Biography

Angela is a strategic and innovative lawyer. Her work on several high-profile and historic class actions has garnered her national and international attention, and she has been recognized by the Federal Court as a “leading practitioner” in the field of class actions.

Angela was named Plaintiff Litigator of the Year by Benchmark Litigation Canada in 2021, 2022 and 2024, ranked by Chambers & Partners in 2023 and 2024 for her work in class actions, and named one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers of 2020 by Canadian Lawyer magazine. Angela is also recognized by Global Law Experts, Who’s Who, Global 100, Lawyer International, Lawyer Network, and Advisory Excellence for her work in class actions.

Cases on which Angela was class counsel have combined settlement values totalling more than $800 million.

Angela is lead counsel on a historic certified class action against Canada brought on behalf of Indigenous children who lost their cultural identity as a consequence of being apprehended off-reserve and placed into state care. The decision represents an important shift in the law and signals that Canada will no longer be able to deny legal responsibility for Indigenous children residing off reserve land. Angela is also counsel on several parallel proceedings in provincial courts, seeking reform of the Indigenous child welfare system and compensation for past harms.

Angela was lead counsel on a class action brought against the RCMP on behalf of female workers who had been subjected to sexual harassment, discrimination, and assault in the RCMP workplace. Despite the legal and logistical challenges associated with this complex action, Angela successfully negotiated a settlement with an estimated value of $100 million, which was approved by the Federal Court. The action was innovative and paved the way for class proceedings to be used as vehicles for addressing systemic sexual misconduct.

Angela is currently counsel on numerous class actions that seek to push the boundaries of the law, including actions focused on veterans’ rights, sexual misconduct, Indigenous rights, commercial wrongs, pension calculation errors, and privacy breaches.

Angela is an author on the subject of class actions and a regular presenter at conferences on class actions and emerging areas of the law.

Recognition / Awards

Professional Associations

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

Year of Call

  • British Columbia, 2008

Education

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

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 Caitlin Ohama-Darcus were successful in obtaining an order for certification in this class action against Canada on behalf of veterans and members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and their spouses, common law partners, dependents, survivors and orphans alleging the improper claw back of disability pension benefits under the Pension Act.
Read the full reasons for judgment: Hirschfield v. His Majesty the King, 2023 FC 900.
For more information about this class action please visit:  Disability Pension Claw Back Class Action

Angela Bespflug, Janelle O’Connor and Caitlin Ohama-Darcus, along with lawyers from Cooper Regel, were successful in obtaining an order for certification in this class action against Canada on behalf of Indigenous persons who allege that, at any time between May 14, 1953 and the present, they were physically or sexually assaulted by members of the RCMP during arrest, detainment, or while being held in custody, and who were alive as of July 20, 2018.

Read the full reasons for judgment: Meguinis-Martin v. His Majesty the King, 2023 FC 771.

For more information about this class action please visit:  RCMP Indigenous Racism and Assault Class Action.

Angela Bespflug and Janelle O’Connor were successful in obtaining an order for certification in this class action against Canada on behalf of Canadian Armed Forces members who were eligible for the Supplementary Retirement Benefit (SRB) as of March 31, 2019, but who may not have received the benefit or received a lower amount than they should have due to inadequate and erroneous advice from Veterans Affairs Canada.
Read the full reasons for judgment: Bruyea v. His Majesty the King.
For more information about this class action please visit:  Supplemental Retirement Benefits (SRB) Class Action.
Angela Bespflug and Janelle O’Connor were successful in obtaining an order for certification in this class action against the federal government on behalf of off-reserve Indigenous children who were removed from their families and forced into non-Indigenous foster care between 1992 and 2019.

The class action seeks various damages, restitution, and recovery of specific costs on behalf of those affected by Canada’s Indigenous child welfare system.

Read the full reasons for judgment: Stonechild v. Canada, 2022 FC 914
For more information about this class action please visit:  Indigenous Child Welfare Class Action

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 is Benchmark Litigation Canada’s Plaintiff Litigator of the Year!

May 9, 2024

We are delighted to share that our colleague Angela Bespflug was named Plaintiff Litigator of the Year last night at the 2024 Benchmark Litigation Canada Awards. This is the third time Benchmark has acknowledged the excellence of Angela’s work, which has made a significant difference in the lives of our…

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Angela Bespflug named one of Benchmark Canada’s Top 100 Women in Litigation

August 3, 2023

Congratulations to our colleague Angela Bespflug for her well-deserved recognition as one of Benchmark Canada’s Top 100 Women in Litigation. The women on this list have earned their place through their involvement in some of the most impactful litigation matters in recent history, as well as for earning the respect of their…

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Class action proceeding certified over clawing back of disability pension benefits from veterans and members of the Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP.

June 29, 2023

On June 28, 2023, the Federal Court of Canada certified a federal class proceeding brought against the Government of Canada alleging the improper claw back of disability pension benefits under the Pension Act. This class action was brought by Murphy Battista LLP on behalf of veterans and members of the…

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Angela Bespflug named 2023 Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation Canada

April 26, 2023

Murphy Battista LLP is delighted to congratulate our colleague Angela Bespflug for being named a 2023 Litigation Star in the 12th edition of Benchmark Litigation Canada. Angela’s advocacy talent and dedication to the pursuit of justice on behalf of class action plaintiffs continue to distinguish her as one of Canada’s…

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Angela Bespflug has been shortlisted for the 2023 Benchmark Litigation Canada Awards

March 10, 2023

Murphy Battista LLP is pleased to announce that Angela Bespflug has been shortlisted for the 2023 Benchmark Litigation Canada Awards (Plaintiff Litigator of the Year). These honours recognise the country’s most distinguished litigators and law firms for their exemplary work. To view the 2023 shortlist, visit this link. To learn…

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The Lawyer’s Daily covers certification of class action against Canada on behalf of Armed Forces veterans

October 26, 2022

The Lawyer’s Daily recently interviewed class counsel Angela Bespflug to get her comments on the recent certification of Bruyea v His Majesty the King, 2022 FC 1409. This case is a class action against Canada on behalf of Canadian Armed Forces members who were eligible for the Supplementary Retirement Benefit…

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Federal Court Certifies Class Action Against Canada on Behalf of Ill and Injured Veterans (Updated)

October 20, 2022

Updated: For CBC Coverage of this class action see: Judge says lawsuit accusing government of failing to tell eligible veterans about benefits can proceed (more…)

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Class action challenges Canada’s discriminatory Indigenous child welfare system

September 2, 2022

Recently, the Federal Court of Canada certified a class action lawsuit against the federal government on behalf of off-reserve Indigenous children who were removed from their families and forced into non-Indigenous foster care between 1992 and 2019. The class action seeks various damages, restitution, and recovery of specific costs on…

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Angela Bespflug interviewed in The Lawyers Daily about the Millenium Scoop class action

June 27, 2022

Recently Angela Bespflug was asked by The Lawyers Daily to comment on the key aspects and wider implications of the court’s decision in Stonechild v. Canada, the case certifying a class action on behalf of 0ff-reserve Indigenous children separated from their families in the Millenium Scoop. Read the full article…

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Millenium Scoop Class Action Certified – Signals Important Shift in the Law

June 20, 2022

The Federal Court of Canada has issued a landmark decision, certifying a class action brought against the federal government on behalf of off-reserve Indigenous children and families subjected to the Millennium Scoop and the enormous harms of the broken child welfare system. Full Press Release and News Coverage below. Read…

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Angela Bespflug named 2022 Plaintiff Litigator of the Year by Benchmark Litigation Canada

May 6, 2022

Murphy Battista LLP is delighted to announce that Angela Bespflug has been named Benchmark Litigation Canada’s Plaintiff Litigator of the Year for the second year in a row. The recognition is for Angela’s exceptional work as a plaintiff’s class action lawyer. The award reflects Angela’s unstinting commitment and dedication to…

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Angela Bespflug recognized as 2022 Benchmark Canada Litigation Star.

April 26, 2022

Congratulations to our colleague and class action plaintiff’s counsel, Angela Bespflug, on being selected to appear in the 11th edition of Benchmark Litigation Canada. Angela is highlighted as a 2022 Benchmark Litigation Star in the area of Plaintiffs Class Actions. This recognition is accorded to lawyers who are highly regarded…

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Join Angela Bespflug and Janelle O’Connor at TLABC’s Class Action Conference – May 19, 2022

April 22, 2022

On Thursday, May 19, 2022, Angela Bespflug will be chairing, and Janelle O’Connor will be presenting at this year’s TLABC Class Action Conference, “Strength in Numbers: Fundamentals and Emerging Issues in Plaintiff’s Class Actions.” The conference is for trial lawyers who want to learn more about class actions and provides…

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Angela Bespflug nominated for Plaintiff Litigator of the Year 2022 by Benchmark Canada

April 1, 2022

Murphy Battista LLP is delighted to congratulate our colleague class action lawyer Angela Bespflug on being nominated for the prestigious award of Plaintiff Litigator of the Year 2022 by Benchmark Canada. Angela is well-known for her work for plaintiffs in large-scale, complex class actions, and we know that she has…

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Benchmark Canada names Angela Bespflug Plaintiff Litigator of the Year 2021

May 12, 2021

The firm is absolutely delighted to congratulate Angela Bespflug on her well-deserved award from Benchmark Litigation Canada as Plaintiff Litigator of the Year 2021! The 2021 Benchmark Canada Virtual Awards celebrate the leading litigators, law firms, and the most impactful disputes across Canada. The awards celebrate Canadian firms and individuals…

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Angela Bespflug Ranked as 2021 Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation

April 28, 2021

We are delighted to congratulate our colleague Angela Bespflug on being recognized as a 2021 Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation Canada, the definitive guide to Canada’s leading litigators. View Angela Bespflug’s Benchmark Litigation Profile.

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Angela Bespflug Shortlisted for Benchmark Litigation Canada’s Special Honors Award – Plaintiff Litigator of the Year 2021

April 22, 2021

The firm is delighted to share the news that our colleague Angela Bespflug has been shortlisted by Benchmark Litigation Canada for a Special Honor Award for Plaintiff Litigator of the Year 2021. See the full Benchmark Litigation Canada 2021 Shortlist.

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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…

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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…

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Murphy Battista LLP Files Archdiocese of Vancouver Abuse Class Action

September 10, 2020

Murphy Battista LLP Files Archdiocese of Vancouver Abuse Class Action

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…

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Demande d’action collective contre l’Agence du revenu du Canada après des cyberattaques

September 2, 2020

Demande d’action collective contre l’Agence du revenu du Canada après des cyberattaques

Cliquez pour lire l’article complet: Demande d’action collective contre l’Agence du revenu du Canada après des cyberattaques

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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…

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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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