Linda Fuerst

Senior Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Linda Fuerst

Linda Fuerst

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Biography

Linda Fuerst's litigation practice covers a broad range of commercial and professional liability matters, with a particular focus on securities litigation, class proceedings and regulatory issues. She has litigated civil, criminal and regulatory matters and has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, and represented clients in connection with investigations and proceedings by the Ontario, Alberta and Nova Scotia securities commissions, IIROC, the MFDA and the Competition Bureau. Ms. Fuerst has also directed internal investigations into matters including possible insider trading and backdating of stock options.

Ms. Fuerst began her legal career clerking for the Chief Justice of the High Court of Ontario. She practised criminal law and served as a part-time assistant crown attorney before joining the Enforcement Branch of the Ontario Securities Commission as senior investigation counsel. Following a rotation at the US Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC, she joined a well-known litigation practice in Toronto where she practised from 1994 to 2015.

Ms. Fuerst is the Toronto local chair of our litigation and disputes team.


Professional experience

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LL.B., Osgoode Hall Law School, 1981

  • Ontario 1983

Ms. Fuerst acts or has acted in the following representative matters:

  • Canadian Bank in an application to require it to pass its mutual fund accounts. Successful motion to dismiss on the basis that the applicant, a whistleblower, lacked standing. The decision was upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal and leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was dismissed. Recognized by Lexpert as one of the Top 10 Business Decisions in Canada in 2020-2021
  • Canadian Public Company in the successful defence of an application to prevent client from selling its shares of a company owing a significant infrastructure asset to a major Canadian pension fund pursuant to an exemption from a right of first refusal. Appeal abandoned. Recognized by Lexpert as one of the Top 10 Business Decisions of 2019-2020 in Canada
  • Global Pharmaceutical Company and two former officers and directors in securities class actions in Ontario and Quebec alleging secondary market misrepresentation. A successful resolution of the Ontario and Quebec actions was achieved, which opened the door for a similar resolution of a parallel action in the United States District Court Southern District of New York
  • Canadian Public Company and its external directors in the defence of complex, billion-dollar class actions in Ontario and Quebec based upon alleged misrepresentations relating to activities involving alleged bribery and corruption. At the outset, certification orders were negotiated to restrict the claims to statutory secondary market misrepresentation and dismissing with prejudice all other causes of action. After years of hard-fought litigation and extensive examinations for discovery, the matter settled in 2017
  • Global Financial Institution in class actions filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Quebec Superior Court in September 2016 seeking $1 billion in damages. Plaintiffs alleged conspiracy to fix the prices and supply of currency purchased in the foreign exchange market, causing purchasers of FX to pay inflated rates for currency and/or to receive deflated rates for currency to manipulate foreign exchange. Settlement achieved on favourable terms
  • Software Products Manufacturer in the defence of consumer protection class actions in Ontario and Quebec involving allegations that it made false representations regarding the security and protection provided by certain of its antivirus software products. A statutory cause of action for alleged breaches of the misleading advertising provisions of the Canadian Competition Act is also asserted. A parallel action was brought in the US. Ongoing
  • Brokerage Firm. Successful defence of a brokerage firm in a lengthy trial before the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and appeal to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal in an action for negligence and breach of contract arising out of the alleged manipulation of shares of Knowledge House Inc.
  • Audit firm in the first no-contest settlement approved by the OSC under its Revised Credit for Cooperation Program on the eve of a contested hearing arising out of audits of a Chinese issuer
  • Public Company in an application for a hearing and review of a decision of the TSE to conditionally approve of the issuance by the company of common shares. to four recipients shortly before a shareholders meeting requisitioned by the applicants. The decision clarified the Commission's jurisdiction under section 8(3) of the Securities Act to impose terms and conditions on the TSE's approval to require a shareholder vote. Successful defence of the company in a related oppression action in the BC Supreme Court arising from the same facts
  • US law firm, providing an expert report on Canadian securities law for filing in a US securities class action filed in the US District Court Central District of California in support of a forum non conveniens motion
  • Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, 2022: Most frequently recommended in Litigation - Securities; Litigation - Directors and Officers' Liability; Litigation – Corporate Commercial  
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2022: Most frequently recommended in Litigation - Securities; Litigation - Corporate Commercial.  Frequently recommended in Litigation - Directors' & Officers' Liability.  Consistently recommended in Class Actions
  • Chambers Canada, 2022 Ontario: Litigation - Securities (Band 1)
  • Chambers Canada, 2019 Ontario: Litigation - General Commercial
  • Chambers Canada, 2018 Nationwide: White-Collar Crime and Government Investigation
  • Best Lawyers in Canada 2022: Class Action Litigation, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Securities Law
  • Benchmark Litigation's Top 50 Women in Litigation (Canada), 2021
  • Benchmark Litigation Canada: Litigation Star 2021-2022
  • Acritas Stars 2021 – Designated as an "Independently rated lawyer
  • Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished Peer Rating (Securities litigation)
  • Osgoode Hall Law School Alumni Association Gold Key Award
  • Ms. Fuerst regularly speaks at legal education events and has recently presented on cross‑border issues for litigators, whistleblower programs, directors and officers’ liability, securities law and capital markets regulatory priorities, class actions and climate change litigation risks.
  • The Advocates' Society Securities Litigation Executive and chair of the Securities Litigation Practice Group (2017-2018)
  • Canadian Bar Association National Class Actions Task Force Committee member (2016)
  • Ontario Bar Association
    • Former co-chair Class Action Section Executive (2015-2016)
    • Former vice-chair Civil Litigation Section Executive (2015-2016)
    • Working group on Framework for Tribunal Excellence (2015-2016)
    • Civil Delays Working Group (2013)
    • Litigation Fundamentals Sunrise Series, coordinator (2012-2015)
  • Ontario Securities Commission Securities Proceedings Advisory Committee (2015-2018)
  • Ontario Securities Commission Securities Advisory Committee (2019-2021)
  • Women's White Collar Defense Association
  • United Way, Women Gaining Ground - chair, Fundraising and Cultivation Committee (2017-2018)