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Gordon McKee

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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:

  • The Canadian Lexpert Legal Directory 2020 ("Most Frequently Recommended" in both Class Actions and Litigation - Product Liability)

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business 2020 (Band 1 - Dispute Resolution: Class Action (Defence) – Nationwide and Litigation - Products Liability - Nationwide) – Gord is described as “a class action guru who knows everything and is always thinking about the long game”. In the 2019 edition, Gord was described in the products liability section as “unquestionably a leader in this field” and “highly acclaimed in the defence of multi-jurisdictional class action claims”. In the 2018 edition, he was described as a "very good leader and trial lawyer" and, in the product liability area, as "a phenomenal lawyer whose expertise is second to none".

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2020 (Class Action Litigation and Product Liability Law) - Recipient of the "Lawyer of the Year" award: 2018 and 2016 Toronto Class Action Litigation and 2015 Toronto Product Liability Law.

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada 2020 (Class Actions and Litigation - Product Liability)

  • Acritas Stars 2020: Independently Rated Lawyer (Nominated as a stand-out lawyer by senior in-house counsel)

  • Who's Who Legal: Life Sciences - Product Liability 2020 - One of eight lawyers listed as "Global Elite Thought Leaders" for North America. Marketplace Analysis says Gord is “held by market commentators as 'the dean of the bar in Canada'.” 2019 Marketplace Analysis said he is "an 'unbelievably diligent and organized professional' and a 'great practitioner', he excels on class actions in the space," and the 2018 Analysis stated “Sources describe Gordon McKee as a ‘standout trial lawyer’, adding that he is ‘one of the very top Canadian product liability defence lawyers’.”

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys - 2020 Edition (Litigation Star). In March 2019, Gord was once again awarded "Product Liability Litigator of the Year".

  • Who’s Who Legal: Product Liability Defence 2020 - One of 13 lawyers listed as “Global Elite Thought Leaders” for North America. Marketplace Analysis says Gord “is an 'exceptionally good practitioner' and a 'dean of the bar', who 'well respected' for his 'very strong practical approach'.” 2019 Marketplace Analysis said he "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 Analysis: Canada 2019 (Life Sciences); one of nine listed as "Most Highly Regarded". In 2019: “Gordon McKee sits among the best life sciences specialists in the Canadian market this year, with peers describing him as 'a very experienced and well regarded name'.” In 2018: "Gordon McKee is lauded by peers who describe him as 'a very knowledgeable practitioner in class actions' and 'excellent counsel' for sophisticated life sciences matters."

  • Who's Who Legal Analysis: Canada 2019 (Product Liability Defence); one of three listed as "Most Highly Regarded". In 2019: “Peers consider Gordon McKee to be “one of the very best in the life sciences sector” and a “magnificent” litigator with extensive experience defending cross-border product liability claims.” In 2018: "Gordon McKee is one of the most prominent product liability defence lawyers in the country. Sources consider him 'a great lawyer' and praise his adept handling of complex class action claims."

  • 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”.

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

  • 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, exploring the development of judicial protocols to manage overlapping multi-province class actions in Canada. For 10 years, he was editor-in-chief of the Federated Press Class Action Journal. He is a longstanding member of the Planning Committee and speaker/panel moderator at the premier Canadian annual national symposium on class actions.

Gord is a member of 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.

Professional Appearances
  • 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.
  • Quoted: International Association of Defense Counsel pushes for class action reform in Ontario
    The Lawyer’s Daily, July 17, 2018.
  • Mentioned: IADC Calls for Class Action Reforms in Ontario, Canada
    General Counsel News, July 7, 2018.
  • Mentioned: Multi-jurisdictional Mess
    Canadian Lawyer Magazine, February 20, 2018.

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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