Biography

I am a class action lawyer with extensive experience representing the interests of class members in large-scale, national class actions. I adopt a conciliatory approach in my work, whether in court or at the negotiation table. And with great success. I have been class counsel in a number of high profile class actions, with combined settlement values totalling over $800 million, and I have been recognized by the Federal Court of Canada as “a leading practitioner in this field.”

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.

Year of Call

  • British Columbia, 2008

Education

  • University of Victoria Faculty of Law, LL.B / JD, 2007
  • Simon Fraser University, BFA, 2002

Recognition / Awards

Professional Associations

  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, The Advocates’ Society

 

Trial Results

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.

Angela Bespflug acted as counsel in this sister case to Tiller v. Canada, 2020 FC 321. This action and its settlement provided compensation to female RCMP members who were subjected to sexual harassment and assault in the RCMP workplace.

Angela Bespflug was counsel for the successful respondents on this appeal of a class action certification decision related to adverse side effects associated with hair loss medication.

In the News

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…

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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 article

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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 story

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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:

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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:…

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RCMP sexual harassment lawsuits

July 9, 2019

RCMP sexual harassment lawsuits, Global Morning News, July 9, 2019,

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$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)

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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:

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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:

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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,

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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,

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New $100M settlement reached in RCMP sexual harrassment case

July 8, 2019

Read the full article: CBC News, July 8, 2019,

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Resources

Community

  • 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.

Angela Bespflug

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