Criminal Defence Lawyers 

Offices in Toronto, ON and Saint John, NB

We understand our clients cannot afford to lose. We know they need results, not excuses. That is why we vigorously defend — and regularly win — the most difficult types of criminal trials and appeals. We are criminal trial and appeal lawyers as well as academic scholars and writers. This broad perspective allows us to employ creative, cutting-edge strategies. Many of our cases are high-profile murder trials or appeals. Many others involve professionals (doctors, lawyers, professional athletes, etc) facing allegations of sexual assault, assault, or other serious offences. Others involve disadvantaged clients fighting against corrupt or unfair allegations. We have offices in Toronto and Saint John, and we regularly appear at all levels of criminal court in Southern Ontario as well as Atlantic Canada.

Toronto criminal lawyers, Nathan Gorham and Breana Vandebeek, address the media after the jury finds their client “not guilty” of dangerous driving causing death. (2019)

Trial and Appeal Success

We fight tough cases. It is true that past success does not guarantee future success. But the best criminal lawyers understand how to undermine false evidence. We have a long track record of success in the most complex and difficult cases involving allegations of murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, assault, and others. Contact us to get more information or read about some of our recent cases below.

Not criminally responsible of first-degree murder 

Our client was charged with four counts of first-degree murder, in an apparent random shooting. Police investigation revealed evidence that suggested the defendant suffered from delusions. The defence introduced the evidence of two forensic psychiatrists. The doctors testified that the defendant suffered from very serious delusions that undermined his ability to appreciate the nature and consequences of his actions. The jury found him “not criminally responsible” on all counts.

“Not guilty” of first-degree murder 

Our client was charged with first-degree murder. The Crown alleged that she stabbed the deceased in the heart because she was angry about her boyfriend’s infidelity. Two eye-witnesses claimed that she was the stabber. The defence was able to undermine their evidence through cross-examination. Our client testified and explained her innocence. The jury acquitted of all charges.

Manslaughter charge stayed

In this case, our client had been charged with manslaughter in the sudden, unexpected, and tragic death of their young child. He had actually been convicted of the offence at a first trial with another lawyer. After the appeal was allowed, he sought our services for the re-trial. The prosecution’s case depended heavily on the evidence of a forensic pathologist who claimed that our client failed to feed his child properly. Cross-examination of the pathologist undermined the Crown’s theory, and the charge was stayed (withdrawn). Read more.

“Not guilty” of first-degree murder

Our client was charged with first-degree murder arising from a shooting in a parking lot outside of a Hamilton, Ontario night club. The Crown relied upon cell phone evidence that put him in the area. They also called a witness, one of his friends, who alleged that she saw him shoot the deceased. Intercepted cellphone calls supported an inference of guilt, the Crown argued. The Crown’s main witness was undermined through cross-examination. The trial judge acquitted on all charges.

Manslaughter charge withdrawn

Our client was charged with manslaughter after a young child that he was baby sitting stopped breathing and later died. He said that she fell in the tub before having difficulty breathing. Several doctors from the IWK testified that the death could not have been the result of a fall in the tube. The evidence of the doctors was undermined during cross-examination. The Crown decided to stay (withdraw) the charges.

First-degree murder charge dismissed

The defendant in this case was charged with first-degree murder. His co-accused and another witness alleged that he shot and killed the deceased. Another witness claimed that the defendant said he planned to kill the deceased. The defence theory was that the Crown witnesses conspired to falsely accuse the defendant in order to deflect the police investigation away from their own wrongdoing. Partway through the trial, after the cross-examination of a central Crown witness, the prosecution agreed to a plea to manslaughter. The first-degree murder was dismissed. Read more about the case here.

“Not guilty” of first-degree murder

Our client was charged with first-degree murder in the killing of his roommate. Two of his friends testified for the Crown, explaining that he told them about a plan to kill his roommate. The deceased was later found dead in the home. The police also discovered a back with bloody clothes; testing revealed both the deceased’s and our client’s DNA. Our client testified in his defence and explained that he had been attacked by the deceased. The jury found him not guilty of first-degree murder but guilty of the lesser included offence of manslaughter. Read the news reporting here.

Our Team

Nathan Gorham

(416) 587-7364 | gorham@gvlaw.ca

Breana Vandebeek

(647) 973-5402 | breana@gvlaw.ca

Alex Pate

(902) 802-5442 | pate@gvlaw.ca

Adrian Forsythe

(506) 259-9252 | forsythe@gvlaw.ca

Cameron Cotton-OBrien

(437) 388-8759 | cameron@gvlaw.ca

Ana Mihajlovic

(403) 860-9733 | ana@gvlaw.ca

Beth Brown Kirk


A Unique Perspective

Toronto criminal lawyer, Nathan Gorham holds a Master of Laws and Doctor of Juridical Science (the highest degree possible in legal studies) from the University of Toronto. In 2022, he was appointed King’s Counsel, a legal order recognized by Courts as denoting extensive courtroom experience and exceptional contribution to the legal profession.  He also teaches the Homicide (murder) and Wrongful Conviction course at the University of New Brunswick Faculty of Law. Breana Vandebeek is currently a Master of Laws candidate at the University of Toronto. She has extensive appellate experience. She and Mr. Gorham are co-authors of a best-selling textbook on defending drug cases. Together they bring a creative and academically minded approach to the defence of criminal trials and appeals. Contact us at (416) 410-4814 (Toronto), (506) 800-2036 (Atlantic Canada), or info@gvlaw.ca.

Legal Commentary

Toronto Criminal Lawyer, Nathan Gorham, speaks with the news media outside of the courthouse in Toronto, Ontario

Toronto criminal lawyer, Nathan Gorham, provides expert commentary on television and in national newspapers. He has addressed issues relating to major murder prosecutions, police corruption in drug prosecutions, the defence of sexual assault cases, as well as firearms legislation.

Mr. Gorham also speaks regularly at professional and academic conferences regarding criminal trial and appeal issues. Recently, he has lectured on the following areas of criminal law: the professional responsibility of defence lawyers in sexual assault trials; the detention of innocent people in the bail system; as well as the constitutional disclosure principles in major drug and firearms prosecutions.

Television Analysis

Newsprint commentary


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*Past results reflect a lawyer’s experience but do not necessarily predict future success because trials and appeals are decided on the specific facts of the case.