OVERVIEW & EXPERTISE

 
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Technology, including digitization and the sharing economy, has revolutionized the way Canadians access and pay for goods and services. In response to market pressures and consumer demands, businesses need to innovate how they design, manufacture, advertise, distribute and sell their goods and services. Together with the advent of the sharing economy, which significantly impacts suppliers and customers, the digital economy continues to evolve. It is vital for companies to stay informed of market, legal and regulatory changes. Blakes Consumer Protection group has the experience and in-depth knowledge necessary to address our clients’ needs across a diverse range of businesses and industries in these quickly changing times. We routinely counsel clients on their products, regulatory compliance and day-to-day operations. 
 
Our lawyers have strong working relationships with federal, provincial and industry regulators such as the Canadian Competition Bureau, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada and provincial consumer protection regulators, including the Office de la protection du consommateur and the Office québécois de la langue française. Members of the Consumer Protection group are recognized as leaders in various ranking publications and surveys, including Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business, The Legal 500 Canada and The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.
 

Expertise

Financial Services
Our specialized consumer finance expertise allows us to assist numerous financial institutions, money-services businesses, consumer finance companies and other financial services providers on a wide variety of retail financial products and services, including payment products, deposit accounts, credit products, residential mortgage loans, insurance, credit reports and collections. This expertise, coupled with our strong relationships with federal, provincial and industry regulated bodies, positions us to provide the highest level of guidance and client service.
 
Litigation 
With an extraordinary depth of local industry knowledge, expertise and experience, we represent client interests at every stage of a dispute. Our Consumer Protection group functions seamlessly across both common law and civil law systems in Canada. Our lawyers are experienced in defending claims brought under a wide variety of statutory provisions aimed at consumer protection as well as design, manufacturing and failure to warn negligence claims.
 
Marketing and Advertising
We have wide-ranging experience in dealing with Canadian regulatory and self-regulatory bodies to ensure compliance with laws, applicable policies, industry codes and guidelines. Clients often seek our guidance with respect to interpretation of, and compliance with, legislation and administrative and policy matters. We regularly work with various government and other agencies, including the Competition Bureau, Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Advertising Standards Canada. We also assist clients in bringing and defending complaints before regulators and industry associations as well as in court.

Competition
The Blakes Competition & Antitrust group works directly with advertisers and their representatives at all stages of the advertising development process to ensure compliance with the misleading advertising and promotional contest provisions of the Competition Act. We have experience representing clients provincially and nationally in misleading and comparative advertising claims, injunctions, trials and appeals. Our team includes leading competition litigators and has amassed the best record of any Canadian firm in contested proceedings before the Competition Tribunal.

Privacy
We advise clients on privacy requirements relating to new and innovative technologies and business models, including privacy considerations in connection with big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and online and offline marketing and advertising activities. We help clients develop and implement privacy-related policies and procedures, provide privacy-related training, and respond to privacy-related incidents and complaints. We are regularly involved in global privacy compliance projects where we provide input on global privacy policies, consent frameworks, data protection agreements and internal privacy policies and procedures.
 
Retail
We advise on compliance with both federal and provincial consumer protection legislation, guidelines and codes of conduct, including advice with respect to cost of credit disclosure, credit reporting, privacy, anti-spam, escheatment and collections practices. We advise clients on all aspects of franchising in Canada, including whether a particular relationship could, contrary to the expectations of the parties, be found to be a franchise under Canadian law.

Montréal Practice
Blakes lawyers work closely with large multinational organizations and industry associations on all aspects of French language requirements in Quebec. Lawyers in our Montréal office are often called upon to review contracts and client documentation to ensure legislative and regulatory compliance with various Quebec regulatory bodies. We also regularly assist a number of clients with their legislative compliance management obligations and on the francization of businesses. 

Representative Matters

 
Financial Services
  • Credit Karma, Inc., a free credit and financial management platform, on its expansion into Canada.
  • Schedule I banks with respect to provincial and federal regulatory matters relating to their core retail banking documents, including secured and unsecured personal loans and lines of credit, mortgages, overdraft protection and deposit agreements.
  • goeasy Ltd. on the launch of their national residential mortgage loan product offering.
Litigation
  • Financial institutions, including major chartered banks and other large institutional clients, in numerous class actions across the country in connection with levying cash advances, foreign exchange conversion, title insurance, merchant and over credit limit fees, setting credit limits, and the disclosure and/or calculation of interest rates.
  • Service providers, manufacturers, distributors and sellers in numerous class actions across the country in connection with all manner of consumer goods and services, including food and beverages, pet supplies, building supplies, vehicles, household appliances, and over-the-counter medicines.
Marketing/Advertising
  • A number of retailers on their Canadian marketing and advertising activities, including compliance with sales claims and other pricing matters, all manner of contests and promotions, product safety and recall matters, and compliance with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.
  • Numerous pharmaceutical/medical device companies on advertising and marketing matters, including social media initiatives, compliance with applicable codes of conduct, press releases direct-to-consumer advertising.
  • A number of food companies on their Canadian marketing and advertising activities, including support on all aspects of food labelling, product recalls and promotional materials such as advertising to children and advertising campaigns in support of product launches.
Competition
  • Bell Aliant Inc. in its defence of a successful injunction relating to misleading advertising claims.
  • Beatrice Foods Inc. in seeking an injunction to stop the defendant from making certain statements in its advertising campaign.
  • UPS in an important case dealing with comparative advertising claims, successfully defending UPS against allegations that claims in respect of its shipping rates were misleading.
Privacy
  • The Canadian subsidiary of a multinational personal care company with respect to conducting a privacy audit. 
  • A global project team with respect to privacy advice in the development of a connected vehicle and mobile application. 
  • A multinational cosmetics retailer in connection with privacy and anti-spam issues, including with respect to targeted marketing and advertising activities.
Retail
  • Retail operations in the province of Quebec on the applicability of French language laws.
  • Crate & Barrel on its expansion into Canada.
  • True Religion Apparel, Inc. on its expansion into Canada.​
 

 INDUSTRY RECOGNITION

 
​​Members of our Consumer Protection group are recognized as leaders in their fields in the most recent editions of the following publications:
  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business (Competition/Antitrust; Dispute Resolution: Class Action Defence; Litigation - Products Liability; Pr​ivacy and Data Protection)
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Competition/Antitrust)
  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (Class Action; General Commercial and Product Liability)
  • Benchmark Litigation's "Top 25 Women in Canadian Litigation"
  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial and Corporate Law Firms (Financial Services Regulatory)
  • Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Competition and Antitrust Lawyers
  • Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Product Liability Lawyers
  • Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Women in Business Law (Product Liability)
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada (Competition/Antitrust Law; Class Action Litigation; Privacy and Data Security Law; Product Liability Law;)
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Advertising & Marketing Law; Asset Equipment Finance/Leasing; Competition Law; Litigation – Product Liability;)
  • The Legal 500 Canada (Banking and Finance; Competition and Antitrust)
  • Who's Who Legal: Canada (Competition; Product Liability; Telecommunications, Media & Technology)​
 

 PEOPLE

 
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Counsel | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3858
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services Regulatory, Anti-Money Laundering, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Banking, Financial Services, Consumer Protection, FinTech, Cannabis
Associate | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4137
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Consumer Protection
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4031
Areas of Expertise: Anti-Spam, Drugs & Medical Devices, IP Licensing & Agreements, Information Technology, Privacy, Life Sciences, Retail, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Cybersecurity, Government & Public Sectors, Consumer Protection, Autonomous & Connected Vehicles
Counsel | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4017
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services Regulatory, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Residential Mortgage Business, Payments, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Banking, Insurance, Reinsurance, Lobbying, Financial Services, FinTech, Consumer Protection
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2187
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Consumer Protection
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9748
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Corporate Litigation, Securities Litigation, Construction Dispute Resolution, Insurance Litigation, Energy Litigation, Consumer Protection
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3336
Areas of Expertise: Competition & Antitrust, Consumer Protection, Merger Review & Control, Criminal Investigations & Prosecutions, Competition Litigation, Abuse of Dominance & Reviewable Matters
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5831
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Insurance, Financial Services Regulatory, Mergers & Acquisitions, Banking, Insurance Litigation, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Reinsurance, Payments, FinTech, Credit Unions, Consumer Protection
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2352
Areas of Expertise: Competition & Antitrust, Foreign Investment, International Trade, China, Abuse of Dominance & Reviewable Matters, Criminal Investigations & Prosecutions, Competition Law Compliance, SIR/E-Discovery, Merger Review & Control, Misleading Advertising, Consumer Protection
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4159
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Corporate Litigation, Securities Litigation, Product Liability, Pension Litigation, Class Actions, Equity Capital Markets, Consumer Protection, Competition & Antitrust
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5847
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Consumer Protection
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3082
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Product Liability, Life Sciences, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Retail, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Automotive, Consumer Protection
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4265
Areas of Expertise: Intellectual Property, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Life Sciences, Privacy, Anti-Spam, Misleading Advertising, Drugs & Medical Devices, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Retail, Life Sciences, Consumer Protection
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2243
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Infrastructure, Energy, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Automotive, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, Consumer Protection
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3161
Areas of Expertise: Intellectual Property, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Life Sciences, Privacy, Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation, Cybersecurity, Drones, Consumer Protection, Competition & Antitrust
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5272
Areas of Expertise: Banking, Insurance, Reinsurance, Automotive, Financial Services Regulatory, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Payments, Corporate & Commercial, Consumer Protection
Associate | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4131
Areas of Expertise: Information Technology, Corporate & Commercial, Intellectual Property, Communications, Consumer Protection
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9698
Areas of Expertise: Corporate Litigation, Securities Litigation, Class Actions, Employment Litigation, Development, Environmental Litigation & Enforcement, Banking, Oil & Gas, Consumer Protection
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3323
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Product Liability, Corporate Litigation, Life Sciences, Retail, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Consumer Protection
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2591
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Consumer Protection
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3290
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services Regulatory, Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Banking, Anti-Money Laundering, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Payments, Financial Services, FinTech, Credit Unions, Consumer Protection
Counsel | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3302
Areas of Expertise: FinTech, Banking, Consumer Protection, Financial Services Regulatory, Anti-Money Laundering, Financial Services, Payments, Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance
Associate | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4019
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Communications, Technology, Consumer Protection, Intellectual Property, Cannabis, Information Technology
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2765
Areas of Expertise: Drugs & Medical Devices, Anti-Spam, Trademarks, Life Sciences, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Retail, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Misleading Advertising, Consumer Protection, Competition & Antitrust
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