GDR 100 2023

Blake Cassels & Graydon

Blake Cassels & Graydon

Professional notice

Other senior lawyers1
Associates and senior associates1
Who’s Who Legal: Data nominees5
Percentage of lawyers in Who’s Who Legal: Data71%
Key clientsKnowledge First Financial, TDL Group, The Toronto Star (Kevin Donovan) and Lululemon

Blakes’ privacy and cybersecurity practice includes market-leading practitioners based across Canada’s major business centres who advise on wide-ranging data projects. Its lawyers have multidisciplinary backgrounds and significant local knowledge.

The firm’s clients range from well-established multinational companies to emerging start-ups that particularly seek out its expertise in the immediate aftermath of cyber incidents. It has a network of strong relationships with leading firms around the world that it routinely works with on cross-border matters.


Toronto-based Wendy Mee and Andrea York co-chair the privacy group; Mee is frequently involved in global privacy compliance projects while York specialises in employment and privacy law aspects of commercial transactions. In the same office, Catherine Beagan Flood defends clients in privacy class actions. Sunny Handa leads the firm’s technology group in Montreal and is well known for his expertise in handling cybersecurity incidents. The team has grown with the addition of Toronto-based counsel Ronak Shah, whose practice is focused on data governance and protection.

Work highlights

Some of Blakes’ publishable works include representing Canadian financial services company Knowledge First Financial in a class action concerning an alleged privacy breach of patients’ records at an Ontario hospital. Flood obtained a dismissal of all claims in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and continues to advise the company in an ongoing appeal.

In three other geolocation-related class proceedings, Flood, along with two partners, is defending TDL Group against allegations of collecting and using consumers’ location data without proper consent through Tim Hortons, Burger King and Popeyes mobile apps. GDR has reported that Tim Hortons agreed to delete the class members’ location data processed by the company in August 2022, in addition to offering free hot beverages and baked goods to affected app users, to resolve the litigation.

As one of Canada’s top business law firms, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Blakes) provides exceptional legal services to leading businesses in Canada and around the world. We focus on building long-term relationships with clients. We do this by providing unparalleled client service and the highest standard of legal advice, always informed by the business context.

The Blakes Privacy & Data Protection team routinely assists clients in helping them understand the practical implications of ongoing Canadian and international privacy and data protection law reforms. Our lawyers provide privacy law “gap assessments,” undertake enterprise-wide privacy audits and privacy check-ups, and provide support in making timely submissions to legislative and regulatory consultations. Working closely with our Cybersecurity group, we resolve the complex, interrelated legal, technical and compliance issues required to have an effective cybersecurity strategy. Our cross-office multidisciplinary team of Cybersecurity lawyers have significant expertise in technology, regulatory, privacy, employment, financial services, crisis management and litigation.

Our practice also involves working with and supporting both well-established and emerging start-up clients. We have extensive experience advising on the privacy implications and compliance requirements associated with new and innovative technologies and business models. These range from privacy considerations in connection with big data, artificial intelligence and the meta-verse to machine learning, biometrics and blockchain technology.

When our clients are faced with regulatory proceedings, we represent them before information and privacy commissioners on matters such as complaints, appeals, breach reports, investigations and audits. We regularly assist clients with successfully managing disclosure and access to information requests. Many of the leading cases on access to information issues in Canada have been argued by Blakes litigators, making us a leading Canadian privacy and data protection law firm.


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