Russell Laishley is a founding partner at Laishley Reed LLP. His practice involves all areas of tax administration and enforcement. He has over 30 years of experience in handling not just complex but often unusual tax problems, be they related to audit issues, appeal work, investigations, prosecutions, collection matters, Taxpayer Relief Applications or Voluntary Disclosure work. Mr. Laishley has a thorough working knowledge of the structures, practices and protocols of the Canadian and Ontario taxing authorities and how they administer various taxing statues including the Income Tax Act, Retail Sales Act (Ontario), Excise Tax Act, Corporations Tax Act and the Customs Act.

He has significant experience assisting clients with:

  • how to manage/handle awkward audit situations
  • advice on how to proceed when an investigation is suspected
  • advice on challenging or meeting the use of audit powers or investigation tools
  • avoiding or challenging the imposition of various penalty provisions within a taxing statute
  • effectively objecting to reassessed tax liability upon administrative objection through, if necessary, to appealing and trying issues before the Tax Court of Canada
  • responding and defending through trial criminal charges for offences under a taxing statute
  • responding to requests made by treaty partners under mutual legal assistance provision within a tax Convention
  • understanding tax collection powers, structuring repayment arrangements and advising on available insolvency options and the implications of such options
  •  addressing the derivative collection assessing powers, be they for directors’ liability or for purported transfers of property at less than fair market value
  • pursuing any available taxpayer relief for whole or partial interest and/or penalty abatement whether upon initial application, second level determination or judicial review
  • effecting complex and sophisticated multi-year voluntary disclosure matters

In addition to his tax expertise, Mr. Laishley has participated in all areas of commercial and insolvency litigation and has appeared as counsel before all levels of the Ontario and Federal Court systems. He has extensive experience representing clients before the Ontario Commercial List, and he has also participated in court-annexed mediation and in private mediation and arbitration. His experience includes interim and permanent commercial injunctions, including mandatory relief, Mareva injunctions (domestic and international applications) and Anton Piller proceedings. He has also handled search warrant proceedings, various Charter challenges and treaty applications for domestic assistance. He has participated in U.S. anti-trust grand jury investigations and an investigation by the British Serious Frauds Office.

Prior to founding Laishley Reed LLP in 2000, Mr. Laishley was a partner at a mid-size Bay Street firm for four years. Before that he spent 10 years at the Toronto office of a leading national law firm. He was called to the Ontario bar in 1988.

Professional Memberships

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • The Advocates’ Society


  • Queen’s University (LL.B., 1986)
  • Acadia University (B.B.A., 1983)
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