Gavin’s practice focuses on Canadian litigation liability arising out of international transportation and logistics activities. He has represented forwarders, carriers, ship owners, and cargo interests in litigation before the Superior and Federal Courts, as well as through ADR and at various administrative tribunals.
Since 2009 Gavin has served as a volunteer Director of the National Board of Directors of the Canadian International Freight Forwarders’ Association (CIFFA); he is the first Associate Member of the Association to be invited to sit on the Board. He oversaw the updating of the CIFFA Standard Trading Conditions in 2003, 2010, and 2016, and frequently lectures for the Association’s Certificate education programs and member webinars. He is a member of the Canadian Maritime Lawyers’ Association and sits on its board as the Constituent Member representative for CIFFA. He was appointed to the Advisory Body Legal Matters for FIATA at the World Congress in Dublin, 2016.
Gavin is the General Editor and Canadian Member for Forwarderlaw.com, a network of more than 25 transportation lawyers representing over 20 different countries, which provides a free resource of legal news and information of interest to the global transportation and logistics industries, as well as a monthly e-news. He was a speaker at Forwarderlaw’s 2007 Singapore Conference (in co-operation with the Singapore Logistics Association) and 2016 Antwerp Conference (hosted by the VEA).
In addition to his Maritime and Transport practice, Gavin assists clients with a variety of civil and commercial litigation matters, including conflicts referrals, commercial and contract disputes, employment litigation, and privacy and e-commerce issues. He also maintains a robust pro bono and public interest practice including research and litigation support for international human rights and crown liability cases, as well as acting as counsel or providing direct pro bono legal services to non-profit and charitable organizations. In particular he serves as a Director of Lawyer’s Rights Watch (Legal Research) Canada and volunteers with its sister organization Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, an ECOSOC registered charitable organization focusing on the persecution by States of defenders of international human rights law. In addition to authoring research, letters, and white papers, Gavin made representations to the 27th, 30th, and 33rd sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva as an accredited representative for LRWC.
Gavin is qualified and licensed to practice law by the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Education and Experience
Gavin obtained his Bachelor of Laws (Distinction) from Dalhousie Law School in Halifax, Nova Scotia. During his studies he won a number of recognitions including the Ronald St. John Macdonald Award for Public International Law; selection for the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia clerkship; and, while on exchange at Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane, Australia) the Culture Regeneration Society Award for Master’s level legal research in the field of International Intellectual Property. He obtained his Master’s in Law (LL.M) in 2014 from the University of Toronto with a focus on public international, development, human rights, and humanitarian law.
Prior to commencing his law career, Gavin studied at Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada) obtaining bachelors degrees in both Commerce (with First Class Honours) and Philosophy, winning more than a dozen honours and prizes over his four years.
Between his undergraduate and law school he worked as an Associate with the internationally renowned Boston Consulting Group, providing strategic advice to leading national and multinational clients. He continues to bring his business knowledge and experience to bear for the benefit of clients both by ensuring legal services are provided efficiently on a day-to-day basis and by treating key litigation levers as rational economic decision points for which optimal outcomes can be achieved.
Professional Memberships and Activities
- Canadian International Freight Forwarders’ Association (Associate member, legal counsel, and Director)
- Forwarderlaw.com (General Editor and Member for Canada)
- Lawyer’s Rights Watch Canada (Member and Board Member for Lawyer’s Rights Watch Legal Research Canada)
- Canadian Maritime Lawyers’ Association (Member and Board constituency representative for CIFFA)
- Ontario Bar Association (Member; elected council member: Toronto Region, 2006-2010)
- Canadian Bar Association (Member, Admiralty Section)
- Canadian Transport Lawyers’ Association
- United Nations Association Canada
Selected Published Decisions
Kuehne +Nagel v. Agrimax Ltd.,  FC 1303.
American Transport Logistics v. Kobi Group Inc.,  OJ no 4980 (Sup Ct).
Locher Evers International v. Canada Garlic Distribution Ltd.,  FCJ 388 (T.D.).
Lovat v Blue Anchor Line et al,  FCJ No. 659 (T.D.).
Gavin Magrath, “The Utility of a Subjective Happiness Metric in International Development” University of Toronto Press, October 2014.
Davidson, Gail, and Gavin Magrath, “Briefing to the Committee against Torture, 48th Session, May 2012, on the Omar Khadr case”, Lawyer’s Rights Watch Canada, August 2013.
Unpublished Academic Articles:
- April 2014: “Regulating Post-Secondary Education Debt Markets”
- April 2014: “Taxonomies of Terror in the War on the Law of War”
- April 2014: “Investing in Distributed Solar Generation for Human and Economic Development”
- April 2014: “Drone Wars: Doctrinal Challenges to International Humanitarian Law”
- December 2013: Citizenship and Positive Obligations in International Human Rights
- December 2013: The Rise and Fall of GDP
- June 2004: Managing Biological Resources in the Post-TRIPs Era
- awarded the “Culture Regeneration Prize” for Master’s level research in Comparative Intellectual Property Law
Articles Published in “The Forwarder Magazine“:
- Spring 2014: “Who is your ‘Customer’?”
- Winter 2013: “No Set-off!”
- Winter 2011: “Standard Terms: Mistakes and Misconceptions”
- Summer 2008: “The CIFFA STCs: What makes them stick?”
Articles authored by Gavin Magrath and published online at The Huffington Post:
- 16 January 2014 “Step Down Justice Nadon While There’s Still Time”
- 3 January 2013 “For 2013, Lets Ban Cars and Guns”
- 17 September 2012 “Hamdan 2, USA 0”
- 5 September 2012 “Minister Baird: Bullying doesn’t belong at the UN”
Direct: (+1) 416-931-0463
Fax: 1-888-816-8861 (toll free in Canada and USA)
email: gavin [at] magraths.ca