Toronto’s top class action lawyers in 2021

Lexpert reveals Toronto’s top class action lawyers based on the latest peer review
Toronto’s top class action lawyers in 2021

Lexpert reveals Toronto’s top 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 latest 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. The survey covered 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 class action lawyers

Ranjan K. Agarwal
Partner at Bennett Jones LLP

Year called to the bar: 2004
Ranjan K. Agarwal is a partner at Bennett Jones LLP. His practice includes complex commercial disputes, class action, constitutional law, employment and appellate litigation. Agarwal litigates an array of commercial cases, ranging from class action, investment treaty and commercial arbitration matters and employment disputes to human rights and professional regulation. He also advises companies, individuals and regulators on sensitive investigations. Agarwal is a well-known civil rights and constitutional litigator. His cases have ranged across religious liberty, freedom of speech, equality rights, and federalism. He has appeared in almost 20 appeals before the Supreme Court of Canada and regularly appears on matters in courts and arbitrations across Canada. Agarwal will be the president of the Ontario Bar Association in 2022. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto and co-author of Class Actions Law and Practice. Agarwal is also past president of the South Asian Bar Association of Toronto. The Canadian Bar Association and the OBA have recognized him for his pro bono and community service.

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Kirk M. Baert
Law firm: Koskie Minsky LLP

Year called to the bar: 1990
Kirk M. Baert is partner at Koskie Minsky LLP. His practice focuses on class actions. 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.

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Sonia L. Bjorkquist
Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Year called to the bar: 1997
Sonia L. Bjorkquist is a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. She is also the chair of the firm’s national litigation department and 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 multijurisdictional 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. She is a past president of The Advocates’ Society.

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Tom Curry
Law firm: Lenczner Slaght

Year of called bar: 1986
Tom Curry is the managing partner at Lenczner Slaght. He is recognized as one of the most experienced trial and appellate advocates in Canada. Curry boasts expertise in high-profile commercial litigation, class actions, arbitrations, business disputes, administrative law, judicial review, intellectual property, competition and professional liability cases. He is certified as a specialist in civil litigation by the Law Society of Ontario. Curry is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He is a regular speaker on a wide variety of subjects relating to trial practice and substantive law. Curry was recently the recipient of the prestigious Law Society Medal for his exceptional career achievement and exemplary contribution to the profession.

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Michael A. Eizenga
Law firm: Bennett Jones LLP

Year called to the bar: 1991

Michael A. Eizenga is a partner at Bennett Jones LLP. He was awarded the Law Society Medal by the LSO, recognizing his leadership in the class action bar and commitment to public service in 2017. Eizenga is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and previously taught in the Faculty of Law at Western  University. He has served on the boards of Pro Bono Ontario, the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, the London Community Foundation, the Robarts Research Institute and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre, where he also served as chair. Eizenga currently chairs the board of War Child Canada and is a past president of The Advocates’ Society and the Liberal Party of Canada.

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Sandra A. Forbes
Law firm: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Year called to the bar: 1992
Sandra A. Forbes is a partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. She specializes in corporate, class action, securities and competition litigation. Forbes devotes a significant portion of her practice to 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 highly experienced in defending litigation for directors and audit committees. Forbes is a past president of The Advocates’ Society. She is also a regent of the American College of Trial Lawyers, fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where she teaches advanced advocacy. Forbes was a law clerk to the Honourable Justice Peter Cory of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1990 to 1991.

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Laura K. Fric
Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Year called to the bar: 1995
Laura K. Fric is a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, where she co-chairs the compensation committee. She is also a former co-chair of the Canadian Advocates’ Society commercial litigation group. Fric specializes in complex commercial litigation and class actions. She has won the Treasurer’s Medal for highest marks in the 1995 Ontario bar admission course and then clerked for the judges of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Fric started her career as a criminal lawyer at a prominent defence firm. She often acts as lead counsel defending major class actions for many companies in the areas of securities claims, product liability (pharmaceutical litigation) and consumer protection. Fric has also defended credit card, overtime and employment class actions. She has been lead counsel in international arbitration disputes over acquisition and indemnity agreements. Fric was a key member of the trial team in one of the largest class actions in Canada and most recently, in a large and successful tax transfer pricing case. She has acted for many companies in some of the largest corporate transactions and arrangements in Canada. Fric has been counsel in expedited hearings before the Ontario Securities Commission.

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Peter Griffin
Law firm: Lenczner Slaght

Year called to the bar: 1980
Peter Griffin is a founding partner at Lenczner Slaght. He boasts extensive experience in complex cross-border litigation, especially in relation to class proceedings and insolvency and restructuring. Griffin regularly advises the boards of national and multinational companies. He also represents clients in arbitration and alternative dispute resolution proceedings and acts as an arbitrator in commercial disputes. Griffin is a past president of The Advocates’ Society. He is also a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and past chair of its Ontario province committee. He is constantly sought out as an expert speaker on advocacy, shareholder disputes, class actions, professional liability and insolvency and restructuring.

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Katherine L. Kay
Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP

Year called to the bar: 1988
Katherine L. Kay is a litigation partner and head of the Stikeman Elliott LLP’s competition litigation practice. She is also a past member of the firm’s partnership board, executive committee and Toronto management committee. Her practice concentrates on complex commercial litigation, often involving the interplay between regulatory, civil and criminal law regimes across multiple jurisdictions. Kay’s areas of focus include competition, product liability, securities, corruption and other white-collar cases.

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David W. Kent
Law firm: McMillan LLP
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. His class action experience arises from over 60 Canadian cases and includes precedent-setting decisions on a wide range of issues including conspiracy, securities law, cartel jurisdiction, cross-border discovery and class action certification and settlement. Kent has also advised on and litigated copyright issues for domestic and international broadcasters, cable networks and online streaming and social media services, including issues arising from the use of music on the internet.

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Eliot N. Kolers
Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP

Year called to the bar: 1996
Eliot N. Kolers is a partner and the head of the litigation and dispute resolution group at Stikeman Elliott LLP. He is also a member of the firm’s management committee in Toronto office. His practice concentrates on complex corporate commercial, competition and securities litigation. Kolers has represented clients in a wide range of cases, including real-time litigation matters in relation to contested corporate transactions. He has also defended class actions involving competition law, securities and privacy issues. Kolers has 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 has litigated all manner of competition cases before the courts and Canadian Competition Tribunal. Kolers is a member of the International Bar Association, American Bar Association and Canadian Bar Association and Metropolitan Toronto Lawyers Association. He is also a board member of The Advocates' Society (Ontario), past executive member of the Ontario Bar Association’s Litigation Section and past chair of the CBA’s class actions and private enforcement committee. Kolers writes and speaks extensively in his fields and is editor-in-chief of the LexisNexis publication Class Action Defence Quarterly.

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Gordon McKee
Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1988

Gordon McKee is a senior partner at the litigation and dispute resolution group at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. He boasts more than 30 years of experience 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.

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Dana M. Peebles
Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP

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 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. Peebles is a past director of The Advocates’ Society and a current director of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History.

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Linda M. Plumpton
Law firm: Torys LLP

Year called to the bar: 1996
Linda M. Plumpton is the chair of the litigation and dispute resolution, and competition and antitrust practices at Torys LLP, where she is also a partner. 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, and before the Competition Tribunal and the Ontario Securities Commission. Plumpton is a member of the Antirust Section of the American Bar Association, Canadian Bar Association and The Advocates’ Society. She has taught advocacy and lectured on class actions and competition law issues at the Osgoode Hall Law School, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, University of Toronto Faculty of Law and at programs run by The Advocates’ Society and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

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R. Paul Steep
Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Year called to the bar: 1982

R. Paul Steep is a counsel at the litigation group at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, where he also serves as a partner. He devotes his practice to commercial litigation, 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 also maintains a significant practice in securities enforcement and related proceedings before the Ontario Securities Commission and appears before other administrative tribunals, including the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Steep is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

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Kent E. Thomson
Law firm: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Year called to the bar: 1984

Kent E. Thomson is the head of litigation at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP’s Toronto office, where he also serves as a partner. He has extensive experience in complex and 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 conducted many trials and appeals and appeared in courts throughout Canada and in complex domestic and international arbitrations in Canada, the US, Europe and Africa. Thomson is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, International Society of Barristers and International Academy of Trial Lawyers.

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Cheryl M. Woodin
Law firm: Bennett Jones LLP

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. Woodin has also acted for and against public authorities in the context of litigation related to limits of statutory powers and the development of novel tort claims. She is a regular speaker on advocacy, trial practice and class actions. Woodin is an active member of The Advocates’ Society, American Bar Association and International Association of Defense Counsel. She is also an adjunct faculty at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and co-chair of the University of Toronto’s University Tribunal, Trial Division.

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