Steve J. Tenai

Partner

Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 1992

Steve is a skilled advocate with more than 25 years’ experience. He has represented individual and corporate clients before all levels of trial and appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and before various regulatory bodies, including the Ontario Securities Commission. His reputation as a leading Canadian litigator has led to numerous accolades by several international and national guides to the legal profession.

Steve is a member of the firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group. His practice focuses on class action, securities, M&A, corporate, commercial, oppression and privacy related litigation. He has defended over a dozen securities and consumer related class actions.

Steve's experience also includes representing clients within the context of investigations by securities and law enforcement agencies. He has further undertaken internal investigations on behalf of clients. 

Steve began his legal career as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Awards & Recognition

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Dispute Resolution: Class Action (Defence) – Nationwide
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada, Director & Officer Liability Practice, Class Action Litigation, Corporate and Commercial Litigation and Securities Law
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Class Actions, Litigation – Directors’ & Officers’ Liability and Litigation – Securities
  • Lexpert Special Edition – Canada’s Leading Litigation Lawyers
  • Lexpert Special Edition: Mining
  • Benchmark Canada, Litigation Star in Class Action, General Commercial and Public Law
  • Martindale-Hubbell, Distinguished Peer Review Rating for High Professional Achievement and High Ethical Standard

Professional Involvement

Memberships

  • Fellow in The Trial Lawyer Honorary Society of the Litigation Counsel of America
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Litigation Counsel of America
  • Ontario Bar Association, Class Actions Section (Executive Committee Member 2018-2021) and Privacy and Access to Information Law Section (Executive Committee Member 2018-2019)
  • The Advocates’ Society (Former Member, Board of Directors)

Representative Matters

  • Representing a discount brokerage in multijurisdictional class proceedings over trailing commission fees.
  • Representing a pharmaceutical company in the Federal Court of Canada in a class action alleging industry wide breaches of the Competition Act.
  • Representing a cannabis company in an Alberta class proceeding alleging mislabelling of the THC content of products by various cannabis producers.
  • Representing a foreign state in opposing the registration of a multi-million dollar judgment in Ontario.
  • Represented a condominium developer in successfully dismissing a $40 million class action for a cancelled development.
  • Represented a former director of a major retailer in CCAA proceedings in responding to claims against directors by creditors.
  • Represented a global manufacturer and a Canadian mining company in a $1 billion shareholder class action suit arising from the takeover of a mining company, and in an OSC s. 127 hearing concerning a shareholders’ rights plan.
  • Represented a global professional services and project management company in defending multiple shareholder class actions. One of the class actions raised allegations of breaches of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act and sought damages of $1 billion.
  • Represented a Canadian telecommunications company in successfully defeating a consumer class action relating to prepaid mobile phone service.
  • Represented a global pharmaceutical company in having a proposed consumer class action dismissed on appeal raising claims of interference with economic relations and unjust enrichment following a declaration of invalidity of the company’s patent for one of its most prescribed drugs.
  • Represented a senior officer of a global technology company in civil and regulatory proceedings concerning stock option grants.
  • A member of the appeal team representing BCE Inc. and Bell Canada before the Supreme Court of Canada relating to the $51.7 billion privatization of BCE, and in the subsequent break-fee litigation.
  • Advised various clients in the context of cyber and other data breaches.

Selected Speaking Engagements

Steve has spoken at a number of conferences on such topics as shareholder rights plans, coordinating defences and investigations in cross-border securities litigation, trends in class action litigation, the oppression remedy, derivative actions, civil litigation practice and cyber security.

Selected Publications

"The End of Waiver of Tort," Aird & Berlis Litigation Bulletin, July 29, 2020.

Three Legislative Changes Impacting Class Actions,” Aird & Berlis Litigation Bulletin, July 17, 2020.

 “Uber v. Heller: Supreme Court Throws Out Dutch Arbitration Clause As Unconscionable,” Aird & Berlis Litigation Bulletin, July 09, 2020.

Court Enforces Exculpatory Clause Dismissing Condominium Class Action,” Aird & Berlis Litigation Bulletin, July 3, 2020.

Smart Cities: An Opportunity for Engagement on Big Data Governance,” The Spotlight, June 20, 2019.

Phishing Risk Deemed Sufficient in Alberta to Trigger “Real Risk Of Significant Harm” Threshold,” The Spotlight, March 13, 2018.

Cybersecurity Disclosure Guidance for Public Companies,” The Spotlight, March 1, 2018.

Education

  • LLM, University of Michigan, 2000
  • LLB, University of Toronto, 1990
  • BA, University of Toronto, 1987