Class Action
Defence

Overview

Proactive class-action management. That’s what we mean by a different kind of practice.

Our Team

Every year, corporate entities and institutions across Canada and the United States are brought before the courts of Québec to defend class actions. In an increasing number of cases, senior executives and directors of corporate defendants are also targeted. Class actions result in large scale and complex litigation with high financial stakes and the need for media crisis management.

Our class action defence team understands the reality of corporations, institutions and executives faced with class actions and recognizes the need for efficient and sustainable solutions.

Practising only in Québec, BCF is uniquely attuned to the Québec court system and sensitive to its specificities. With a team of more than 65 litigators, BCF has one of the largest litigation groups in Québec. Out of this group of litigators, a core of 12 lawyers has developed extensive expertise in defending class actions and has, over the years, successfully represented defendants in numerous instances.

Our class action defence team distinguishes itself by its strategic, pre-emptive approach to class-action defence, its dedication, its flexibility and its ability to work hand-in-hand with your team. Our goal is to provide you with customized services and tailor-made solutions adapted to the needs of your organization.

Our Publications

Our strategic team in class action defence regularly publishes articles. Among the most recent written by our team members (in French), please note:

« Le sort du représentant «adéquat» en matière de recours collectif », on the Éditions Yvon Blais blog.

« La prescription est un motif suffisant pour rejeter une requête en autorisation », on the Éditions Yvon Blais blog.

« Novo codex, nova lex? Quelques observations concernant le nouveau Code de procédure civile et le régime de recours collectifs », on the Éditions Yvon Blais blog.

For a complete list of our articles, please refer to this document.

Our Unique Services

In addition to providing legal services, our lawyers specialize in reputation and crisis management. From fact-finding to identifying communication avenues, issuing statements, speaking with the media and cooperating with professionals from other disciplines involved in the management and containment of the crisis, we can help your organization coordinate all the aspects required to emerge successfully from its grip.

Furthermore, as we see more interactions between class action matters and insolvency, we work closely with our insolvency team in order to assist you in all aspects of a class action. For example, in cases where a co-defendant becomes insolvent as a result of the proceedings and chooses to put together a plan of arrangement, we can structure a solution whereby all defendants are able to participate in funding a settlement in exchange of full releases.

Our Approach

Based on experience, our team has developed a four-pronged approach to supporting defendants in a class action:

  1. PEOPLE: For every class action, we hand-pick a small group of lawyers with various levels of experience to work as a team with your in-house counsel or key employees from the very beginning of the dispute until it is resolved. At BCF, we believe that working in small teams increases efficiency, reduces costs, and allows us to provide personalized service by creating greater proximity between our team and your organization.

  2. PROJECT MANAGEMENT: Defending against a class action can be a daunting challenge for any business, institution or executive. We work methodically to identify the issues, set clear objectives, develop a plan to reach them, implement that plan, monitor all developments and set up communication channels to keep you informed of how the file progresses. By breaking things down into steps and by keeping you informed, we believe we can help ease the challenge and let you focus on other tasks.

  3. COST PREDICTABILITY: We appreciate the need for businesses and legal departments to clearly understand the estimated fees associated with defending class actions. As such, we are at the forefront of the practice and aggressively pursue Alternate Fee Arrangements which bring continuity and peace of mind to the managers of legal departments. From the very outset of the litigation, we will explore all possible avenues and find a mutually acceptable cost-management structure to ensure a win-win solution.

  4. INDEPENDENT AND LOCAL SERVICES: While our reach extends well beyond Québec, we have chosen to concentrate our assets and management in this Province. This has helped us keep our rates very competitive. This also means that your file will be managed from one location only, thus avoiding multiple costly interveners and intermediaries. As BCF is an independent firm, the risk of conflicts of interest is minimized, making us readily available to help you.

Caroline Beaudoin

514 397-2295

Jean-François Bienjonetti

418 649-5470

Chloé D'Astous

514 397-6759

Michel Décary, C.R., Ad.E., IAS.A

514 397-6944

Emmanuelle Demers

514 397-6883

Shaun E.  Finn

514 397-6899

Bertrand Giroux

Partner, Lawyer

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Bertrand Giroux

514 397-6935

Isabelle Landry

418 649-5479

Nathalie  Lavoie

418 649-5073

Annie Mathieu

514 397-6735

Simon Pelletier

Partner, Lawyer, Engineer

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Simon Pelletier

514 397-6719

André Ryan

Partner, Lawyer

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André Ryan

514 397-6931

418 692-2422

Jennifer Stewart

514 787-3206

Jacinthe Thibault

Paralegal, Litigation

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Jacinthe Thibault

418 694-2920 #6475

Annie-Claude Trudeau

514 397-6863

Mario Welsh

Managing Partner for the Québec office, Lawyer

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Mario Welsh

418 649-5473