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Barbara Legate


Barbara founded Legate & Associates, and ingrained her vision of personal injury litigation and service to clients on the firm. Barbara firmly believes that we should put ourselves in our clients’ shoes and ask, “what would I want if I was in his or her situation?” That has led to a client-centred team approach focused on getting to know each client, ensuring written and verbal reporting, and client education so each person feels empowered and in charge of his or her case. In 30 years of practice, Barbara has become known for strength and results in her representation of clients, and as a respected, thorough opponent by her peers and colleagues. She has argued significant cases in a wide variety of situations, from administrative tribunals to the Ontario Court of Appeal. She and her team won a critical decision for children suffering birth trauma in Liebig v. Guelph General Hospital and Ayanbadejo which confirmed the rights of children to sue for medical malpractice.


Called to the Ontario Bar, 1981
Graduated from The University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Law, 1979

Awards, Honours and Designations

Named 2014 Lawyer of the Year in Personal Injury Litigation, by Best Lawyers in Canada in Southwestern Ontario. Was also named Lawyer of the Year in 2010. 

Listed as a leading practioner by her peers in Lexpert® in both personal injury litigation and medical negligence in Southwestern Ontario. In the 2014 she is listed as consistently recommended for personal injury litigation and medical negligence. 

Received the Bruce Hillyer Award for promoting access to Justice at the Ontario Trial Lawyer Association on October 24, 2012                

Honoured with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contribution to the community on August 23, 2012                                                 

Inducted as a fellow of Litigation Counsel of America, an honourary invitation-only society comprised of half   of 1% of lawyers in North America                                                                                                                                    

Listed in Best Lawyers in Canada since its inception in 2006. 

Designated as a Specialist in Civil Litigation by the Law Society of Upper Canada since 1995

2009 Honouree of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association at its Celebration of the Personal Injury Bar

Brain Injury Association of London and Region Legal Fellowship Award

Ontario Brain Injury Association Legal Fellowship Award


In addition to over 100 legal presentations and articles to virtually all personal injury legal organizations, including the Superior Court Justices spring and fall conferences and the American Association of Justice, Barbara is author of Barbara Legate’s Standard Statements of Law, a compendium of key personal injury law, available through Taran Virtual Associates. Along with Joni Dobson, Barbara presented to an international tort law gathering of academics, judiciary and practitioners on Liebig v Guelph General Hospital in Paisley Scotland. The Liebig case confirmed the right of a baby born damaged due to medical negligence to sue.

Legate, B. "A User Friendly Guide to the Law of Causation in Personal Injury Actions", The Annual Review of Civil Litigation, 2010. Archibald and Echlin, Eds.

The Litigator, “Should You Serve a Jury Notice?” April 29, 2009, Ontario Trial Lawyers Association

“Assessing historical abuse allegations and damages” by David A. Wolfe, Peter G. Jaffe, Alan W. Leschied and Barbara Legate, Child Abuse & Neglect, The International Journal, Volume 34, Number 3, ISBN 0145-2134, Elsevier Ltd.

D. Wolfe & B. Legate, “Expert Opinion on Child Sexual Abuse: Separating Myths from Reality” (2003) 10:3 Clinical Psychology 339

B. Legate, “Limitation Periods in Medical Negligence Actions Post-Peixeiro”, 1998 20 Advocates Quarterly 324

B. Legate, “The admissibility of demonstrative evidence in jury trials: applying the principled approach to the law of evidence”, 2006 31 Advocates Quarterly 316-346

B. Legate, “Demonstrative Evidence”, The Law Society of Upper Canada Special Lectures 2008

Leadership in the Legal Community

The Osgoode Short Course in Mediation Advocacy 

Faculty, December 10-11, 2013. Barbara taught advocacy after the mediation. 

Ontario Trial Lawyers Association

President, 1998 - 1999
Board member,1993 - present
Litigator Editorial Board - past
Chair of a variety of conferences; presenter
Chair of the Medical Negligence Section, 2006 - 2010
Chair and member of committees including insurance, Helmets on Kids, conferences, rules, intervention
Delegate to government on insurance law reform 

Advocates’ Society

Board member, 1993 - 1999
Insurance Committee member - past
Chair and presenter at several conferences and seminars

Law Society of Upper Canada

Member of the former Specialist Designation Sub-committee
Former Bar Admission instructor
Chair of the Special Lectures in Personal Injury Law

University of Western Ontario

Moot Court judge, 2009 and 2010
Lecturer to various Health Law classes
Former adjunct faculty

Community Involvement

Volunteers with Helmets on Kids (which she established), Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, Brain Injury Association of London and Region, Habitat for Humanity, and the Salvation Army Kettle Drive.

Barbara has generously supported many local and international organizations, in particular those assisting families and children raised in difficult circumstances. They include Women's Community House, The Salvation Army, Plan Canada, The London Food Bank, and Habitat for Humanity. She has funded research into prevention of child abuse and the impact of sleep deprivation on students.

Contact Barbara at b.legate@legate.ca