Christopher Horkins

Christopher Horkins
Telephone: 416 815 4351
Fax: 416 642 7129

Suite 2100, Scotia Plaza
40 King Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 3C2

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Chris Horkins is a partner in the Advocacy Group with a broad commercial litigation practice including franchise, product liability, securities litigation, insolvency and class actions defence. Prior to joining Cassels Brock as an associate in 2012, Chris was both a summer and articling student at the firm.

Chris has a proven record of effective advocacy at all levels of Ontario courts, in arbitrations and proceedings before administrative tribunals, including the Ontario and British Columbia Securities Commissions and Mutual Fund Dealers Association. A list of representative decisions where Chris has acted as counsel can be found below.

Chris’s practice regularly involves:

  • Representing franchisors in franchise litigation disputes, including class actions, rescission and good faith claims brought under the Arthur Wishart Act and the enforcement of post-termination restrictive covenants
  • Defending manufacturers of automobiles, aircraft, watercraft, building products, drugs and medical devices, among other products, in personal injury and product liability actions, including class actions
  • Acting for court officers and creditors in Canadian and cross-border insolvency and restructuring proceedings
  • Acting for shareholders, directors, officers and other stakeholders in corporate and securities litigation disputes including oppression remedy applications and proceedings before provincial securities regulators
  • Prosecuting and defending complex commercial disputes, including breach of contract claims

Chris is an active member of the Advocates’ Society. In 2013 he was appointed to the Young Advocates’ Standing Committee (YASC), a standing committee of the Advocates’ Society promoting the interests of advocacy lawyers in their first ten years of practice. Chris also writes regularly for the firm’s Franchise Law and Product Liability E-Communiqués and has been published in the newsletter of the International Bar Association’s Franchise Law section. In addition, Chris is serving as Co-Chair of the Canadian Franchise Association’s 2018 Franchise Law Day.

Chris maintains a busy pro bono practice, acting as counsel to unrepresented parties in securities enforcement matters before the Ontario Securities Commission and for early childhood educators in disciplinary proceedings before the Ontario College of Early Childhood Educators. Chris is also a volunteer board member at RARE Theatre, a not-for-profit community theatre and outreach organization in Toronto aimed at promoting the voices of disenfranchised groups through theatre.

Representative Cases

Raibex Canada Ltd. v. ASWR Franchising Corp., 2018 ONCA 62, <> - successful appeal on behalf of franchisor of decision granting rescission to plaintiff franchisee on the basis of non-disclosure of lease where the franchise location was not determined at the time of the grant, leading decision on disclosure obligations and the rescission remedy under the Arthur Wishart Act

YESCO Franchising LLC v 2261116 Ontario Inc., 2017 ONSC 4273, <> - successful defence of summary judgment motion on limitations grounds on behalf of Ontario master franchisee of sign and lighting repair business

Costa Printing Limited v Handy Home Products Inc., (28 August 2017), Brampton DC-17-29 (Ont Div Ct) - successful appeal of trial decision granting judgment based on alleged unwritten guarantee

College of Early Childhood Educators vs. Sophia McKenzie, 2017 ONCECE 5, <>; 2017 ONCECE 9, <> - pro bono counsel to low-income early childhood educator in week long disciplinary hearing before regulatory college

Sukhdeo (Re), 2017 CanLII 74489 (CA MFDAC), <> - settlement of disciplinary action by Mutual Fund Dealers Association against individual broker

Hecla Mining Company, 2016 ONSEC 31, <>; 2016 ONSEC 32 (CanLII), <> / Re Hecla Mining, 2016 BCSECCOM 359, <> - co-counsel in joint hearing before Ontario and BC Securities Commissions, first decision to consider private placements as defensive tactics under new take-over bid regime

MRP Recruiting Inc. v Inc., (17 October 2016), Toronto CV-16-557549 (OSCJ) - successful motion to stay inappropriate debt collection application against multiple unrelated parties

Parvin v. Richardson, 2015 ONSC 1778, <> - successful defence of motion to add brake component manufacturer to ongoing product liability action on limitations grounds

Osztrovics Estate v. Osztrovics Farms Ltd., 2015 ONCA 463, <> - successful defence of motion for leave to appeal decision on bankruptcy trustee’s investigative powers over bankrupt’s family farming corporation to Ontario Court of Appeal

Pricewaterhousecoopers Inc. (in its capacity as Trustee in Bankruptcy) v Osztrovics Farms Ltd., 2015 ONSC 2079, <> - successful defence of appeal of decision regarding trustee’s investigative powers over bankrupt’s family farming corporation

Re Osztrovics (No.1), 2014 ONSC 1567, <> - Successful motion to set aside bankrupt’s automatic discharge

2038724 Ontario Ltd. v. Quizno’s Canada Restaurant Corporation, 2014 ONSC 5812, <> - counsel to defendant franchisor in substantial franchisee class action

MDG Computers Canada Inc. et al. v. MDG Kingston Inc. et al., 2013 ONSC 5436, <> - successful application to remove arbitrator in franchise dispute due to reasonable apprehension of bias

The Cash Store Financial Services Inc. v. National Money Mart Company, 2013 ONSC 2905, <> - successful defence of motion to impose discovery plan, leading decision on court’s authority to impose discovery plan under Rule 29.1.03


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

Recent Work

Publications, Newsletters and Articles

Class Actions e-COMMUNIQUÉ - August 2019

Franchise Law e-COMMUNIQUE - July 2019

Franchise Law e-COMMUNIQUÉ - April 2019

A Joint Effort: Nova Scotia Court Certifies Canada’s First Ever Cannabis Product Liability Class Action

Product Liability e-COMMUNIQUÉ - February 2019

Damage Control: Two Recent Decisions Show the Benefits and Pitfalls of Proactive Risk Management in Products Claims

Franchise Law e-COMMUNIQUÉ - December 2018

The Midas Touch: Ontario Court Relies on Franchise Case to Apply Ontario Employment Legislation to California Employment Case

Canadian Securities Litigation Outlook 2018: Trends to Watch for Capital Markets Participants

Franchise Law e-COMMUNIQUÉ - October 2018

Bad Optics: Ontario Court Denies Injunction to Franchisor Seeking to End Royalty Strike

Time to Face the Facts: Raibex Appeal Decision Provides Support to Dismiss Summary Judgment Motion Where Potential Material Facts in Dispute

Class Actions e-COMMUNIQUÉ - September 2018

Product Liability e-COMMUNIQUÉ - June 2018

Duty Free: Recent Appellate Decisions Narrow the Duty of Care in Negligence for Manufacturers

Class Actions e-COMMUNIQUÉ - April 2018

Ontario Court Denies Plaintiffs’ Motion to Add New Defendants to Proposed Class Action Outside Limitation Period

Franchise Law e-COMMUNIQUÉ - February 2018

Arbitration Frustration: Narrowly Drafted ADR Clause Prevents Franchisor from Arbitrating Against Individual Franchisee Operators

Ontario Court Weighs In On Franchise Disclosure and Rescission

Product Liability e-COMMUNIQUÉ - February 2018

“Take This Implied Warranty With A Grain of Sand”: Different Results in Contract and Tort Claims Over Defective Septic System Filter Sand

An AllStar Decision for Franchisors: Court of Appeal Restores Clarity and Commercial Sense to Disclosure Obligations in Long Awaited Raibex Appeal Decision

Product Liability e-COMMUNIQUÉ - November 2017

BC Court Toasts Vicarious Liability Claim for “Defective Sandwich”

Conferences, Speaking Engagements, Events

Christopher Horkins Speaking on "Strategies and Tips for Trial Preparation"

Chris Horkins Co-Chairing the CFA's Franchise Law Day

Geoff Shaw and Christopher Horkins Discussing the Raibex Decision and What it Means for Your Franchise System at CFA Webinar

Call to the bar

Ontario, 2012


  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • The Advocates' Society (Secretary, Young Advocates Standing Committee)
  • Defence Research Institute


Class Actions
Product Liability
Securities Litigation
White Collar Crime & Regulatory Response

Additional Information

Blog Entries