Douglas Elliott is a founding partner in Roy Elliott O’Connor LLP, with a litigation practice that is increasingly focused on class actions. He is rated by his peers as one of the Best Class Action Lawyers in Canada through “The Best Lawyers in Canada”. His peers have also recognized him as an expert in public law through Lexpert. “Who’s Who in Canada”, published by the University of Toronto, has also recognized him. In 2010, the Law Society of Upper Canada awarded Douglas the Law Society Medal, granted each year by to a select group of lawyers whose careers "represent the highest level of achievement and commitment to serving society and the profession."
Douglas has played a leadership role in some of Canada’s most significant class actions, as well as landmark constitutional, government liability and health law cases with national impact.
Currently lead counsel in Hislop v Canada, a constitutional class action that resulted in the largest class action trial judgment in Canada (valued at over $50 million), which was also the first class action trial award to be upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Douglas also played a key role in the 1986-1990 hepatitis C national class action team that secured one of Canada’s largest class action settlements, valued at over $1.5 billion, and assisted in the settlement of the pre-1986, post 1990 hepatitis C class action which also recovered over $1 billion for affected class members.
Currently co-lead counsel in the unpaid overtime cases against the CIBC, Scotiabank and CN, he is also lead counsel in the Sunnybrook and silicone class actions.
Many landmark constitutional cases. Perhaps the best known of these is the same sex marriage case, where he successfully represented the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto in the Ontario Court of Appeal in Halpern v. Canada and in the Supreme Court of Canada on the Marriage Reference.
Other notable appearances in the Supreme Court of Canada include, for the Canadian AIDS Society in Vriend v. Alberta, Little Sisters’ Bookstore v. Canada, Latimer v. The Queen, and Hodge v. Canada. Douglas also argued M. v. H. for the Foundation for Equal Families, Trinity Western University v. British Columbia College of Teachers for EGALE Canada Inc. and Charkaoui v. Canada for the Canadian Arab Federation.
Senior counsel for the Coalition in Support of Marc Hall in Hall v. Durham, and for Canadians for Jerusalem in Veffer v. Canada.
From 1993 to 1997 was senior counsel for the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) before the Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada (the Krever Inquiry). Douglas made the first of his many appearances in the Supreme Court representing CAS in its support of the Krever Inquiry in Canada v Canada (Krever Inquiry). He currently represents CAS in the case of CBS v Freeman.
Douglas has received numerous awards for his legal work and community service, including the Lawyer of the Year Award, presented by Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped, the Community Service Award of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, the Founders Award of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, the SOGIC Hero Award of the Canadian Bar Association, the Distinguished Service Award of the Association of Lesbian and Gay Psychiatrists, the Salah Bachir Award for Community Service, the Leadership Award of the Canadian AIDS Society and The Lifetime Achievement Award from Pride Toronto. The Canadian AIDS Society has also awarded Roy Elliott O’Connor LLP the Corporate Leadership Award, the first time a law firm has been so recognized.
Douglas has instructed in civil litigation at the Bar Admission Course of the Law Society of Upper Canada, and has been a guest lecturer at the University of California San Francisco School of Law, University of Southern California School of Law, New England School of Law, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law, University of Windsor Faculty of Law, and the University of Niigata Faculty of Law in Japan. He has presented at various legal symposiums throughout Canada and abroad, including presentations to the Ontario Bar Association, Law Society of Upper Canada, Ontario Human Rights Commission, Ontario Hospital Association, Osgoode Hall Law School Continuing Legal Education, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, Canadian Institute, Canadian Bar Association, Commonwealth Lawyers Association, the American Society of International Law, the National Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association (USA), International Lesbian and Gay Law Association and the International Bar Association.
Douglas is currently a candidate for an LL.M in Constitutional Law through Osgoode Hall Law School. He speaks English and French.
Class Action Litigation
Admissions and Affiliations
Called to the Bar of Ontario 1984,
Certified as a Specialist in Civil Litigation by the Law Society of Upper Canada 2003,
Medical Legal-Society of Toronto – Past Member of Council,
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation – former Board Member,
Advocate’s Society – member,
Canadian Bar Association – member,
Ontario Consent and Capacity Board – Former Vice-chair (for 10 years),
AIDS Committee of Toronto – Former Officer and Director,
Ontario Public Education Panel on AIDS – Former Member,
National Task Force on AIDS and Injection Drug Use – Former Member (representing the Canadian Bar Association),
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conference (SOGIC) of the Ontario Bar Association and Canadian Bar Association - Founding co-chair,
International Lesbian and Gay Law Association - Founding president,
Science Advisory Board to Health Canada - Former Member
Chair, Expert Advisory Committee – Justice in the Balkans: Equality for Sexual Minorities
B.A. – University of Western Ontario 1979
LL.B. – University of Toronto 1982
LL.M. – candidate, Osgoode Hall Law School
Co-applicant, Envisioning Global Justice Research Project