John P. Brown is a senior partner in our Litigation Group in Toronto and a member of the National Class Action Group. As senior counsel, he has extensive experience representing major corporations and institutions, both international and domestic, in class actions. His practice also includes general commercial litigation and arbitration.
John has regularly acted for international groups of companies in class actions across Canada, defending allegations of worldwide price-fixing conspiracies involving a wide range of products and services including computer parts, carbon products, air cargo services, financial services and feed additives.
John is counsel for a national financial institution and is acting for it in class actions across Canada involving allegations that illegal interest rates are being charged for short-term consumer loans.
John is Canadian counsel for a major international aircraft manufacturer and has acted for it in a number of product liability class actions. He has defended aviation accident cases involving a wide variety of aircraft types and sizes for many years.
John is the Co-Chair of the International Bar Association ("IBA") Multi-Jurisdictional Class Action/Collective Redress Working Group and the Chair of the IBA Task Force on International Procedures and Protocols for Class Actions. He is the co-author of the Task Force’s report on Guidelines for Recognizing and Enforcing Foreign Judgments for Collective Redress. (see Publications). He is the past Chair of the IBA Consumer Litigation Committee.
John is a member of:
- the Indigenous Bar Association;
- the Canadian Bar Association Truth and Reconciliation Task Force;
- the Giiwedin Anang Council of Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto which is comprised of Indigenous community members and Elders and provides an Aboriginal Alternative Dispute Resolution program for mediating child welfare, custody and access disputes involving Indigenous families using traditional methods and Talking Circles, one of the key objectives of which is to ensure the children’s relationships with their culture, traditions and history is respected, protected and maintained; and
- the McCarthy Tétrault & Martin Family Initiative Mentorship Program for Indigenous Students which is committed to improving education for Indigenous children and to addressing the wider determinants that influence their educational outcomes. A first of its kind in Canada, the Program links McCarthy Tétrault lawyers as mentors with Indigenous students in Grades 8 through 12.
- "Cross-border Actions for Collective Redress – Some Lessons from Canada", in Eva Lein et al, eds., Collective Redress in Europe – Why and How? (London: British Institute of International and Comparative Law, 2015) 203 (with Brandon Kain) (Reproduced by permission of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law) which is a comprehensive review of collective redress regimes and issues in Europe.
- "The Perils of Certifying International Class Actions in Canada" in Duncan Fairgrieve et al, eds., Extraterritoriality and Collective Redress, (London: Oxford University Press (U.K.), 2012, 285 (Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press) which examines the challenges that international cross-border class action litigation pose to the traditional approach to conflicts of law issues throughout the world.
- Contributing author of Defending Class Actions in Canada, published by CCH, which is a concise resource on class actions in Canada from a defence perspective.
John also has a special interest in international and domestic arbitration. He is the co-author of a chapter on international arbitration in Canada in the Global Arbitration Review.
John has acted in a full range of litigation matters before courts in Canada including arbitrations, mediations, and commercial litigation at all levels of trial and appeal. He has also appeared before many administrative boards and tribunals. He was successful in changing the law in Ontario relating to security for costs.
John has taught advocacy and civil procedure in the Bar Admission Course of the Law Society of Upper Canada, as well as appearing as a speaker/instructor in various litigation-related seminars/conferences. He is a member of the Advocates Society, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Canadian Bar Association and the International Bar Association.
PAPERS ON CLASS ACTIONS PRESENTED AT NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES
- Collective Redress Across Borders – How Consumers are Flexing their Multi-jurisdictional Muscle (Tokyo - October 2014)
- Demolishing legal borders: the availability of cross-border judicial cooperation and promoting and enforcing remedies for collective redress and class action litigants with claims in contract and tort (Boston, 2013)
- International Class Actions: A Canadian Perspective (Canada 2013);
- Settlements and Alternative Mechanisms in Collective Redress (London UK 2013);
- Class Actions: Force for Good or Bad? (Dubai, UAE 2011);
- Cross-Border Mass Claims and Collective Redress: Are we on the Road to an International Multijurisdictional Litigation Panel? (Vancouver, Canada 2010);
- A Global Update on Mass Claims: Can Litigation, Arbitration and Government Remedies Work Together? (Madrid, Spain 2009);
- Collective Redress and Class Action Judgments – Where, When, Why and How Global Judgments Have Been Enforced (Buenos Aires, Argentina 2008);
- Class Action Report from Europe and the UK (Toronto, Canada 2008);
- The Defendant’s Perspective on Aggregate Litigation (Newfoundland, Canada, National Judicial Institute Class Action Seminar for Judges 2008);
- Aggregate Litigation: The Way of the Future? (Toronto, Canada, Judges’ Educational Seminar 2007);
- The Globalization of Class Actions (Oxford, UK 2007);
- Class Actions in Canada (Lisbon, Portugal 2007);
- Global Class Actions - Settlements and Judgments - Dream or Reality? (Singapore 2007);
- Class actions: Global Invasion or Liberation? (Chicago, USA 2006);
- Financing Access to Justice (Prague, Czech Republic 2005);
- Contingency Fees and Class Actions (Auckland, New Zealand 2004);
- Landmark Class Actions—Practice and Procedure (London, UK 2004); and
- Class Actions and Multi Party Actions (Durban, South Africa 2002);
- IBA Legal Practice Division Guidelines for Recognising and Enforcing Foreign Judgments for Collective Redress, October 16, 2008;
- Seeking Recognition of Canadian Class Action Judgments in Foreign Jurisdictions: Perils and Pitfalls, March 15, 2008;
- Enforcing Canadian Class Action Judgments Abroad — No Easy Task, February, 28, 2008;
- International Arbitration Procedures in Canada, February 15, 2008;
- Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Contracts: The Canadian Approach, July 17, 2007; and
- Arbitration Clauses and Class Actions, April 4, 2007.
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