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Christopher J. Williams

Partner Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 1980

Chris offers his clients an analytical perspective and sensible solutions to difficult municipal and land use planning issues. His municipal and provincial government experience has given him the added benefit of understanding the culture and inner workings of these challenging environments.

Chris is a member of the firm's Municipal and Land Use Planning Group and Expropriation Law Group. Chris practises in all areas of municipal law, including land use planning and development, expropriations, environmental law, administrative law/litigation, development charges, educational development charges, user fees and charges, sign regulation, municipal finance, conflicts of interest, municipal restructuring, building code matters, property standards, bylaw prosecutions and defence, and challenges to council decisions for illegality, unconstitutionality and bad faith.

He regularly appears before municipal councils and committees, the Ontario Land Tribunal (formerly the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal), the Board of Negotiation, the Assessment Review Board and all levels of courts in Ontario. Chris has appeared before the Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada in disputes regarding the constitutionality of the municipal regulation of federal undertakings. He provides advice and representation to a wide variety of public- and private-sector clients.

Prior to joining the firm, Chris was Director of Planning and Development at the City of Scarborough, where he was responsible for all planning, real estate, development and expropriation matters involving the city. Upon his call to the bar, he was a solicitor with the legal branch of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Province of Ontario, dealing with a variety of municipal issues of provincial significance.

Awards & Recognition

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada in Municipal Law and Expropriation Law and in Administrative and Public Law

Professional Involvement

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • International Municipal Lawyers Association
  • Ontario Expropriation Association
  • The Advocates' Society

Selected Speaking Engagements

Chris delivers presentations to the International Association of Municipal Law Officers, Canadian Bar Association, Law Society of Ontario, Canadian Institute, Insight, Association of Municipalities of Ontario, Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario and the Ontario Building Officials Association. 

Selected Publications

Co-author with John Pappas, With Great Power Comes Reasonable Responsibility – Emergency Powers of the Chief Building Official, published by the Ontario Building Officials Association Journal, Legal Corner, June 2021.

Co-author with Andrea Skinner and Matthew Helfand, Expropriation Law in Ontario, published by LexisNexis, May 13, 2021.

Co-author with John Mascarin, Ontario Municipal Act and Commentary, 2021 Edition, published by LexisNexis, October 25, 2020.

Regular contributor to the Ontario Building Officials Association Journal.

Contributor to the Guide to Ontario Building Legislation.

 

Education

  • JD, University of Windsor, 1978
  • BA (Hons., Summa Cum Laude), McMaster University, 1975