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About Nicole

Nicole litigates class actions and other complex disputes, including in the areas of cybersecurity, product liability, and competition. She also practises public law, including constitutional, administrative, regulatory and freedom of information matters.

In her cybersecurity practice, Nicole frequently advises organizations dealing with a data breach or information security incident. She also represents defendants in privacy class actions and regulatory investigations arising out of cybersecurity incidents.

In addition to defending competition class actions, Nicole's competition litigation practice includes contentious merger reviews and other criminal and civil litigation under the Competition Act.

Prior to joining Blakes, Nicole clerked at the Federal Court of Appeal.

Select Experience
  • Counsel to an investment firm in a class action relating to alleged privacy breaches, successfully opposing the plaintiffs' motion for certification (upheld by the Ontario Divisional Court)

  • Counsel to a gaming facility and public-sector entity in a privacy class action arising out of a cyberattack, successfully opposing the plaintiffs' motion for certification

  • Trial and appellate counsel to a leading energy services company in a C$2.3-billion enterprise value merger before the Competition Tribunal and the Federal Court of Appeal, including successfully opposing multiple applications to block closing of the transaction

  • Trial counsel to an insurer in a national class action relating to business interruption claims in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Member of the trial team in the first medical products class action to go to trial in Ontario (146 trial days), which obtained a trial ruling dismissing the action against one of the world's leading manufacturers of life-saving cardiac devices in a national class action claiming more than C$1-billion in damages, alleging negligent design, testing and warning

  • Counsel to a defendant in a competition class action seeking approximately C$1.4-billion in damages, successfully obtaining summary judgment prior to certification on the basis of the regulated conduct defence (upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal)

  • Counsel to a leading engineering and technology firm in several consumer protection class actions relating to diesel emissions, successfully opposing motions for certification

  • Counsel to an intervenor in the Supreme Court of Canada in an appeal concerning the scope of the duty of honest performance of contractual obligations

  • Counsel to a public-sector procuring entity in a judicial review application challenging its debarment of a contractor, successfully opposing the application (named one of Lexpert's Top 10 Business Decisions of 2018)

  • Lead counsel to a national railway company in a successful statutory appeal of a decision of the Canadian Transportation Agency

  • Lead counsel to a leading manufacturer of heavy equipment, successfully obtaining early summary judgment in a product liability case seeking over C$7-million in damages

  • Counsel on a judicial review application under the Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act addressing the scope of the third party information exemption

Awards & Recognition

Nicole has been recognized as a leading lawyer in the following publications:

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada – 2021–2024 (Class Action Litigation, Competition/Antitrust Law, Product Liability)

  • Benchmark Canada's 40 & Under List – 2019–2023

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory – 2021–2023 (Class Actions, Data Protection & Privacy, Product Liability)

  • Lexpert Special Edition: Litigation 2023

  • Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyers – 2019–2023 – Independently Rated Lawyers (As nominated by senior in-house counsel)

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys – 2019–2023 (Future Star)

  • Global Data Review 40 Under 40 2021 (Recognized as an individual who represents the best of the upcoming generation of data lawyers)
Professional Activities

Nicole is a past chair of the Ontario Bar Association's Class Actions Section Executive, having served on the Executive from 2014 to 2022. She is a member of The Advocates' Society, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, the Defence Research Institute and the International Association of Defence Counsel.

Nicole sits on the Firm's Pro Bono Committee, and has acted pro bono on a variety of matters. She is also the director of the Wilson Moot, a national law school mooting competition which focuses on constitutional law issues affecting equity-deserving groups.

Publications
Professional Appearances
  • Speaker : AI! AI? AI. Oh?!?: AI Is ‘Intelligent’ but Is It Fair? Unbiased? Non-Discriminatory? Legal and Business Resolutions to Implementing This Intelligent Tool
    2023 Annual Meeting, International Association of Defence Counsel, Waimea, Hawaii, July 12, 2023.
  • Panellist : Privacy and Mandatory Reporting Compliance
    Compliance Transformation Conference, George Brown College, Toronto, Ontario, May 3, 2023.
  • Speaker : Post-Data Breach – Evolving Best Practice
    Property and Casualty Insurance Compensation Corporation Webinar, March 22, 2023.
  • Speaker : Cybersecurity Trends 2022
    Responsible Distribution Canada Semi Annual Meeting, Brampton, Ontario, November 2, 2022.
  • Speaker : Cybersecurity Considerations for Pension and Benefit Plans
    Blakes Business Class Webinar, October 20, 2022.
  • Panellist : Developments in Regulatory & Criminal Antitrust Enforcement
    Lex Mundi Litigation, Arbitration and Dispute Resolution North America Practice Group Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, September 30, 2022.
  • Co-speaker : Cybercrimes Are Evolving: Are You?
    Episode 22, Blakes Sound Business Podcast, August 3, 2022.
  • Panellist : To Close or Not to Close. That is the Question
    Competition Law Fall Online Symposium, Canadian Bar Association, October 18, 2021.
  • Speaker : Blakes Cybersecurity Study: Pandemic a Perfect Storm for Cybercrimes
    Episode 16, Blakes Continuity Podcast, July 22, 2021.
  • Speaker : Canadian Cybersecurity Trends Study 2021
    Blakes Business Class Webinar, June 17, 2021.
  • Speaker : Privacy Breaches and Record Keeping
    Privacy Law Basics, Ontario Bar Association Webinar, June 8, 2021.
  • Speaker : Privacy and Class Actions
    Privacy Law Summit, Ontario Bar Association Webinar, May 3, 2021.
  • Speaker : The Tribunal – What will Tribunal proceedings look like?
    Bill C-11: Privacy, Personal Information and Data Protection, Infonex Webinar, April 28, 2021.
  • Speaker : Good Faith and Contractual Duties: What Every Company Needs to Know, Blakes Business Class Webcast, March 17, 2021.
  • Speaker : Bill 161 Update
    Class Actions in 2021: Trends and Developments, Blakes Business Class Webinar, March 9, 2021.
Media Activities
  • Quoted : Canadian businesses face rising compliance costs, litigation risk over privacy
    Interviewed by Karunjit Singh, Law360 Legal Wire, May 4, 2023.
  • Quoted : How your incident response plan can prevent litigation following a cyber-attack: Blakes lawyer
    Interviewed by Lucy Saddleton, Canadian Lawyer InHouse, April 21, 2021.
Education

Admitted to the Ontario Bar – 2009
JD (With Honours), University of Toronto – 2008
BA (Hon., With Distinction), Wilfrid Laurier University – 2005

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