In today’s “big data” economy, businesses hold enormous amounts of sensitive information, exposing them to reputational risks and litigation if a data breach or cyber-attack occurs. Even the most prepared and proactive companies may be at risk, not only from external threats, but also from accidental, or intentional, internal sources.
Recent high-profile incidents demonstrate the potentially devastating financial and reputational effects of a data breach or cyber-attack on an enterprise, its officers, directors, employees and shareholders. While there may be immediate procedural, technical and physical costs to containing and managing such an issue, the long-term costs of a depreciated brand and diminished customer loyalty are immeasurable.
Our litigators have expertise in cybersecurity and data breach response and litigation  and are backed by the broader Blakes Cybersecurity group, a multidisciplinary group of lawyers with significant technology, regulatory, privacy, media, employment, financial services and class action defence expertise. We provide our clients with strategic and expedient advice on the complex and interrelated legal, technical and compliance aspects of data security issues.

Rapid Response and Post-Breach Crisis Management

Our lawyers offer experienced counsel in data breach and cybersecurity crisis management. We advise clients on containing and handling the aftermath of a breach, with specific focus on mitigating reputational harm and potential litigation. Working with subject matter experts within Blakes and other external advisers, we provide advice on

  • Legally required notice under provincial privacy laws and health privacy legislation (federal legislation is pending)
  • Voluntary notification and disclosure
  • Conducting internal investigations and managing investigations by law enforcement or regulators
  • Public relations and media management
  • Responding to allegations of misuse of data
  • Management of consumer concerns
  • Improvement of privacy, data use, breach response policies and procedures, communications and training
Litigation Defence
Data breaches are increasing globally. Our lawyers have the expertise to defend class actions, coordinate efficiently with U.S. and other foreign counsel, as well as handle other litigation that may be commenced. 

Representative Matters

We advise clients dealing with data breach and cybersecurity issues in a range of industry sectors. Examples of our litigation and breach response experience include:
  • Counsel to one of the major North American automotive manufacturers in a proposed privacy class action
  • Defending a corporation in a class action related to the loss of data tapes containing the personal and financial information of its customers; the case was discontinued against our client in British Columbia but is ongoing in Quebec
  • Representing an investment firm in a class action in Saskatchewan arising from the theft of a computer hard drive that allegedly contained private investment and personal data
  • Advising a defendant in a class action relating to alleged hacking of a database of information collected through a customer loyalty program
  • Payment card companies with respect to data breaches affecting the retailers they serve
  • Hotels, financing companies, insurance companies and others who have had significant data breaches, including advising on breach notification and consumer relations issues, as well as potential class action liability

A member of our team has also acted in the U.S. for:

  • Major U.S. retailers such as Sony, the TJX companies? (T.J. Maxx, Winners, Marshalls) and Aldo in their responses to data breaches
  • Wyndham Hotels and Heartland Payment Systems in response to their data breaches


Members of the Blakes Litigation & Dispute Resolution group are recognized as leaders in their field in the current editions of the following publications and awards:
  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada
  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada
  • Who's Who Legal: Commercial Litigation
  • Who's Who Legal: Canada
  • Who’s Who Legal
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada?


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Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2269
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Constitutional & Charter of Rights, Product Liability, Privacy, Communications, Life Sciences, Infrastructure, Competition Litigation, Freedom of Information, Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation, Cybersecurity, Government & Public Sector, Drones
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2408
Areas of Expertise: Arbitration, Media & Defamation, Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Constitutional & Charter of Rights, Privacy, Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation, Cybersecurity, Government & Public Sector
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3266
Areas of Expertise: inSource, Class Actions, Corporate Litigation, Competition Litigation, Merger Review & Control, E-Discovery/SIRs, Securities Litigation, E-Discovery & Document Management, Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation, Cybersecurity
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2399
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Product Liability, Constitutional & Charter of Rights, Freedom of Information, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Life Sciences, Government & Public Sector, Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3161
Areas of Expertise: Intellectual Property, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Life Sciences, Privacy, Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation, Cybersecurity, Drones, Consumer Protection
Office Managing Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4014
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Product Liability, Securities Litigation, Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Capital Markets, Competition Litigation, Misleading Advertising, Arbitration, Automotive, Equity Capital Markets, Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation
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