John Siwiec


John has expertise in commercial disputes, including in the areas of international arbitration, commercial litigation, and trademark litigation. He joined Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall in 2011 after graduating from the University of Ottawa’s National Program having completed his Common Law (cum laude) and Civil Law (magna cum laude) degrees. John has experience in complex contractual disputes, including those arising from construction projects, shareholders’ agreements, and the sale of goods and services as well as in the recognition and enforcement of international arbitration awards and foreign judgments.

John has experience in ICC, LCIA, ICDR, and JAMS  arbitrations as well as ad hoc proceedings, both as counsel and arbitrator (ICDR Canada) and has appeared before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the Quebec Superior Court (Commercial Division), the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal.

John has taught a course at the University of Ottawa’s Law Faculty in international arbitration and co-coaches the University’s Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot team.

John’s professional background includes working at the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC), and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, as well as interning with the Department of Justice and Canadian Lawyers Abroad (Bangladesh).

John was selected by Global Arbitration Review (GAR) for recognition in the Future Leaders section of Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration 2018 – a guide to the world’s leading arbitrators and expert witnesses. For more information on this recognition, please click here.

John is fluent in both English and French.

  • Called to the Ontario Bar, 2011
  • LL.L, Civil Law, University of Ottawa, Magna Cum Laude, 2010
  • LL.B., Common Law, University of Ottawa, Cum Laude, 2009
  • M.A., McGill University, 2004
  • B.A., McGill University, 2002
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • County of Carleton Law Association
  • International Bar Association
  • Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners (YCAP)
Professional Activities
  • President, Board of Directors – Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners
  • Canadian Representative, Arb40 Subcommittee, Arbitration Committee – International Bar Association
  • Coach, University of Ottawa Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Team, Vienna, Austria (2014-2015 (1st place); 2013-2014 (Round of 32); 2012-2013 (Semi-finalist); 2011-2012 (Quarter-finalist); 2010-2011 (1st place); 2009-2010 (2nd place))
  • “New Frontiers in International Arbitration: Regional and Cross-cultural Perspectives”, IBA Arb40 Symposium, Washington DC, September 18, 2016.
  • “When the Firm’s Biggest Client Comes Calling: Choosing the Right Arbitration Rules for the Right Dispute”, 2014 YCAP Fall Symposium, November 6, 2014.
  • “Trailblazing a Career in International Law: Lessons Learned on a Road Less Traveled”, Canadian Council on International Law, 43rd Annual Conference: Combustion: Energy, Resources and Environmental Issues Igniting International Law, November 2014.
  • “Your First (or Second) Arbitration”, The Advocates Society and Ottawa International Arbitration Association, Ottawa, ON, November 12, 2013.
  • “Successfully Preparing for the Arbitration”, Successfully Navigating an International Commercial Arbitration, Ontario Bar Association and Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Toronto, ON, October 3, 2013.
  • “To Arbitrate or Not to Arbitrate: Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in Contracts”, 19th East Region Solicitors Conference, County of Carleton Law Association, Montebello, QC, May 4, 2013 (with Barry Leon).
  • “Countermeasures and International Investment Law: Mexico’s Sugar Disputes”, North American Consortium of Legal Education, Mexico City, MX, October 2, 2009.
  • New International Commercial Arbitration Act in force in Ontario“, Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall website, July 5, 2017 (with R. Aaron Rubinoff).
  • The Streamlining of International Rules: Changes aimed at improving efficiency, transparency“, The Lawyers Weekly, February 10, 2017 (with R. Aaron Rubinoff).
  • Safeguarding the Arbitration Process: Court deters frivolous claims of arbitrator bias“, The Lawyers Weekly, September 16, 2016 (with R. Aaron Rubinoff).
  • One More Hurdle to Annulments: Contracting out of Model Law’s Article 34 limits challenges to international arbitration awards“, The Lawyers Weekly, February 12, 2016 (with R. Aaron Rubinoff).
  • Singapore adds to the ADR mix”, The Lawyers Weekly, ADR Focus section, April 3, 2015 (with R. Aaron Rubinoff).
  • “Panorama of World Case Law: Canada”, The Paris Journal of International Arbitration, 2014-4 (with Barry Leon).
  • “Game Change: Two International Arbitration Institutions have Modernized their Rules”, The Lawyers Weekly, ADR Focus section, October 31, 2014 (with Barry Leon).
  • “Protecting International Construction Projects from Prejudicial Host Country Actions”, American College of Construction Lawyers, Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer 2014 (with Barry Leon).
  • “How Canada’s Joining of the World Bank’s Treaty on Investment Disputes Can Help Protect Your MENA Region Investments”, Canada Arab Business Council Newsletter, March 2014 (with Barry Leon).“International Guidelines Aim to Ensure Fairness”, The Lawyers Weekly, ADR Focus section, February 14, 2014 (with Barry Leon)“Interested Non-Party Cannot Challenge Recognition and Enforcement of ICSID Award SISTEM V. KYRGYZ Republic (2012 ONSC 4351)”, The Institute of Transnational Arbitration, Vol 27, No 2, Second Quarter 2013 (with Barry Leon).
  • Book Review, IBA Rules of Evidence: Commentary on the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration, by Tobias Zuberbühler, Dieter Hofmann, Christian Oetiker and Thomas Rohner”, The Paris Journal of International Arbitration, 2013-4 (with Barry Leon).
  • “Canada Ratifies World Bank’s Treaty on Investment Disputes”, Canadian Corporate Counsel Association magazine, Winter 2013 (with Barry Leon).
  • “Improving International Dispute Resolution: Leading Arbitral Institutions Update and Innovate”, The Lawyers Weekly, October 31, 2013.
  • “Two Paths to Arbitration – Cost, Speed and Complexity of the Dispute Should Govern Your Choice”, The Lawyers Weekly, ADR Focus Section, September 13, 2013 (with Barry Leon).
  • “Canada invokes ‘Denial of Benefits’ provision in NAFTA Chapter Eleven arbitration”, International Bar Association Arbitration News, Vol 18 No 2, September 2013 (with Barry Leon and Elizabeth Montpetit).
  • “Ontario Court of Appeal Highlights Importance of Dispute Resolution Provisions”, Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall website,, August 2013.
  • “Dispelling 3 Current Myths About Arbitration”, The Lawyers Weekly, ADR Focus Section, March 29, 2013 (with Barry Leon).
  • “Arbitration: Seven Tips for In-House Counsel”, The Lawyers Weekly, December 11, 2012 (with Barry Leon).
  • “Canada’s Federal System and Investment Treaty Arbitration: ICSID Ratification and Claims from Provincial and Territorial Measures”, Canadian Arbitration and Mediation Journal, Vol 21, No. 2, December 2012. (with Barry Leon and Andrew McDougall).
  • “Panorama of World Case Law: Canada”, The Paris Journal of International Arbitration, 2012-4 (with Barry Leon and Elizabeth Montpetit)
  • “Seven Tips for Faster, More Cost-Effective Arbitration”, The Lawyers Weekly, September 14, 2012 (with Barry Leon).
  • “Canadian developments in international arbitration: a new arbitration hearing centre and more supportive court decisions”, International Bar Association Arbitration News, Vol 17 No 2, September 2012 (with Barry Leon).
  • “Ontario Court of Appeal Limits Review of Arbitrator’s Interlocutory Orders in Domestic Arbitrations”, Commercial Litigation and Arbitration Review, Vol. 1, No. 3., August 2012 (with Barry Leon).
  • “Federal Court Confirms Validity of No-Class Action Arbitration Agreements under Competition Act”, Ontario Bar Association’s Class Act, Vol. 2, No. 2, July 2012 (with Barry Leon).
  • “Is a Reviewing Court Estopped from “properly interpreting” an International Investment Treaty?”, CBA National International Law Section Newsletter, April 2012.“British Columbia Court of Appeal Rules in Favor of Expeditiousness and Finality of Arbitration”, Mark J. Goldstein Litigation and Arbitration Commentaries, April 4, 2012 (with Barry Leon).”Court Upholds Ability to Tailor Proceedings”, The Lawyers Weekly, Vol. 31, No. 44, March 30, 2012 (with Barry Leon).
  • “Canadian Supreme Court Sends Dispute to Arbitration Despite the Filing of a Defence in Court Litigation”, Kluwer Arbitration, March 23, 2012 (with Barry Leon).
  • “Canada and Investment Treaty Arbitration: Three Prominent Issues – ICSID Ratification, Constituent Subdivisions, and Health and Environmental Regulation” (2011) 8 South Carolina Journal of International Law and Business 63 (with Barry Leon and Andrew McDougall).
  • “Investing Abroad: Minimize Your Risks by Taking Advantage of International Investment Agreements and International Arbitration”, Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall, February 2012.
  • “A Holistic Approach to Arbitration”(The New ICC Rules), The Lawyers Weekly, Vol. 31, No. 30, December 2011 (with Barry Leon and Andrew McDougall).
  • “Panorama of World Case Law: Canada”, The Paris Journal of International Arbitration, 2011-4 (with Andrew McDougall and Barry Leon).
  • “NAFTA Dispute Settlement: Success or Failure?” in Arturo Oropeza Garcia, ed. América del Norte en el siglo XXI (Mexico City: Corporación Industrial Gráfica, 2010), with Donald McRae.
Areas of Expertise