Strong and spirited advocacy.
Rachelle T. Villanueva is a civil litigation lawyer who stewards her own practice in the downtown core of Toronto. It is her mission to deliver intelligent, compassionate and strategic advocacy at accessible rates.
Since her call to the Ontario Bar in 2008, Rachelle has spent half of her legal career as a plaintiff 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 advantageous insight on what drives parties on both sides of a dispute, setting her apart from other lawyers.
Rachelle's passion for lawyering translates into all aspects of work that she does for her clients. She acts as trial counsel in complex disability benefits, accident benefits, tort MVA and occupier’s liability claims for Toronto area personal injury law firms. As a plaintiff lawyer in her first year of practice alone, she recovered over $1M in settlement monies on behalf of her clients. She employs respect and compassion while maximizing plaintiffs' claims against insurance companies. As an insurance defence litigator, Rachelle works closely with claims adjusters to negotiate claims and defend matters at trial and arbitration. She conducts rigorous factual examinations to craft a staunch defence while gauging appropriate reserves from start to finish.
Rachelle devotes a section of her practice to Access to Justice (civil litigation) clients. The changing legal climate has augmented her drive and determination to champion social justice issues that are distinctly aligned with her personal values. She takes a keen interest in Charter rights, human rights and anti-racist advocacy. She regularly volunteers for Pro Bono Ontario, providing summary legal advice to those in need.
Beyond practising law, Rachelle is a creative spirit at heart: 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.