Annual Litigation & Risk Management Forum: The Reign of the Customer

Event Information


October 26, 2017


8:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Osler, 1 First Canadian Place, 100 King Street West, 63rd Floor
Toronto, Ontario

Delivery Method

Upcoming Events - In Person


This year's Forum, The Reign of the Customer, will equip attendees with practical approaches for dealing with and preventing consumer-driven disputes arising across industries, from financial institutions to retail to products and beyond. The Forum program is anchored by small group interactive workshops, moderated by our partners, and is designed to help you better protect your brand and lead your business.

The Forum will kick off with our opening keynote presentation that discusses the emerging trends & risks in consumer driven litigation. With strong protection laws, a strong plaintiffs’ class action bar and a class action landscape that enables consumers to pursue even the most minor claims efficiently, there is no doubt the consumer has been empowered. This year’s keynote is an in-depth discussion about trends in consumer class actions and their impact across a variety of industries through three perspectives:  a U.S client, plaintiffs counsel and defence counsel.


  • Amy Fiterman is a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels in Minneapolis and concentrates her practice in defense of class actions, mass torts, product liability and consumer fraud cases, with a particular focus on the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Amy is currently on a long-term secondment as an in-house litigator at Boston Scientific, where she has been working on the company’s medical device litigation including trials across the United States

  • Jean-Marc LeClerc is a partner at Sotos LLP where he specializes in commercial litigation and class actions. He has acted in numerous consumer class actions, both for plaintiffs and defendants.

  • Sonia Bjorkquist is a partner, and National Litigation Department Chair, here at Osler. She has experience defending companies in class actions, including product liability claims involving pharmaceuticals and medical devices, manufactured products, and food and beverages. 

Attendees will then have the opportunity to participate in 3 of our 8 interactive workshops listed below.


8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. - Registration, Breakfast and Networking 
8:30 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. - Keynote Presentation 
9:15 a.m. - 9:25 a.m. - Break 
9:25 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. - Interactive Workshop 1
10:10 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. - Break
10:20 a.m. - 11:05 a.m. - Interactive Workshop 2
11:05 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. - Break
11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Interactive Workshop 3 

Interactive Workshops

The Quebec Consumer – Specific Consumer Issues for those doing Business in Quebec

Specific issues and considerations for companies doing business in Quebec:

  • Why consumer issues in Quebec are different
  • Impact of Language laws
  • New code, new rules, new low thresholds, current state of the law
  • Home Grown Quebec consumer class action “industry” and trends
  • What businesses need to know



Food, Beverage, Tobacco - Product Liability and the Consumer (Regulatory)

  • Managing regulatory risk and litigation exposure
  • New and emerging products: the cannabis regulatory regime in Canada
  • The "Safe Food for Canadians Act": a state of the union of the development of regulations supporting the SFCA
  • Trends and risks associated with "problem" ingredients: gluten, sugar, aspartame, baby powder
  • Product liability exposure and regulatory risk in Canada – considerations for foreign product manufacturers

Consumer Protection and On-Line Advertising

  • The latest enforcement trends: drip pricing, astroturfing, ordinary selling & list price claims, “Made in Canada” claims, text and e-mail promotions under CASL
  • The latest settlements and cases: Bell, Avis/Budget, Amazon, Leon’s, Moose Knuckles and Hudson’s Bay   
  • The state of class actions for false and misleading advertising
  • The new liability risks with behavioural/targeted advertising 
  • Cross-border trends and the best practices for advertising and promotions  


Evolving Financial Regulatory Landscape in Respect of Consumers – A Post-Wells Fargo World

  • Regulatory requirements vis-à-vis consumers
  • Trends in new and growing obligations, including transparency and disclosure
  • Review of developments from the House of Commons Standing Committee on oversight in relation to Schedule 1 Banks (which included testimonies from BMO, CIBC, National Bank, RBC, Scotiabank and TD as well as representatives of the Canadian Bankers Association)
  • How to keep on top of regulatory changes, manage risk, and deal with a business resistance to change


Responding to a Consumer Crisis & Maintaining your Reputation – Practical Consideration

  • Risk management and planning in advance of a crisis – consumer hotlines, customer service lines, CEO training, crisis management plans, etc.
  • Who are your “team”?
  • Media plan for when the crisis hits


Responding to a Consumer Crisis & Maintaining your Reputation – Legal Options

  • Defining a “consumer crisis” –  examples of scenarios that can give rise to litigation
  • Litigation options to respond to a consumer crisis
    • Defamation action
    • Injunction action
  • Strategic considerations: when should you consider bringing a legal action to protect your company’s reputation in the face of a consumer crisis?


Pitfalls of Arbitration Clauses, Waivers and Standard Clauses in Consumer Contracts

  • Discussion of arbitration and waiver clauses commonly found in consumer contracts
  • The risks in relying on arbitration and waiver clauses to limit liability
  • Best practices when drafting arbitration and waiver clauses in consumer contracts



Consumer Data: Lessons Learned From the Security Incident Trenches

  • Managing security incidents and consumer privacy issues
  • Update on new security breach notification regulations under PIPEDA
  • Investigating and responding to data breaches
  • Rise of consumer privacy class actions


  • Adam Kardash, Partner, Privacy and Data Management, Osler
  • Brian Thiessen, Partner, Employment & Labour and Privacy & Data Management, Osler

While we haven’t made all the sessions available online, the keynote is!  So if you can’t attend, register now for the live stream of the keynote which will discuss emerging issues, trends & risks in consumer-driven litigation.


Registration Info

For any inquires please contact

While we haven’t made all the sessions available online, the keynote is! Register now for the live stream of the keynote (8:30 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. EDT).