Born in Toronto, Ontario, he received a B.A. in political science from the University of Toronto in 1926. He was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the bar in 1929.
He joined the Toronto firm of McCarthy & McCarthy (now McCarthy Tetrault) in 1949 and stayed until his retirement in the early 90s.
He became renowned as a barrister and was lead counsel in a number of prominent cases. He was lead prosecutor in the trial of Igor Gouzenko in the late 40s. In 1947, he appealed and eventually won the case of Evelyn Dick after her conviction of the murder in 1946. He was lead counsel in the Patriation Reference before the Supreme Court of Canada.
He was appointed King's Counsel in 1944.
From 1958 until 1962 he was treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada.