Sandra A. Forbes

Sandra Forbes is a partner in the Litigation, Competition & Foreign Investment Review and Investigations & White Collar Defence practices. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a Past-President of The Advocates' Society and a former Law Clerk to the Honourable Peter Cory of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Sandra is recognized as a leading litigator in the areas of corporate/commercial, class action, securities, administrative and competition litigation. She has appeared before all levels of court in Canada and various administrative tribunals including the Ontario Securities Commission, the Competition Tribunal, the Ontario Energy Board and the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board.

A significant portion of Sandra's practice involves defending national and cross-border class actions alleging anti-competitive conduct, including those involving the air cargo, hydrogen peroxide, liquid crystal display panels, linerboard, chocolate confectionary products, automotive parts and vitamins industries.

Representative Work

  • Acting for Mars Canada in defence of criminal proceedings under the Competition Act alleging charges of price-fixing of chocolate confectionery products in Canada.

  • Acting for Chi Mei Optoelectronics in its defence of multiple class actions commenced across Canada alleging price fixing in respect of the sales of LCD panels, including with respect to cross-border issues arising out of parallel U.S. class actions.

  • Acted for LG Electronics in its defence of multiple class actions commenced across Canada alleging price fixing in respect of the sales of Optical Disk Drive products, including with respect to cross-border issues arising out of parallel U.S. class actions.

  • Acting for the Canadian Real Estate Association in proceedings brought by the Commissioner of Competition against the Toronto Real Estate Board which resulted in a lengthy trial before the Competition Tribunal in 2012, an appeal at the Federal Court of Appeal in 2014 and a rehearing that will take place in May 2015. At issue is whether certain rules relating to the display of certain property information on portions of an internet website amounted to abuse of dominance.

  • Acting as co-counsel for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in respect of trade-mark claims and anti-trust allegations against provincial Chartered Accountants Institutes in the Federal Court.

  • Acted for the Beaverbrook (U.K.) Foundation in closely watched trial and appellate arbitration proceedings that were held in public in New Brunswick concerning the ownership of numerous valuable works of art acquired by the Beaverbrook (U.K.) Foundation between 1954 and 1965 and currently housed at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton.

  • Acted for Agricore United in a proceeding brought by the Commissioner of Competition before the Competition Tribunal arising out of the acquisition by United Grain Growers of Agricore Cooperative.

  • Acting for Denso Corporation (and related entities) in its defence of multiple class actions commenced across Canada alleging anti-competitive conduct in respect of the sale of various automotive parts, including with respect to cross-border issues arising out of parallel U.S. class actions.

  • Acting for LG Chem America, Inc. in connection with a Québec class action based on an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into alleged anti-competitive behaviour in the market for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

  • Acting for Sanofi Pasteur Canada in proceedings before the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board and the Federal Court concerning allegations of excessive pricing with respect to the vaccines Quadracel and Pentacel.

  • Acted for the Special Committee of Patheon Inc. in its response to a hostile bid made by JLL Partners Inc., valued at US$600 million, including an action by Patheon for, among other things, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of confidence, breach of contract, conspiracy and oppression. This is now one of the leading cases in Canada in the area of proxy solicitation.

  • Acted for Kemira Chemicals Canada Inc. in its defence of multiple class actions across Canada alleging a price fixing conspiracy in respect of hydrogen peroxide.

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  • Named in the GCR 100 Canada (guide to the world's leading competition law and economics practices).
  • Recognized in Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the areas of Competition/Antitrust: Litigators, Dispute Resolution: Ontario, and Dispute Resolution: Class Action (Defence), and as “incredibly knowledgeable, incredibly vigorous […] and effective in court”, and a “terrific litigator with a great reputation”.
  • Admitted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. This is an "invitation only" organization comprising elite litigation counsel in Canada and the United States who are regarded by their peers as having achieved the highest standards of professional excellence and ethical conduct.
  • Listed in the Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada; in the Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Corporate Lawyers in Canada; in the Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada; and in the ROB/Lexpert special edition Canada's Leading Litigation Lawyers
  • Named a Litigation Star in the areas of Commercial Litigation and Competition in Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys.
  • Included among the Top 25 Women in Litigation (Canada) in Benchmark's Top 250 Women in Litigation.
  • Named in Expert Guides' Guide to the World's Leading Competition and Antitrust Lawyers.
  • Recognized as a leading business law practitioner in Who's Who Legal Canada: Litigation and Competition.
  • Recognized in the areas of Class Action Litigation, Competition/Antitrust Law and Corporate and Commercial Litigation in The Best Lawyers in Canada.
  • Honoured as a Rising Star in Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40.
  • Named by Lexpert as one of "25 Litigators to Watch".
  • Recommended practitioner in Competition Law, Corporate Commercial Litigation, Securities Litigation, Public Law Litigation, Directors' & Officers' Liability Litigation and Class Actions in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.

Professional Affiliations

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Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers

President, The Advocates’ Society (2009-2010)

Selection Committee for The Catzman Award for Professionalism and Civilty, awarded by The Advocates' Society (2009)

Selection Committee for the David Mundell Medal for Legal Writing (2005-2007)

Past Chair of the Enforcement Practices and Procedures Committee of the Canadian Bar Association National Competition Law Section (2004-2006)

Board Memberships

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  • Director, Pro Bono Law Ontario
  • Editorial Board of the Ontario Reports
  • Director of The Advocates' Society from 2000 to 2010 and President for the 2009-2010 term
  • Osgoode Hall Law School Alumni Board of Directors

Community Involvement

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  • The Advocates' Society (various projects to protect and improve access to justice)
  • smART Women, Art Gallery of Ontario (2007-2010)

Teaching Engagements

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Sandra is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in Advanced Advocacy and is a frequent participant in National Judicial Institute education programs for judges. Sandra is also an instructor for Advocates' Society Workshops on a variety of advocacy issues.

Speaking Engagements

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Sandra has given numerous papers and presented extensively at North American and international conferences. A selection of her papers and presentations includes:

  • "Cross-Border Litigation Forum", Cambridge Forums, 2014.
  • "The Vitamins Class Action: Litigating in an International Forum", International Bar Association Anti-Trust Section Meeting, Italy, 2005.
  • "International Cartel Enforcement", Canadian Bar Association and International Bar Association Spring Competition Law Conference – "North America and the Globalisation of Antitrust", 2007.
  • Moderator, "Trial Judges – Do's and Don'ts", The Advocates' Society and American College of Trial Lawyers Spring Symposium, 2007.
  • "Being Sued in Multiple Jurisdictions", The Conference Board of Canada's Class Action Forum, 2007.
  • "Multijurisdictional Conspiracy Investigations and Parallel Class Actions", Canadian Bar Association National Competition Law Section Conference, 2007.
  • The New Administrative Law – "Standards of Review: Are we There Yet?" Law Society of Upper Canada, 2007.
  • "The Year in Review: The Most Important Evidence Law Cases of the Past Twelve Months", Osgoode Professional Development's 5th Annual Conference on Evidence Law for the Civil Litigator, 2008.
  • "Navigating the Minefield of Class Actions, Securities Litigation and Settlement", The Canadian Institute 20th Annual Securities Superconference, 2010.
  • “Cross Border Discovery Strategies”, The Advocates’ Society Spring Symposium, 2011.
  • “Litigation Management”, Law Society of Upper Canada, 2012.
  • “Contemporary Issues for Commercial List Litigation”, Ontario Bar Association, 2012

Articles and Publications

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Sandra was a regular contributing author to the Supreme Court Law Review on the law of evidence from 1999 to 2007. She was co-editor of "Peter Cory at the Supreme Court of Canada 1989-1999" for the Supreme Court of Canada Historical Society Series, 2001. Sandra was co-author of "Canada: Recent Developments In Private Antitrust Litigation", for the Private Antitrust Litigation News in 2002, and co-author of a chapter on Foreign Class Actions for the American Bar Association Handbook on Class Actions in 2003. In 2005, Sandra's paper and lecture on "Damages in Competition Law" were published as part of the Law Society Special Lectures.

Sandra Forbes
Sandra A. Forbes
Bar Admissions:

Ontario, 1992


Osgoode Hall Law School, LL.B., 1990