Ron Hay Partner
With over twenty years’ experience as both in-house and external counsel, Ron provides strategic and practical advice to Canadian and international clients on all aspects of the media, entertainment and communications industries, focusing on film and television rights acquisition, production, co-production structures and distribution/exploitation opportunities.
Ron founded Stohn Hay LLP in 2003 with Stephen Stohn and David Dembroski, and in 2005 they welcomed Diana Cafazzo and Sandra Richmond to form Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond LLP. The addition of Angelika Heim and Erin Finlay as partners, and Sandra Richmond’s retirement, led to the new firm name of Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Heim Finlay LLP in 2022.
Ron began his law career as an associate at the law firm McMillan Binch (now McMillan), and then left to join the ranks of in-house counsel, first at Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. (Vice-President, Business & Legal Affairs – Television), then at Balmur Entertainment Ltd. (Vice-President, Business & Legal Affairs). He returned to private practice in 2001.
Law is Ron’s second profession. Prior to attending law school, he worked as a professional musician for six years; he played viola with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and the Hamilton Philharmonic, and was also active as a recording studio and freelance musician. While at law school he regularly played in the orchestras of both Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera, often with a law text open at his feet. Memorable performances include performances with the TSO at New York’s Carnegie Hall and London’s Royal Albert Hall, playing with the Three Tenors at Maple Leaf Gardens, participating in the opening week of Roy Thomson Hall, and participating in the opening ceremonies of the Rogers Centre.
Ron brings to his practice a passion for the arts and the creative process, and understands the importance of establishing professional relationships with those who share and embrace that passion in the creative industries.
- Recognized as a leading practitioner of entertainment law by the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in Canada and Who’s Who Legal Canada: Sports & Entertainment, and has been included in The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada annually since 2010
- Regular speaker / panelist at industry conferences and seminars, including serving as Co-Chair of the biennial Law Society of Upper Canada Entertainment & Media Law Symposium from 2011 to 2017
- Board Member – Ontario Creates (formerly Ontario Media Development Corporation) (2017-2020)
- Called to the Ontario Bar – 1994
- Osgoode Hall Law School, LL.B. – 1992
- University of Toronto, B.Mus. – 1983
- Board Chair – Trio Arkel Chamber Music Group (current)
- Board Member – Concerts in Care (current)
- Board Secretary – Toronto Symphony Orchestra (2001-2013)
- Board Member (including stint as Chair) – Volcano Theatre (1996-2010)