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Catherine McKenzie

Partner
514 934-7727
Assistant: Jasper Andales
514 935-4460 extension 246

Languages: English and French

Quebec Bar — 2000

Catherine practices mainly in the areas of constitutional law, employment and class actions. She also has important experience in injunction matters and other extraordinary recourses such as Anton Piller and Norwich Orders, and professional liability of investment advisers. She taught Trial Advocacy at McGill University’s law school for eight years and is regularly involved in teaching advocacy skills through the Advocate’s Society.

Catherine has been a member of the IMK team since 1997 and was called to the bar in 2000. Through cases such as the constitutional challenge to tobacco advertising restrictions, various large-scale class actions such as Adams v. Amex, Lac Mégantic and cases against McDonald’s and Wayfair, Catherine has acquired vast trial experience, as well as the opportunity to plead before all levels of court including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Representative work

Bramante v. McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited: McDonald’s in a class action related to claims that the advertising of toys and Happy Meals violates the Quebec Consumer Protection Act. Settlement approval pending.

Zouzout v. Wayfair LLC: Wayfair LLC in a class action related to price errors appearing on Wayfair’s website. Settled out of court.

Camarda v. Purdue et al.: Roxane Canada and Boehringer Ingleheim in a class action related to the manufacture of opioids. Presently at the authorization stage.

Rahim v. the Minister of Immigration and the Gouvernement du Québec: Rahim in a class action for the reimbursement of fees to applicants for a Quebec Selection Certificate affected by the application of a new restrictive selection grid. Settled out of court.

Balabanian v. PayPal: Balabanian is a class action for the reimbursement of hidden foreign exchange fees. Presently at the authorization stage.

CCLA v. PGQ: The CCLA and others in a case attacking the constitutionality of Quebec’s Bill 62, a ban on face coverings. Catherine obtained two stays of the law.

Hak et al. v. PGQ: A constitutional challenge to Bill 21, Quebec’s religious symbols ban. Catherine is lead counsel in a series of cases challenging the law. The trial at first instance should take place in November 2020.

El-Alloul v. PGQ: Rania El-Alloul in her motion against the decision of Judge Marengo of the Court of Quebec to refuse to hear her on the grounds that she was wearing a hijab. Catherine won the appeal at the Court of Appeal which found that Ms. El-Alloul had the right to wear her hijab in Court.

Adams v. Amex:  Adams in a class action against Amex at all levels of Court including the Supreme Court of Canada in 2014, to recover hidden foreign exchange commissions for class members.

Lac Mégantic Class Action: Devlar during the certification hearing and participated in the negotiation of the settlement of the matter.

Latif v. Bombardier: Latif in his personal claim for loss of employment income due to Bombardier’s application of a US decision regarding his flight safety status, at all levels of Court including the Supreme Court of Canada in 2015.

Tugliq Énergie S.A.R.L. v. Stolt LNGaz Inc.: Several defendants in injunction proceedings brought before the Superior Court involving a liquefied natural gas facility in Bécancour Quebec.

Blais v. Imperial Tobacco: JTI-MacDonald Inc. in the largest class action in Canada’s history related to product liability claims. Participated in a two-and-a-half-year trial.

JTI-MacDonald Inc. v. Attorney General of Canada: JTI-MacDonald Inc. in an action seeking to have marketing restrictions declared unconstitutional. The case went to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2007.

Education

LL.B., B.C.L., McGill University (Great Distinction), 1999
B.A. (Honours) in History, McGill University, 1995

Industry recognition

2020 Canadian Bar Association Volunteer in Profile Award

2020 LEXPERT (Consistently Recommended: Litigation-Corporate Commercial, Repeatedly Recommended: Class Actions)

2020 Chambers and Partners (Litigation: Administrative & Public Law)

2020 Benchmark Litigation (Arbitration, Class action, Commercial, Dispute resolution, Labour and employment)

2020 Best Lawyers in Canada (Class Action Litigation, Corporate and Commercial Litigation)

2019 Named Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America

2019 Named to the International Association of Defense Counsel

2019 LEXPERT (Repeatedly Recommended: Class actions)

2019 Chambers and Partners (Quebec Litigation: General Commercial Band 4)

2019 Benchmark Litigation (Litigation Star: Arbitration, Class actions, Commercial litigation and Employment Law)

2019 Best Lawyers in Canada (Commercial and corporate litigation, Class actions)

2018 Chambers and Partners (“up and coming”: General Commercial Litigation in Québec)

2018 Benchmark Litigation (Litigation Star: Arbitration, Class actions, Commercial litigation and Employment law)

2018 Best Lawyers in Canada (Commercial and corporate litigation and Class actions)

2017 Chambers and Partners (“up and coming”: General commercial litigation in Québec)

2017 Benchmark Litigation (Litigation Star: Arbitration, Class actions, Commercial litigation and Employment law)

2017 Best Lawyers in Canada (Commercial and corporate litigation, Class actions)

2016 Best Lawyers in Canada (Commercial and corporate litigation, Class actions)

2015 Best Lawyers in Canada (Commercial and corporate litigation)

Associations

Canadian Bar Association
The Advocates’ Society

Professional activities

Member of the Quebec Executive Committee of the Advocate’s Society (2020-current)

Member of the Executive Committee of the Canadian Bar Association, Quebec Branch, Class Actions Section (2017-current)

Member of the Justicia Project group of representatives (2017-current)

Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation (2017-2019)

Member of the Advocates’ Society’s SCC Interventions Task Force (2016-2017)

Member-at-Large, National Executive Committee-Employment & Labour Section, Canadian Bar Association (2017-2018)

English-speaking section of the Bar of Montreal: member of the Executive Committee (2014-2018)

Member of the board of directors of Bishop’s College School (2008-2011)

Co-Chairman of the Liaison with Judicial Services Committee of the Montreal Bar (2009-2010)

Teaching

Sessional lecturer at the McGill University Faculty of Law in Trial Advocacy (2006-2010; 2016-2019)

Recent publications

Co-author of “JurisClasseur – Procédure Civile II – Action collective – Avis, déroulement, jugement et mesures d’exécution”, with Mathieu Bouchard and Jean-Michel Boudreau, LexisNexis inc., 2016-present (annual editions)

Co-author of “LegisPratique – Code de procédure civile annoté”, LexisNexis, 2008-2019 (annual editions)

Speaking Engagements

Presentation at the 16th National Symposium on Class Action, Osgoode Hall Law School, May 2019

Presented “L’Art du contre-interrogatoire”, The Advocates’ Society, April 12, 2019

Presented “Religious Symbols: How to we move forward?”, Muslim Law Students’ Association, McGill University Faculty of Law, April 2, 2019

Presented “Actions collectives : le rôle de l’avocat vis-à-vis les membres du groupe”, The Canadian Bar Association, November 27, 2018

Presented “L’Art de l’interrogatoire en chef”, The Advocates’ Society, October 12, 2018

Presented at the 9th Annual Class Actions Colloquium of the Ontario Bar Association, “Cross Country check Up, and Beyond”, December 4, 2017

Presented at the “Colloque national sur les recours collectifs – développements récents au Québec, au Canada et aux États-Unis (2017)” on transactions in class actions, March 2017

Caselaw Update: 2015 SCC Class Action Decisions, Osgoode Hall Class Action Conference, April 2016

Presented at the “Colloque national sur les recours collectifs – développements récents au Québec, au Canada et aux États-Unis (2016)” on execution of class action judgments, March 2016

Introduction to the new Civil Code of Procedure – Appeal provisions, English Bar of Montreal, October 2015

Caselaw Update: 2013-2014 SCC Class Action Decisions, Osgoode Hall Class Action Conference, April 2015

Recours collectifs, droit de la consommation et droit constitutionnel : impacts des arrêts Marcotte c. Banque de Montréal, Marcotte c. Fédération des Caisses Desjardins du Québec et Banque Amex c. Adams de la Cour suprême du Canada, Canadian Bar Association, November, 2014

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