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Consumer Protection

Consumer Protection
Consumer Protection
Expertise / Practices / Marketing & Advertising / Consumer Protection

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.

The 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.

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