Strong and spirited advocacy.
Rachelle T. Villanueva is a civil litigation lawyer who practices in the downtown core of Toronto. Since her call to the Ontario Bar in 2008, she has devoted her entire practice exclusively to litigation. She has spent half of her legal career as a plaintiff personal injury lawyer and the other half as an insurance defence litigator. She has both sued and defended a majority of insurance companies in Ontario. Rachelle's blended experience gives her added insight on what drives parties on both sides of insurance disputes.
Rachelle has served a broad array of insurance companies across Ontario as defence counsel handling complex disability, accident benefits, tort MVA, occupier’s and product liability claims. She has represented clients in matters before the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), License Appeal Tribunal (LAT) and Superior Court of Justice. She works closely with adjusters to take strategic and adaptable approaches: whether it be to negotiate claims efficiently or firmly defend matters to trial and arbitration. She conducts rigorous factual examinations to craft a staunch defence while gauging appropriate reserves from start to finish.
Rachelle's passion for lawyering translates into all aspects of her work as a litigator. She has acted as trial counsel in complex disability benefits, accident benefits, tort MVA and occupier’s liability claims for Toronto area personal injury law firms. Rachelle devotes a section of her practice for Access to Justice (civil litigation) clients. She volunteers with Pro Bono Ontario to provide summary legal advice to those in need.
Beyond practising law, Rachelle is a creative spirit: she is a vocalist, guitarist and lover of literature and visual arts.
REPRESENTATIVE DEFENCE LITIGATION CASES
Somwaru v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. (FSCO - January 2017) Arbitrator Murray, M. Rachelle successfully effected the dismissal of the Arbitration against State Farm Insurance and got costs awarded in favour of the insurer.
Filazzola v. Campbell (ON SCJ - November 2016) Kristjanson, F. Rachelle successfully defended against a summary judgment motion for the dismissal of a cross-claim against the co-defendant. She got costs awarded in favour of her client.
Nagalingam v. The Personal Insurance Co. (FSCO - October 2016) Arbitrator Smith, A. Rachelle successfully effected the dismissal of the Arbitration against The Personal Insurance on a second claim brought about by the Applicant, who was found to be abusing the Arbitration process.
Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. (ON SCJ - September 2016) Rachelle successfully brought a motion for summary judgment to have the claim against her client, State Farm Insurance, dismissed in its entirety with costs.
Bhullar v. Unifund Assurance Co. (FSCO - September 2015) Arbitrator Sherman, I. Rachelle brought a successful motion for productions and the subsequent dismissal of the Arbitration against Unifund Assurance, with costs awarded in favour of the insurer.
McDonald v. The Personal Insurance Co. (FSCO - October 2015) Arbitrator Davies, J. Rachelle successfully effected the dismissal of the Arbitration against The Personal Insurance Company and got costs awarded in favour of the insurer.
Walsh v. The Personal Insurance Co. (FSCO - March 2015) Arbitrator Osunde, I. Rachelle successfully effected the dismissal of the Arbitration against The Personal Insurance Company and got costs awarded in favour of the insurer.
EDUCATION AND ACCREDITATIONS
Master of Laws
OSGOODE HALL LAW SCHOOL
LL.M. courses included: Teaching, Training and Coaching (ADR) with an emphasis on Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Juris Doctorate (Conferred)
WESTERN LAW SCHOOL
Received honorary recognition for advocacy skills in the Borden Ladner Gervais Client Counselling Competition and the Cherniak Cup Trial Advocacy Competition. Gained early litigation experience by serving as a Caseworker for the Western Law Legal Clinic with carriage of criminal, landlord/tenant and civil litigation files. Promoted to Supervisor based on solid performance in her Litigation Practice course while serving as Caseworker.
Law School Exchange Program
ESADE LAW SCHOOL (BARCELONA, SPAIN)
Recognized as best student in Esade Law School's Negotiation Skills course. Completed law courses in both English and Spanish.