Stuart Robertson

Stuart M. Robertson was educated at Bishop's University (B.A., 1968 with academic distinction), Leeds University (M.A., 1969, with academic distinction) and Queen's University (J.D, 1972, with academic distinction). Stuart was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1974 and has throughout practised in the defence of media interests. He is peer-rated by the Financial Post as one of The Best Lawyers in Canada, and is rated by LEXPERT Canada as "Consistently Recommended" in the Defamation practice area. Stuart is listed in "Canada's Who's Who" and is a founding partner of O'Donnell, Robertson & Partners.

Practice Focus:

  • Pre-publication/broadcast advice to newspapers, magazines, news agencies and broadcasters dealing with defamation, invasion of privacy, breach of confidentiality, contempt of court and related reporting perils.
    • Authored Courts and The Media (Butterworths, 1981); Media Law Handbook (International Self-Counsel Press, 1982); Robertson's Pocket Guide to Media Law (Canadian Newspaper Association, 2006)
    • Edited a series of five books on the issues of news gathering, defamation, privacy, criminal statistics and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms published by The Canadian Bar Association
    • Authored "Foreword on Canadian Defamation Law" in 50-State Survey 1983 (Libel Defense Resource Center, NY)
    • Authored "Canadian Press Law" in Legal Handbook for New York State Journalists (New York State Bar Association, eds. 1986, 1993 and 1998)
    • Authored a series of books on the subjects of Letters to the Editor, Reporting on Youth and Children and Newsroom Legal Crisis Management (Hallion Press)
    • Edited books on Advertising Law and Adult Court Reporting (Hallion Press)
    • Authored "Comment on Contempt Law and the Charter" in The Media the Courts and the Charter (Carswell, 1986 edited by Allen M. Linden and Philip Anisman)
    • Present seminars on all aspects of news gathering and presentation
  • Advising and representing media in gaining access to court proceedings and court documents.
  • Insurance defence litigation, with particular emphasis on the defence of newspapers, magazines, Internet satellite providers, news agencies and broadcasters.
  • Monitoring/advisory counsel to insurers in defamation claims.
  • Advising and assisting applicants and licensees in the broadcast regulatory system in Canada with particular emphasis in the following areas -
    • policy development in access by third parties to the facilities of broadcast distribution undertakings.
    • development of the policy framework in which broadcasting services for persons with perceptual disabilities have been licensed on a mandatory carriage basis.
    • assisting in developing a new radio format dedicated to young listeners licensed as Youth Contemporary Radio.
    • licensing new radio stations in several markets in Canada.
  • Extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution, having acted as defence counsel in defamation claims.
  • Assisting in negotiating and drafting commercial agreements in the publishing and broadcasting industries – including
    • licensing all forms of content on all forms of platforms.
    • production and distribution agreements.
    • freelance agreements.
    • joint ventures.
  • Advising non-share capital corporations and public charities as well as industry organizations and co-operatives
  • Advising and representing media companies in legislative reform activities in the following areas –
    • appearing in the committees of Parliament on the subject of federal legislation in the areas of copyright, criminal law, access to information, broadcasting, telecommunications, PIPEDA and not-for-profit corporations.
    • provincial legislation in the areas of defamation, access to public places and proceedings, access to information, police and access to the facilities of utilities for purposes of communications.
    • municipal by-laws in the areas of newspaper delivery and access to information.


  • Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Canadian Media Lawyers Association
  • Board of Governors and Treasurer, National Newspaper Awards
  • Member of the Judges Panel, Ross Munro Media Award (Conference of Defence Associations in co-operation with the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute)
  • President's Award (Ontario Community Newspaper Association, 1999) for "outstanding service to the Community Newspaper Industry in Ontario"
  • Life Member of The National Broadcast Reading Service Inc.