In his more than 40-year career as a commercial litigator, John Rook has assisted clients in developing practical and innovative strategies for prosecuting and defending civil, criminal and administrative proceedings, and responding to regulatory investigations. He has acted on over 250 reported cases, representing complex litigation before provincial courts across Canada, the federal courts, and the Supreme Court of Canada. In administrative law, he has represented clients in matters related to competition, class actions, energy, public utilities boards, telecommunications and broadcasting, among others.
"Sources suggest that John Rook QC is 'the best cartel litigator in Canada,' adding that he is 'enormously knowledgeable and very tough.'"
John is cited by clients and peers in leading legal directories for his skill and creativity:
"He is truly amazing – his years of experience are invaluable."
"One of the best in the business."
"A professional, innovative approach to problems."
John has advised on many of the most noteworthy matters that have shaped common law jurisprudence and competition regulation in Canada, including:
- Commissioner of Competition v. Toronto Real Estate Board, where the Supreme Court denied TREB's application for leave to appeal;
- Bow Valley Husky (Bermuda) Ltd., v. Saint John Ship Building, where the Supreme Court clarified the rules for the recovery of pure economic loss in negligence claims;
- National Bank Financial Ltd. v. Potter, involving several decisions of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal relating to claims for damages arising out of the collapse of Knowledge House Inc.;
- The Commissioner of Competition v. Parkland Industries Ltd. – a merger where the Competition Tribunal discussed the legal principles that apply to interim orders under section 104 and conducted the first mediation under the Competition Act;
- The Commissioner of Competition v. The Toronto Real Estate Board – where the Federal Court of Appeal held that section 79 of the Competition Act could apply to a trade association that did not compete in the relevant market;
- Class actions in several provinces involving claims for damages by direct and indirect purchasers in the sale of consumer electronic products and auto parts;
- Granovsky v. Canada – a decision of the Supreme Court concerning equality rights of disabled persons denied benefits under the Canada Pension Plan;
- R. v. Simon – where the Supreme Court recognized the pre-confederation Aboriginal treaties under section 25 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
- Public Utilities Board v. Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation – a decision of the Manitoba Court of Appeal limiting the powers of the Board in connection with the regulation of Manitoba's automobile insurance corporation.
- Canada (Commissioner of Competition) v. Superior Propane – where the Competition Tribunal and the Federal Court of Appeal elaborated the efficiencies defence under section 96 of the Competition Act;
- Bell Canada/Unitel/Callnet (Telecom Decision CRTC 92-12) – where the Canadian Television and Telecommunications Commission permitted the interconnection of telecommunications networks to facilitate competition in long distance services;
- Stelco Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General) – where the Supreme Court of Canada discussed the protection available to suspects for compelled testimony in an Inquiry under the Competition Act;
- R. v. Hamilton Funeral Homes – the only successful merger prosecution under section 33 of the Combines Investigation Act.
John is a frequent speaker in the areas of his expertise and has written many articles on litigation, including "The Man with the Mangled Hand", "The Art of Cross Examination: One Question too Many" and "The Prospects for Arbitration and Mediation in Competition Law Proceedings".
In the community, John is a director on the Board of St. Andrews' College and past Chair of the Board of Trustees of the St. Andrews' College Foundation. For many years he was also a member of the Board of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival Board of Directors as well as the Board of the Foundation.