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Markus is the Toronto Head of BLG’s Class Actions Group. He has dedicated his practice to class actions, commercial litigation and public law.
His class actions practice includes defending the country’s largest financial institutions and corporations in actions involving breaches of contract, privacy breaches, regulatory compliance, consumer protection and mass tort issues, arising in the financial services, pension and retail industries.
Markus also practices commercial litigation and public law. He is regularly retained by employers and administrators of single- and multi-employer pension plans with respect to plan administration issues. He has particular expertise with respect to difficult religious rights issues in the education system.
Markus has appeared as counsel before all levels of Court in Ontario, the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as the Financial Services Tribunal and other administrative tribunals.
Markus is fluent in English, French and German.
Successfully represented Canada’s largest retailer in the Ontario Court of Appeal and below in a proposed international mass tort class action arising out of the 2013 collapse of a building in Bangladesh, obtaining a dismissal of the action at certification.
Successfully represented a public hospital in a privacy breach class action, obtaining a dismissal of the action at certification.
Successfully represented the defendant in a proposed class action alleging misleading advertising of soft drink products, obtaining a dismissal of the action at certification.
Represented Weyerhaeuser Canada in a dispute involving the interpretation of an environmental indemnity, currently on appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Acted as counsel for a major Canadian bank in proposed class actions relating to the use of VISA cards for foreign exchange transactions, overtime pay, breach of privacy, the process for clearing cheques and the fees paid by merchants who accept VISA cards.
Acted as counsel to the plaintiffs in a class action over the pension benefit entitlements of members of the clinical faculty of McMaster University.
Acted as counsel to Monsanto at the Supreme Court of Canada and all levels of court below. (Monsanto is the leading pension case regarding distribution of actuarial surplus on the partial wind-up of a pension plan).
Successfully represented the Bank of Canada in the Ontario Court of Appeal and below in a class action related to the charging of administrative expenses to its pension plan, resulting in a discontinuance of the action.
Acted as counsel for German, Russian and American companies in proceedings to enforce foreign judgments and arbitral awards in Ontario.
Acted as counsel to a human resources consulting firm in litigation regarding actuarial services provided to a pension plan, appearing in the Ontario Court of Appeal and below, as well as defending quasi-criminal charges in Provincial Court.
Acted as counsel to a school board with respect to litigation arising out of ownership of a surplus and demutualization funds remaining after the wind-up of an employee group benefits trust.
Represented a not-for-profit healthcare provider before the Financial Services Tribunal and the Divisional Court with respect to its funding obligations with respect to a pension plan.
Negotiated with the Government of Canada for the implementation of special funding arrangements for pension plans.
Discussion Leader, “Multi-Jurisdictional Developments in Class Actions”, Northwind’s 2018 Class Actions Invitational Forum, Certification and Beyond, June 11 – 13, 2018.
Speaker, “Class of Absent Foreign Claimants – Constitutional and Jurisdiction Simpliciter Issues”, Colloque National Sur L’Action Collective, Barreau du Québec, March 22 – 23, 2018.
Panel Member, “Emerging Issues in Jurisdiction”, Class Actions Advocacy, Advocates’ Society, February 12, 2018.
Co-author, “Reaching Beyond its Grasp? The Ontario Court of Appeal Asserts Jurisdiction Over Absent Foreign Claimants in Class Actions,” Colloque national sur l’action collective, Développements récents au Québec, au Canada et aux États-Unis, 2018.
Speaker, “Borders, Barriers and Bureaucracy”, BLG Class Actions Update, November 20, 2017.
Co-Chair, panel discussion on "Restructuring Distressed Businesses: Strategies for Saving Healthy Assets, Carve-Out and Divestment of Losing Assets and Recognizing the Difference", International Bar Association Conference, Washington D.C., September 2016.
Former Member, Financial Services Tribunal legal advisory committee, 2012-2018
Member (pension and benefits section) and former member of the executive, Ontario Bar Association
Member, Canadian Bar Association, Commercial Litigation Section
Member, Ontario Bar Association, Class Actions Section
Member, The Advocates’ Society
Member, Amnesty International
Awards & Recognitions
Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2024 (and since 2010) edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Employee Benefits Law), since 2021 (Class Action Litigation) and since 2022 (Corporate and Commercial Litigation).
Recognized in the 2023 edition (and since 2022) of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Class Actions).
Recognized in the 2023 edition (and since 2022) of Benchmark Canada - The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a "Litigation Star" (Commercial; Class Action; Public Law) and from 2016 to 2021as a "Future Star: Ontario".
Recognized in the 2022 edition (and since 2021) of Lexpert Special Edition: Litigation.
Bar Admission & Education
Université York, 1997
University of Guelph, 1994 (One year at University of Mannheim, Germany)