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Peter Pliszka

Peter J. Pliszka

Partner | CO-LEADER, LIFE SCIENCES Fasken
Jurisdiction Ontario, 1989
Language(s) English
Office(s) Toronto
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Peter Pliszka, a senior partner in Fasken’s Litigation Group, is regarded as one of Canada’s leading litigation lawyers. Peter’s practice is focused primarily on product liability, class action, commercial and insurance litigation matters.

Peter is Co-Leader of Fasken’s Life Sciences Group and the National Chair of the firm’s Product Liability and Insurance Practice Group, which has been named Canada’s Product Liability Firm of the Year by Benchmark Canada in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018, and the LMG Life Sciences Canadian Product Liability Firm of the Year in 2015 and 2016. Peter’s practice is national in scope. Peter manages litigation proceedings across Canada, and has appeared at all levels of court in Ontario and other Canadian provinces, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada.

Peter has substantial experience as defence counsel for manufacturing companies in private action and class action product liability and consumer rights proceedings. He has served as lead national defence counsel for clients in multi-jurisdictional and national product liability class actions in Canada involving motor vehicles, medical devices, drugs, food and sports equipment. 

Peter also has extensive experience advising on Canadian defence of cross-border legal proceedings involving parallel claims on both sides of the Canada-US border. In this capacity, Peter closely collaborates with clients’ outside counsel in the US, developing and executing defence plans in a strategic and cost-efficient manner.

In addition to representing clients in lawsuits and other litigious proceedings (such as Coroners’ Inquests), Peter advises manufacturers, distributors, importers and retailers on the regulatory requirements of various products, risk management issues and corrective actions including product warnings and recalls.

Peter’s client base and his reputation are international in scope. He is regularly retained by clients from the US, Europe, and Asia in legal matters in Canada, and he has substantial experience in the area of private international law. In this context, Peter has been counsel on several leading cases respecting the law of jurisdiction in Canada, and in particular, Peter was counsel for the foreign defenant in the precedent-setting case of Van Breda, which established a new (and improved, from the persective of corporate defendants) test for determining when a Canadian court is entitled to take jurisdiction over a foreign defendant sued in a Canadian court.

Peter’s expertise as one of a top litigation lawyer has been recognized by numerous national and international legal directories, including Chambers Canada, Who’s Who Legal, Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Benchmark Canada, Best Lawyers and Legal Media Group’s Guides to the World’s Leading Lawyers and “Best of the Best” guide to the top 30 product liability lawyers in the world.

LMG Life Sciences named Peter “Canadian Product Liability Attorney of the Year” in 2016. 

Chambers ranks Peter as one of only four lawyers in Band 1 for product liability litigation in Canada. Chambers has reported the following comments about Peter, based on its extensive survey of clients and peers:

“Peter Pliszka enjoys a standout reputation as one of the “top people in the country” for product liability cases. His broad practice covers the full spectrum of proceedings in this area involving medical devices, automobiles, food and consumer products.”

“He is esteemed for his product liability work which covers pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and automobiles. Clients praise him for being ‘very customer-focused, very receptive and willing to work and very professional.”

Similarly, based on surveys of in-house counsel and peers in the litigation bar, the International Bar Association’s lawyer ranking publication, Who’s Who Legal, has ranked Peter as a leading lawyer for Life Sciences litigation, and in respect of product liability, WWL has listed Peter as one of the 16 “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” in the world. Similarly, the Lexpert Canadian Legal Directory lists Peter as a leading lawyer in Canada in class actions and product liability law. Beyond that, for each of the past three years, WWL has included Peter in its list of "Thought Leaders", comprising the top 2% of all lawyers ranked across all of WWL's publications world-wide. WWL has reported the following comment about Peter in recent years: “Peter Pliszka is “absolutely first class”. In the words of one of our interviewees: “the clients love him”. Peter is the co-author of a leading book for practitioners in coroners' investigations and inquests in Ontario, as well as chapters about Canadian product liability and class actions law for international compilation text books. Beyond that, Peter has published numerous articles and is regularly asked to speak at legal conferences throughout Canada and the US.

Date

Education

  • LLB University of Manitoba
  • BA, Gold Medal- Economics University of Winnipeg

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Member, Product Liability Advisory Council 
  • Member, Lawyers for Civil Justice
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • Member, Sports and Fitness Industry Association (formerly known as Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association) - Legal Task Force
  • Member, American Bar Association - Litigation Section
  • Member, American Bar Association - Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section 
  • Member, Canadian Defence Lawyers
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Ontario Bar Association
  • Member, The Advocates' Society
  • Member of Selection Committee, Canadian Bar Association Foundation for Legal Research - Walter Owen Book Prize (2005-2008 )
Article Shifting Fortunes: Renewed Hope for Defendants in Certification Motions of Medical Products Class Actions NOC (News of Course), Publication of Canadian Association of Professionals in Regulatory Affairs, Number 92, p.10-16
Book Product Liability - Jurisdictional Comparisons (Canada Chapter) Thomson Reuters
Speaker “Canadian Class Action Law Reform” webinar panel discussion location location International Association of Defense Counsel
Border Crossing Challenges and Solutions location location New Orleans
Sins of Your Father: Are Foreign Judgments Against Your Foreign Parent Company Enforceable Against You? location location Toronto

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