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Koskie Minsky LLP

Koskie Minsky LLP

Kirk M. Baert

 


  Class Action Litigation


Baert, Kirk M.

Kirk M. Baert

Partner

Kirk is a partner at Koskie Minsky LLP and is head of the firm's class action group. His practice focuses on class proceedings. He has been recognized by Lexpert as a leading Canadian practitioner in the field of class action litigation. Mr. Baert has appeared in courts across the country, including the Ontario Court of Appeal, Quebec Court of Appeal, Newfoundland Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada, on matters dealing with all aspects of class action litigation.

Mr. Baert was counsel for the plaintiff in Cloud v. Canada, the first Indian residential schools class action certified in Canada. A $4 billion pan-Canadian settlement was reached in the case in 2007. Kirk was designated as lead counsel in Canada to handle the 9 settlement approval hearings across the country. The settlement was ultimately approved by all 9 provincial and territorial courts involved. The settlement is proceeding and over 90,000 class members have made claims.

Kirk is counsel for the plaintiffs in Anderson v. Canada, in which it is alleged that Canada failed to comply with its constitutional and fiduciary duties to Metis and Inuit people in Newfoundland and Labrador arising from the operation of 5 residential schools in that province after 1949. 

Kirk was also counsel for the plaintiff in Pearson v. Inco Ltd., the first common law environmental class action to be certified in Canada.

Mr. Baert was counsel for the plaintiff in Markson v. MBNA Canada Bank, which was certified by the Ontario Court of Appeal. The court’s decision expanded the situations where an aggregate assessment of damages may be used in a class action. The action settled in 2012 with class members receiving refunds of $8 million.

Kirk was Canadian co-counsel for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union Pension Trust Fund, the lead plaintiff in Re Nortel Networks Corp Securities Litigation. A worldwide settlement was reached in the case in late 2006 totalling over $2.4 billion.

Mr. Baert is co-counsel (with Siskinds LLP) in Labourers Pension Fund v. Sino-Forest Corporation, Ernest & Young LLP et al. The firm won a contested carriage motion in the case. In 2012, Kirk helped successfully negotiate a $117 million settlement with Ernst & Young LLP, one of the largest auditor settlements in class action history.

Kirk is also counsel for the plaintiffs in Trustees of the Musicians' Pension Fund of Canada v. Kinross Gold Corporation et al. and in Trustees of the Millwright Regional Council of Ontario Pension Trust Fund v. Celestica Inc. et al., both of which seek damages of over $1 billion for violations of various securities laws.

Kirk is counsel for the plaintiffs in Dolmage v. Ontario, Clarke v. Ontario and Bechard v. Ontario. Each of these cases seeks to hold the provincial government liable for abuses at the government-run institutions for the cognitively and developmentally challenged. These cases were all settled for more than $70 million in 2013. He is also counsel for the plaintiff in Seed v. Ontario, a case which alleges that students at a government run school for the blind were abused. 

Mr. Baert is counsel for the plaintiffs in Taylor v. Canada, which broke new ground in a 2012 Court of Appeal decision on the issue of when federal government regulators can be liable for injuries sustained by users of a defective product that the government failed to prevent from coming on the market.

For ten years, Kirk taught a course in class actions with Professor Garry Watson at Osgoode Hall Law School. He has been on the Planning Committee for the Osgoode Hall Law School National Symposium on Class Actions held annually since 2001. Kirk is also a regular speaker and author of papers for The Canadian Institute, CBA, OBA, LSUC and the Advocates’ Society on class actions, complex litigation and other matters.

Mr. Baert was an Instructor in the Ontario Bar Admission Course in both the Advocacy and Civil Procedure sections from 1995 to 2001. Kirk has also been a guest Instructor in the Osgoode Hall Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop.

Kirk is a former editor of Carswell's Practice Cases. He is currently a contributing editor of Class Action, a quarterly publication issued by Federated Press. Kirk is also a member of the CBA National Task Force on Class Actions. Kirk is currently Chair of the OBA Section on Class Actions. He sits on the Board of Directors for Pro Bono Law Ontario. His column, "Class Acts", appears in The Canadian Lawyers once a month.

Kirk is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. The Litigation Counsel of America is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. He has also been recognized by Lexpert, Best Lawyers in Canada, Benchmark Canada, Lexpert/American Lawyer Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada as a leading lawyer in class action litigation.

Experience

News

Publications

  • "Fee Approval Hearings in Class Proceedings", by Kirk Baert and Jonathan Bida, 7th Annual Symposium on Class Actions (Toronto: Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 2010).
  • "Innovative Class Proceedings - Recent trends", by Kirk Baert and Sarah Mason-Case, 6th Annual Symposium on Class Actions (Toronto:Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 2009).
  • "Costs in Class Proceedings: An Overview of the Statutory Regime in Canadian Common Law Provinces", by Kirk Baert, 6th Annual Symposium on Class Actions (Toronto:Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 2009).
  • "Taking Hollick to The Next Level: Cloud and Beyond", by Kirk Baert, 5th Annual Symposium on Class Actions (Toronto:Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 2008).
  • "Aggregate Damages under the Class Proceedings Act, 1992 Ensuring a Wrong Doesn’t Elude a Remedy", by Kirk Baert, 5th Annual Symposium (Toronto:Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 2008).
  • “Class Proceedings Fund : fifteen years in review”, by Kirk Baert, 5th Annual Symposium on Class Actions (Toronto:Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 2008).
  • "Class Actions and The Real and Substantial Connection" by Kirk Baert, 3rd Annual Symposium on Class Actions (Toronto:Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 2006).
  • “Handling a certification motion”, by Kirk Baert, Symposium: Your first class action : get the nuts and bolts from top practitioners and judges (YLD) (Toronto, Ont.:Ontario Bar Association, 2005).
  • “Costs award against counsel in tobacco litigation denied by judge” (The Lawyers Weekly, Volume 25, No. 8 , June 24, 2005 - Lexis Nexis Publications).
  • “Jurisdiction of provincial courts in national class action proceedings”, by Kirk Baert, 2nd Annual Symposium on Class Actions (Toronto:Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 2005).
  • “Effectively handling a certification motion”, by Kirk Baert, 2nd Annual Symposium on Class Actions (Toronto:Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 2005).
  • “Pension and benefits class actions : a growth area the plaintiffs' perspective”, by Kirk Baert, Symposium: 5th annual national forum on litigating class actions : the roadmap for bringing and defending class actions in Canada (Toronto, Ont. : Canadian Institute, 2004).
  • “Costs in class proceedings”, by Kirk Baert, Symposium: Brave new world : securities litigation & enforcement (Toronto, Ont.:Continuing Legal Education, Ontario Bar Association, 2003).
  • “Cost in class proceedings”, by Kirk Baert, Symposium: Class actions : the 2nd annual litigators' conference (Toronto, Ont. : Insight Information, 2003).
  • “Real estate class actions : a concept whose time has come” by Kirk Baert and Jessica Kimmel, Symposium: Gravel to gavel IV : new developments in real estate litigation (Toronto, Ont. : Continuing Legal Education, Law Society of Upper Canada 2002).
  • “The Road less traveled by: certification of actions under the Ontario Class Proceedings Act, 1992”, by Kirk Baert; in: Annual Review of Civil Litigation 2001 / ed. Todd Archibald and Michael Cochrane (Toronto: Carswell, 2002p. 115-140; 2002 ).
  • “’Strike suits’ : an emerging threat or protecting shareholder rights?” by Kirk Baert and Barnes, Lyndon. Symposium: Class actions : the litigators' conference (Toronto, Ont. : Insight Information, 2002).
  • “Certification of actions under the Ontario Class Proceedings Act, 1992”, by Kirk Baert, Symposium: Class actions : the litigators' conference (Toronto, Ont. : Insight Information, 2002).
  • “The proper approach to the certification of actions under the Class Proceedings Act, 1992”, by Kirk Baert, Symposium on Class Actions (Toronto:Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 2001).
  • “Appeal routes in Ontario, Quebec and B.C. : an outline of where to go”, by Kirk Baert, Symposium on Class Actions (Toronto:Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 2001).
  • “Emerging issues in medical malpractice class actions”. by Kirk Baert, Symposium: The advanced program on medical malpractice : the latest legal developments and practical strategies for building and winning your case (Toronto, Ont. : Canadian Institute, 2001).
  • “Contingent fees awarded under Class Proceedings Act”, by Kirk Baert, Symposium: An overview of class actions : biosketches & papers (Toronto, Ont. : Advocates' Society, 2000).
  • "Funding from the class proceedings fund”, by Kirk Baert, Symposium: An overview of class actions : biosketches & papers (Toronto, Ont. : Advocates' Society, 2000).
  • “Conducting a civil action for toxic torts and mass wrongs”, by Kirk Baert, Symposium: Litigating toxic torts and other mass wrongs : the latest legal developments and practical strategies for building/defending your case (Toronto, Ont. : Canadian Institute, 2000).
  • “Class actions and government liability : a Y2K update”, by Kirk Baert, Symposium: 6th annual provincial/municipal government liability (Toronto, Ont. : Canadian Institute, 2000).
  • “Certification of class actions”. by Kirk Baert, Symposium: Common and uncommon motions (Toronto, Ont. : Law Society of Upper Canada, Dept. of Continuing Legal Education, 1999).
  • “Class actions : many small sufferings add up to a worthwhile action” by Kirk Baert and Michael McGowan, Symposium: Pursuing the public purse : new causes of action (Toronto, Ont. Canadian Bar Association - Ontario, 1999).

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Memberships/Affiliations

  • Member, Ontario Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member, Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Advocates' Society
  • Member, American Association for Justice
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Member, National Lawyers Guild
  • Member, International Bar Association

Contact Information

416-595-2117

416-204-2889 (Fax)

kbaert@kmlaw.ca

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Practice Areas

Education

  • LL.B., 1988
    Queen's University
  • B.A., 1985
    Queen's University

Called to the Bar

  • Ontario, 1990
  • Also member (occasional call) of the British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories and Yukon Bars,