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Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation

Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation
Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation
Expertise / Practices / Litigation & Dispute Resolution / Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation
In today’s “big data” economy, businesses hold enormous amounts of sensitive information, exposing them to reputational risks and litigation if a data breach or cyber-attack occurs. Even the most prepared companies may be at risk, from not only external threats, but also accidental and intentional internal sources.
Recent high-profile incidents demonstrate the potentially devastating financial and reputational effects of a data breach or cyber-attack on an enterprise, its officers, directors, employees and shareholders. These effects often include litigation commenced after a data breach or other cybersecurity incident.

Our lawyers have been at the forefront of litigating, analyzing and teaching privacy law for decades. With privacy litigation expertise in each of our offices, Blakes has the capability to defend multi-jurisdictional privacy class actions and any other cybersecurity-related litigation. Our litigators are backed by the Firm’s broader Cybersecurity practice, a multidisciplinary group of lawyers with significant technology, regulatory, privacy, data protection, media, employment and financial services expertise. We provide our clients with strategic and timely advice about the complex and interrelated legal, technical and compliance aspects of any data security issue.

Litigation Defence

There has been a marked increase in privacy-related litigation in Canada in recent years, particularly privacy class actions. Our lawyers have multidisciplinary expertise to defend privacy class actions, coordinate efficiently with U.S. and other foreign counsel, and handle related regulatory investigations and other data breach disputes or cybersecurity litigation that may be commenced. We have successfully defended clients in class proceedings brought in multiple jurisdictions alleging unauthorized access to personal information.
Rapid Response and Post-Breach Crisis Management
Our lawyers also offer experienced counsel about data breach response and cybersecurity crisis management. We advise clients about containing and handling the aftermath of a breach, with specific focus on mitigating reputational harm and potential litigation. Working with subject-matter experts within Blakes and other external advisors, we provide advice on the following:

  • Legally required notice under federal and provincial privacy laws and health privacy legislation

  • Voluntary notification and disclosure

  • Conducting internal investigations and managing investigations by law enforcement or regulators

  • Public relations and media management

  • Responding to allegations of misuse of data

  • Management of consumer concerns

  • Improvement of privacy, data use, breach response policies and procedures, communications, and training

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Recent Experience
  • CHC Casinos Canada Limited and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation in successfully defending them in class actions arising out of a cyber-attack against Casino Rama.

  • An RESP company in successfully defending a class proceeding arising out of a privacy breach at an Ontario hospital.

  • Royal Bank of Canada in the leading Supreme Court of Canada appeal interpreting Canada’s private-sector privacy legislation.

  • An international airline in a class action arising out of a cyber-attack.

  • A corporation in a class action related to the loss of data tapes containing the personal and financial information of its customers.

  • One of the major North American automotive manufacturers in a proposed privacy class action.

  • An investment firm in a class action in Saskatchewan arising from the theft of a computer hard drive that allegedly contained private investment and personal data.

  • Payment card companies with respect to data breaches affecting the retailers they serve.

  • Hundreds of clients in a wide variety of sectors that have had significant data breaches, including advising on breach notification and consumer relations issues, and potential class action liability.

Awards & Recognition

Lawyers in our Cybersecurity group are recognized for their expertise in technology law, privacy, dispute resolution, class action defence, competition, securities, financial services regulatory and employment law in the most recent editions of the following publications:  

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business

  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys

  • Benchmark Litigation’s 40 & Under Hot List

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada

  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada

  • Who’s Who Legal