R. Douglas Elliott Headshot

R. Douglas Elliott


R. Douglas Elliott is a partner in Cambridge LLP. He received his B.A. from the University of Western Ontario in 1979, his LL.B. from the University of Toronto in 1982, and was called to the Bar in 1984. The Law Society certified him as a Specialist in Civil Litigation in 2003, awarded him the Law Society Medal in 2010, and conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on him in 2021.

His practice encompasses a wide range of complex litigation including estates and trusts litigation, class actions, commercial litigation and constitutional and human rights litigation. He has appeared at levels of court in Canada, including numerous appearances in the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Dr. Elliott is well known for his work on landmark constitutional cases such as same sex marriage and is also a leader in the field of class actions. He has been counsel in class actions involving some of the largest recoveries against the Crown in Canada. Dr. Elliott won what was then the largest Canadian class action trial judgement valued at $50 million in an action brought by a group of gay and lesbian Canadians seeking CPP survivor’s pensions against the federal government in Hislop v Canada. He played a key role in the national hepatitis C team that secured a $1.5 billion settlement from the federal and provincial governments in Parsons v Canada, one of the largest settlements in Canadian class action history. He led the legal team in the $145 million dollar class action settlement in the LGBT Purge case, Ross, Roy and Satalic v The Queen. He is lead counsel or co-counsel in a number of current class actions.

He is the resident partner in our northern office in Elliot Lake, where he also offers estate planning, estate administration and mediation services.

Dr. Elliott has lectured around the world to lawyers and at law schools, including at the CBA, IBA, ABA, CLA, Osgoode Hall Law School, the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Harvard, Yale and the University of Niigata in Japan.

He has received numerous awards for his social justice work, including the Diane Martin Medal for Social Justice through Law, the Canadian AIDS Society Leadership Award, The Canadian Bar Association’s SOGIC Hero Award, the Ontario Bar Association’s Robert Muir Mentoring Award and the inaugural Carl Mitchell Community Impact Award presented by the University of Toronto Alumni Association. The University of Toronto Faculty of Law with the financial support of the LGBT Purge Fund has created the annual R. Douglas Elliott Fellowship in his honour.

Dr. Elliott has been recognized as a leading expert on public law, both class actions and Charter litigation, and consistently as one of the Best Class Action Lawyers in Canada by The Best Lawyers in Canada. He is also listed in Canadian Who’s Who.

He is an avid gardener, reader and swimmer, with a passion for history and genealogy. He speaks English and French fluently.

Organizations & Activities

  • Director and Secretary, Canadian AIDS Society
  • Vice-Chair (Policy), American Bar Association Section of International Law, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues Networks (GIN)
  • Director and Vice-President, Northern Ontario Pride Network
  • Director and Secretary, Elliot Lake Pride
  • Director, LGBT Purge Fund
  • Member, Honorary Advisory Board, Egale Human Rights Trust
  • Member, Cercle des Gouverneurs, Fondation Émergence
  • Member, Algoma District Law Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Commonwealth Lawyers Association
  • Member, Ontario Bar Association
  • Member, Sudbury District Law Association