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Kelley McKinnon
Partner      Toronto
t  416-862-4432
f  416-862-7661
Kelley McKinnon
  • 1990 Ontario
  • Osgoode Law School, partial completion in LLM (International Business Law)
  • Queen's University, LLB, 1988
  • Queen's University, BA Hons., 1985

Kelley McKinnon is a partner and head of the securities litigation practice at Gowlings' Toronto office.

Kelley held senior roles at the federal Competition Bureau and the Ontario Securities Commission, giving her unique insight and strategic perspective into regulatory risk and process, including in cross-border regulatory matters. At the Competition Bureau, she was the Senior Deputy Commissioner of Competition, heading the Mergers Branch and participating in other competition enforcement and policy matters across the Bureau as a member of the Senior Management Committee and periodically as the Acting Commissioner of Competition.  

Formerly the Deputy Director of Enforcement and Chief Litigation Counsel at the Ontario Securities Commission, Kelley litigated some of the most complex securities cases in recent years, including the OSC intervention on Danier Leather at the Supreme Court of Canada. At the OSC, Kelley provided strategic direction for enforcement prosecutions, civil litigation affecting the Commission (including class actions) and compliance and registration disputes. Kelley was a member of the Canadian Securities Administrators Enforcement Committee and has lectured extensively at the North American Securities Administrators Association. At the OSC from 2003 to 2008, Kelley brings an unprecedented depth of knowledge and insight into securities litigation, regulatory compliance and ways to effectively deal with multiple regulators in Canada and abroad.

At Gowlings, Kelley has conducted highly sensitive internal corporate investigations, and handled multiple securities class actions, corporate disputes (including representing shareholder funds in the Magna dual share structure hearings) and defence of numerous regulatory matters. Kelley has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario and before the Supreme Court of Canada, in addition to many regulatory tribunals. She appeared on the recent Supreme Court of Canada constitutional reference to determine whether the federal government has the authority to create a single securities regulator for Canada. Kelley acted for the intervener, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board.

In addition to her securities expertise, Kelley was a partner at another major law firm and vice chair of the litigation department, practising litigation for 13 years. She conducted complex commercial litigation, including contested banking litigation and civil fraud, international disputes under mutual legal assistance legislation, numerous regulatory hearings, and the defence of both criminal and quasi-criminal cases. She had a further specialty in privacy disputes, handling complex FOI requests and multiple proceedings before the Information and Privacy Commissioner. During her articling year, Kelley clerked to the Justices of the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

In May 2011, Kelley was appointed a member of the Ontario Securities Commission Enforcement Advisory Committee, which provides feedback and advice to the OSC on enforcement issues, including policy and procedure initiatives.

Kelley frequently comments on securities developments in the media. Her appearances include:

  • BNN's Headline in March 2012 to discuss Investor Class Action Lawsuits. Click here to watch part one. Click here to watch part two. Click here to watch part three.
  • CBC's Lang & O'Leary Exchange in December 2011 to discuss the SCC's decision on the proposed Canadian Securities Act. Click here to watch the segment.
  • BNN's Headline in December 2011 to discuss the SCC's decision on the proposed Canadian Securities Act. Click here to watch the segment.
  • BNN's Headline in September 2011 to discuss conflicts of interest for research analysts. Click here to watch the segment.
  • BNN's Headline in September 2011 to discuss Sino Forest. Click here to watch the segment.
  • BNN's Headline in August 2011 to discuss OSC issuing a cease trade on Sino Forest. Click here to watch the segment.
  • BNN's The Close in May 2011 to discuss the OSC and insider trading. Click here to watch the segment.
  • CTV's W5 in October 2010 to discuss affinity fraud after 800 people in Toronto's Caribbean community lost $25 million in an alleged investment scheme. Click here to watch the segment.
  • BNN's Headline in October 2010 to discuss the appointment of Howard Wetston as the new chairman of the Ontario Securities Commission. Click here to watch the interview.
  • BNN's The Close in July 2010 to discuss Canada's first criminal code conviction for insider trading. Click here to watch the interview.
  • Investment Executive in November 2009 to discuss the Inquiry into Financial Services in Australia, global regulation, and its potential impact on advisors in Canada. Click here to watch the interview.
  • BNN's SqueezePlay in October 2009 to discuss American fraud squads. Click here to watch the interview.
  • BNN in September 2009 to discuss an alleged Ponzi Scheme in Alberta. Click here to watch the interview.
  • BNN in August 2009 to discuss the SEC and changes to enforcement. Click here to watch the interview (begins at the 3:55 mark).
  • BNN's Headline in August 2009 to discuss the Drabinsky fraud sentences. Click here to watch part one of the interview, here for part two and here for part three.
  • BNN's Market Morning in March 2009 to discuss Ponzi schemes, securities regulations and investor protection. Click here to view the interview.

Kelley is a sought after teacher and lecturer. She taught Trial Practice Skills since 1994 at Osgoode Law School and Queen's, and was a team leader at the Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop for lawyers for many years. Since 2004, she has taught North American investigators and securities lawyers in trial skills and strategy, including the use of expert evidence and electronic evidence. She also taught corporate governance at Queen's in 2009.


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