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Steven L. Graff

Partner* Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 1991
*Practising as a professional corporation

Steve’s practice has been built on his ability to think clearly in a crisis and communicate effectively with clients. A dynamic corporate lawyer and litigator, he thrives on the immediacy of the financial services sector and revels in the high-pressure environment in which he practises. Steve’s clients appreciate his no-nonsense approach, his ability to simplify complex situations and his personal touch on each file.

Steve is Co-Practice Group Leader of the firm's Financial Services Group and a member of the firm's Litigation Group and Corporate/Commercial Group. His practice focuses on restructuring and insolvency, lending and corporate acquisitions and divestitures, often in the context of distress. He also advises on a wide range of financing transactions. In addition, Steve manages an active corporate practice and oversees a commercial litigation practice.

Steve has strong ties in the financial sector and acts as counsel for many of the Canadian Schedule I banks and other financial institutions on restructuring, security enforcement and recovery. He has also been engaged on behalf of various stakeholder groups, including bond holders, unsecured creditors and even shareholders in the context of corporate restructurings. He has also had the opportunity to represent lenders, landlords, municipalities, trade suppliers and debtors in all aspects of insolvency law, including bankruptcy, proposals, reorganizations, enforcement of security, and in protecting rights outside of insolvency proceedings. Steve has also represented several private debt and equity investors concerning their positions in various Canadian insolvencies and restructurings. Additionally, he acts on behalf of many of the well-known professional advisory firms in their roles as monitor, trustee in bankruptcy and receiver.

On the finance side, Steve is active in both asset-based lending as well as traditional cash flow lending on behalf of several institutional lenders.

Awards & Recognition

  • Recommended by Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business as a top practitioner in Restructuring/Insolvency (Canada)
  • Noted in The Legal 500 Canada for his expertise in the practice area of Restructuring and Insolvency
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada in the field of Insolvency and Financial Restructuring
  • Recognized in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a leading practitioner in the area of Insolvency & Financial Restructuring

Professional Involvement


  • Canadian Bar Association (Bankruptcy, Insolvency and Restructuring Section)
  • Turnaround Management Association

Teaching Engagements

  • Instructor, Ontario Bar Admission Course Insolvency Section for nine years
  • Guest Lecturer, University of Toronto, Negotiations in Insolvency Matters 
  • Regularly delivers presentations to clients on a wide range of financing, insolvency and restructuring matters.

Representative Matters

Represented Grant Thornton Limited in its capacity as the Court-Appointed Receiver and Manager of the Crystal Wealth Group, including a Portfolio Manager and 15 open-ended mutual fund trusts, following the Receiver’s appointment upon a Securities Act application brought by the Ontario Securities Commission.

Represented a group of unsecured trade creditors defending an oppression remedy action brought by the Monitor in connection within the CCAA proceedings of Urbancorp (Cumberland) GP 2 Inc., et al.

Represented the purchaser of an import, distribution and wholesale toy business on the completion of a $5.6 million purchase, as well as the associated acquisition and operating financing of that business by a Schedule I Bank.
Represented the shareholder vendors of Phase 4 Films group of companies, a leading full service independent studio in the United States and Canada, in connection with the share sale transaction with Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO), a leading international entertainment company that specializes in the acquisition, production and distribution of film and television content.

Retained by the debentureholders of Pinetree Capital, a TSX listed company, in connection with the restructuring of Pinetree's debentureholder debt.

Retained by Grant Thornton Limited, in its capacity as court-appointed monitor, receiver and manager and trustee in bankruptcy in the insolvency proceedings commenced by Redstone Investment Corporation and Redstone Capital Corporation under the CCAA.

Retained by BDO Canada Limited, in its capacity as court-appointed monitor of BioExx Specialty Proteins Ltd. and BioExx Proteins of Saskatoon Inc. regarding their filing under the CCAA.

Retained to act on behalf of Vanguard Shipping in connection with its filing under the CCAA.

Retained to act for the landlord of 220 locations of Priszm Brands in connection with Priszm’s filing under the CCAA.

Retained by Extreme Fitness and its primary shareholder, a New York based hedge fund, in connection with Extreme’s filing under the CCAA.

Retained by various mortgage investment corporations in connection with the CCAA proceedings of Edgeworth Properties.

Retained by Ernst & Young Inc. in its capacity as monitor appointed in the CCAA proceeding of Farley WinDoor Ltd.

Retained by Buck or Two (formal name - Extreme Retail) in connection with its filing under the CCAA.

Retained by BDO Dunwoody, the Monitor appointed in connection with the  CCAA filing of Burlington Industries.

Retained by an ad hoc committee of the unsecured noteholders of Frontera Copper Corporation in connection with Frontera’s recapitalization and plan of arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act.

Retained as independent counsel to Starfield Resources’ board of directors in connection with Starfield’s filing under the proposal provisions of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada).

Retained by the Noteholders of Blue Note Mining in connection with Blue Note’s filing under the CCAA.

Retained to act for the DIP lenders in connection with Slater Steel’s CCAA proceeding.

Retained by a large automotive parts manufacturer in connection with its reorganization under the CCAA and Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code.

Many ongoing mandates from various banking clients, including Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada.


  • LLB, University of Western Ontario, 1989
  • Faculty of Arts & Sciences, University of Toronto