What Bill Browder didn’t know about Paul Schabas and Canada’s corrupt Bay Street lawyers


Cowardice and lack of Integrity at Ontario’s Law Society.

LSUC Treasurer Paul Schabas

Last week at the Cambridge Lectures, Hermitage Capital CEO and author Bill Browder spoke to a capacity crowd of top legal minds including Canada’s Chief Justice, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin.

But while Browder kept the audience on the edge of their seats with true stories of corruption and murder in Putin’s Russia, he didn’t know that the moderator beside him – the leader of Ontario’s Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC), Paul Schabas – continues to whitewash corruption and criminal acts by members of Ontario’s Bay Street legal cabal.

Without courage, integrity means little

Bill Browder was client and friend of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky; an honest and courageous law firm auditor who was falsely arrested after he exposed a corrupt scheme to steal hundreds of millions of dollars in Russian tax revenues. When Sergei refused to cower and retract his evidence, he was held without charges for almost a year, tortured and finally beaten to death in solitary confinement by Putin’s thugs.

Browder documented that story of the corrupt Russian justice system in his best-selling book Red Notice. His lobbying brought forth the USA’s Magnitsky Act that authorizes sanctions against the involved Russians, including the crooked police and justice officials who are servants in the architecture of corruption.

Now Browder and his family are also paying the price that comes from courageously standing against corruption. They are targets of death threats, surveillance operations, kidnapping plots and a well-financed media smear-campaign against Browder and his murdered lawyer.

“Bill Browder did not know that the moderator who introduced him, Paul Schabas, doesn’t have the integrity or courage to hold corrupt Bay Street lawyers accountable. By his continued silence, Paul Schabas facilitates corruption and protects rogue members of Ontario’s legal elites.”

Bill Browder with photo of his murdered lawyer Sergei Magnitsky*

Canadians don’t have to go to Russia to find corruption

Threats to rape and murder witnesses (1,2), falsifying evidence (3,4,11), lawyers bribing police (5,6,7), putting an innocent man in prison (3,4,11), and protecting the elites against charges of money-laundering (8,9,10) and other crimes doesn’t just happen in Russia: it happens in Canada as well.

And nobody knows that better than Toronto lawyer Paul Schabas, the current Treasurer of Ontario’s Law Society of Upper Canada.

In his capacity as a lawyer, as a law society bencher and finally as LSUC Treasurer, Schabas knew of and received every piece of evidence in the Nelson Barbados and Donald Best civil cases where three corrupt Bay Street lawyers (Lorne Silver, Gerald Ranking and Sebastien Kwidzinski) were caught red-handed fabricating evidence and lying to the court to imprison an innocent man.

Paul Schabas also was aware of the hundreds of anonymous internet threats against witnesses in the Nelson Barbados case – including threats to rape and murder the victims of a massive US$100 million dollar fraud. Schabas and his law society received solid forensic evidence that many of the anonymous internet threats against witnesses originated from the computer network at Toronto’s Miller Thomson LLP law firm. (1,2)

Schabas and the Law Society of Upper Canada ignored anonymous threats against witnesses proven to be emanating from Bay Street law firm Miller Thomson LLP

Paul Schabas and his law society also knew that lawyer Gerald Ranking of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP’s Toronto office fraudulently claimed that his purported client was a registered Barbados business – when in fact the ‘company’ was a phony non-entity conjured up to deflect liability from Ranking’s actual clients. Schabas and the law society also knew that Ranking received over a million dollars court costs payments in the name of the phony ‘company’ that Ranking knew didn’t really exist – a badge of money laundering. (8,9,10)

Paul Schabas and the law society knew that lawyers Sebastien Kwidzinski and Gerald Ranking illegally paid a corrupt Ontario Provincial Police detective sergeant, James ‘Jim’ Van Allen, to work for them illegally on the side as an unlicensed private investigator, using police resources to gather evidence for their clients in a private civil case. (5,6,7)

Senior Ontario lawyers Gerald Ranking (center), Lorne Silver (right) and junior Sebastien Kwidzinski (left) lied to the courts.

Paul Schabas and the Law Society of Upper Canada ignored, whitewashed and covered up the entire mess to save three corrupt Bay Street lawyers: Lorne Silver, Gerald Ranking and Sebastien Kwidzinski.

And that was only the Nelson Barbados and Donald Best Ontario civil case.

As the Toronto Star newspaper’s Broken Trust series revealed, in the last few years the Law Society of Upper Canada also covered up several hundred other cases where Ontario lawyers committed criminal offences. (12,13)

At the Cambridge Lectures when Bill Browder gave his talk on corruption in Russia, he did not know that the moderator who introduced him, Paul Schabas, lacks the integrity and courage to hold corrupt Bay Street lawyers accountable. By his continued silence, Paul Schabas facilitates corruption and protects rogue members of Ontario’s legal elites.

“I will leave it to my readers to make what they will of the fact that in all these years, none of the people I name has sued me or asked the court for an injunction to remove my evidence and writings, or to curtail my future statements.”

Supporting Evidence for Statements of Fact

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

For three years I, Donald Best, have published court documents and exhibits (including voice recordings and forensic reports) that detail my ten year journey through Ontario’s civil courts and prove criminal and/or other serious wrongdoing by senior Ontario lawyers, police personnel and at least one judge.

The corrupt senior lawyers and those in the legal profession who protected them made sure that no jury of my peers would ever be able to consider this evidence in a court. They were successful in preventing my civil case from reaching trial because the legal profession and the Canadian justice system closed ranks and did everything possible to protect these senior lawyers who are members of a very exclusive club.

Nonetheless, for three years I’ve told my story here and at other venues, including in the Globe and Mail newspaper and at the University of Windsor Law Faculty’s National Self-Represented Litigants Project.

For three years I’ve publicly named certain senior lawyers and police officers – called them “corrupt”, and published evidence of their criminal acts and other wrong-doing. I have published the name of an Ontario Superior Court judge and provided evidence of his actions that several senior lawyers and a retired Crown Attorney call “despotic”, “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “malicious” and “worthy of his removal from the bench.”(14)

I will leave it to my readers to make what they will of the fact that in all these years, none of the people I name has sued me or asked the court for an injunction to remove my evidence and writings, or to curtail my future statements.

When irrefutable evidence and truth don’t matter in court

I, Donald Best, was convicted of contempt of civil court in January 2010 during a court hearing that I was unaware of, and therefore did not attend. I was overseas in Asia at the time and had not received notice.

I was convicted in absentia (while absent) upon the false, fabricated evidence of three corrupt lawyers and one corrupt police officer who had been illegally bribed by two of the lawyers. (Hey… I have the records for their payments to the police officer. You can examine them below. 5,6,7)

The corrupt lawyers Lorne Silver and Gerald Ranking testified while I was absent, that during a November 17, 2009 group phone call with me, I confessed to having received a certain court order purportedly served upon me in Ontario. (Don’t forget… I was in Asia!)

In fact, numerous times during the phone call I denied receiving the order and asked them to send it to me. They did not know that I was in Asia. After our phone call, Ranking and Silver fabricated an official ‘Statement for the Record’ wherein they falsely told the judge that during the phone call I had confirmed to them that I had received the court order. Junior lawyer Kwidzinski was present and, knowing his senior partners were lying and fabricating false evidence to put before the court, chose to say nothing. The coward.

The lawyers did not know that I had secretly, and legally, recorded our phone conversation.

Further, evidence from Purolator Courier later showed that they had not even sent me the court order as Ranking and his secretary swore to the court. To this day, Ranking has been unable to produce courier records showing he sent me the order as he testified – because, according to Purolator Courier, such records do not exist and Purolator did not deliver any such order to me.

I returned to Canada to place evidence of my innocence before the court and appeal my conviction and prison sentence that was based upon provably false and fabricated evidence.

Not allowed to cross-examine the witnesses whose evidence put me in prison

Most Canadians are shocked to hear that I was never allowed to cross-examine the lawyer-witnesses upon whose evidence I was convicted of contempt of court and sent to prison in a civil case costs hearing.

Most Canadians are shocked to hear that I was not allowed to appeal my in absentia conviction and jail sentence until I paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in court costs awarded against me on the basis of the false and fabricated evidence put before the court by the lying corrupt lawyers. I don’t have such money and so had to surrender myself to prison where I spent every day in solitary confinement. (15,16)

Most Canadians are shocked to hear that no judge ever listened to the forensically certified voice recordings that prove lawyers Ranking, Silver and Kwidzinski lied and fabricated evidence to convict me in a court hearing where I was not present. You can listen to the recordings yourself and compare them with the lawyers’ testimony. (3,4)

Had my recording been of three police officers lying to the court to convict an innocent man, I am sure that any judge would have listened to the recording, overturned my conviction, set me free and savaged the police officers.

Ahh… but in my case the liars were senior Bay Street lawyers with decades of membership in ‘the club’. Canada’s legal profession and justice system just didn’t have the integrity and courage to do the right thing.

Perhaps Mr. Browder can tell us how this differs from his experience in Russia. As for me, I’m unable to see much of a difference except that I am still alive and telling my story.

My fellow Canadians, here is the evidence in articles and attached exhibits. Consider it carefully and make up your own mind about the people and institutions involved – for next time it could be you, your family member, friend or neighbour.

  1. Some Canadian lawyers are too big to jail.
  2. Court evidence: Anonymous online threats against 82 year old widow originated from Miller Thomson Law Office
  3. Gerald Ranking and Lorne S. Silver fabricated evidence and lied to the court both in writing and orally in submissions. The secret phone recording.
  4. The Sebastien Kwidzinski story: How senior partners taught a young articling lawyer to fabricate evidence and lie to the court.
  5. Canadian police expertise, information and resources illegally sold to major law firms
  6. Secret recording: Ontario Provincial Police detective sergeant Jim Van Allen retired in 2010, not 2008. The lie that put an innocent man in jail.
  7. Poll: Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen should resign or be stripped of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces
  8. Why did Fasken Martineau lawyer Gerald Ranking not submit costs to the Supreme Court of Canada?
  9. Will Canada Revenue Agency investigate lawyer’s transfer of 1 million to a phoney client?
  10. Faskens lawyer Gerald Ranking knowingly represented a phony business entity, lied to the Supreme Court of Canada
  11. Purolator Courier confirms Faskens lawyer Gerry Ranking and secretary Jeannine Ouellette lied to Justice Shaughnessy in Ontario Superior Court
  12. Crown Attorney’s concern: public needlessly at risk from Ontario lawyers’ criminal conduct
  13. Toronto Star series: Broken Trust
  14. Federal Court to review whitewashed Canadian Judicial Council decision about Justice Bryan Shaughnessy on November 20, 2017
  15. Toronto ex-cop donald best served entire prison sentence in “brutal” solitary confinement
  16. Globe & Mail: Donald Best – Solitary confinement is pure torture. I know, I was there

Notice to readers, including Persons and Entities mentoned in this article

As always, if anyone disagrees with anything published at DonaldBest.CA or wishes to provide a public response or comment, please contact me at [email protected] and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments left on articles are moderated at least once a day. Or, of course, you can sue me and serve my lawyer Paul Slansky. You can find Mr. Slansky’s information here.

Photos have been included to put context to the article. Their use is the same as with other Canadian news outlets.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

* Photo of Browder/Magnitsky courtesy of Daily Mail



  • This is a fantastic post Mr. Best outlining the cowards and lack of integrity not only at the law society but also in law enforcement who protected a criminal OPP officer and within the federal sector with the CJC. Thus your story affects all Canadians across the country and all Canadians are eagerly awaiting the hearing. If our national newspapers are not covering this story then they are sharing in a cover up and protecting criminal activity.

  • respect for citizens

    A friend told me they heard an ad on the radio where a Miller Thomson company was backing canada 150 along with the ontario government just a curious question that occurs time and time again. ..those who cover up corruption and those who are exposed as being corrupted tend to try and cover up once again and look good by getting involved in charitable events or other notable acts. Is this the same Miller Thomson firm that Donald Best has exposed on this website ? Has anyone heard this radio ad on CHFI?

  • kangaroo courts seconded

    Are you still on house arrest David. If you are i will come and visit you in Windsor and we can make sure that this erroneous house arrest charge is dropped and the. Crooked lawyers put in a jail cell.

    • no lawyer is too big to go tojail

      No lawyer is too big to go to jail so for all the small petty criminals out there admit.your guilt change your ways and in court tell the judge that they better start cracking down on corrupt lawyers judges law enforcenent etc because they can’t send the petty criminal to.jail and cover up for the bigger guys as then they are proving its ok to commit criminal acts in the name of power and money. So for you small defence lawyers out there start using this angle in court so.they can’t cover up.for the crooked rich any longer. But make sure your clients admit their guilt and work hard to change their ways. That’s what rehabilitation is in the truest sense of the word. That’s the mark of a real lawyer ready to help clean up the world.

  • Our family is also victim to this deep rooted corruption. We have several lawyers busted on fraud regarding family estate. All of whom have kept me obstructed. from my own families accounts as an executor to the estate. One of the lawyers is a claimed fraud investigator from bay street. Norman Groot stood me up in court and misled me on bank statements costing our family everything. We found about 2/3 of the missing $400,000 after Norman Groot said he gave us everything the banks had. I was arrested 3 days before I could get the evidence into justice of peace and been under house arrest for over 2 years now with no previous trouble with the law and no lawyer in province will help!

    • Isnt it true Dave Simetic that a lawyer altered bank statements to mislead you and an rcmp agent that also owns a couple of law firm and was excellent as he stated in estate work stated to you that you did not have good proof. But wait an rcmp agent that is a lawyer…and all lawyers lie…..hmmm……………….?????????????????????? where there is money there is corruption