Christopher D. Bredt

Senior Counsel

Toronto
CBredt@blg.com
416.367.6165

Chris is a senior litigation partner. He acts for clients in issues relating to:

  • commercial disputes
  • shareholder, oppression and other corporate disputes
  • corporate restructuring
  • directors' and officers' duties and liabilities
  • class actions
  • anti-piracy actions
  • public law, including constitutional, administrative and First Nations

Chris has appeared as counsel before all levels of the courts in Ontario, and before the Federal Court of Appeal, British Columbia Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Canada, and numerous administrative tribunals, including the Ontario Securities Commission.

Chris joined BLG in 1984, and became a partner 1988; he was seconded to the Government of Ontario from 1989-93, where he served as Assistant Deputy Minister, Office of Federal Provincial Relations and as Assistant Deputy Minister, Constitutional Policy and Special Counsel.

Prior to joining BLG, Chris was law clerk to Mr. Justice McIntyre of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1979-80, and was a stagiaire with the Conseil d'État (Council of State) in Paris, France, in 1983.

Chris is bilingual. He has served as an elected Bencher of the Law Society of Ontario from 2008-2019, where he chaired the Audit & Finance Committee, and served as vice-chair of the appeal panel of the Law Society Tribunal.

He is the chair of BLG's Public Law Group.

Experience

  • George Weston Limited, Loblaw Companies Limited, Loblaws Inc., Joe Fresh Apparel Canada Inc. – A precedent-setting matter in supply chain liability, Chris led the defense for the retailers against a proposed multi-billion dollar class action over the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The plaintiffs sought damages for the survivors and the estates and dependents of those killed in the building collapse. The action was dismissed in its entirety in a rare pre-certification dismissal, and BLG obtained a $1.3 million cost award for the client.
  • R. v. Comeau – Acted as counsel to two interveners on the appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC), the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses. The case challenged the constitutionality of trade barriers between provinces, after a New Brunswick resident was charged by police for bringing liquor from Québec across the border. The SCC modified the historical legal test for when a provincial law impermissibly restrains trade from one that narrowly prohibited provincial governments from levying tariffs and duties to a more purposive approach against laws who essence and purpose is to limit trade among the provinces.
  • Weyerhaeuser Company Limited – Important case regarding indemnity and who can be required to pay for costly environmental remediation, which will affect when provincial government contracts are legally enforceable. When the Province of Ontario ordered all previous owners of a property contaminated with mercury to pay for the remediation of the site, Chris argued for Weyerhaeuser that it had indemnity, which had been granted to a previous property owner. The Superior Court of Justice agreed and awarded costs, but the Court of Appeal partially reversed and deferred back to the lower court. The matter is now on appeal.
  • CN v. Plain et al. (2013), 114 O.R. (3d) 27 – Now one of the leading decisions in the area of railway blockades, Chris led the BLG team to successfully obtain an injunction for CN to end a two-week blockade in Sarnia, ON, related to the “Idle No More” movement. BLG was also successful in having the leader of the blockade found in contempt.
  • Carter v. Canada (Attorney General) – Represented two intervenors, The Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Alliance of People with Disabilities Who are Supportive of Legal-Assisted Dying Society. This high-profile case challenged the constitutionality of Canada’s prohibition of physician-assisted dying. The SCC held that the Criminal Code unjustifiably infringed section 7 of the Charter, opening the door for competent and terminal adults to request physician assistance to end their lives.
  • Parrish & Heimbecker, Limited v. Thirdcoast Limited – Acted on behalf of Parrish & Heimbecker (P&H) in its contested takeover of Thirdcoast Limited. In an attempt to prevent the takeover bid, Thirdcoast moved to implement a shareholder rights plan and sell the key asset of the company. BLG successfully obtained an interlocutory injunction to prevent the sale of the key asset, and successfully brought an application before the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) to cease trade the shareholder rights plan, enabling P&H to proceed with the takeover bid and acquire Thirdcoast. The OSC application addressed the important issue of whether lockup agreements entered into by P&H with key shareholders violated Securities law.
  • Kazemi Estate v. Islamic Republic of Iran – Invited to act as amicus curiae (friend of the court) to the SCC in a civil action that raised exceptions under the State Immunity Act and challenged the constitutionality of certain provisions of the SIA. The SCC adopted BLG’s submissions in their reasons.
  • IIROC v. Vitug – Acted as counsel for IIROC before the Ontario Superior Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal in a case that established a precedent for IIROC and other self-regulatory organizations to pursue civil action against members who fail to pay a costs award arising from a disciplinary proceeding.
  • Globe and Mail v. Canada (Attorney General) – Represented the intervenor, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, before the SCC in this case which addressed the scope of journalist-source privilege.
  • Bot Construction Ltd. v. Ontario (Ministry of Transportation) – Acted as counsel for Bot Construction in its successful application for judicial review in a government tender.
  • M. v. H. – Acted for the respondent, H., in this SCC case which addressed whether the definition of “spouse” as per the Family Law Act was extended to same-sex relationships, and whether the failure to provide the same rights to members of same-sex couples infringed their right to equality as per the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • Ford v. OMERS, et al. – Acting as counsel for OMERS, Mackenzie Financial, and other dissenting shareholders in a dissent and appraisal proceeding in connection with the privatization of Ford Canada.
  • Enfield v. Montréal Trust, et al. – Acted as counsel for Enfield in an action arising out of the improper purchase of shares by the company's pension plan during a contested takeover. Issues include the duties and liabilities of pension fund trustees, investment dealers and officers and directors of public companies.

Beyond Our Walls

Professional Involvement

  • Elected Bencher, Law Society of Ontario, 2008-2019; Co-Chair, Audit and Finance Committee; Vice-Chair, Appeal Panel; Member, Priority and Planning Committee
  • Trustee, Law Commission of Ontario, 2008-2014; Chair, Governance Committee
  • Member, Ontario Judicial Council, 2016-present
  • Past Chair, Ontario Bar Association, Constitutional and Civil Liberties, and Administrative Law Sections
  • Adjunct Professor, Freedom of Expression and the Media, Osgoode Hall Law School, 1990-present
  • Adjunct Professor, Advanced Administrative Law, University of Toronto, 1984-1990
  • Member, The Advocates' Society, Canadian Bar Association and American Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • Past Chair, Canadian Organization for Development through Education (CODE) – a charity focused on women's and children's literary in Africa; Past Chair, Governance Committee
  • Member, McMichael Canadian Art Collection Foundation, 2016-present

Awards & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2020 edition (and since 2016) of Chambers Canada — Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business (Litigation – General Commercial: Ontario).
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2013) of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Indigenous Law, Litigation: Corporate Commercial, Litigation: Directors' & Officers' Liability, Litigation: Public Law, Professional Liability).
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2013) of The Lexpert® Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada (Corporate Commercial Litigation).
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2013) of The Lexpert®/Report on Business Special Edition – Litigation.
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2015) of Benchmark Canada — The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a "Local Litigation Star: Ontario" and a "Litigation Star: Class Actions, Commercial, Professional Liability and Securities."
  • Recognized as a 2019 Acritas Star (and since 2017).
  • Recognized in the 2020 edition (and since 2006) ofThe Best Lawyers in Canada (Administrative and Public Law, Corporate and Commercial Litigation).

Bar Admission & Education

  • Ontario, 1984
  • DSU, Universite de Paris II, 1983
  • LLM, Yale University, 1981
  • LLB (with Distinction), Western University, 1979
  • BA, Economics, Western University, 1979