Wendy Wagner

Wendy Wagner

PartnerGowling WLGEmployment

Wendy Wagner is a partner in Gowling WLG’s Ottawa office and leader of the firm's Privacy & Data Protection Group. Her practice focuses on international trade law, as well as privacy, access to information and defamation law.

Wendy Wagner is a partner in Gowling WLG’s Ottawa office and leader of the firm’s Privacy & Data Protection Group. Her practice focuses on international trade law, as well as privacy, access to information and defamation law.

In her international trade law practice, Wendy represents the firm’s clients in matters involving trade and investment agreements, export controls and sanctions/embargoes, and all aspects of customs compliance (tariff classification, origin, valuation and Administrative Monetary Penalty System [AMPS] penalties).

She has appeared as counsel on trade-related matters before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and the Federal Court of Canada. Wendy’s expertise in international trade is recognized by Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business (International Trade/WTO), The Legal 500 (International Trade), Lexpert (International Trade Regulation), The Legal Media Group's Experts Guides (International Trade & Shipping, and Women in Business Law), and Best Lawyers (International Trade and Finance Law). She is recognized in Lexpert’s 2014 Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada (Corporate Lawyer to Watch).

In her privacy practice, Wendy advises companies on privacy compliance and data protection issues, including compliance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), provincial privacy laws applicable to the private sector, and laws governing the protection of health information. She assists Chief Privacy Officers in conducting privacy impact assessments/audits, drafting privacy compliance programs and policies, and drafting contractual provisions to protect employee and customer data.

Wendy also advises on cross-border data transfers and successor obligations and assists companies to report and manage data breach incidents. She regularly advises on compliance with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation and has created anti-spam compliance policies and programs for life sciences companies, the retail industry and associations. Wendy has extensive expertise in requests under Canada’s Access to Information Act and provincial freedom of information legislation, and assists clients to protect confidential third-party business information under these laws. She represents clients in complaints before the Information Commissioner of Canada and in appeals before provincial Information and Privacy Offices. She is recognized in Best Lawyers (Administrative and Public Law).

In her media and defamation practice, Wendy litigates defamation lawsuits in the Ontario courts, acts as counsel for the media in Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms cases involving freedom of the press and represents the media to oppose publication bans and other restraints on publication. Her expertise in this area is recognized in Lexpert (Litigation - Defamation & Media).

In honour of her leadership and expertise, Wendy was recognized among Lexpert’s “Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40” in 2013.

Before joining Gowling WLG, Wendy clerked for the Honourable Mr. Justice Bastarache of the Supreme Court of Canada.


  • University of Ottawa, LL.B., 2001
  • Carleton University, M.A., 2001
  • University of Alberta, B.A. (Hons.), 1996

Bar Admission

  • Ontario, 2002


  • Geosoft acquired by Seequent in cross-border transaction
  • Edge Imaging receives significant investment from private equity firm
  • Voyageur Airways acquired by Chorus Aviation

Awards & Honours

  • Legal 500 Canada 2020
  • Expert Guides: Women in Business Law
  • Chambers Canada 2020
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2020
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2019
  • Chambers Global 2019
  • Acritas Stars 2019


  • Ad Idem/Canadian Media Lawyers
  • Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters
  • Canadian Bar Association (Past Chair of the International Law Section – 2016)
  • Canadian Transport Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association Section on International Law
  • County of Carleton Law Association
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals