and Tech Savvy
  • Organization Skills
  • Ethical and Trustworthy
  • Decision-making Skills
  • Timely Award Delivery
  • Post-Hearing Availability

Igor Ellyn has been a Chartered Arbitrator and mediator since 2002. For over 40 years, he devoted his professional career to commercial litigation and arbitration in Toronto. He is knowledgeable and Insightful. He is at ease with technology, paperless proceedings and online hearings and mediations. During the pandemic, Igor has adapted his arbitration and mediation practice to new realities. He conducted arbitrations and mediations online and electronically.

A Toronto civil litigation lawyer since 1973, Queen’s Counsel since 1985 and Certified Specialist in Civil litigation since 1989, Igor Ellyn was counsel, mediator or arbitrator on more than 250 complex trials and legal proceedings in the Superior Court of Justice, in the Court of Appeal, in the Federal Court of Canada and in the Supreme Court of Canada. He dealt with case involving complex disputes in the following areas and industries:

Types of Cases:

  • Business and commercial
  • Shareholder and partnership
  • Employment and wrongful dismissal
  • Real estate and landlord/tenant
  • Construction
  • Franchising
  • Condominium
  • Estates
  • Defamation


  • Investment management
  • Web portals
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Aircraft manufacturing
  • Banking and Financing
  • Real estate development
  • Software development
  • Agency sales
  • Insurance agencies

Arbitration Experience

Igor is a member of five arbitration panels in Canada and internationally:

• Arbitration Committee of the ICC International Court of Arbitration
• International Centre for Dispute Resolution (division of AAA)
• ADR Institutes of Canada and Ontario
• Bucharest, Romania International Arbitration Centre 

• ADR Chambers International


He was Sole arbitrator in 25 commercial disputes, including shareholder disputes, contract interpretation, commercial leasing and construction matters. He was appointed as Sole Arbitrator by the ICC International Court of Arbitration and the ICDR in New York. He was appointed on other institutional arbitrations, which settled before hearing. In the early days of his arbitration career, he arbitrated consumer, construction and business cases for the Better Business Bureau of Central and Mid-Western Ontario.

Igor also arbitrated ad hoc as Sole Arbitrator involving shareholder disputes, commercial business transactions, lease disputes, construction disputes and commercial agency contracts.

From 2008 to 2010, he was counsel on a long-running arbitration before a three-arbitrator panel under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules and the International Commercial Arbitration Act, involving an agency agreement. The case involved detailed aspects of European Union and English law relating to commercial agents. Following the Canadian arbitration, court proceedings ensued in the English High Court. Igor received a temporary call to Lincoln’s Inn and appeared twice as counsel in the English Court.

From 2009 to 2012, Igor was counsel on arbitration in Montreal involving a dispute over licencing of generic pharmaceuticals. From 2012 to 2014, he was counsel in a multi-million dollar arbitration before threeW-arbitrator panel in Montreal involving the manufacture and distribution of aircraft parts. Igor became a temporary member of the Barreau du Quebec for these arbitrations. Although these arbitrations were in English, Igor’s fluency in French was useful in dealings with Quebec counsel and in analysis of the Civil Code of Quebec.

Igor was counsel in a shareholder dispute in Ontario, which involved a substantial fraud claim against the president of the corporation, arbitrated before a retired Superior Court justice. In the years following the successful result in the case, opposing counsel recommended Igor both as an arbitrator and as a mediator.

Mediation Experience

Mediated about 30 commercial cases arising from shareholder disputes, professional negligence, contract disputes, employment law, construction matters and other business issues. Counsel on 100 or more mediations and pre-trial conferences. 

During the pandemic, Igor mediated disputes online, both as mediator and as counsel.


Languages and International Perspective

Igor speaks English, French and Romanian fluently. He is conversant in Hebrew and German and has some comprehension of Italian and Spanish. He acted for clients from many parts of the world. He is especially sensitive to the impact of culture on dispute resolution.

Expert Witness and Special Counsel

Igor was also engaged as an expert witness in Canadian law. He appeared as a witness in the Superior Court of State of Victoria, Australia. He also prepared an expert report which assessed the tangible and financial differences between litigation and arbitration of a shareholder dispute. Igor has acted as special corporate law counsel in a family law dispute.

Education and Training

  • Temporary Call as a Barrister of Lincoln’s Inn, London, 2009-2012
  • Temporary Call as an Advocate of the Barreau du Québec, 2012-2014
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, 2002
  • Advocates’ Society/Harvard Law School Mediation Workshop 1997
  • Certified by the Law Society as Specialist in Civil Litigation since May 1989
  • Call to Ontario Bar, 1973
  • Western University, London, Ontario – LL.B./J.D. 1971
  • Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois – B.A. 1968

Reported Cases

Igor Ellyn was counsel on about 120 reported decisions, which can be found in legal databases, including, and

The decisions include appeals, trials, complex applications and hearings before the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, Ontario Court of Appeal, Ontario Divisional Court, Federal Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada. Igor also appeared in a reported case in the English High Court of Justice (Queen’s Bench Division) [2009] EWHC 2655 (QB) arising from a Canadian arbitration.

For every reported case, there are many cases, which are settled before trial. Even though these cases represent a critical mass of counsel’s experience, the results are confidential.

Professional Leadership

  • Past Chair, Toronto Chapter, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, (“CIArb.”) 2014-2016
  • Co-Chair, CIArb. Annual Symposium on Arbitration in Canada, 2016-2018
  • Vice-President, International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, 1998-2005
  • Vice-Chair and Honorary Legal Counsel, Canadian Jewish Congress- Ontario, 2002-2011
  • Chair, Business Litigation & Arbitration Practice Group, International Network of Boutique Law Firms 2012-2015
  • President, Ontario Bar Association, 1994-95
  • Member of Executive, Ontario Bar Association 1991-96
  • Occasional Speaker, Community Groups on legal topics
  • Weekly Columnist, Toronto Sun “Knowing Your Legal Rights” (1979-81)
  • Part-time Judge, Toronto Small Claims Court 1979-86

Professional Recognition and Awards

  • Designated Queen’s Counsel 1985
  • Certification as a Certified Specialist by the Law Society since 1989
  • Law Society Bicentennial Award of Merit, 1997
  • Admission to Fellowship of the Chartered Instituted of Arbitrators, 2002
  • Occasional Member, Law Society Specialization Certification Board, 2005


Igor Ellyn has written about the law and procedure for over 40 years. He is the author of three books and many legal articles. Some articles appear online on, and The books are available for purchase from the publishers. Other colleagues collaborated in the writing of some of these works:

Books and Law Reports

  • Litigating and Arbitrating Business Disputes — Lexis-Nexis Canada 2015
  • Liabilities of Corporate Directors – Canada – Juris Publishing 2012
  • Enforcement of Money Judgments in Canada – Juris Publishing 2009
  • Associate Editor, Carswell’s Practice Cases, 1984-1986 (author of 50 case annotations)

Articles on Arbitration, Mediation and Commercial Litigation

  • Recent Decisions of Ontario Courts affecting Arbitration Law and Practice (2015)
  • Litigating Shareholder and Oppression Claims: Arbitration or Commercial List (2014)
  • Preparing for Cross Examination and Discovery in Ontario Lawsuits (2014)
  • The Role of Arbitration in International Business (2013)
  • Fraud Claims in Business Transaction Litigation (2013)
  • Civil Litigation Procedures in Canada (2013)
  • Cross-Examining Expert Witnesses (2012)
  • Shareholders Remedies in Canada (2012, 2009 and 2005)
  • Liability of Directors in Canada, an excerpt (2012)
  • Corporate Law & Family Law at the Crossroads: Spouses as Shareholders (2012)
  • Orders and Awards in Arbitration Proceedings (2011)
  • Effective Advocacy in Commercial Arbitration (2011)
  • Use of Financial Experts in Business Litigation (2011)
  • Canadian Arbitrator Lacks Jurisdiction to Make Injunctive Orders (2011)
  • How to Make In-Trial Objections Less Objectionable (2011)
  • Drafting Pleadings in the Enlightened Age of Mediation (2010)
  • The Tension between Choice of Law and Mandatory Rules in Agency Arbitration (2008)
  • The Five Most Significant Cases of the Courts in 2008-2009
  • Canadian Litigants Battle over the Scope of Arbitration Clauses (2009)
  • Resolving Shareholders Disputes in Canada (2009)
  • High Hurdles to Right Wrongs: The Standard of Appellate Review (2009)
  • Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Ontario (2009)
  • A Business Person’s Perspective on Resolving Shareholder Disputes (2008)
  • Business Legal Checkup: Preventive Advice for the Legal Health of a Business (2008)
  • So, Your Business Has a Legal Problem (2008)
  • Winning Business Appeals and the Concept of Commercial Reasonableness (2007)
  • The Five Most Significant Cases of the Courts in 20006-2007
  • Persuasive Pleading Promote Satisfying Settlements (2006)
  • The Five Most Significant Cases of the Courts in 2004-2005
  • Illustrative Evidence in Civil Litigation (2004)
  • Proving Just Cause as Employer’s Counsel (2002)
  • The Five Most Significant Cases of the Courts in 2001-2002
  • The Five Most Significant Cases of the Courts in 1997-1998
  • Certificates of Pending Litigation (1995)
  • Toward a “Global Village” Approach in Enforcement of Foreign Judgments (1995)
  • Undertakings In and Out of Court (1995)
  • Cross-Examining The Forensic Accountant (1991)
  • “Knowing Your Legal Rights” Weekly Column in the Toronto Sun (1979-81)

Teaching, Coaching and Mooting

Igor Ellyn participated in legal education for most of his career, including:

  • Arbitration Coach, Moot Court Preparation, ICDR, New York, 2020
  • Arbitrator, VIS East Moot Court Competition, Hongkong, 2020 (via Zoom)
  • Guest Instructor, Osgoode Hall Law School, LL.M. Program 2016-2017
  • Faculty, CIArb. Accelerated Route to Fellowship Training Program, Toronto 2018
  • Instructor, Bar Admission Course, Law Society of Upper Canada (1978-1986)
  • Instructor, “Knowing Your Legal Rights,” Adult Education, Don Mills, C.I. (1976)
  • Guest Lecturer, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, ca. 1990
  • Advocacy Coach, Osgoode Hall, Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop, (1995-2003)
  • Guest Lecturer, Grade 12 Law Class, Middlefield Collegiate Institute, Markham (2011)
  • Guest Lecturer, Schulich School of Business, York University (2013)
  • Panelist, Cornell University International Labour Relations and NYBSA program (2008)
  • Program Chair, Ontario Bar Association (1982-2002) on 12 litigation conferences
  • Guest Speaker, Ontario Bar Association, groupe francophone re Quebec Secession case
  • Panelist, l’association des juristes d’expression française (AJEFO) (2004)
  • Keynote Speaker, Ontario Bar Association, Five Most Significant Cases of the Courts (on five occasions between 1998 and 2009)

Speaking Engagements and Conferences

Igor was invited to speak at many legal conferences and was Chair of 12 legal conferences at the Ontario Bar Association. In August 2000, he was the Chair of an international legal conference in Toronto on behalf of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists. In 2016-2018, he was co-chair of the CIArb. Symposium on Canadian Arbitration. He participated in legal conferences in Canada, USA and around the world.

In 2007, Igor participated in a unique mediation and dispute resolution training program jointly conducted by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Conservative Rabbinic Assembly. He later successfully mediated a dispute between a synagogue and its rabbi.

The following is a partial list of Igor’s speaking engagements on legal matters:

Advocates Society Electronic Trials (2015)
Commons Institute Latest Developments in Arbitration Law (2015)
Victory Verbatim Shareholders Disputes: Arbitration or Litigation? (2014)
Schulich School of Business Role of Arbitration in International Business (2013)
Osgoode Professional Dev. Making Trial Objections Less Objectionable (2012)
Federated Press Cross-examining Business Valuators (2013)
Federated Press Fraud Claims in Business Litigation (2012)
Osgoode Professional Dev. Qualifying Expert Witnesses (2013)
Commons Institute Effective Advocacy in Arbitration (2012)
Ontario Bar Association Drafting Pleadings with Mediation in Mind (2011)
Centre for International Legal Studies Shareholders Remedies in Canada (2005)
AJEFO (French-speaking Lawyers) L’homologation des jugements étrangers (2004)
Federated Press Financial Experts in Business Litigation (2011)
Middlefield Collegiate Institute Use of Social Media in the Courts (2011)
New York State Bar Association Choice of Law & Mandatory Rules in Arbitration (2008)
Ontario Bar Association Appeals & Commercial Reasonableness (2007)
Ontario Bar Association Use of Undertakings In and Out of Court (2007)
Ontario Bar Association Undertakings In and out of Court (2002)
Ontario Bar Association Proving Just Cause as Employers’ Counsel (2002)
Osgoode Professional Dev. Illustrative Evidence in Civil Litigation (2001)
Int’l Association of Jewish Lawyers International Arbitration Panel (2000)
Ontario Bar Association The 5 Most Significant Cases of the Courts (5 times)
Ontario Bar Association Supreme Court’s Quebec Secession Reference (1998)
Ontario Bar Association Cross-examination the forensic accountant (1991)
Ontario Bar Association Certificates of Pending Litigation (1995)
Ontario Bar Association Enforcement of Judgments and Court Orders (1985)