Lexpert unveils Toronto’s leading class action lawyers based on the results of our extensive yearly peer review. For the full lineup of Ontario’s most recommended class action lawyers and law firms, check out our practice area rankings list.
A class action is a legal proceeding where the plaintiff brings forward a lawsuit for the benefit of a larger group of affected individuals. In our peer survey, we included actions pertaining to personal injuries, including those involving defective medical products and procedures, defective products (automobiles, building products, etc.) and commercial losses (securities).
Most frequently recommended lawyers
Year called to the Bar: 1990
Kirk M. Baert is partner at Toronto-based civil litigation firm Koskie Minsky LLP. He heads the firm’s class actions group. Baert is recognized as one of Canada’s leading class action lawyers. He has appeared in courts across the country, including the Ontario Court of Appeal, Quebec Court of Appeal, Newfoundland Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada, on matters dealing with all aspects of class action litigation. Baert has taught class actions courses at the Osgoode Hall Law School for many years. He is also a regular speaker and author of papers for The Canadian Institute, Canadian Bar Association, Ontario Bar Association, the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Advocates’ Society on class actions, complex litigation and other matters.
Year called to the Bar: 1992
Wendy Berman is a senior partner and the chair of the securities litigation group at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. She specializes in corporate and securities litigation. Berman boasts significant experience in complex commercial and securities-related litigation, often involving parallel and cross-border regulatory, criminal and class action proceedings, and in litigation aspects of proxy contests, takeover bids and other acquisitions. She has represented public companies, directors and officers in some of Canada’s largest investigations and proceedings involving disclosure violations, insider trading and other fraud-related allegations, corruption and anti-bribery, significant acquisition transactions and corporate governance. Berman is considered one of the top class action lawyers in the country. Her firm specializes in business law.
Read more about Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP on stakeholder engagement
Year called to the Bar: 1997
Sonia L. Bjorkquist is a partner at full-service business law firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. She is also the chair of the firm’s national litigation department. Bjorkquist is recognized as one of the Canada’s best class action lawyers and also the key contact for her firm’s class action defence group. Bjorkquist has extensive experience defending companies in class actions, commercial arbitration and other complex litigation. She advises clients on managing risks and cross-border issues in multi-jurisdictional cases and defends complex product liability claims across many industries. Bjorkquist also litigates business-critical issues related to commercial agreements, construction and infrastructure contracts, directors' duties and shareholder remedies.
Read more about Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP on financing tech growth
Year called to the Bar: 1974
Sheila R. Block is a partner and the chair of the litigation and dispute resolution practice at Torys LLP, one of Canada’s largest business law firm. She is also a senior trial and appellate counsel with a broad civil litigation practice, which includes corporate, commercial and securities litigation, intellectual property, defamation and administrative law cases. Block has appeared as counsel on a wide range of cases before all levels of court in Canada and in international arbitrations and other tribunals. She has taught advocacy in Canada, the US, England, Scotland, New Zealand and El Salvador. Block is considered one of the best class action lawyers in the country.
Read more about Torys LLP on cannabis sector regulation
Year called to the Bar: 1991
Michael A. Eizenga is a partner at Bennett Jones LLP, one of Canada’s largest full-service business law firms. He also serves as co-chair of the firm’s class actions practice. Eizenga is recognized as one of the country’s leading class action litigators. He advises and represents clients on all issues relating to class proceedings, including product liability, securities, competition and other commercial matters. Eizenga has been appointed special master by the Superior Court of Justice in three class actions and amicus curiae in a major class action appeal. He is a frequent speaker for various legal organizations and an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where he teaches class actions.
Read more about Bennett Jones LLP on infrastructure developments amid pandemic
Year called to the Bar: 1992
Sandra A. Forbes is a partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. She is a leading litigator who specializes in corporate, securities, competition and class action litigation. A significant portion of her practice involves defending clients in national and cross-border class actions. She acts for clients before all levels of court and various administrative tribunals in Canada, including the Competition Tribunal. Forbes has achieved successful results for clients on diverse issues, including class actions alleging anti-competitive conduct or collusion and competition matters such as abuse of dominance. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where she teaches advanced advocacy. Her firm specializes in high-stakes and complex matters.
Read more about Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP on how technology is reshaping privacy
Year called to the Bar: 1980
Peter Griffin is a founding partner of Toronto-based litigation boutique Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP. He is recognized as one of the top class action lawyers in Canada. Griffin has extensive experience in complex cross-border litigation, especially as it relates to class proceedings and insolvency and restructuring. He regularly advises the boards of national and multinational companies. Griffin also represents clients in arbitration and alternative dispute resolution proceedings and acts as an arbitrator in commercial disputes. He is constantly sought out as an expert speaker on advocacy, shareholder disputes, class actions, professional liability and insolvency and restructuring.
Year called to the Bar: 1988
Katherine L. Kay is a litigation partner and head of the competition litigation practice at Stikeman Elliott LLP. She is also a past member of the firm’s partnership board, executive committee and Toronto management committee. Kay devotes her practice to complex commercial litigation, often involving the interplay between regulatory, class actions and criminal law regimes across multiple jurisdictions. Her areas of focus include competition, product liability, securities, corruption and other white-collar cases. She is considered one of Canada’s best class action lawyers. Her firm specializes in business law.
Read more about Stikeman Elliott LLP on litigation trends in Canada
Year called to the Bar: 1983
David W. Kent is a senior partner at McMillan LLP’s litigation, competition and antitrust and intellectual property groups. He also serves as national co-chair of the firm's dispute resolution and class action practices. Kent specializes in complex litigation involving competition, IP, commercial, regulatory and securities and governance disputes in a range of industries. He boasts extensive experience in international, cross-border and domestic cartels, conspiracies and class actions. Kent has been defence counsel in some of the largest Canadian criminal cartel prosecutions and in many of the major Canadian civil cartel cases. He is recognized as among the best class action lawyers in the country. His firm is a full-service business law firm with offices across Canada and in Hong Kong.
Read more about McMillan LLP on insolvencies and consolidations in agribusiness and cannabis sectors
Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1996
Eliot N. Kolers is a partner at Stikeman Elliott LLP. He also heads the firm’s litigation and dispute resolution group and is a member of the management committee at its Toronto office. Kolers specializes in corporate and commercial, competition and securities litigation. He is considered as one of the leading class action lawyers in Canada. Kolers has represented clients in a wide range of complex cases, including many real time litigation matters in relation to contested corporate transactions. He has defended class actions involving competition law, securities and privacy issues. Kolers has also represented clients in a broad range of commercial cases involving oppression remedies, proxy contests, takeover bids, shareholder disputes, plans of arrangement and corporate governance matters. He regularly appears before the commercial list of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. His competition litigation experience relates to class actions, criminal matters and contested proceedings before the Competition Tribunal.
Read more about Stikeman Elliott LLP on private equity investment
Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1983
Larry P. Lowenstein is a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, where he was chair of the national litigation department from 2005 to 2010. He conducts a broad corporate, commercial and complex litigation practice. His practice includes class actions, corporate governance, contested mergers and acquisitions, securities litigation, enforcement of foreign judgments, environmental liability and franchising disputes. Lowenstein has been counsel in a wide range of disputes at all levels of courts in Ontario and before the Ontario Securities Commission. He has also given expert testimony in the OSC. Lowenstein is considered one of the leading class action lawyers in the country.
Read more about Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP on new business tax rules
Year called to the Bar: 1988
Gordon McKee is a senior partner at the litigation and dispute resolution group at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, one of Canada’s biggest full-service law firms. He is a recognized as among the country’s leading lawyers in class action and product liability defence. McKee is certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a specialist in civil litigation. He has expertise and considerable trial experience defending class actions and serious product liability claims in Canada. His cases frequently involve cross-border issues, complex scientific, medical and technical evidence and working closely with in-house and external lawyers from the US and other countries. McKee is often lead counsel in cases in Ontario and other provinces and manages litigation nationally for some of the world's largest manufacturers of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, medical devices, consumer goods and transportation and construction vehicles. He is also a frequent speaker on class actions, life sciences and product liability matters and trial advocacy.
Read more about Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP on cannabis sector litigation
Year called to the Bar: 1990
Dana M. Peebles a partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s litigation group in Toronto. He is also the past chair of the firm’s national class actions team. Peebles devotes his civil litigation practice to class action, securities and corporate-commercial litigation. He is recognized as one of the top class action lawyers in Canada. Peebles has acted for leading Canadian companies in the trial and appellate Courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He was also co-counsel for defendants in the first two statutory secondary market securities class action leave motions in Canada. His recent class retainers include defending a banking institution, an electronics company, a leading manufacturer and other significant public companies in data breach actions, and mining, accounting and cannabis public issuers in securities class actions. His firm specializes in business law and is among the country’s largest.
Read more about McCarthy Tétrault LLP on competition and foreign investment
Law firm: Torys LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1996
Linda M. Plumpton is partner and chair of the litigation and dispute resolution and competition and antitrust practices at Torys LLP. She is considered one of Canada’s best class action lawyers. Plumpton focuses on competition litigation, class action defence, corporate and commercial disputes and securities litigation. She also practises public, constitutional and employment law. Plumpton has appeared as counsel in the Supreme Court of Canada, all levels of court in Ontario, the Federal Court, the Competition Tribunal and the Ontario Securities Commission. She has taught advocacy and lectured on class actions and competition law issues at several prominent universities.
Read more about Torys LLP on multiple stakeholders
Law firm: Koskie Minsky LLP
Year called to the Bar: 2000 (AB); 2002 (ON)
Celeste Poltak is a partner at Koskie Minsky LLP, where is also the former head of the class actions department and member of the executive committee. Poltak regularly appears before a variety of courts throughout the province, including the Court of Appeal. She has also acted as counsel on numerous applications for leave to the Supreme Court of Canada. Poltak’s works have been published in the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review, the Canadian Class Actions Review and Lawyers Weekly. She has spoken at and written papers for several legal conferences. Poltak is considered among the country’s leading class action lawyers.
Law firm: Rochon Genova LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1988
Joel P. Rochon is managing partner at Rochon Genova LLP, a Toronto-based litigation firm. He also heads the firm’s class action practice. His practice primarily involves products liability, train and aviation accidents, defective drugs and medical devices, securities, antitrust, consumer protection and institutional abuse. Recognized as one of Canada’s top class action lawyers, he has served as lead or co-lead counsel on a number of significant class actions. Rochon has also authored several articles on class action litigation and is a regular speaker at class action conferences in Canada, the US and France.
Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1982
R. Paul Steep is a partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP and also serves as counsel at the firm’s litigation group. He carries on a commercial litigation practice with a focus on securities litigation, including class actions. Steep has an active trial and appeal practice and has been involved in corporate governance claims, business valuation disputes, oppression remedy claims, banking litigation, securities and commercial contractual disputes before all levels of Ontario courts. He maintains a significant practice in the area of securities enforcement and related proceedings before the Ontario Supreme Court. Steep is recognized as among the country’s leading class action lawyers.
Law firm: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1984
Kent E. Thomson is a partner and head of the Toronto litigation group at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. He has extensive experience in complex high-stakes litigation. Thomson has acted as lead counsel in numerous precedent-setting cases in the areas of oppression, plans of arrangement, class actions, securities, defamation, tort, competition, tax, intellectual property and elections. A number of these cases have been decided by the Supreme Court of Canada. Thomson has also conducted many trials and appeals and has appeared in courts throughout Canada. He has also appeared in complex domestic and international arbitrations in Canada, the US, Europe and Africa. Thomson is considered one of the country’s best class action lawyers.
Law firm: Waddell Phillips Professional Corporation
Year called to the Bar: 1989 (ON); 1991 (AB)
Margaret L. Waddell is a founding partner at Waddell Phillips Professional Corporation, a Toronto-based boutique litigation law firm. She boasts more than 30 years of experience in prosecuting and resolving class actions and complex civil disputes. Waddell is recognized as a leading class action lawyer and has acted as class counsel on several precedent-setting cases in the field. She is regularly sought out to lead on class actions or to partner with other firms that need additional bench strength. Waddell has broad experience in solving all manner of commercial conflicts, including contract disputes, insurance and professional liability claims, shareholder disputes and other commercial controversies.
Year called to the Bar: 1998
Cheryl M. Woodin is partner at Bennett Jones LLP, where she co-heads the class actions practice group. She is an experienced and skilled litigator who defends class actions and complex litigation across industries. Woodin works with clients to manage cross-border litigation and litigation occurring in regulated environments. She has defended clients in a broad variety of areas involving consumer products, automotive parts, medical devices, securities, label and billing practices and environmental contamination. A sought-after speaker, Woodin regularly presents on civil litigation, advocacy and class actions. She is recognized as among the country’s leading class action lawyers.
Read more about Bennett Jones LLP on IP protection on agribusiness and cannabis sectors