Alexander D. Pettingill

416.507.1802 Download V-Card
Alex is a founding partner of Thomas Gold Pettingill LLP.

Areas of practice & Experience

Alex is an experienced trial and appellate counsel with a broad litigation practice, including corporate and commercial litigation, insurance litigation (both defence and coverage), as well as the defence of professional negligence, class actions, and defamation claims. This expertise has resulted in dozens of reported cases and decisions, as he will frequently try a case to verdict. He has also been successful in numerous cases before the Ontario Court of Appeal, both in resisting and advancing appeals, and has represented clients before the Supreme Court of Canada. Alex has been described as having a formidable strategic mind, and the clients he tends to attract are generally involved in complex, sophisticated disputes with high stakes exposure, typically with an insurance component or implication.

As one who knows the value of resolving claims, Alex has conducted dozens of successful mediations. However, if a case cannot be settled through negotiation, Alex has the experience, ability and will to take a case to trial.

Alex has been successful counsel in many of the leading decisions in educational malpractice in Ontario. In his practice, he has acted for virtually every major University in Ontario. Alex has also been successful in his representation of numerous institutional clients, particularly in the area of vicarious liability for various torts, including sexual abuse and harassment. He has spoken before groups such as the Ontario Risk and Insurance Managers Society, and the Insurance Institute of Ontario on topics including defending institutions against sexual abuse/harassment claims, claims handling, the duty to defend, and misrepresentations in the insurance context. Alex is a contributing editor to The Federated Press – Professional Liability Edition.

Recent representative work includes:
  • Acts as one of the lead defence counsel in the largest Class Action in Canadian history.
  • Acts for an Ontario university in defence of a class action brought by former students.
  • Successfully acted as lead trial counsel in claims involving professional liability, economic torts, sexual abuse, occupier’s liability, personal injury, wrongful dismissal, tavern liability, and intellectual property.
  • Acted for a major international actuarial firm in the defence of a $200 million claim alleging the negligent actuarial evaluation of a professional liability insurance program.
  • Was a key player in the settlement negotiations led by former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Frank Iacobucci, which led to the $4 billion class action settlement involving approximately 90,000 Indian Residential School claims.
  • Acts as counsel to The United Church of Canada, and has assisted in drafting its Sexual Abuse Procedural Guidelines.
  • Acts as defence counsel in professional liability claims involved architects, engineers and other design professionals.


Education & Associations

  • Called to the Bar of Ontario, 1992
  • LL.B., Queen’s University, 1990
  • B.A., University of Western Ontario, 1987
  • Canadian Defence Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute