David Gadsden

Baker & McKenzie LLP


David Gadsden practices mainly in complex commercial litigation in the Firm’s Toronto office. He is known for his sound advice on commercial class actions, securities litigation and product liability matters. He also represents clients on business crime investigations and fraud recovery. David was recently honored by Lexpert magazine as a 2014 Rising Star, recognizing him as one of Canada's leading lawyers under 40. He has also been named as a "Litigator to Watch" in Lexpert's annual Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada and has been ranked in Legal 500 for dispute resolution.

Practice Focus

David focuses his practice on class action defence, product liability and recall, fraud investigations and asset recovery. David also acts for LawPRO, the insurer for all Ontario lawyers.

As Chair of Baker McKenzie's Canadian Class Actions Group, David draws on his extensive class action experience, having acted as counsel for defendants and plaintiffs in numerous national and global class action lawsuits involving allegations of product liability, securities fraud, negligence and price-fixing.

David has appeared as counsel at all levels of court in Ontario and in complex commercial arbitrations. He has completed the Osgoode Intensive Trial Advocacy Program, as well as the Intensive Advocacy Training Program conducted by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. David has also lectured in the Osgoode Hall Graduate (LL.M.) Programme. He is a frequent contributor to the Firm's leading Fraud-law blog,

Representative Legal Matters

  • The Trustees of the Labourers' Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada et al. v. Sino-Forest Corporation et al. - counsel for consultant to main defendant in class action involving alleged securities fraud and negligence (a CAD9.2 billion claim) and in simultaneous Ontario Securities Commission and RCMP investigations / proceedings.
  • Waldock et al. v. Greyhawk Equity Partners Ltd. et al. - act for investor in fraudulent Ponzi scheme dispute concerning distribution of comingled investment proceeds and clawback of improper fund redemptions.
  • Attis v. Ontario, [2011] O.J. No. 6222 (C.A.) - successfully appealed decision holding class counsel personally liable for costs awarded against representative plaintiff clients.
  • Represented defendant in class action involving alleged price-fixing in the cathode ray tube industry (court-approved settlement negotiated resulting in dismissal of all claims against client).
  • Mintz et al. v. General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems - Canada Inc. - act for defendant in claim for CAD20 million in damages arising from alleged toxic contamination of residential condominium property.
  • Dent Wizard Canada Ltd. et al. v. Catastrophe Solutions International Inc. et al., [2011] O.J. No. 994 - successfully defended automotive repair company at trial against allegations of breached non-competition clauses in share purchase agreement (action dismissed, with costs).
  • Represented the plaintiff in class proceeding relating to alleged contractual breaches and misrepresentations made to investors in index tracking investment funds.
  • Represented the plaintiff class in certified class proceeding involving the manufacture and sale of alleged defective heart devices.
  • Lead counsel for global accounting firm, defending allegations of receiver's misconduct, misrepresentation and breach of contract arising from court-approved asset liquidation.
  • Regularly advise global manufacturers and distributors on product liability issues, risks and strategic considerations in Canada.

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Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Ontario Bar Association - Class Actions Law Section, Member
  • The Advocates' Society - Member
  • Law Society of Ontario - Member


  • Ontario~Canada (2005)


  • University of Western Ontario (LL.B.) (2004)
  • Wilfrid Laurier University (Bachelor of Business Administration, Honours) (1995)


  • English

“Fraud on the market” and securities class actions: Canadian domiciled companies await the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund Inc.

How should a Court divide a shortfall of money among victims of a Ponzi Scheme

Court approves gold-plated releases despite extensive fraud allegations

Co-author, Canadian chapter, Asset Tracing and Recovery Review, 2nd edition, 2014

Author, "Liability for client costs: Protect yourself - Lawyers breathe a sigh of relief after decision in Attis," LawPRO Magazine, August 2012

Lecture on "Recent Substantive Developments in Class Action Litigation", Osgoode Hall Law School, Graduate programme, 17 May 2012

Co-author, "Canada" chapter, Global Product Recall Handbook, Baker & McKenzie

Co-author, "Canada" chapter, Global Competition Litigation Guide, Baker & McKenzie