Ellen Bessner is an experienced, tough-minded commercial litigator, known for her determination and common sense advice. After 25 years of practice on Bay Street at prominent Canadian law firms, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP and Gowling WLG, Ellen joined Babin Bessner Spry LLP in 2014, where she is a leader in commercial and securities litigation, employment litigation, insurance defence, directors’ and officers’ liability, professional negligence, class actions, and regulatory matters. She is regularly retained to advise boards of directors and senior officers on compliance issues.
Ellen has acted as counsel before every level of the Ontario courts and in many arbitrations and regulatory proceedings, including before the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA), and the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).
Ellen is the author of the bestselling book Advisor at Risk: a roadmap to protecting your business and has recently written the sequel Communication Risk: how to bridge the client-advisor gap to protect and grow your business. Her books are leading risk management tools for professionals in the financial services industry. She is an expert speaker in the area of risk and writes on the subject in the national, business and industry press.
Ellen is a gifted public speaker and frequently delivers her popular and effective training programs across Canada to a range of professionals, including C-suite teams, boards of directors, management teams, and regulated professionals (accountants, financial and investment advisors, lawyers, planners, and portfolio managers). These programs cover a range of liability, ethics, and compliance issues, and they are designed to help reduce litigation and regulatory risk.
In 2016, Ellen was appointed to the OSC’s Seniors Expert Advisory Committee. She sits on the board of Knowledge First Financial Inc. and is a panel member for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario’s regulatory arbitrations.
Ellen has been recognized as a litigation star by Benchmark Litigation.
Ellen has represented a wide range of clients, including:
For over two decades Ellen has presented on issues of law and compliance to a range of clients in every major city across Canada. Her training programs are designed to teach advisors, agents, and dealers how to manage their businesses in order to better protect themselves and minimize the risk of litigation and regulatory enforcement matters. Ellen also currently delivers training that complements her bestselling book, Advisor at Risk: A Roadmap to Protecting your Business. She has also developed and provided online training.
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Ellen has presented on a number of topics, including: