Leo Adler
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Leo Adler

Criminal Lawyer specializing in Canadian and international law

Leo Adler


Toronto, Ontario, Canada





Leo Adler is the founder and senior member of Leo Adler: Criminal Counsel / Avocats penale, a full-service criminal, quasi-criminal and regulatory law firm that specializes in international cases – extradition, mutual legal assistance matters, repatriation of Canadians serving foreign sentences, corporate governance matters – as well as domestic cases throughout Canada.

He graduated from McGill University, majoring in Political Science and Sociology, and then from Osgoode Hall Law School.

While in law school, Mr. Adler co-authored a study of Canadian police sponsored by the Solicitor General of Canada. He was also named as Special Project Director for the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario in the complete re-organization of the province’s Family Court.

Since his Call to the Bar in 1975, Mr. Adler’s practice has been exclusively criminal, regulatory and quasi-criminal, including extraditions and other international cases. He has conducted trials and appeals throughout Canada, up to the Supreme Court, and several of his cases have been reported as legal precedents. He has also been consulted regarding cases in the U.S. and elsewhere.

In addition, Mr. Adler’s advice has been sought in numerous other instances, including DNA and other forensic issues, due to his experience with such matters.

As a lawyer, he has published various articles and appeared on numerous media programs as a commentator with respect to forensic, criminal justice and national security issues in Canada and abroad. In addition, he has either spoken at, or chaired, panels and committees dealing with different aspects of domestic and international criminal law and human rights. He has appeared as a witness before Senate and House of Commons committees on a variety of legal issues.

Mr. Adler is an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, where he now teaches International Criminal Law. In 2016, he was awarded Osgoode Hall’s Adjunct Faculty Distinguished Service Award. He has lectured and spoken at numerous law schools and universities in Canada, the U.S. and overseas.

Between 2005 and 2015, Mr. Adler was one of 15 Canadians appointed by the Government to the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security (CCRS) as part of the on-going review and analysis of Canada’s National Security Policy. As such, he received briefings from CSIS, RCMP, CBSA, CATSA and other security agencies.

From 1999-2009, Mr. Adler was, in addition to continuing with his practice, the Director of National Affairs for Canadian Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center. In that capacity, he met with politicians, dignitaries, other NGO groups and members of the public. In 2006 and 2007, Mr. Adler was one of a small group of Canadians asked to participate in the NGO section of those years’ G8 conferences.

Mr. Adler is a member of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science, the Criminal Lawyers Association, the American Society of International Law, the International Law Association, the International Bar Association, the International Network of Boutique & Independent Law Firms and was one of the founding members of the International Criminal Bar.

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Law throughout Canada and Internationally

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Ontario, 1975


  • Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Ontario, Canada – 1973
  • McGill University
    • B.A., Bachelor of Arts – 1970
    • Major: Sociology
    • Major: Political Science

Published Works

  • “The Police Function in Our Changing Society”, Solicitor General of Canada and the Foundation for Human Development
  • “Judges Slam Police for Unnecessary Jailing of Non-Ontario-Residents”, The Toronto Star
  • “Zero Tolerance Conundrum”, Law Times News
  • “Former York University managers cleared on fraud charges”, The Globe and Mail
  • Sunrise Propane trial: Fatal explosion a “tragic accident,” defence says in closing argument, The Toronto Star
  • Sunrise Propane must be penalized for massive Downsview explosion: government lawyer, The National Post
  • A “manufacturing error” is to be blamed for unforeseeable Sunrise propane explosion, Canoe
  • Defective equipment was beyond company’s reasonable measures, The Globe and Mail
  • Sunrise Propane explosion trial enters final phase, The Toronto Sun
  • Badgerow seeks to halt 4th trial on rape, murder charges, TheSpec.com
  • Hearing into fourth murder trial for Robert Badgerow continues, TheSpec.com
  • Defence Concludes in Badgerow hearing, TheSpec.com
  • Fourth Badgerow trial raises $1-million question, TheSpec.com
  • Mr. Adler comments in the midst of the Sunrise Propane trial, The National Post
  • DNA: An Imprecise Science, Canadian Bar Association National Magazine PDF
  • DNA Evidence Can Be Faked
  • Cameras at Trial: CBC Radio
  • Commentary: Cluttered Code bogs down criminal justice system

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Adjunct Professor of International Criminal Law
  • Criminal Lawyers Association
  • International Bar Association
  • International Law Association
  • American Society of International Law
  • International Network of Boutique & Independent Law Firms
  • Canadian Society of Forensic Science
  • Osgoode Hall Law School Distinguished Service Award

Past Employment Positions

  • Edward Bantey and Associates
  • Robertson, Lane, Frankish, Perrett and Estey
  • Goodman and Carr
  • Founder of Adler Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman


  • English
  • French


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