John Siwiec


John has expertise in commercial disputes, including in the areas of international arbitration, commercial litigation, and intellectual property. He has acted for clients in relation to complex contractual disputes, including those arising from construction projects, shareholders’ agreements, franchise 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 as counsel and arbitrator in institutional arbitrations, including under the ICC, LCIA, ICDR, and ADRIC, as well as ad hoc proceedings, and has appeared before all levels of court including the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and the Quebec Superior Court (Commercial Division).

John is a member of the inaugural roster of NextGen Arbitrators of Arbitration Place and is a member of the AAA Roster of Arbitrators and Mediators.

John has taught a course at the University of Ottawa’s Law Faculty in international arbitration and lectures at the university with respect to international business transactions.

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

John has served as President of Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners (YCAP) and has been selected by Global Arbitration Review (GAR) for recognition in the Future Leaders section of Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration 2018-2023, and by Who’s Who Legal: Canada – Arbitration 2022.

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
Industry Recognition
  • Who’s Who Legal – Arbitration Future Leaders 2018-2021
  • Roster member, NextGen Arbitrators, Arbitration Place
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • County of Carleton Law Association
  • International Bar Association
  • Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners (YCAP)
Professional Activities
  • Advisory Board Member, and past President, Treasurer and Board Member – Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners (YCAP)
  • Former Co-Chair, ICC Canada International Arbitration Conference
  • Inaugural Member, Canadian Representative, International Bar Association Arb 40 Subcommittee,
  • Arbitrator at Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition
  • Former co-coach, University of Ottawa Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Team, Vienna, Austria (2014-2015 (1stplace); 2013-2014 (Round of 32); 2012-2013 (Semi-finalist); 2011-2012 (Quarter-finalist); 2010-2011 (1st place); 2009-2010 (2nd place)
  • Member of the College of Arbitrators of the Foreign Direct Investment International Arbitration Moot
  • Expert Panelist, So You Think You’ve Been Hacked, joint webinar with Grade A, Luminant Digital Security, and Binks Insurance, Youtube, May 12, 2021.
  • “The Next Generation of Arbitration”, ADRIC 2018: ADR to the Rescue of Justice, Montreal, QC, November 22, 2018
  • “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.
  • “Panorama of World Case Law: Canada”, The Paris Journal of International Arbitration, 2011 to 2020 (with co-authors)
  • 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).
  • “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).
  • “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).
  • “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,  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).
  • “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