Craig Lockwood
Canada's "Lawyer of the Year" 2023

Class Action Litigation
Toronto, ON, CA

Suited man standing in front of white background
Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers

December 9, 2022 12:00 AM

Since 2002, Craig Lockwood has worked as a full-time attorney, dedicating his legal career to the area of class action litigation. Currently a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Toronto, Lockwood is also a member of the Ontario Securities Commission's Securities Proceedings Advisory Committee, which provides advice on a variety of policy and procedural initiatives in order to properly conduct proceedings before an OSC administrative tribunal.

Garnering nearly 20 years of legal experience, Lockwood has extensive experience in class proceedings, product liability matters, securities regulation, commercial banking litigation and pension litigation. Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada™ since 2018 for Product Liability Law, Lockwood is currently being honoured as “Lawyer of the Year” for Class Action Litigation in Toronto for 2023.

Of his legal experience and recognition, Lockwood stated: “The most rewarding aspect of practicing as a class actions litigator in Canada is the practice diversity. The profession is demanding and often stressful, but it is never boring. I have the benefit of working with a spectrum of impressive clients on a wide diversity of subject matters, and each proceeding presents its own unique challenges. I also have the privilege of being surrounded by incredibly bright and accomplished lawyers, which makes for a highly rewarding profession. I am never starved for intellectual satisfaction.

“Perhaps the most challenging aspect of class actions defence is the enormity of the proceedings. They typically involve multiple defendants and, in some cases, potentially thousands of claimants. The underlying claims often span many years, sometimes decades. It can be difficult to balance the various perspectives and competing interests, even amongst similarly situated defendants, and the claims analysis is rarely straightforward. However, these same challenges present opportunities for intellectual engagement, which is tremendously rewarding. I would say that my empathy has served me well in my practice. Litigation can often be resolved—in whole or in part—by attempting to see the case from the other side’s perspective. In class actions defence, there is often room for creative commercial solutions. It can be dangerous to allow oneself to become too entrenched in your own position, to the exclusion of other perspectives.”

As a litigator, Lockwood has appeared in all levels of the Ontario, Québec, British Columbia and New Brunswick court systems, as well as appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada on multiple occasions. As an important member of Osler’s litigation group, Lockwood has been involved in some of Canada’s largest class action proceedings. In 2018, Lockwood, in collaboration with his litigation group, co-authored the Enforcing Foreign Judgments in Canada, an all-in-one practical guide to judicial enforcement in Canada.

Concluded Lockwood: “My most memorable case was undoubtedly my defence of a class action suit relating to tobacco products. The proceeding lasted more than 15 years, with claims spanning nearly half a century and the trial itself ran for almost three straight years, in addition to numerous appeals. The sheer multitude of legal and factual issues made for an incredibly challenging proceeding, which was compounded by the media attention and the divisive subject matter of the dispute. Currently, I’m involved in a number of class proceedings across the country dealing with the opioid epidemic. The various proceedings give rise to a host of complex legal issues, including questions of constitutionality, and involve a spectrum of constituent interests. I have the privilege of working with a large group of impressive counsel from the class actions defence bar, and it has been a pleasure being exposed to their various perspectives and practice styles.”

Headline Image: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

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