Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
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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.
LL.B., Osgoode Hall Law School, 1981
- Ontario 1983
Ms. Fuerst acts or has acted in the following representative matters:
- Canadian Cannabis Company in a securities class action recently commenced in Quebec. A parallel claim has also been filed in the United States District Court Southern District of New York.
- 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 providing engineering, procurement and construction services and its external directors in the defence of complex, billion-dollar class actions in Ontario and Quebec based upon representations 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.
- 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 pending.
- Pharmaceutical Company in a successful application to stay a shareholder oppression action on the basis that the Ontario Superior Court was forum non conveniens. Upheld on appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal.
- Bank-Owned Securities Dealer in proceedings by the Ontario Securities Commission relating to the receipt of allegedly excessive mutual fund fees. Resolved in a non-contest settlement.
- Global Audit Committee of Financial Institution, leading an internal investigation into the alleged receipt of prohibited personal benefits and abusive treatment of employees by a senior executive.
- Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2012-2019: recommended in Litigation - Corporate Commercial, Litigation - Directors' & Officers' Liability, Litigation – Securities; 2015-2018: recommended in Class Actions
- Acritas Stars 2019 – Designated as an "Independently rated lawyer"
- Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, 2012-2017, 2019: Corporate Commercial Litigation, Securities Litigation
- Chambers Canada, Nationwide: White-Collar Crime and Government Investigation, Chambers and Partners, 2018
- Chambers Canada, Ontario: Litigation - General Commercial, Chambers and Partners, 2018
- Chambers Canada, Ontario: Litigation - Securities (Band 1), Chambers and Partners, 2020
- Best Lawyers in Canada, 2015-2017: Class Actions Litigation
- Best Lawyers in Canada, 2014-2017: Corporate and Commercial Litigation
- Best Lawyers in Canada, 2006-2017: Securities Law
- Benchmark Litigation's Top 250 Women in Litigation, 2014-2016: Top 25 Women in Litigation (Canada)
- Who's Who Legal, 2013-2016: Commercial Litigation
- Lexpert® Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada, 2013: Corporate Commercial, Securities
- Lexpert® Ranked Litigators, Report on Business Special Edition, 2013
- 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.
- 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)
- Women's White Collar Defense Association
- United Way, Women Gaining Ground - chair, Fundraising and Cultivation Committee (2017-2018)
Publication | February 19, 2020
Publication | 2019
Webinar | Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Quebec Court of Appeal on class actions and secondary market liability: a plaintiff may not compel document disclosure prior to authorization of the action
Publication | February 2018