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Norman Macdonald

Biography

Norman MacDonald is a tenacious litigator with over twenty-five years of litigation and dispute resolution experience in a wide array of civil and criminal matters. He has zealously represented clients before all courts in Ontario, the Federal Court of Canada, the Tax Court of Canada, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of Bermuda, in international arbitrations and mediations, and before various boards and administrative tribunals. Judges have described his litigation style as “skillful and persuasive”, “take no prisoners”, and a “very skillful cross-examiner”.

He was wide international experience, having worked in Finland, the Netherlands, England and Bermuda as an in-house counsel for the BBC Worldwide, Ericsson, and the Government of Bermuda.

He served as the acting Solicitor-General of Bermuda and Senior Crown Counsel, where he successfully represented the Government of Bermuda on a number of high profile and complex cases.

Prior to that he was in private practice in Toronto where he had a successful practice in tax litigation / dispute resolution, employment law and commercial litigation. As part of his tax resolution practice, he also developed an expertise in advising private clients in offshore trusts, international business corporations, business / investment immigration in tax haven jurisdictions, and other asset protection vehicles.

He was also a professor of employment law, human rights, Canadian business law and international business.

Norman volunteers as a board member with a variety of organizations including the Ontario Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee, The Ontario College of Pharmacists’ Disciplinary Committee and The Canadian Opera Volunteer Committee’s Board of Directors.

Education

He is an LL.M. graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science and holds a Juris Doctorate from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Media and Publications

Apple Clones Infringe Copyright in Canada: A Case Comment on Apple Computer Inc. v. Mackintosh Computers Ltd. (1990), Computer Law and Practice Journal (U.K.) volume 7(No.2) 55;

Anton Pillar v. John and Jane Doe (1990), 7 Canadian Computer Law Reporter 7 at 77 and 8 at 99;

Electronic Surveillance in Crime Detection: An Analysis of Canadian Wiretapping Law (1986), 10 Dalhousie Law Journal (No.3) 141

Norman MacDonald is a tenacious litigator with over twenty-five years of litigation and dispute resolution experience in a wide array of civil and criminal matters. He has zealously represented clients before all courts in Ontario, the Federal Court of Canada, the Tax Court of Canada, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of Bermuda, in international arbitrations and mediations, and before various boards and administrative tribunals. Judges have described his litigation style as “skillful and persuasive”, “take no prisoners”, and a “very skillful cross-examiner”.

He was wide international experience, having worked in Finland, the Netherlands, England and Bermuda as an in-house counsel for the BBC Worldwide, Ericsson, and the Government of Bermuda.

He served as the acting Solicitor-General of Bermuda and Senior Crown Counsel, where he successfully represented the Government of Bermuda on a number of high profile and complex cases.

Prior to that he was in private practice in Toronto where he had a successful practice in tax litigation / dispute resolution, employment law and commercial litigation. As part of his tax resolution practice, he also developed an expertise in advising private clients in offshore trusts, international business corporations, business / investment immigration in tax haven jurisdictions, and other asset protection vehicles.

He was also a professor of employment law, human rights, Canadian business law and international business.

He is an LL.M. graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science and holds a Juris Doctorate from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Below is a representative sample of some of his recent reported cases.

Akeroyd v. The Bermuda Tax Commissioner [2020] SC (Bda) 22 Civ ( 6 April 2020)

https://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/Final-Draft-Judgment-2019-No-369-civ-P-Akeroyd-v-AG-et-al.pdf

This was an important constitutional and human rights case where the plaintiff was seeking to have certain provisions of the Land Tax Act and the Stamp Duties Act declared unconstitutional because they discriminated against non-Bermudians. The court ruled in favour of the Government.

 Sannapareddy v. The Commissioner of Police and the Attorney-General [2017] SC (Bda) 54 Civ (5 July 2017)

This was another important constitutional case. The plaintiff brought an application following his arrest without a warrant to have the provisions of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) that permit arrest without warrant declared unconstitutional. Norman represented the Attorney-General. The plaintiff was represented by Lord Peter Goldsmith, Q.C. The plaintiff abandoned the prayer for constitutional relief at the end of trial and that claim was dismissed

https://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/Judgment-Sannapareddy-v-COP-Legality-of-Arrest.pdf

Clemens v. The Minister of Education [2016] SC (Bda) 92 Civ (14 Nov 2016)

This was the first case of its kind in Bermuda. A teacher sued the Government claiming she suffered from PTSD caused by bullying in the workplace while she was a teacher at Cedarbridge Academy. The statement of claim alone was approximately 200 pages which the trial judge described as placing “an excessive responsive burden on the Defendant.” Norman successfully represented the Government as trial counsel during a lengthy trial and the PTSD claim was dismissed.

https://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/Civil%20Appeal%20No%2021%20of%202016%20-%20Minister%20of%20Education%20v%20Karen%20Clemons%20%28Judg.._.pdf

Attorney-General v Da Silva et al [2018] SC (Bda) 41 Civ (15 May 2018)

This was a multi-million dollar case against a number of defendants, one of whom was a sitting Government Minister, for breach of trust and fiduciary duty, in awarding contracts to their own companies or companies they had an interest in. Norman successfully defended a summary judgment motion to have the case dismissed. The defendants were represented by Saul Froomkin Q.C. and James Jerome Q.C.

https://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/AG-Zane-DeSilva-et-al.pdf

Collector of Customs v Rayclan[2016] SC (Bda)13 Civ (4 February 2016)

This was a landmark case involving the powers of Customs officials in assessing taxpayers and principles of natural justice of the Tax Appeal Tribunal. Norman had been trial counsel on an appeal by the taxpayer of the Collector’s assessment of import duties. At trial, the Tribunal Chair (Peter Pearman of Conyers Dill Pearman) told both counsel that the taxpayer had to prove that the Collector’s decision was unreasonable. After Norman successfully, defended the Collector on the “reasonableness” argument, the Tribunal changed the rules after the trial had concluded to one of a standard of “correctness”, without inviting the Collector to make submissions on this change of direction. Applying this new standard, the Tribunal allowed the taxpayer’s appeal. Norman successfully represented the Collector of Customs on the appeal of the Tribunal’s ruling. The Supreme Court found that the Tribunal below had breached the rules of natural justice and that the correct standard was one of “reasonableness” and set side the Tribunal’s decision.

http://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/SC-Collector-of-Customs-vRayclan.pdf

 Bermuda Gas v The Tax Commissioner [2015] SC (Bda) 30 App (5 May 2015)

Norman saved the Government over $3 million by successfully defending the Tax Commissioner in the Supreme Court on a major tax appeal case. The taxpayer was represented by Saul Froomkin Q.C.

Jack and Armstrong v The Minister of Public Works [2017] unreported

Successfully defended the Government on a major public law / planning and nuisance case, in the Supreme Court. Following discovery and the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ summary judgment motion, the plaintiffs discontinued their action. The plaintiffs were represented by Alex Potts Q.C.

Bar Admissions: Ontario (1990), Manitoba (1986) and Bermuda (2014)

Languages: English (first language), Intermediate level French, Basic Finnish 

Leadership Courses with Bermuda Public Service 2015-2020

  • Leading Change in the Public Service
  • Leadership Competencies
  • Succession Planning
  • From Policy to Law
  • Leadership: From Transactional to Transformational
  • Financial Instructions

Published Articles

Apple Clones Infringe Copyright in Canada: A Case Comment on Apple Computer Inc. v. Mackintosh Computers Ltd. (1990), Computer Law and Practice Journal (U.K.) volume 7(No.2) 55;

Anton Pillar v. John and Jane Doe (1990), 7 Canadian Computer Law Reporter 7 at 77 and 8 at 99;

Electronic Surveillance in Crime Detection: An Analysis of Canadian Wiretapping Law (1986), 10 Dalhousie Law Journal (No.3) 141

Volunteer Activities

  • Ontario College of Pharmacists, Board Member, Discipline Committee Member
  • Access to Justice Committee, Ontario Bar Association
  • Canadian Opera Volunteer Committee, Board of Directors
  • Rosedale Federal Liberal Riding Association, Executive Member

Norman MacDonald is a tenacious litigator with over twenty-five years of litigation and dispute resolution experience in a wide array of civil and criminal matters. He has zealously represented clients before all courts in Ontario, the Federal Court of Canada, the Tax Court of Canada, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of Bermuda, in international arbitrations and mediations, and before various boards and administrative tribunals. Judges have described his litigation style as “skillful and persuasive”, “take no prisoners”, and a “very skillful cross-examiner”.

He was wide international experience, having worked in Finland, the Netherlands, England and Bermuda as an in-house counsel for the BBC Worldwide, Ericsson, and the Government of Bermuda.

He served as the acting Solicitor-General of Bermuda and Senior Crown Counsel, where he successfully represented the Government of Bermuda on a number of high profile and complex cases.

Prior to that he was in private practice in Toronto where he had a successful practice in tax litigation / dispute resolution, employment law and commercial litigation. As part of his tax resolution practice, he also developed an expertise in advising private clients in offshore trusts, international business corporations, business / investment immigration in tax haven jurisdictions, and other asset protection vehicles.

He was also a professor of employment law, human rights, Canadian business law and international business.

He is an LL.M. graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science and holds a Juris Doctorate from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Bar Admissions: Ontario (1990), Manitoba (1986) and Bermuda (2014)

Languages: English (first language), Intermediate level French, Basic Finnish 

Leadership Courses with Bermuda Public Service 2015-2020

  • Leading Change in the Public Service
  • Leadership Competencies
  • Succession Planning
  • From Policy to Law
  • Leadership: From Transactional to Transformational
  • Financial Instructions

Below is a representative sample of some of his recent reported cases.

Akeroyd v. The Bermuda Tax Commissioner [2020] SC (Bda) 22 Civ ( 6 April 2020)

https://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/Final-Draft-Judgment-2019-No-369-civ-P-Akeroyd-v-AG-et-al.pdf

This was an important constitutional and human rights case where the plaintiff was seeking to have certain provisions of the Land Tax Act and the Stamp Duties Act declared unconstitutional because they discriminated against non-Bermudians. The court ruled in favour of the Government.

 Sannapareddy v. The Commissioner of Police and the Attorney-General [2017] SC (Bda) 54 Civ (5 July 2017)

This was another important constitutional case. The plaintiff brought an application following his arrest without a warrant to have the provisions of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) that permit arrest without warrant declared unconstitutional. Norman represented the Attorney-General. The plaintiff was represented by Lord Peter Goldsmith, Q.C. The plaintiff abandoned the prayer for constitutional relief at the end of trial and that claim was dismissed

https://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/Judgment-Sannapareddy-v-COP-Legality-of-Arrest.pdf

Clemens v. The Minister of Education [2016] SC (Bda) 92 Civ (14 Nov 2016)

This was the first case of its kind in Bermuda. A teacher sued the Government claiming she suffered from PTSD caused by bullying in the workplace while she was a teacher at Cedarbridge Academy. The statement of claim alone was approximately 200 pages which the trial judge described as placing “an excessive responsive burden on the  Defendant.” Norman successfully represented the Government as trial counsel during a lengthy trial and the PTSD claim was dismissed.

https://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/Civil%20Appeal%20No%2021%20of%202016%20-%20Minister%20of%20Education%20v%20Karen%20Clemons%20%28Judg.._.pdf

Attorney-General v Da Silva et al [2018] SC (Bda) 41 Civ (15 May 2018)

This was a multi-million dollar case against a number of defendants, one of whom was a sitting Government Minister, for breach of trust and fiduciary duty, in awarding contracts to their own companies or companies they had an interest in. Norman successfully defended a summary judgment motion to have the case dismissed. The defendants were represented by Saul Froomkin Q.C. and James Jerome Q.C.

https://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/AG-Zane-DeSilva-et-al.pdf

Collector of Customs v Rayclan[2016] SC (Bda)13 Civ (4 February 2016)

This was a landmark case involving the powers of Customs officials in assessing taxpayers and principles of natural justice of the Tax Appeal Tribunal. Norman had been trial counsel on an appeal by the taxpayer of the Collector’s assessment of import duties. At trial, the Tribunal Chair (Peter Pearman of Conyers Dill Pearman) told both counsel that the taxpayer had to prove that the Collector’s decision was unreasonable. After Norman successfully, defended the Collector on the “reasonableness” argument, the Tribunal changed the rules after the trial had concluded to one of a standard of “correctness”, without inviting the Collector to make submissions on this change of direction. Applying this new standard, the Tribunal allowed the taxpayer’s appeal. Norman successfully represented the Collector of Customs on the appeal of the Tribunal’s ruling. The Supreme Court found that the Tribunal below had breached the rules of natural justice and that the correct standard was one of “reasonableness” and set side the Tribunal’s decision.

http://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/SC-Collector-of-Customs-vRayclan.pdf

 Bermuda Gas v The Tax Commissioner [2015] SC (Bda) 30 App (5 May 2015)

Norman saved the Government over $3 million by successfully defending the Tax Commissioner in the Supreme Court on a major tax appeal case. The taxpayer was represented by Saul Froomkin Q.C.

Jack and Armstrong v The Minister of Public Works [2017] unreported

Successfully defended the Government on a major public law / planning and nuisance case, in the Supreme Court. Following discovery and the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ summary judgment motion, the plaintiffs discontinued their action. The plaintiffs were represented by Alex Potts Q.C.

Apple Clones Infringe Copyright in Canada: A Case Comment on Apple Computer Inc. v. Mackintosh Computers Ltd. (1990), Computer Law and Practice Journal (U.K.) volume 7(No.2) 55;

Anton Pillar v. John and Jane Doe (1990), 7 Canadian Computer Law Reporter 7 at 77 and 8 at 99;

Electronic Surveillance in Crime Detection: An Analysis of Canadian Wiretapping Law (1986), 10 Dalhousie Law Journal (No.3) 141