Mr. Slayton, who divides his time between Toronto and Nova Scotia, studied law at Oxford University as a Manitoba Rhodes Scholar and later clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa. He taught at McGill University and was Dean of Law at the University of Western Ontario. He then practised corporate law in Toronto with Blake, Cassels & Graydon from 1983 until his retirement in 2000.
Slayton is the author of Lawyers Gone Bad: Money, Sex and Madness in Canada’s Legal Profession , published in hard cover by Viking Press in 2007, in paperback by Penguin Group in 2008, and as an eBook in 2010. The book was not popular with lawyers or with the Canadian Bar Association. He was featured in a Maclean’s magazine cover story with the headline “Lawyers are Rats” and the Toronto Star labeled him “Public Enemy #1.” Maclean's noted that his interview "stirred up a great deal of controversy, including condemnation from the Canadian Bar Association, which criticized the article for "tarnish[ing] the reputation of thousands of professionals. Editorials in the National Post panned the book and criticized the Maclean's decision to feature it.
Slayton’s second book, Mighty Judgment: How the Supreme Court of Canada Runs Your Life , was published in hard cover and as an eBook in 2011 by Allen Lane, and as a paperback by Penguin in 2012.
In 2013 Philip independently published Bay Street: A Novel , a legal thriller. The Toronto Star described Bay Street as “expert and engaging... exciting and hilarious... a first rate crime novel...”
Mayors Gone Bad was published in hard cover and as an ebook by Viking in May of 2015; it explores municipal government and issues with the leadership provided by mayors in the Canadian system.