Gordon McKee
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3884

Gord focuses on defending class action law suits and serious product liability claims and has many years of experience in this area. He has defended clients in class actions involving prescription and over-the-counter medicines, medical devices, automotive equipment, fire protection systems, consumer protection matters, environmental contamination, Competition Act matters, conspiracy allegations and employee benefits.

In the product liability area, he has represented multinational manufacturers and distributors of a wide variety of products. He is lead counsel in Ontario and manages litigation nationally for some of the world's largest manufacturers of pharmaceutical medicines, medical devices, consumer goods, automotive parts and heavy equipment.

Gord's broad expertise extends to cross-border and multi-jurisdictional issues and cases that involve complex scientific, medical and technical evidence. He regularly provides proactive advice to corporations on product warnings and recalls, litigation-related media issues and strategies designed to avoid litigation and class action suits.

It's been reported that Gord "is at the top of his game; he's really good in trial and great at cross-examination. We rely on him for the biggest cases - he's a positive thinker who will work towards the best solution for the company." - Client comment, Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2015.


Gord's most recent experience includes:

  • Co-counsel for a leading manufacturer of appliances (front-loading washing machines) in the successful opposition of a multi-province consumer class action before all levels of the Ontario courts, and on a leave application to the Supreme Court of Canada.

  • Lead trial counsel in the first medical products class action/common issues trial tried to verdict in Canada (146 trial days), successfully defending one of the world's leading manufacturers of life-saving cardiac devices in a national class action claiming more than a billion dollars in damages (awarded 2013 Canadian Product Liability Impact Case of the Year by LMG Life Sciences)
  • Lead trial counsel successfully defending one of the world's leading manufacturers of fire protection systems in some 20 claims and cross-claims resulting from a large factory fire, including a product liability/environmental class action claiming C$80-million in damages
  • Lead counsel representing multinational pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in class actions involving a wide variety of medicines and devices
  • Representing consumer goods manufacturers in national negligence, warranty and consumer protection class actions

Gord is recognized as a leading Canadian lawyer in many Canadian and international publications including:

  • Who's Who Legal: Thought Leaders 2017 (Product Liability Defence)
  • Who's Who Legal: Life Sciences 2017 (Product Liability) - One of three lawyers listed as "Thought Leaders" for the Americas
  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business 2017 (Ranked in Band 1 - Dispute Resolution: Class Action (Defence) and Litigation: Product Liability) - Gord is singled out by the market for being "excellent counsel" who has had "spectacular success in the product liability space."
  • The 2017 Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada (Class Actions and Litigation - Product Liability)
  • The Canadian Lexpert Legal Directory 2016 ("Most Frequently Recommended" category in both Class Actions and Litigation - Product Liability)
  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2016 (Dispute Resolution: Class Action (Defence) - Canada; Band 1) - Gord is very well regarded for his work on pharmaceutical product liability cases. Clients say: "He is a really talented legal mind. He is very clear, patient, calm under pressure and thinks fast on his feet."
  • Who's Who Legal: Life Sciences 2016 (Product Liability) - Marketplace Analysis says "Blake Cassels & Graydon impresses with 11 listings, including the 'brilliant' Gordon McKee, who ranks as the leading product liability lawyer in Canada in our research. Peers echo this by describing him as 'the best of the lot' and 'the dean of class action litigation.'"
  • Who's Who Legal: Product Liability Defence 2016 - listed once again as one of the ten "Most Highly Regarded Individuals" outside the United States; described in the 2015 edition as "the man for complex product liability claims and class actions in Canada"
  • Who's Who Legal: Canada 2016 (Life Sciences and Product Liability Defence) - Marketplace Analysis say "Gord McKee features most highly at the firm for his "sensationally good" product liability practice. Regarded as the "dean of class action litigation", McKee acts as lead counsel on some of the biggest drug and medical device liability cases before the Ontario courts". (Life Sciences) "He is described as "an outstanding lawyer" and "one of the very best at the class action bar"." (Product Liability Defence)
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2016 (Class Action Litigation and Product Liability Law) - "Lawyer of the Year" awards: 2016 Toronto Class Action Litigation and 2015 Toronto Product Liability Law

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys - 2016 Edition (listed as a National Litigation Star in Class Action and Product Liability); in February 2015, awarded "Product Liability Litigator of the Year" for the third consecutive year

  • LMG Life Sciences Awards 2015 "Canadian Product Liability Attorney of the Year," for the second consecutive year

  • The Lexpert Guide to Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada (Class Action and Product Liability)
Show Past:
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Co-author: Causation in Canada Revisited: Material Contribution to Risk and the Impact of Clements (Litigation Guardian of) v. Clements
IADC Defense Counsel Journal, October 2016
Co-author: Innovator Liability in Canada
IADC Drug, Device and Biotechnology Committee Newsletter, July 2016
Co-author: Class Action Reform: The Law Commission of Ontario Review of the Class Proceedings Act
Defense Counsel Journal, Volume 83, No. 1, pp 32-44, January 2016.
prepared for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, March 2015
Foundation of the International Association of Defense Counsel, 2014.
Co-author: Recent trends in consumer product class actions in Canada
25 Australian Product Liability Reporter, No. 5, page 73, June 2014.
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Panellist: Mock Juries: Not Just for Trial Outcomes
Midyear Meeting, International Association of Defense Counsel, Scottsdale, Arizona, February 22, 2017.
Panel Speaker: Hot Topics: Experts & Creative Settlements
Class Actions Advocacy Seminar, The Advocates Society, Toronto, Ontario, February 14, 2017.
Co-chair: Electronic Trials Program
The Advocates' Society, Toronto, Ontario, June 23, 2016.
Panellist: Conduct of Electronic Trials and Appeals
The Advocate Matters: Spring Symposium 2016, The American College of Trial Lawyers and The Advocates' Society, Toronto, Ontario, April 27, 2016.
Panel Speaker: The Magna Carta, 800 Years Later - Rule of Law or Rule of Lawyers?
16th Annual Legal Reform Summit 2015: A Liability Odyssey, US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, Washington, DC, October 27, 2015.
Speaker: Canadian Class Actions
PLAC 2015 Fall Conference, Product Liability Advisory Council, Dallas, Texas, October 1, 2015.
Panellist and Speaker: Class Actions Around the World - Ontario/Canada
DRI Class Actions Seminar, Washington, July 24, 2015
Co-chair: A Special Litigation Presentation: Electronic Trials
The Advocates Society, Toronto, Ontario, June 17, 2015.
Discussion Leader: Where Should We Go Next? Update on the Law Commission of Ontario Class Action Project
2015 Northwind Class Actions Invitational Forum, Cambridge, Ontario, June 12, 2015.
Panel Speaker: Painting an Unsettling Landscape: Canadian Class Actions 2011 - 2014
presented by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Toronto, Ontario, March 23, 2015
Moderator and Panellist: A Window on Class Action Settlements - The "Scandalous" Pella Class Action"
International Association of Defence Counsel Mid-Year Meeting, Marco Island, Florida, February 18, 2015
Speaker: Review of the Ontario Class Proceedings Act by the Law Commission of Ontario
IADC Canadian Regional Meeting, Toronto, June 3, 2014.
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Quoted: Inconsistent, Inefficient
Article by Sandra Rubin, The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada, November 18, 2016.
Mentioned: Civil Justice: The World Tour
Civil Justice Playbook, Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, July/August 2016.
Mentioned: IADC Announces New Board of Directors Members
IADC News, Chicago, Illinois, July 13, 2015.
Interviewed: Canadian courts see sharp rise in class action lawsuits
Interviewed by Michael Hainsworth, Business News Network, March 23, 2015
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