Christopher Horkins


 | Toronto

Chris Horkins is a partner in the Litigation Group at Cassels. His broad commercial litigation practice includes expertise in franchise law, product liability, securities litigation, and class actions. Chris takes a practical, results-oriented approach to litigation strategy aimed at achieving an early and efficient resolution to complex disputes whether through negotiated settlement or courtroom advocacy.

Chris has a record of effective advocacy at all levels of Ontario courts, in arbitrations, and before administrative tribunals, including the Ontario and British Columbia Securities Commissions and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada.

Some of Chris’ representative work includes:

  • Acting as counsel to the successful franchisor in Raibex Canada Ltd. v. ASWR Franchising Corp., 2018 ONCA 62, a leading case on franchise disclosure obligations and the rescission of franchise agreements under the Arthur Wishart Act, securing the dismissal of a $1.28 million claim and a $100,000 costs order in favour of the franchisor.
  • Achieving favourable settlement approval on behalf of a franchisor of a franchisee-led class action where the judge acknowledged: “the outcome of this class action by settlement is very poor for the Class Members, who have gained nothing.”
  • Defending a major Canadian bank in a $1 billion class action involving allegations of price-fixing contrary to the Competition Act.
  • Defending former board members of an insolvent retail company in multiple complex claims arising from the insolvency.
  • Defending automotive manufacturers (both OEM and component manufacturers) in product liability actions across Canada.

Chris maintains a busy pro bono practice, acting as counsel to unrepresented parties in securities enforcement matters before the Ontario Securities Commission and in disciplinary proceedings before the Ontario College of Early Childhood Educators. Chris is also a volunteer board member at RARE Theatre, a charitable organization in Toronto aimed at promoting the voices of disenfranchised groups through theatre.

  • Benchmark Litigation (Future Star, 40 & Under List: Canada)
  • Best Lawyers in Canada (Class Action Litigation, Franchise Law)
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Franchise)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada (Franchise)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Franchise
  • Certificate (Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop), Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development, 2018
  • Certificate (Business Essentials for Lawyers), University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, 2014
  • J.D., Queen’s University, 2011
  • B.A. (Hons.) (Political Science and English), Queen’s University, 2008
  • Ontario, 2012
  • The Advocates’ Society, Chair, Young Advocates Standing Committee
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Defence Research Institute
  • Ontario Bar Association