Wagners has been nominated as a finalist for the “Class Action Team of the Year” award by the Canadian Law Awards, presented by Lexpert and supported by Canadian Lawyer and InHouse. The Canadian Law Awards recognize Canada’s leading law firms, legal teams, lawyers, cases and landmark deals over the past year. The nomination arises out of Wagners’ involvement litigating and resolving class actions seeking redress for systemic sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender-based discrimination in the Canadian Armed Forces. Wagners, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, collaborated with Koskie Minsky LLP (Toronto), Raven, Cameron, Ballantyne & Yazbeck LLP/s.r.l. (Ottawa); Quessy Henry St-Hilaire (Quebec City); and Acheson Sweeney Foley Sahota (Victoria) to advance the class actions, which were resolved in the Federal Court of Canada, under the case names Sherry Heyder v. The Attorney General of Canada and Larry Beattie v. The Attorney General.
On November 25, 2019, the Federal Court approved a $900 million settlement reached on behalf current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces and employees with the Department of National Defence and Staff of the Non-Public Funds. The settlement also has an important restorative component, which aims to effect systemic change and enable reconciliation, healing, and commemoration to restore the relationship between survivors of sexual misconduct and the Government of Canada. The settlement also provides for changes to policies and other measures addressing sexual misconduct in the Forces, and it improves Veterans Affairs Canada’s policies related to assessing claims arising from sexual misconduct.
“It’s a true honour to be nominated as part of this historical resolution. It was truly a collaborative effort between all firms involved,” said Ray Wagner, Q.C., principal of Wagners. “Most importantly, the settlement will acknowledge the harm suffered by Class Members who were subjected to systemic harassment and discrimination while serving our country, provide them compensation, and allow for healing and hopefully meaningful change. Achieving justice for Class Members is what we’re most proud of.”
Winners will be announced during the awards gala on October 6, 2020, at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, where hundreds of legal professionals from across Canada will gather.
Wagners extends its congratulations to other nominees who are recognized for their excellence, leadership, achievements and innovation in the legal profession, and also expresses its sincere appreciation to its clients and colleagues for their continued vote of confidence in the firm.