Ontario's leading class action law firms in 2021

Lexpert puts the spotlight on Ontario's leading class actions law firms
Ontario's leading class action law firms in 2021

Lexpert puts the spotlight on Ontario’s leading class action law firms based on the results of our latest extensive annual peer review. The full list of the province’s most recommended class action lawyers and law firms are available in our practice area rankings.

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 covered actions pertaining to personal injuries, including those involving defective medical products and procedures, defective products (automobiles, building products, etc.) and commercial loss (securities).

Most recommended full-service class action law firms

Bennett Jones LLP
Year established: 1989 (Toronto)
Number of lawyers: 30
Number of ranked lawyers: 8
Partners: Ranjan K. Agarwal, Jonathan G. Bell, Preet K. Bell, Joseph N. Blinick,  Emrys Davis, Melissa M. Dimilta, Michael A. Eizenga, Alan P. Gardner, Ilan Ishai, Jeffrey S. Leon, Amanda C. McLachlan, Ashley L. Paterson, John F. Rook, Julia E. Schatz, Nathan J. Shaheen, Michael C. Smith, Robert W. Staley, Cheryl M. Woodin

Bennett Jones LLP is one of Canada’s leading full-service business law firms. It boasts a manpower pool of more than 400 lawyers and business advisors in its offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, New York in the US and Beijing in China. Bennett Jones specializes in complex cross-border and international transactions and litigation. The firm’s class action litigation team assists companies resolve potentially high-stakes class action disputes. The group has an extensive product liability and product regulation practice, consisting of specialists with substantial understanding of the financial, regulatory, reputational, and other business impacts and uncertainties associated with complex disputes.

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Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Year established: 1856
Number of lawyers: 27
Number of ranked lawyers: 8
Partners: Melanie Baird, Catherine Beagan Flood, Bradley E. Berg, Jeff W. Galway, Anne Glover, Rahat Godil, Nicole Henderson, Ben A. Jetten, Robert E. Kwinter, Andrea Laing, Jill M. Lawrie, Robin Linley, Gordon McKee, Doug McLeod, Ryan Morris, J.A. Prestage, Holly Reid, Andrew Skodyn

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Blakes) is one of Canada’s top full-service law firms, providing legal advice to leading businesses both domestically and overseas. It handles transactions of all sizes and levels of complexity, whether an issue is local or multi-jurisdictional, or practice-area specific or interdisciplinary. The firm also has one of the most experienced class actions defence teams in the country. Spanning nearly four decades, Blakes has defended clients in more than 400 class actions, including precedent-setting cases with industry-wide implications and multi-jurisdictional cases requiring global coordination. It is among a small number of Canadian firms with notable class action success at trial and on dispositive applications and motions. The firm has offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary and Montréal, and international headquarters in New York, London and Beijing.

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Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Year established: 1961
Number of lawyers: 10 (Toronto)
Number of ranked lawyers: 6
Partners: Anthony M.C. Alexander, Andrea L. Burke, Chantelle Cseh, Sandra A. Forbes, Steven G. Frankel, Michael H. Lubetsky, Matthew Milne-Smith, Derek D. Ricci, Luis Sarabia, Kent E. Thomson

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (Davies) is a full-service business law firm specializing in high-stakes and complex matters. Its clients include leading businesses and financial institutions in North America and abroad. The firm’s class action lawyers are internationally recognized for their technical expertise and practical ability to achieve their clients’ objectives. They have successfully represented industry giants LinkedIn and Morgan Stanley Canada in complex class actions. Davies is backed by a well-established record of success, including at trial and on appeal. The firm has offices in Toronto, Montréal and New York.

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McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Year established: 1855
Number of lawyers: 28
Number of ranked lawyers: 9
Partners: Hovsep Afarian, Eric S. Block, Shane C. D’Souza, Casey Halladay, Christopher Hubbard, Brandon Kain, Gillian P. Kerr, Frank McLaughlin, Dana M. Peebles, H. Michael Rosenberg, Byron Shaw, Junior Sirivar, Stephanie Sugar, Deborah Templer, Caroline Zayid

McCarthy Tétrault LLP is one of Canada’s leading full-service business law firms, offering expert legal services to clients across the country and around the world. It has offices in Canada’s major commercial centres, New York in the US and in London, UK. These offices form an integrated team that can work together, harnessing the full power of Canada’s largest litigation group with regional knowledge of the local business and legal environment. The firm’s class action lawyers boast extensive experience and know when and how to assert defence vigorously and broach the possibility of negotiated settlements. Its national class action group has also represented clients in some of the most high-profile class action cases in the country, including in the areas of financial services, insurance, product liability, competition law, securities and pensions and benefits. McCarthy Tétrault has written the definitive book for class action defendants, Defending Class Actions in Canada, now in its fifth edition.

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Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Year established: 1862
Number of lawyers: 26
Number of ranked lawyers: 6
Partners: Robert Carson, Alexander Cobb, Jennifer Dolman, Mark Gelowitz, Adam Hirsh, Geoffrey Hunnisett, Shawn Irving, Craig Lockwood, Larry Lowenstein, David Morritt, Kevin O’Brien, W. David Rankin, Lawrence E. Ritchie, Nancy Roberts, Karin Sachar, David Stamp, Lauren Tomasich

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP has offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Calgary, Vancouver and New York. It boasts a stable of more than 400 lawyers providing expert legal services to Canadian, US and international clients. The firm’s class actions defence practice group has successfully defended clients in many of the leading and complex class action cases in Canada. The team specializes in developing multi-faceted national class action defence strategies and, when necessary, coordinates with US counsel to supplement and execute a cohesive, solution-focused North American defence strategy. It also has an excellent track record in opposing and defeating class certification and winning early dismissals in every major jurisdiction in Canada. The practice includes product liability, consumer protection, privacy, securities, environmental, false or misleading advertising, pensions and benefits, employment and franchise.

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Stikeman Elliott LLP
Year established: 1952
Number of lawyers: 18
Number of ranked lawyers: 6
Partners: David R. Byers, Alan L.W. D'Silva, Samaneh Hosseini, Peter F.C. Howard, Katherine L. Kay, Eliot N. Kolers, Aaron Kreaden, Daniel S. Murdoch, Patrick J. O'Kelly, Alexander D. Rose, Danielle K. Royal

Stikeman Elliott LLP specializes in business law with clients in Canada and across the globe. The firm’s national class actions group works closely with clients to help them understand and evaluate their options in light of their business. The team helps develop an aggressive defence for current claims and a crisis management strategy that minimizes present exposure and risk of future claims. It also provides clients defending class actions commenced in multiple jurisdictions with a seamless, one-firm approach across Canada. On cross-border matters, the firm’s excellent working relationships with lawyers and experts in other jurisdictions enable it to deliver integrated legal solutions. The national class actions team holds offices in Montréal, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver.

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Torys LLP
Year established: 1941
Number of lawyers: 27
Number of ranked lawyers: 9
Partners: Andrew Bernstein, Yael Bienenstock, Sheila R. Block, Gillian B. Dingle, John A. Fabello, Patricia D. S. Jackson, Eileen M. McMahon, William McNamara, David Outerbridge, Linda M. Plumpton, Sylvie Rodrigue, Lisa K. Talbot, James C. Tory, Sarah E. Whitmore, W. Grant Worden

Torys LLP is an international business law firm with offices in Toronto, Montréal, Halifax, Calgary and New York. The firm’s litigation team includes a group of class actions specialists with expertise that extends from pre-certification to trial. These lawyers represent clients in a wide range of class actions cases brought in provinces across the country, including in Québec, and in courts of all levels. Torys’ extensive trial and appellate experience includes leading and coordinating the defence and settlement of multi-jurisdictional class actions nationally and internationally. The firm’s class actions team consists of lawyers called to multiple bars with active practices in Québec and the rest of Canada. This means that the same team of lawyers can be counsel, not only on cases filed in Québec, but also on cases filed elsewhere in the country.

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Most frequently recommended boutique class action law firms

Koskie Minsky LLP
Year established: 1981
Number of lawyers: 12
Number of ranked lawyers: 3
Partners: Kirk M. Baert, Celeste Poltak, Jonathan Ptak, David Rosenfeld, James Sayce, Mark Zigler

Toronto-based Koskie Minsky LLP is a boutique firm of skilled counsel advising clients in the areas of civil litigation, union side labour law, pensions and benefits and class actions. Its clients include pension funds, trade unions, boards and commissions, insurers, corporations and non-profit groups. The firm also represents individuals seeking access to courts and tribunals. Koskie Minsky boasts a team of class action litigation specialists with extensive experience in handling complex cases in a wide variety of areas, including residential schools, crown liability, environmental claims, securities misrepresentation, employment law, product liability and consumer protection.

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Lenczner Slaght
Year established: 1992
Number of lawyers: 34
Number of ranked lawyers: 5
Partners: Jonathan Chen, Tom Curry, Monique Jilesen, Rebecca Jones, Brian Kolenda, Eli S. Lederman, William C. McDowell, Brendan F. Morrison, Peter J. Osborne, Andrew Parley, Andrew Porter, Scott Rollwagen, Shara N. Roy, Matthew Sammon, Lawrence E. Thacker, Paul-Erik Veel, Mark Veneziano

Toronto-based Lenczner Slaght is recognized as one of Canada’s leading litigation practice. For more than 25 years since its establishment, the firm has acted for clients in over 17,000 cases, conducting more than 500 trials, arbitrations and tribunal hearings. Its class actions expertise has been sharpened through hands-on experience in a wide range of complex and technically demanding proceedings. The firm’s class action work spans international boundaries as a growing number of claims are launched in multiple jurisdictions. Lenczner Slaght advises clients based in the US, Europe, Asia and across Canada. Its class actions group focuses on cross-border litigation between Canada and the US.