Class Actions

Lawson Lundell’s Class Actions Group has advised and represented both corporate defendants and plaintiffs’ groups. We have been actively involved in class action law since 1994, when British Columbia enacted class actions legislation. Our goal is to assist our clients in resolving class actions issues expeditiously, whether by alternate dispute resolution or, where possible, preliminary motions.

We frequently provide advice to our corporate and institutional clients concerning ways in which to avoid or minimize exposure to class action litigation. Since we have also acted for plaintiffs’ groups in class actions, we believe that we are able to give to our corporate clients very practical advice with respect to the strategy and tactics employed by the plaintiffs' bar, including issues relating to the use of the media.

Our members are on the “cutting edge” of class actions knowledge. In addition to our court work, we have chaired and participated in committees on class actions sponsored by the Canadian Bar Association and the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, and have been active in legislative reform initiatives involving class actions, including helping to set up the national class actions database. Our members have also taught courses on class actions and mass tort litigation at the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria, and have published many articles on the subject.

Key Contacts

Examples of class action litigation in which group members have been counsel include:

  • A large class action involving tobacco. The claim brought by the defendant tobacco manufacturers against our client, the Government of Canada, was recently struck (the decision is currently under appeal)
  • A class action involving a claim for $500 million brought by shareholders alleging oppressive and fraudulent acts by various companies (including our client) and certain of their officers and directors; certification was denied
  • A class action in which a multi-million dollar claim has been brought against a major utility involving allegations of overcharging on rates (the action was struck on jurisdictional grounds after a six-day hearing, and the appeal was abandoned)
  • A major class proceeding which sought remedies based on trust, competition law and statutory authorization issues; the case was dismissed on a preliminary motion
  • A class proceeding involving the administration of a pension plan, which was stayed in favour of commercial arbitration
  • A class action involving complex pension issues in which the court largely adopted our client’s position on certification issues
  • A class action in which we defended two national trust companies concerning claims of breach of fiduciary duty
  • An intended class action involving the alleged privatization of a major utility

Team Members

Name Office Phone Email
Boyd, Tom604.631.9132
Coates, Tamela403.218.7534
Ferris, QC, Craig604.631.9197
Vesely, Marko604.631.9260