The Core Litigation Team

Yan David Payne

Founder, CEO

Yan David Payne, B.A.(Hons), LL.B. is in his 19th year of practice as a Litigator.  He is a Certified Civil Litigation Specialist and the Senior Managing Lawyer here at Payne Law.    Read More

Hashim Syed

Litigation Lawyer

Hashim Syed, B.Comm, J.D., is a Senior Litigator with 10 years of Litigation Experience, the majority of which he has spent as a valued member of the Payne Law Litigation Team.   Read More

James R.D. Clark

Senior Litigation Lawyer

James R.D. Clark, H. BSc., LL.B., is a seasoned litigator with numerous trials to his credit.  Prior to joining the Payne Law team, James was a named partner in a Bay Street litigation boutique where he practiced for over 17 years.  Read More

Eric (Sheung Chi) Cheng

Litigator

Eric (Sheung Chi) Cheng, LL.B., B.Sc. (Hons.) is a litigator who has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario and before various administrative tribunals, and has acted on matters at all levels of Court in Canada, including before the Supreme Court of Canada.  Read More

Janice Ly

Lead Designer

Janice Ly started working in the legal field in 2009.  She is an accredited Law Clerk and has been supporting our clients and our team for many years.    Read More

Megan Oxenham

Office Manager

Megan Oxenham, B.A., is the firm’s office manager and senior litigation clerk. She has been part of the Payne Law Litigation Team for 14 years. Read More

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Yan David Payne, B.A.(Hons), LL.B. is a Certified Civil Litigation Specialist, as designated by the Law Society of Ontario. He is the Senior Managing Lawyer of the Payne Law Team.

Mr. Payne articled at a highly-respected civil litigation boutique in Toronto.  He later headed the litigation division of a commercial and tax litigation firm in Toronto, taking on full responsibility for important cases and successfully taking numerous cases to trial and to appeal over the 19 years that followed.  Ultimately, Mr. Payne’s drive, work ethic and successes led colleagues and clients alike to follow him to his private practice, which was founded in 2005/2006.

He has acted as principal and mentor to articling students and to new lawyers over the years.  Mr. Payne has been retained to lead a variety of litigation cases.  He has represented clients in tax matters, defamation actions, wrongful and constructive dismissal matters, human rights, commercial disputes, contentious estate litigation, and complex appeal proceedings, among others.  Mr. Payne has acted as a Judge (including being asked to judge final rounds) at the Osgoode Cup Mooting Competition (the largest and longest standing undergraduate moot in Canada).

Starting in 2020, Mr. Payne was asked to be an expert speaker by the Canadian Bar Association and Ontario Bar Association on tax litigation and employment law developments in the Covid-19 era.

Mr. Payne has been appointed by the Superior Court of Ontario as Independent Supervising Counsel and has advised and represented a broad range of clients from individual employees to established corporations, from small and medium-sized businesses to domestic, foreign, national and international organizations, from the chief of police, top ranked athletes, university professors, the Mayor of a major Canadian City, to court officials, professional regulatory and insurance bodies, as well as other professionals including lawyers, accountants, and doctors.

He has been assigned to mediate and arbitrate a broad range of disputes.  He has personally successfully argued hundreds of motions, trials, and appeals.

Mr. Payne has an outstanding trial and appeal record including numerous widely-reported cases.

For example, see the precedent-setting unanimous Ontario Court of Appeal decision of Rausch v. Pickering (City) 2013 ONCA 740 which recognized, for the first time, a duty of care upon a municipality and its by-law officers in the enforcement of by-laws.  The case has been repeatedly cited by numerous courts on multiple legal issues.

In Loyst v. Chatten’s Better Hearing Service 2012 ONSC 1653, Mr. Payne secured an impressive wrongful dismissal award for lost wages equal to a 29-month notice period plus a 15% ownership interest in the company for a total award of $256,902.93 (the decision was unanimously upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal, see Loyst v. Chatten’s Better Hearing Service, 2013 ONCA 781).

In Osinski v. Her Majesty the Queen 2013 TCC 71, Mr. Payne defeated the Canada Revenue Agency and the Department of Justice, overturning $3,834,543.62+ in taxes, penalties, and interest in favour of taxpayer.  In the recent 2017 case Her Majesty the Queen v. M. S., 1211 998 16 361300, Mr. Payne was able to secure an Order for the withdrawal of 20 tax evasion charges against an accountant and for the return of all seized property.

Mr. Payne is always eager to play David to Bay Street’s Goliath.  The Ontario Court of Appeal recently accepted Mr. Payne’s arguments dismissing Fasken’s attempt to exercise a $360,000.00 solicitor’s lien against its former individual client – see Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Weenen v. Biadi , 2018 ONCA 288 and related article about Mr. Payne’s handling of the case: Court of Appeal dismisses Fasken’s motion for charging order against client – The Lawyer’s Daily – PDF.  Please visit our Reported Cases section to review numerous other court victories secured by senior member of the bar, Yan David Payne.

Certified Civil Litigation Specialist

Top Litigators in Toronto

Top Civil Litigation Lawyers

Hashim Syed, B.Comm, J.D., is a Senior Litigator with over 10 years of litigation experience, the majority of which he has spent as a valued member of the Payne Law Litigation Team.

Mr. Syed graduated law school in 2008 and has since been called to the bar in both Ontario and in the U.S.  He earned a 3-year scholarship, and a certificate of merit for achieving the highest grade in advanced legal research.

Over the past 10 years, he has developed extensive litigation experience before the Ontario Court of Appeal, Divisional Court, Ontario Superior Court, Ontario Court of Justice, Tax Court of Canada, as well as various tribunals.  He has argued cases in Courts throughout the Province in addition to US State Courts.

He has been retained to handle a broad range of commercial, tax, and civil litigation matters including conflict of laws, international and domestic contract disputes, shareholder disputes, employment disputes, and estate litigation, involving amounts ranging upwards of $20,000,000.00 in value.  In 2020, Mr. Syed has been lead counsel on many trials including weeks-long and months-long trials.

In 2020, Mr. Syed argued one of the first remote Divisional Court appeal hearings in the Province’s history.  He was successful in upholding our clients’ right to sell a jointly-owned property, despite bitter opposition from the co-owner.  The Divisional Court upheld the sale and ordered costs in favour of our clients.  This comes shortly after we obtained multiple cost awards in early motions for a stay and for having initiated the appeal in the wrong court.  See 2020 Divisional Court decision: Krizan v. Skurdelis, 2020 ONSC 4386.  See also earlier motion decision denying the appellant a stay in the sale order and awarding costs in favour of firm client: Krizan v. Skurdelis, 2020 ONSC 451 and formal Order:  Krizan v. Skurdelis – Divisional Court File No. 712-19.

Following a 2020 Superior Court of Justice hearing, he secured Judgment for $250,437.57 in actual damages plus $100,000.00 in punitive and exemplary damages in divisive investment dispute.  The Honourable Justice Pollak also awarded costs and post-judgment interest at a rate of 8% per annum.  See attached October 2020 Endorsement of the Honourable Justice Pollak.  See also formal Judgment issued against Defendants: Judgment - ISSUED on June 4.21.

Mr. Syed obtained a rare leave from Bankruptcy Court to continue an action against a defendant who had filed for bankruptcy (see Order from bankruptcy court in London - June 6.18) permitting the client to pursue his claim for fraud in Superior Court.  He subsequently secured Judgment of over $427,000.00 including punitive damages and costs following a Superior Court of Justice hearing on the matter (See formal Judgment: Jovkovic v. Dasliva Motorsports Ltd. - Superior Court File No. CV-15-523869).  Mr. Syed thrives in a trial setting.  Recently, he secured a Superior Court Judgment for over $126,000.00 following at a contentious trial involving an oral contract (see K.T. v. P.B., 2018 ONSC 96).  In 2018, Mr. Syed successfully defended against a summary judgment motion attempt (see reported decision: Lourenco v. Turner, 2018 ONSC 3252).  He has handled numerous cases involving aborted real estate transactions (see, for example, Judgment in C.S. v. R.N. - Judgment - ISSUED on Oct 15.18). He has handled unusual wrongful dismissal trials (including securing a $105,000.00 in damages and costs for an employee, despite employer having cause for termination – see Grossi v. Premier Salons Ltd., 2014 ONSC 5028), tax appeals and hearings (for example, Tax Court Judgement reversing $546,000.00 tax assessment in HST collection dispute – see formal  Judgement – February 2016, and Tax Court of Canada Judgement in Lesner v. Her Majesty the Queen: Income Tax Judgment Dated August 5, 2014 (Heard July 18, 2014)), and commercial disputes at various levels of court including Superior Court and appellate court.  See August 24, 2016 Superior Court decision in Ramos v. Can-Med Pharma Inc., 2016 ONSC 5363 wherein Mr. Syed obtained an Order dismissing an Application brought by out-of-country Applicant for failure to post security for costs.

See also Divisional Court judgement quashing an unfounded appeal before it can be heard, thus saving client time and cost and obtaining full indemnity cost award of $25,337.10 –  Judgement of Justice Kiteley entered Jun 2014.  In 2017, Mr. Syed obtained a rare and extraordinary Order for costs as against a client’s former lawyer – see Exceptional Order for Costs to Be Paid By Previous Lawyer – Sep.29.17.

Mr. Syed is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and Ontario Bar Association.  He is familiar with customs in Arabic and Japanese, conversational French, and a basic understanding of Hindi and Urdu.

Civil Litigation Law Firm

Top Litigators in Toronto

Top Civil Litigation Lawyers

James R.D. Clark, H. BSc., LL.B., is a seasoned litigator with numerous trials to his credit.  Prior to joining the Payne Law team, Mr. Clark was a named partner in a Bay Street litigation boutique where he practiced for over 17 years.  He has a broad litigation practice, which includes civil, commercial, insolvency/bankruptcy, administrative, and criminal/quasi-criminal litigation.  He has argued before the Ontario Court of Appeal, Ontario Superior Court of Justice (including the Commercial List and the Divisional Court on appeal matters), the Tax Court of Canada, Ontario Court of Justice, the Human Rights Tribunal and other administrative tribunals.

Mr. Clark has been a conference speaker and panelist for the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals and has represented trustees in bankruptcy in complex litigation matters including motions for judgment and motions under sections 96(1) and 164 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.  Recently he secured a formal Order authorizing our client (Judgment Creditor) to prosecute proceedings to set aside transfer of matrimonial home to wife (18 months prior to bankruptcy) for undervalue.  See endorsement of the Honourable Justice Tranquilli dated June 4, 2021: BK-17-2314079 DaSilva v Jovkovic - Endorsement J. Tranquilli dated June 4, 2021.  See also formal Order issued by Superior Court of Justice in Bankruptcy and Insolvency: BK-17-2314079 DaSilva v Jovkovic - Order J. Tranquilli dated June 4, 2021

In the Matter of the Bankruptcy of National Telecommunications Inc. 2018 ONSC 1101, Mr. Clark secured a formal Declaration voiding $334,841.00 in transactions which were deemed undervalued.  The Honourable Justice Pattillo accepted his argument that the transfers were "intended to defraud or delay" a major creditor by falsifying its receivable and payables.  This motion came on the heels of another successful Superior Court of Justice motion in which Mr. Clark was able to obtain a separate order for the payment of $159,330.00 on similar grounds.  See the Honourable Justice Myers' decision in Re: National Telecommunications Inc., a bankrupt, 2017 ONSC 1475.

Recently, Mr. Clark was a speaker at the 2020-2021 Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals National Webinar Series.

Mr. Clark has handled preservation motions including complex matters involving Mareva Injunctions and Certificates of Pending Litigation.  See for example, 2057552 Ontario Inc. v. Dick et al., 2015 ONSC 3182, wherein he was successful in setting aside the Mareva Injunctions at issue.  He was also successful in fending off the subsequent appeal and in reducing the quantum of the  Judgment by way of cross-appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal.  See the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in 20157552 Ontario Inc. v. Dick et al., 2016 ONCA 8.

Mr. Clark has handle a broad range of trial and appeal matters, seeing cases through to completion.  For example, he was defence counsel in a 4-day trial under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and successfully argued the related appeal.  See R. v. Semple Gooder Roofing Corporation, 2015 ONCJ 183.

Eric (Sheung Chi) Cheng, LL.B., B.Sc. (Hons.) is a litigator who has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario and before various administrative tribunals, and has acted on matters at all levels of court in Canada, including before the Supreme Court of Canada leading to the decision in Angelina Rivers, et al. v. Waterloo Regional Police Services Board, et al.  He has spent the past decade immersing himself in both domestic and international legal arenas.  Eric secured his undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto in 2007.   In 2008, he was appointed clerk for the Honourable Justice Lloyd Budzinski in Toronto.  Eric went on to complete his LL.B. in 2010, followed by N.C.A. Certification in 2012.  Between 2012 and 2017, Eric worked as a legal researcher for professor Stepan Wood at Osgoode Hall Law School while also working as a visiting lecturer in China and as a visiting lawyer in South Africa.  Eric was then appointed clerk to the Honourable Mr. Justice Johan Froneman at the South African Constitutional Court.  In 2017, Eric joined a well-respected civil litigation boutique firm in Toronto where he appeared before all levels of court in Ontario and before various administrative tribunals.  He has acted on matters before the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.  Eric continues his excellent work here as the newest member of the Payne Law team.  Eric also speaks Cantonese (conversational) and Mandarin (intermediate).

Janice Ly started working in the legal field in 2009.  She is an accredited law clerk having obtained her diploma from Seneca College's Law Clerk Program. She is fluent in English and also understands Cantonese.

Megan Oxenham, B.A., is the firm’s office manager and senior litigation clerk.  No stranger to conflict resolution, Ms. Oxenham brings her Bay Street firm experience and  her background as Special Assistant to the Premier of Ontario to the Payne Law team. She has been a valued member of the team since 2006.