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Robert A. Centa B.A., LL.B.

Partner

p: 416.646.4314
e: robert.centa@paliareroland.com
f: 416.646.4301
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Rob Centa is the Managing Partner of the firm.  He was the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Douglas K. Laidlaw Medal for excellence in advocacy.  He combines his advocacy and analytical skills to help clients resolve disputes. With a sharp focus on the client’s needs, he informs his pragmatic, problem solving instincts with a deep knowledge of the law.

Education

  • Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, LL.B. 1999
  • York University, B.A. 1996

Bar Admissions

  • Ontario, 2001

Professional Affiliations

  • The Advocates’ Society
  • The Canadian Bar Association

Representative Work

  • Rob Centa acts in all areas of advocacy, with an emphasis on public law and business litigation. He has acted for clients in partnership and shareholder rights disputes, commercial litigation, major insolvencies, commercial arbitrations, executive employment and restrictive covenant disputes and in copyright and trade-mark disputes. He regularly acts for universities and other public institutions and has extensive experience in public inquiries.

Awards and Honours

  • Ranked as a Leading Lawyer by Chamber Global Canada, 2017 
  • Listed in Best Lawyers®, Lawyer of the Year, 2015
  • Recipient of the Douglas K. Laidlaw Medal for Excellence in Advocacy, 2014
  • Angus MacMurchy Gold Medal for the Highest Cumulative Average in the graduating year, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, 1999
  • Listed in 2012 Benchmark Canada as “one of Toronto’s most promising up-and comers” and as a Litigation start in securities and white collar civil litigation.
  • Listed in the Chambers and Partners Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2010 - present.
  • Listed in 2012 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Repeatedly Recommended in Litigation – Public Law
  • Listed among the Decade Dozen, the 12 University of Toronto Faculty of Law alumni to watch, 2011
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in Canada in Administrative and Public Law, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, 2006 - present
  • Listed among the Canadian Litigation Lawyers to Watch in the Lexpert 2009 Guide to the Leading U.S./Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada.
  • Named a “Rising Star, one of Canada’s Leading Lawyers under 40”  by Lexpert, 2008
  • Listed as an Up-and-Coming Public Law Litigator by Lexpert, 2005
  • Dean Cecil A. Wright Key Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, presented to a graduating student who exhibited the greatest interest in extracurricular work of an academic nature, 1999
  • Outstanding Volunteer Service to the University, University of Toronto Arbor Award, 2008

Community Involvement

  • Adjunct Faculty Member, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

Pro Bono Counsel

  • Pro bono counsel for Human Rights Watch, the International Human Rights Law Clinic (University of Toronto), the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.

Publications and Presentations

  • Co-chair, “Ready, Set, Litigate!”, The Advocates’ Society,  (five times)
  • "Trends in Costs Awards before Administrative Tribunals” (2014), 27 Canadian Journal of Administrative Law and Practice” 259 (with Denise Cooney)
  • "Costs in Administrative Law Proceedings” The Six-Minute Administrative Lawyer 2014, Law Society of Upper Canada  (March 20, 2014)
  • Chair, Summary Judgment - What's Next?, Law Society of Upper Canada (February 25, 2014)
  • Panellist, Lawyers and Legal Ethics, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto (January 2014)
  • Panellist, Solicitor- Client Communication Privilege and Conflicts of Interest, Law Society of Upper Canada (December 2013)
  • Judicial Oversight of University Decision Making, Centre for Higher 
    Education Research and Development (November 2013)
  • Panellist, “Adjudicative Ethics: Dilemmas of Parties to Tribunals” Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators and Osgoode Hall Law School Continuing Legal Education, December 2012. 
  • Advice from a Business Litigator, Law Society of Upper Canada The Six-Minute Family Law Lawyer (December 2011)
  • “Motions” a presentation at the Law Society of Upper Canada’s New Lawyer Practice Series: Civil Litigation,  (November and April 2011)
  • Co-Chair, The 7th Annual National Forum on Administrative Law & Practice, Osgoode Hall Law School (Fall 2011)
  • “Costs in Administrative Proceedings,” The Canadian Institute Conference on Advanced Administrative Law & Practice, October 2011 (with Naomi Greckol-Herlich)
  • Mentor, The Advocates’ Society Mentoring Dinner Series, May 11, 2011
  • Guest lecturer, Administrative Law, University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, March 2011
  • Panel member, “Defining Issues and Strategies with Litigation Clients”, Law Society of Upper Canada, February 2011.
  • Appellate Update, The Advocates’ Society Fall Convention, November 2010.
  • “Public Inquiries” a presentation at The 6th Annual National Forum on Administrative Law & Practice, October 2010
  • “The Fundamentals of Administrative Law,” The Canadian Institute Conference on Advanced Administrative Law & Practice, October 2010.
  • “Administrative Law – 2010 Update” at Operation Update 2010, Ontario Bar Association, October 2010 (with Jessica Latimer)
  • “We Are Not in Kansas Anymore”: Some Tips for navigating proceedings before administrative tribunals, For the Defence, Volume 32:1, page 4 (with Lindsay Scott).
  • Course Director, “Civil Advocacy Before Trial: Essentials for New Litigators”, Executive Education Program, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, June 2010
  • “The Duty of Expert Witnesses” in Expert Evidence Explained - A Program for All Civil Litigators, The Law Society of Upper Canada, June 2010
  • Co-Chair, “Pre-trial Motions for Counsel New to Civil Litigation”, The Law Society of Upper Canada, April 2010
  • “The Fundamentals of Administrative Law,” The Canadian Institute Conference on Advanced Administrative Law & Practice, October 2009.
  • Co-chair, “Ready, Set, Litigate!”, The Advocates’ Society, October 2009
  • “Administrative Law – 2009 Update” at Operation Update 2009, Ontario Bar Association, October 2009 (with Susan Brown)
  • “Are draft expert reports and documents received by an expert but not included in the expert report subject to production?”  in The Twelve-Minute Civil Litigator 2009, Law Society of Upper Canada (with Jessica Latimer)
  • Course Director, “Civil Advocacy Before Trial: Essentials for New Litigators”, Executive Education Program, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto (2009)
  • “Evidence for Litigators,” Advocates’ Society Civil Litigation Skills Certificate Program, November 2008.
  • “Understanding the Public Inquiry Process” (with Brian Gover), Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development Program, October 2008.
  • “The Fundamentals of Administrative Law,” The Canadian Institute Conference on Advanced Administrative Law & Practice, October 2008.
  • “Litigation Privilege in Canada” in Annual Review of Civil Litigation – 2007 (with L. Rothstein).
  • “Unions continue to play an important role in insolvencies and restructurings,” The Lawyers Weekly, September 16, 2005 (with Jeffrey Larry)
  • “Developments in Police Discipline: An Update” 2003 Police Association of Ontario Annual Labour Relations Conference
  • “Securing Accountability Through Commissions of Inquiry: A Role for the Law Commission of Canada” in A. Manson and D. Mullan, Commissions of Inquiry, Praise or Reappraise? Toronto: Irwin Law, 2003) also published as (2001) 39 Osgoode Hall L.J. 117 (with Prof. P. Macklem).
  • “Balancing Probabilities: The Overlooked Complexity of the Civil Standard of Proof,” Law Society of Upper Canada Special Lectures on Evidence Law, 2003 (with L. Rothstein and E. Adams)
  • “Grounds For Review: A Primer,” New Federally Appointed Judges Seminar - 2003 (with C. Paliare) (Updated and revised from “Taking the Tribunal to Court: A Practical Guide for Administrative Law Practitioners”, CBA-O, CLE October 2000)
  • “Management Rights Clauses In Police Collective Agreements: Promoting Fair And Reasonable Treatment” and “Legal Indemnification Provisions in Collective Agreements” Canadian Police Association  AGM, 2003 (with M. Yachnin and E. Craig)
  • “A Review of Recent Decisions of the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services Decisions” 2003 Police Association of Ontario Annual Labour Relations Conference
  • “Mentors and Mentoring: The Story from Both Sides” presentation with C. Paliare at The New Lawyer Experience, Law Society of Upper Canada, November 7, 2002.
  • “Police Understaffing: The Scope of The Problem And Possible Responses” (with M. House) 2002 Police Association of Ontario Annual Labour Relations Conference
  • “Civil Lawsuits Against Police Associations: The Duty of Fair Representation”; 2001 Police Association of Ontario Annual Labour Relations Conference

Exceptional Advocates.

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