Stephen Gleave


A longtime veteran of Canadian employment law, Stephen Gleave has become a local expert and sought-after speaker for legal conferences and media commentary.

During his 30-plus years of practice and litigation, Gleave has protected clients from competitor missteps, protected company shareholders, and saved the clients of his firms millions of dollars.

He’s also a lover of the outdoors who runs a small farm on his property in Ancaster, raising cattle, bees and nurturing a diversity of trees. After spending much of his career in Toronto, Gleave is currently a partner for a law firm based in Hamilton.

Early life

Stephen Gleave studied law at Queens University.

He earned an LL.B. there before moving on to graduate studies in law at Oxford University. After that, he was admitted to the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of Ontario.

Also a farmer and gardener, he lives on the Gleave family farm in Ancaster, where he raises livestock and bees, and tends to his orchards.


During his 30-year career practicing law, Stephen Gleave has received recognition as a leading commercial litigation lawyer. He has successfully completed 300 labor and commercial arbitrations, 50 Labor and Civil Injunctions, and 50 trials.

Gleave has been named to the Best Lawyers in Canada guide as well as the Best Lawyers Global Business list for his extensive knowledge of Labour and Employment law.

Since 2019, Gleave has been a partner at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP. He joined the Toronto law firm after spending the majority of his legal career with Hicks Morley law firm, where he worked for 35 years as a partner. He published several reports while there, about negotiations with the local school board, a successful case involving equity incentive plans, and quarterly updates.

Gleave’s accomplishments span a diverse range of legal skills.

For example, he won an injunction to prevent a client’s competitor from lifting employees of a competitor. He argued that millions of dollars in advance payments to a shareholder was improper and the shareholder was forced to sell to agree to a commercial closing in order to be paid for the shares.

Gleave has also upheld forfeiture of executive compensation plans on behalf of a Canadian bank. He handled two cases discussing situations in which the seller of a business is entitled to higher earn out payments from oppression in the insurance sector. Working on behalf of a major Canadian insurance company, Gleave worked to dismiss a class-action lawsuit over retiree benefits.

Outside of his work in employment law, Gleave has also become knowledgeable in the forensic inspection of media devices, including phones and computers. He studies the collection, preservation, and integrity of digital evidence found on such devices, which have become so important to the legal profession. After developing this expertise during his years as a litigator, Gleave now teaches seminars on the topic to other lawyers.

While Gleave leads a busy life from his firm’s Hamilton office, he also leaves the city behind while living on his farm in Ancaster. He’s spent more time there since the pandemic, eventually relocating his offices from Toronto to The Beasley.

Stephen Gleave now rents a space from John Vitulli, one of Hamilton’s leading corporate and real estate lawyers. They practice together at The Beasley office.

In his spare time, Stephen enjoys spending time with his family at their Ancaster farm. He enjoy running, and fly fishing, and tending to the many needs of his family farm.

Stephen Gleave raises Scottish Highland cattle and bees on his farm, which includes Carolinian forests of Tulip trees, Kentucky coffee trees and other antique trees. He also has a large orchard of plum, apple, pear and cherry trees.

As a competitive runner, Gleave maintains a pace of 30 or 40 miles a week. For fly fishing, his spot of choice is the Saugeen River in Bruce County in southern Ontario, where he fishes for bass, trout and muskie.

Net Worth

Not known at this time.


Gleave has been repeatedly named in the Best Lawyers in Canada guide as a leader in commercial litigation (2015-2018)
Gleave has repeatedly earned a spot on Best Lawyers Global Business list (2014-2018)
He also earned a place on the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.
Named partner at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP in 2019.