The Honourable Barry Leon, a Canadian, is a full-time independent arbitrator and mediator. He was the Presiding Judge of the British Virgin Islands Commercial Court from 2015 to 2018. Barry is a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb), an International Mediation Institute (IMI) Certified Mediator, and a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.
As Presiding Judge of the BVI Commercial Court, Barry presided over a range of international commercial disputes involving parties from around the world, including shareholder and corporate disputes, insolvency matters, contractual disputes, fraud and asset recovery proceedings, judgment enforcement and arbitration assistance and arbitral award enforcement.
Prior to his judicial appointment, Barry was a Partner and Head of the International Arbitration Group at Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP, a leading international arbitration law firm based in Ottawa, Canada. Until 2009 he was a Partner with the Torys LLP in its Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice in Toronto, Canada, and for many years served as Coordinator of the Practice. While doing primary counsel work at both firms, Barry also served as an arbitrator and mediator for several years prior to his appointment to the BVI Commercial Court. He continued to do so occasionally while serving on the Court.
Barry is experienced in arbitrating and mediating corporate and commercial, contract, shareholder and business breakup, joint venture, employment, insurance, intellectual property, technology, expropriation, natural resources, and construction disputes.
Barry has received numerous professional recognitions in international arbitration and other related areas. In 2022, he was shortlisted by Global Arbitration Review (GAR) for its award for the 'best prepared' arbitrator.
GAR 100 called him "one of Canada's most high-profile arbitration practitioners" and Chambers Global referred to him as "an accommodating, instructive and personable practitioner who provides clear advice and opinions." His recognitions include Global Arbitration Review's GAR 100; Chambers Global; Lexpert/American Lawyer's Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada; PLC Which Lawyer?; The International Who's Who of Commercial Arbitration; The Best Lawyers in Canada; Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory; Guide to the World's Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration; Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada; and Who's Who Legal - Canada.
The International Mediation Institute (IMI) reports that lawyers who used Barry as a mediator were satisfied with his work. They said that he is open and approachable; skilled; well prepared; able to understand legal issues quickly; deals well with parties' "animosities; and listens to both sides" concerns to try to assist them to resolve their disputes. All lawyers were satisfied with the work Barry did, would likely use him again and would recommend him to others.
Barry is a recipient of the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity in ADR from the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR).
He is a past Chair of the Arbitration Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, ICC Canada (Canadian National Committee of the ICC) and remains active on the Committee in various capacities, as well as being a member of the ICC's Commission on Arbitration and ADR.
Barry is a member of the Organizing Executive Committee for Canadian Arbitration Week (CanArbWeek). He is Co-Chair of the 2023 Canadian Arbitration Report, and a founding member of the BVI Arbitration Group and is on its governing Committee. He is a member of the Arbitration Act Review Committee of the Toronto Commercial Arbitration Society.
He is a member of the North America Sub-Committee of the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations (CGA) and was Organizing Committee Chair for CGA global workshop, "Shaping the Future of Greener Arbitration Conferences and Training".
Barry is Co-Chair of the Caribbean Task Force of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration's Americas Initiative; a member of the International Trust Arbitration Organisation's Research Council; and a Director of the International Law Association's Canadian Branch and member of the ILA International Commercial Arbitration Committee; a member of the Board of Governors of the Canadian Guyanese Congress, and the Advisory Board of the Canadian Association of Progressive Muslims.
Also, he is a Vice Chair and Branch Committee Member of the Caribbean Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and a member of the Canadian Bar Association's International Law Section, the International Arbitration Club of New York, the London Court of International Arbitration, the American Society of International Law, and the New York International Arbitration Center.
Barry is an Independent Arbitrator and Mediator with Arbitration Place (in Canada), with 33 Bedford Row Chambers (in London), and with Caribbean Arbitrators (in the British Virgin Islands).
He was admitted to Bar in Ontario, Canada (now a non-practicing member of the Law Society of Ontario). He holds a law degree from the University of Toronto, an MBA degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University, and a BA (Political Science; Economics) from the University of Alberta.