Markus Koehnen is a litigation partner in the Toronto office of McMillan. In 2013 he was singled out by Who's Who Legal as one of the 10 Most Highly Regarded Individuals for Commercial Litigation. He has appeared before all levels of courts in Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada as well as before domestic and international arbitral tribunals. His practice concentrates on complex commercial litigation with a particular focus on Shareholder Rights/Corporate Governance and International Law.
Markus is the author of "Oppression and Related Remedies", a leading text on shareholder rights and directors liabilities published by Thomson/Carswell and teaches at the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Markus has extensive experience with international legal issues including arbitration, jurisdiction, conflicts of laws, sovereign immunity, act of state and trade law. He has co-ordinated multi-jurisdictional litigation between a broad range of legal cultures including the United States, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Nigeria and Iran.
In addition to litigating before courts and administrative tribunals of all levels, he has acted as counsel and arbitrator in domestic and international arbitrations and has a depth of expertise in the recognition and enforcement in Canada of foreign judgments and arbitral awards. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and past Co-Chair of the Litigation Committee of the International Bar Association.
Markus teaches advocacy skills to younger lawyers and is a regular speaker on business litigation issues to organizations such as the International Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association. Markus speaks French and German.
Shareholder Rights/Corporate Governance
- Represented a group of institutional bondholders in challenging the $52 billion leveraged buyout of BCE
- Currently acting for several former officers of Sino-Forest Corporation in proceedings before the Ontario Securities Commission
- Acted for Crystallex International Corporation in a $100 million claim brought by bondholders for oppression
- Acted for Crystallex International Corporation in a separate $100 million claim brought by bondholders for relief arising out of particular interpretations of a trust indenture
- Acted for a controlling shareholder of a publicly-traded company facing allegations of appropriation of corporate opportunity
- Represented shareholders in a wide variety of disputes that have led to the buy-out of one or more shareholder groups.
- Currently acting for an international manufacturer in a $600 million UNCITRAL arbitration claim
- Acted for a Canadian mining company in an ICSID Arbitration against the Republic of Ecuador
- Acted for an international regulatory organization in an ICC arbitration
- Acted for a multi-national petroleum company in an ICC arbitration relating to the interpretation of pricing provisions in a long term supply contract.
- Acted for the state-owned Iranian oil company in challenging the jurisdiction of Ontario courts to deal with a $400 million claim involving issues of sovereign immunity, act of state and expropriation of property
- Defended a large financial institution against the allegations that it was adhering to Helms-Burton or other American legislation enforcing the Cuban trade embargo, which is prohibited by Canadian law
- Successfully resisted efforts by the US Department of Justice to assert RICO forfeiture claims in Canada
Privilege primer: Best practices for internal counsel
Canada Chapter in The Arbitration Review of the Americas
The Bullet-Proof Board
A guide to avoiding directors' liability
Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Canada
- University of Toronto, LLB - 1985
- Université de Paris, DEA in International Economic Law - 1988
- University of Toronto, BA - 1981
Year Of Call
- Called to the Ontario bar - 1988
private equity - buyouts & venture capital investment
banking, finance and insurance
manufacturing, distribution and retail
Directorships and Professional Associations
- Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- International Bar Association
- The Advocates' Society
- Regular lecturer at the Institute of Corporate Directors program on director accreditation
- Guest lecturer at Osgoode Hall LLB corporate law course
- Guest lecturer at Osgoode Hall LLM program in securities regulation
- Director training sessions for various public companies
Awards & Rankings
- Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada (Litigation - Corporate Commercial)
- Chambers Canada (Dispute Resolution: Ontario)
- Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business (Dispute Resolution: Ontario)
- Who's Who Legal (Commercial Litigation)
- Lexpert Special Edition (Global Mining)
- The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Litigation – Corporate Commercial and Litigation (Most frequently recommended) - Directors' & Officers' Liability)
- The Best Lawyers in Canada (Corporate and Commercial Litigation)
- The Legal 500 Canada (Dispute Resolution)
- Benchmark Canada: A Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys