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Gordon McKee

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:

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business 2022 (Band 1 rankings in both Dispute Resolution: Class Action (Defence) - Nationwide and Litigation: Product Liability - Nationwide) Gord is described as maintaining “a stellar reputation for his handling of class actions nationally, with notable experience acting for clients in the pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries. He is particularly well regarded for his role in high-stakes product liability class proceedings.” Comments noted: "Gordon McKee is top notch and commands respect from the opposition. I thought he was excellent to work with." "He is strategic, flexible and nimble." "Gordon McKee has gathered so much experience and knowledge over the years, he is a really experienced trial litigator. He knows how to respond to any scenario." Comments noted in previous editions included, "a class action guru who knows everything and is always thinking about the long game", a "very good leader and trial lawyer", "highly acclaimed in the defence of multi-jurisdictional class action claims" and "a phenomenal lawyer whose expertise is second to none"

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2022 (Class Action Litigation and Product Liability Law)

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada – Lawyer of the Year (2018 and 2016: Class Action Litigation – Toronto; 2015: Product Liability Law – Toronto)

  • The Legal 500 Canada 2021 (Dispute Resolution - Ontario)

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada 2021 (Class Actions and Litigation - Product Liability)

  • The Canadian Lexpert Legal Directory 2021 ("Most Frequently Recommended" in both Class Actions and Litigation - Product Liability)

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

  • Who's Who Legal: Product Liability Defence 2021 (one of 12 lawyers listed as "Global Elite Thought Leaders" for North America: “a ‘tremendously gifted, thorough, learned, hard-working and fearless expert’, considered to be ‘the dean of Canadian products trial work’ by market commentators.”; in 2020: an “exceptionally good practitioner” and a “dean of the bar,” who is “well respected” for his “very strong practical approach”; in 2019: "receives plaudits from sources who identify him as 'definitely a player in the market' while others affirm that he 'must be one of the greats in the profession in the world – some of the work he's done is simply amazing.’”)

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

  • Who’s Who Legal: Life Sciences 2021 (Global Elite Thought Leader: Product Liability)

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys - 2021 Edition (Litigation Star). In May 2021, Gord was once again awarded "Product Liability Litigator of the Year," for the sixth time

  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2020 (Life Sciences and Product Liability Defence: “enjoys a ‘market-leading product liability defence practice’ thanks to his three decades of experience litigating in several high-value cross-border cases for clients in the life sciences sector.”)

  • LMG Life Sciences Awards 2019 - "Canadian Product Liability Attorney of the Year", for the third time

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2017 (Band 1 - Dispute Resolution: Class Action (Defence) - Canada - "The "stellar" Gordon McKee has a proven track record defending clients in class actions across the country."

  • 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."

  • The Lexpert Guide to Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada 2017 (Class Actions and Product Liability)

  • 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.'" In the 2015 edition, a client commented 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"

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

Gord is often invited to speak at local, national and international programs on class actions, products liability, advocacy and other litigation issues. He is a member of the Canadian Bar Association's National Class Action Task Force (bench and bar membership), the Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC), the International Association of Defense Counsel (board member 2015-2018, Foundation board member 2013-2015, chair of Drug, Device and Biotech Committee 2010-2012), the Defense Research Institute (Drug and Medical Device Steering Committee SLC liaison), The Advocates' Society, Canadian Defence Lawyers and Christian Legal Fellowship.

Publications
Professional Appearances
  • Panel Speaker: Cross-country Checkup
    17th National Symposium on Class Actions, Osgoode Professional Development, (virtual), Toronto, Ontario, April 22, 2021.
  • Moderator: Third Party Litigation Funding
    PLAC 2019 Fall Conference, Chicago, Illinois, October 3, 2019.
  • Speaker: Managing Class Action Cases Across the Country
    Class Actions Advocacy, The Advocates Society, Toronto, Ontario, June 11, 2019.
  • Moderator: Update: Global Shifts in Class Actions and Third Party Litigation Funding
    International Association of Defense Counsel Corporate Counsel College, Chicago, Illinois, April 11, 2019.
  • Co-chair: 16th National Symposium on Class Actions
    Osgoode Professional Development, Toronto, Ontario, April 4-5, 2019
  • Panel Speaker: Use of Evidence and Experts 25 Years On
    10th Annual Class Actions Colloquium, Ontario Bar Association, Toronto, Ontario, December 3, 2018.
Media Activities
  • Mentioned: Lexpert Special Edition, Canada's Leading Litigation Lawyers, p. 34
    Report on Business December 2018, Vol. 35, No. 5, The Globe and Mail.
Education

Admitted to the British Columbia Bar - 2021
Certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a Specialist in Civil Litigation - 1998
LL.M., Osgoode Hall Law School (Civil Litigation & Dispute Resolution) - 1998
Admitted to the Ontario Bar - 1988
LL.B., Osgoode Hall Law School - 1986
Wilfrid Laurier University - 1981-1983

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