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.

SELECT EXPERIENCE

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
AWARDS & RECOGNITION

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

  • Who's Who Legal: Product Liability Defence 2017 - One of 10 "Thought Leaders" for North America; Marketplace analysis says: "Leading Canadian firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon emerges as one of the country's standout practices.... Gordon McKee is regarded as "the undisputed leader of the Canadian product liability defence bar" by a number of sources. He enjoys an excellent reputation on the international stage thanks to his "deep and wide-ranging practice" and "tactical aptitude."

  • 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 (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 2017 ("Most Frequently Recommended" in both Class Actions and Litigation - Product Liability)
  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys - 2017 Edition (Litigation Star in Class Action and Product Liability) - In February 2015, Gord was awarded "Product Liability Litigator of the Year" for the third consecutive year.

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2016 (Band 1 - Dispute Resolution: Class Action (Defence) - Canada) - "Gordon McKee 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: Canada 2016 (Life Sciences and Product Liability Defence) - Marketplace analysis says: "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."; in the area of Life Sciences, "He is described as 'an outstanding lawyer' and 'one of the very best at the class action bar.'"
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2016 (Class Action Litigation and Product Liability Law) - Recipient of the "Lawyer of the Year" award: 2016 Toronto Class Action Litigation and 2015 Toronto Product Liability Law

  • 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)
  • Martindale-Hubbell (AV Preeminent - Peer Rated For Highest Level of Professional Excellence)

PUBLICATIONS
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Author: Canadian Product Liability Defence - Common Class Action Defence Strategies
Product Liability Defence 2017, Who's Who legal, pp. 12-13, London, United Kingdom, June, 2017.
Co-author: Generic Drugs and Biosimilars: Innovator Liability in Canada
In-House Defence Quarterly, Defense Research Institute, Spring 2017.
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.
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PROFESSIONAL APPEARANCES
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Moderator: Motions for Summary Judgment and Summary Trial Cross Country
14th National Symposium on Class Actions, Osgoode Professional Development, Toronto, Ontario, April 6, 2017.
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, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, Washington, D.C., 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, D.C., 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
U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform and 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.
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MEDIA APPEARANCES
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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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