Born and raised in Brantford, Ontario, Jim Vigmond is Oatley Vigmond’s founding and managing partner. Brought up in a hardworking Canadian family, Jim’s work ethic was instilled in him by his parents. His father was a tool and die maker turned teacher; his mother, a retail store manager. Jim’s father built their family home himself, and both his parents believed in setting an example for their children defined by humility, hard work and integrity. Jim attributes his ability to connect with his clients to the fact that many of them come from similarly modest backgrounds. “There’s no filter needed when you’re dealing with me,” says Jim. “I am who I am.”
Introduced to the subject of law in high school, Jim decided from an early age that he wanted to be a lawyer because he saw that it was a way to touch people’s lives and help them when they were in need. Jim attended Queen’s University Faculty of Law. While there, he focused his interest on personal injury litigation because he was moved to advocate for those rebuilding their lives. Called to the bar in 1983, Jim partnered with Roger Oatley more than twenty years ago to found Oatley Vigmond.
Today, Jim specializes in spinal cord injury, brain injury and serious orthopaedic cases. His advocacy set a precedent for the highest-ever damages award for a spinal-cord injury in the case of Morrison v. Greig, in which Jim’s client was awarded damages of $12.5 million.
Jim has experience as counsel at all levels of court, has published numerous articles and works (most notably contributing to The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Personal Injury Practice in Motor Vehicle Cases) and regularly presents on such topics as personal injury litigation and trial advocacy at conferences hosted by the Canadian Bar Association, the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and the Advocates’ Society. In an achievement that saw his career brought full circle, Jim returned to Queen’s Law school as an adjunct professor to create and teach Canada’s first Personal Injury Advocacy course.
Jim is a past president of both the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and the Simcoe County Law Association. He has also been elected a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (a position for which fewer than one half of one percent of eligible lawyers are selected) and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. When not advocating for his clients in the courtroom, Jim prefers to be outdoors, on the water, with his children and grandchildren in his home base of Barrie.
- Past-president of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association
- Past-president of the Simcoe County Law Association
- Elected Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. Less than one half of one percent of eligible lawyers are chosen.
- Elected Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Membership is limited to only those trial lawyers who are “unquestionably and eminently quality, in addition to being regarded as the best in their state/province.”
- Certified Specialist in Civil Litigation
- Listed in Best Lawyers since 2006
- Lexpert Directory Ranked as Most Frequently Recommended
- Received a lifetime achievement award from the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association
- 2017 Recipient of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association’s H. Bruce T. Hillyer Award
- 2022 Recipient of the Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in Insurance Law
Jim has appeared as counsel at all levels of Courts in Ontario, has been retained by the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association to intervene on their behalf in the Court of Appeal and has appeared in every case where the Court has considered “catastrophic impairment.”
Frequently called upon to help further the education of other trial lawyers, he has travelled from British Columbia to New Brunswick, speaking on matters of trial advocacy and trial practice. Jim designed the course ‘Personal Injury Advocacy’ which he teaches at Queen’s University Law School, where he was awarded Seasonal Instructor of the Year. He has also been an instructor with the Ontario Centre for Advocacy Training.
Jim has published several articles and presented seminars in the area of personal injury litigation and trial advocacy for numerous associations including the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, the Canadian Bar Association, and the Advocates’ Society. A regular featured speaker at the Oatley-McLeish Lecture Series, Jim is a contributing author in the loose-leaf text the “Oatley-McLeish Guide to Personal Injury Practice in Motor Vehicle Cases.”
Jim’s fundraising efforts have included pledging $100,000 to the new Royal Victoria Hospital to help develop their leading Cancer Care Centre. He was also the founding director of the Thompson Foundation Centre, and has given over $1,000,000 to the Canadian Paraplegic Association where he was a Director for ten years and Fundraising Chair for five years.
Not only has Jim been involved in the medical community, he has actively participated in his local Barrie community by supporting the nationally renowned MacLaren Art Centre, sponsoring Barrie’s minor lacrosse team and serving as the Director of the Robert Thompson Youth and Family Centre.