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About Jill

Jill's litigation and dispute resolution practice focuses on the defence of class actions and other complex claims related to product liability, negligence, contract and consumer protection.

As co-lead of the Firm's Consumer Protection group, she has acted for clients involved in numerous industries, including manufacturers of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, and all manner of food and consumer products, as well as for professional-service organizations, financial institutions and insurers.

Jill also regularly provides proactive advice to corporations on product warnings, recalls and litigation risks, including advice related to a wide variety of regulatory regimes and regulatory tribunals.

Much of her litigation experience has been gained in large, document-intensive cases involving complex financial, technical, scientific and medical issues, often with a cross-border or multi-jurisdictional focus.

Jill has appeared at all levels of the courts in Ontario and before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Select Experience
  • Lead counsel to a U.S. fruit and vegetable processing company in an action seeking several million dollars in relation to a food product recall

  • Lead counsel to a leading manufacturer of medical solutions to restore pelvic health in class and individual actions alleging negligent design, manufacture and warning

  • Lead counsel to a multinational pharmaceutical company in a proposed class action alleging failure to warn

  • Lead counsel to a North American vehicle manufacturer in class actions alleging negligent design, testing and manufacture, and breaches of consumer protection laws

  • Lead counsel to an international food and beverage company in a proposed class action alleging that dog food products are mislabelled and unsafe for canine consumption

  • Lead counsel to a defendant in a class action seeking the recovery of funds invested in a third-party's fraudulent scheme

  • Trial counsel in the first medical-products class action (146 trial days) to go to trial in Ontario obtaining a trial ruling dismissing the action for 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, alleging negligent design, manufacture and recall (awarded 2013 Canadian Product Liability Case of the Year by LMG Life Sciences)

  • Counsel to a major North American bank in a class action alleging the receipt of interest on credit card transactions in excess of the maximum permitted by law

  • Counsel to a leading manufacturer of defibrillators in a class action alleging negligent design, manufacture and warning

  • Canadian member of worldwide counsel network for a leading international confectionary company providing proactive advice on litigation risks and defending product liability claims manufacture

  • Canadian product liability counsel to a leading food and beverage packaging company

  • Counsel to a leading consumer goods manufacturer in a class action alleging negligence, warranty and breaches of consumer protection laws

  • Counsel to a leading cannabis producer in a class action alleging mislabelling of products for retail sale

  • Appeal counsel in two noteworthy decisions in the Supreme Court of Canada

Awards & Recognition

Jill is recognized as a leading lawyer in the following publications and awards:

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business (2020–2024 – Band 2: Products Liability and Band 5: Class Action Defence) Jill was described by the market as "offering substantial experience"; as having "notable expertise in the automotive and healthcare product manufacturing sectors"; and as a "really bright lawyer." In previous guides, described as "an excellent lawyer"; as "know[ing] a lot about product liability – not just technical knowledge but how cases work"; as having "well-honed judgment from her extensive experience"; as "substantively strong"; and as "[having] very good litigation instinct and not afraid to be creative or innovative in litigation strategy." One source said: "I would trust her with any sizeable matter with no problem – she is really talented."

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada – 2016–2024 (Class Action Litigation, Product Liability Law)

  • Who's Who Legal: Global – 2021–2023 (Life Sciences – Product Liability and Product Liability Defence)

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada – 2019–2023 (Product Liability Defence) ("Jill Lawrie is a highly esteemed litigator with immense experience representing clients from a broad range of industries in complicated product liability claims.")

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada – 2015–2023 (Life Sciences) (2023: "Jill has considerable experience with product liability related to medical devices and medicines.") (2019: "Jill Lawrie is a 'wonderful lawyer' who garners much adulation from observers in the space this year. She is 'a go-to individual' for matters involving issues such as negligent design and failure to warn.") 

  • The Canadian Lexpert Legal Directory – 2015–2023 (Currently recognized in Class Actions, Product Liability and Life Sciences & Health)

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys – 2014–2023 (Litigation Star – Class Action, General Commercial and Product Liability)

  • Benchmark Canada's Top 100 Women in Litigation 2022

  • Euromoney's Women in Business Law Expert Guide – 2012–2022 (Product Liability)

  • Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyer 2021 – Independently Rated Lawyers (As nominated by senior in-house counsel)

  • Benchmark Canada's Top 50 Women in Litigation 2020

  • Euromoney's LMG Product Liability Expert Guide – 2016-2020

  • LMG Life Sciences: The Definitive Guide to the Leading Life Sciences Firms and Attorneys in North America – 2013–2020 (Life Sciences Star – Product Liability)

  • Benchmark Canada's Top 25 Women in Litigation – 2014 (inaugural) and 2015–2019

  • LMG Life Sciences Awards (Canadian Product Liability Attorney of the Year 2018)

  • Benchmark Canada Awards (Product Liability Litigator of the Year 2017)

Professional Activities

Jill has written on many topics, both legal and practical, relating to product liability and class actions. She also regularly participates as a speaker at professional and industry seminars on issues related to product liability and class actions and has taught courses in trial practice at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Jill is a member of The Advocates' Society, the Defence Research Institute, the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel and the International Association of Defense Counsel.

Education

Admitted to the Ontario Bar – 1993
LLB, University of Western Ontario – 1991
BA (Political Science), York University – 1989

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