In 1994

our founding partners

The late Honourable James M. Flaherty and the Honourable Justice Grant R. Dow left an insurance defence firm with a new vision for providing legal services across Ontario. Christine Elliott, Todd McCarthy, Catherine Zingg and Marianne Davies joined the firm. With its roots and head office in Toronto, the firm expanded to Whitby in the mid-1990s after purchasing the Carnegie Library, built in 1917 which housed the Whitby Public Library’s collection for 59 years.

From 1995 until 2005, James Flaherty was the Member of Provincial Parliament for Whitby—Ajax, and was Ontario’s Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance and Attorney General. He moved to the Federal arena, and was Canada‘s Minister of Finance from 2006 to 2014. In 2000, the name changed to Flaherty Dow Elliott & McCarthy.

The 2000s brought continued growth and strength with Frank Benedetto, Sean Brown and Michael Chadwick joining the partnership in 2006. The Firm’s strong commitment to public service continued with Christine Elliott’s election to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 2006, serving as Ontario PC Deputy Leader from 2009 to 2015, then becoming Ontario’s first Patient Ombudsman, with re-entry into elected office in 2018 serving as Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and Deputy Premier.

Still Growing

Onward and Upward

The Firm continued to have measured growth in the 2010s, servicing clients across Ontario. Commitment to the administration of justice continued with the appointment in 2015 of Grant R. Dow to Judge of the Superior Court of Justice at Toronto, and with Christine Elliott’s appointment as Ontario’s Patient Ombudsman. The Firm’s name then changed to Flaherty McCarthy LLP in 2015.  At that time, with over 20 years of commitment to Insurance Defence, we were voted by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as a Top 10 Insurance Defence Boutique Law Firm in Canada from 2015 through 2024. Our firm and future was further strengthened with the admission of Sophia Chaudri to the partnership in 2019.

The Firm’s experience and tactical approach allows it to effectively represent class action plaintiffs. Our clients benefit from the advancement of their cases which has lead to the growth of the law in this important area of our civil justice system.

The privilege of helping other lawyers with their cases and being called upon to mediate insurance disputes for other litigants is rewarding.

Dedication to education is exemplified by publication and teaching at Universities, Colleges, and other organizations. We learn by educating. We are better lawyers because of it. Catherine Zingg authors and edits the periodically revised Accident Benefits in Ontario (originally authored by James Flaherty) published by Canada Law Book, and writes the monthly Accident Benefits Newsletter widely read in the insurance industry.

In the proud tradition of our profession, we volunteer on Boards and organizations involving our communities and the profession. Our contribution to making things better is our reward.

Most notably, the Honourable Todd McCarthy KC MPP is currently on a leave of absence from the Firm as he was elected in 2022 as the Member of Provincial Parliament for Durham and currently serves as a Minister of the Crown.

For almost 30 years, Flaherty McCarthy LLP has been proud to be advocates of choice. We value tremendously our relationships and will continue to provide strategic intelligent representation with the utmost integrity in the management of risk through trial, arbitration, appeal, and mediation.


The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association recognizes leaders of the defence bar, and has awarded Todd J. McCarthy this leadership award in 2019.