As so many Canadian class actions originate in the U.S., lawyers south of the border have become great resources for Canadian class action lawyers.

Tim Buckley, a partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), says U.S. counsel's involvement can help Canadian lawyers minimize costs, as well as help clients minimize their exposure to Directors' and Officers' Insurance.

"The liability insurance considerations may be international or North American, so it's not always possible to separate the Canadian and American class actions," says Tim.

Tim also notes that U.S. counsel help clients who operate in multiple markets coordinate a consistent approach to class actions.

In Québec, however, because U.S. lawyers are required to obtain a special permit to participate in class actions, their involvement is much more behind the scenes.

According to Robert Charbonneau, a partner in the Montréal office of BLG, there is always regular communication between lawyers in the U.S. who are involved in similar class actions south of the border, although they rarely attend a court in Québec to provide counsel or testimony.

"From a defence perspective, when you're involved in a case where there are similar cases elsewhere, it requires a tremendous amount of coordination. There needs to be a constant review of drafts and strategies to avoid redundancies and contradictions," says Robert.