I am a class action lawyer with extensive experience representing the interests of class members. I have been class counsel in a number of high-profile national class actions, with combined settlement values totaling over $800 million, and I have been recognized by the Federal Court of Canada as “a leading practitioner in this field.” I was also named one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers of 2020 by Canadian Lawyer magazine and am recognized as a leading class action lawyer by Global Law Experts and Who’s Who.
Class actions operate as a vehicle for positive change within society and offer critical access to justice for survivors who do not have the resources to pursue individual litigation. These class actions ultimately hold defendants accountable for their behaviour and deter future misconduct.
I was class counsel in the first gender discrimination class action brought against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on behalf of female members. This case was complex and unprecedented. I was then lead counsel on a second class action against the RCMP, on behalf of women who suffered sexual assault, harassment or discrimination while working or volunteering with the RCMP in non-member roles. Despite the legal and logistical challenges associated with this action, I (along with my colleague Janelle O’Connor) successfully negotiated a settlement with an estimated value of $100 million.
I have been class counsel in several class actions focused on Indigenous rights, including the Sixties Scoop class action, the Indigenous Boarding Homes class action and the Indigenous Hospitals class action. And I was counsel on motion for Gowling WLG at their fee approval hearing in the Indigenous Day Schools class action litigation, where they were awarded a $55 million fee.
I also act for class members in commercial contexts and have been class counsel in many successful cases involving price-fixing and other commercial wrongs.
I have appeared as counsel in proceedings before the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal, the BC Supreme Court, the BC Court of Appeal, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan, and the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba.
Recognition / Awards
- Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers, 2020 (Advocacy and Human Rights) – Canadian Lawyer magazine
- Leading Class Action Lawyer, 2020 – Corporate INTL Who’s Who Advisor Handbook, p. 66
- Leading Class Action Lawyer (Canada), 2020 – Global Law Experts
- Class Action Lawyer of the Year (Canada), 2020 – Finance Monthly magazine
- Member, Canadian Bar Association
- Member, The Advocates’ Society
Year of Call
- British Columbia, 2008
- University of Victoria Faculty of Law, LL.B / JD, 2007
- Simon Fraser University, BFA, 2002
Disclaimer: The outcome of every legal proceeding will vary according to the facts and unique circumstances in each individual case. References to successful case results where the lawyers at Murphy Battista LLP have acted for clients are not necessarily a guarantee or indicative of future results.
Angela Bespflug and Janelle O’Connor were counsel on this action and its ground-breaking settlement that provided compensation for female class members who were subjected to sexual harassment and assault in the RCMP workplace. The action is part of an emerging and innovative body of jurisprudence that seeks to push our Canadian judicial system to accept class actions as the preferable procedure for resolving systemic sexual misconduct.
Angela Bespflug was counsel on this class action and settlement that provided compensation to Indigenous class members for the loss of culture they suffered as a consequence of the Sixties Scoop.
In the News
Federal Government in Exploratory Talks to Settle Class Action Lawsuit Over Veterans Affairs $165M Accounting Error
January 19, 2021
CBC reports on recent steps by the federal government to address an accounting error by Veterans Affairs Canada regarding the calculation of disability awards and pensions. The $165 million accounting error, affecting over 250,000 veterans, began in 2002 and continued undetected until 2010. You can learn more about the lawsuit…Continue Reading
Angela Bespflug named one of Canada’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers of 2020
September 15, 2020
Murphy Battista LLP would like to congratulate our colleague Angela Bespflug on being named one of Canada’s Top 25 most influential lawyers of 2020. Angela is recognized in the category of Human Rights, Advocacy, and Criminal for her exceptional work as class action counsel. Most recently, Angela was lead counsel…Continue Reading
Murphy Battista LLP Files Archdiocese of Vancouver Abuse Class Action
September 10, 2020
Murphy Battista LLP has filed a proposed class action against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver alleging systemic sexual, physical and psychological abuse of parishioners by individuals who, at all material times, were employees, agents or servants of the Archdiocese – including cardinals, bishops, archbishops, priests, deacons and lay ministers…Continue Reading
Canadian Underwriter magazine reports on CRA data breach class action.
September 4, 2020
Canadian Underwriter magazine provides a review of the proposed class action filed August 24, 2020 by Murphy Battista LLP class action lawyers Angela Bespflug and Janelle O’Connor. The class action involves the fallout of cyberattacks on CRA and GCKey accounts earlier in the year that resulted in the disclosure of…Continue Reading
CRA cyberattacks ramifications not yet fully known.
September 3, 2020
HuffPost Canada article about the proposed class action on behalf of Canadians whose personal or financial information in GCKey or Canada Revenue Agency accounts were disclosed to a third party on or after March 15, 2020. The article includes an interview with representative plaintiff Anne Campeau who explains what occurred…Continue Reading
Demande d’action collective contre l’Agence du revenu du Canada après des cyberattaques
September 2, 2020
Cliquez pour lire l’article complet: Demande d’action collective contre l’Agence du revenu du Canada après des cyberattaquesContinue Reading
Angela Bespflug quoted on class action filed regarding CRA Privacy Breach – CBC News
August 31, 2020
Read the latest from CBC news on the CRA privacy breach in this news article from Eric Rankin: CRA’s handling of COVID-19 benefit cyberattacks ‘reprehensible,’ alleges proposed class-action lawsuit If you have been affected, learn more here: CRA Privacy Breach Class ActionContinue Reading
Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver covered up systemic abuse, silenced survivors for decades, lawsuit claims
August 28, 2020
First class-action filed in B.C. Supreme Court since the district released its report on clergy sexual abuse last November. The article notes, “The proposed class-action lawsuit filed this week said the Archdiocese of Vancouver not only knew for years about allegations of systemic sexual, physical and psychological abuse, but “fostered…Continue Reading
Angela Bespflug and Janelle O’Connor support call for culturally sensitive claims process in class actions for wrongs against Indigenous people.
May 25, 2020
Angela Bespflug and Janelle O’Connor recently provided an overview for The Lawyer’s Daily of The National Truth and Reconciliation Commission (NTRC) report, Lessons Learned: Survivors Perspectives. The NTRC report reviewed the Indian Residential Schools Settlement process from the survivor perspective. A key finding in the report is that a western-centric…Continue Reading
Settlement estimated at $100M approved for women sexually harassed while employed by RCMP
March 19, 2020
Settlement estimated at $100M approved for women sexually harassed while employed by RCMP, covered in the March 2020 issue of Canadian Lawyer Magazine. Read the articleContinue Reading
Federal court approves next $100M RCMP sexual harassment class-action lawsuit
March 11, 2020
The Federal Court of Canada has approved a $100-million class-action lawsuit for women who worked for the RCMP in non-policing jobs and were subjected to gender-based discrimination. Read the full storyContinue Reading
Settlement in RCMP lawsuit approved by the Federal Court
March 11, 2020
Settlement in RCMP lawsuit approved by the Federal Court, Global News, March 11, 2020:Continue Reading
Changing the culture of sexual harassment and bullying in the RCMP
January 19, 2020
Coverage of the Merlo-Davidson class action against the RCMP brought by female members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) alleging they were or had been victims of discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation, intimidation and harassment in their workplace. Read the full story by Jane Gerster, Global News:…Continue Reading
RCMP sexual harassment lawsuits
July 9, 2019
RCMP sexual harassment lawsuits, Global Morning News, July 9, 2019,Continue Reading
$100 million RCMP settlement for female civilian workers
July 8, 2019
$100 million RCMP settlement for female civilian workers, CTV National News, July 2019 (at 4:15 into video clip)Continue Reading
Second settlement announced in sexual harassment suit against RCMP
July 8, 2019
Second settlement announced in sexual harassment suit against RCMP, Global News, July 8, 2019:Continue Reading
Lawyer provide details of second $100M settlement reached in RCMP sexual harassment case
July 8, 2019
Lawyers provide details of second $100M settlement reached in RCMP sexual harassment case, Global News, July 8, 2019:Continue Reading
Women Harassed in RCMP Reach $100 Million Settlement after Class Action Lawsuit
July 8, 2019
Women Harassed in RCMP Reach $100 Million Settlement after Class Action Lawsuit, July 8, 2019, HUFFPOST,Continue Reading
Settlement reached in class action lawsuit (RCMP)
July 8, 2019
Read the full article: Settlement reached in class action lawsuit, July 8, 2019, The National Post,Continue Reading
New $100M settlement reached in RCMP sexual harrassment case
July 8, 2019
Read the full article: CBC News, July 8, 2019,Continue Reading
- “Survivors reflect on Indian residential schools settlement.” May 22, 2020, The Lawyer’s Daily (Originally published by The Lawyer’s Daily (www.thelawyersdaily.ca), part of LexisNexis Canada Inc.)
- “Survivors seeking redress: A common issues trial.” April 2020, The Lawyer’s Daily (Originally published by The Lawyer’s Daily part of LexisNexis Canada Inc.).
- Volunteer, Professional Legal Training Course, British Columbia.
I love travelling and take every opportunity to explore the world. I enjoy spending time outdoors. I love beaches and enjoy walking, hiking, running and biking.
I am passionate about human rights and, through class actions, strive to make positive changes within Canadian society. Class actions help eliminate legal wrongs by holding defendants accountable for their conduct and, in this context, give class members the closure they deserve.