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Mark S. Oulton

Profile

Mark Oulton is senior litigation counsel practicing general civil and administrative litigation with a focus on forestry and commercial disputes. Mark heads the forestry law practice at Hunter Litigation Chambers.

Mark has been recognized as a leading practitioner in forestry law by Lexpert, a "well-respected litigator with strong experience in the forest sector" by Chambers Canada and was recently ranked a Litigation Star by Benchmark Canada. He also recently received the AV-Preeminent rating, the highest ranking, from Martindale-Hubbell and was designated a “Star Lawyer” by Acritas, a database selected by a panel of over 3,000 general counsel and senior legal leaders.

Mark has appeared as counsel before the Forest Appeals Commission, the B.C. Utilities Commission, all levels of the British Columbia and Federal Courts and the Supreme Court of Canada, most recently as co-counsel for Teal Cedar Products Ltd. in a leading case on commercial arbitration appeals in the taking and compensation context (Teal Cedar Products Ltd. v. British Columbia, 2017 SCC 32). Mark is also experienced in commercial arbitration and the mediated resolution of multi-party disputes.

Mark has acted as counsel in a variety of commercial matters, including cases involving negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, shareholder and partnership disputes, breach of contract and real estate disputes. Mark regularly acts on behalf of large and small licensees in forestry related matters, including stumpage appeals, contractor disputes, including proceedings under Timber Harvesting Contract and Subcontract Regulation, compensation claims and arbitrations.

Mark obtained his Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School and his Masters in Environmental Studies from York University in 1998. His studies focused on aboriginal rights, resource management and alternative dispute resolution culminating in a major paper entitled “Opportunities for Conservation and Self-Sufficiency: The Co-existence of Aboriginal Rights and Fisheries Management within the B.C. Salmon Fishery”. After completing his Law and Masters degrees, Mark clerked at the Federal Court of Appeal for the Honourable Mr. Justice McDonald. Mark was called to the Bar of British Columbia in March, 2000.

Mark is a regular contributor to the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, writing and speaking on forestry and practice related matters. Mark is also one of two expert annotators for the Quickscribe online service in the area of forestry law.

Professional Activities

Professional Activities

Mark is a regular contributor to the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, writing and speaking on forestry and practice related matters. Mark is one of two expert annotators for the Quickscribe online service in the area of forestry law. Mark has also spoken at conferences for Insight.

Mark is also a long time member of the Natural Resources Law Section of the CBA – BC Branch, and is currently serving as the Secretary for the section.

Notable Cases

Notable Cases

Chingee v. British Columbia, 2017 BCCA 250: Mark Oulton represented a timber sale licensee in the Court of Appeal, successfully defending an appeal from a decision summarily dismissing a claim that logging activities carried out under a valid timber sale licence constituted a private nuisance and/or gave rise to a claim in negligence.

Teal Cedar Products Ltd. v. British Columbia, 2017 SCC 32 (with Michael Stephens and John Hunter, Q.C.): successfully appealed a decision of the BC Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, thereby restoring an award of compensation, including interest, obtained in an arbitration conducted under the Forestry Revitalization Act.

In the matter of eight appeals under section 147 of the Forest Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 157 (with Trevor Bant): successfully defended an application seeking summary dismissal of a series of stumpage appeals before the Forest Appeals Commission.

DNT Contracting Ltd. v. Abraham and others, 2016 BCSC 1917: Counsel for DNT Contracting Ltd. in successfully obtaining an interim injunction to remove a blockade that was preventing timber harvesting under a timber sale licence located in the northern interior of British Columbia.

Regal Ideas Inc. v. Haus Innovations Inc. and others., 2016 BCSC 1883: Counsel for Regal Ideas Inc. in successfully obtaining an anton piller order to preserve evidence in a commercial case involving alleged breach of contract and misuse of confidential and proprietary information.

British Columbia v. Canadian Forest Products Ltd., 2016 BCSC 1261: Counsel for Canadian Forest Products Ltd. in successfully defending a $5.5 million claim arising out of alleged negligence and breach of contract relating to a 6,100 hectare wildfire occurring in 2010 near Vanderhoof, BC.

Chingee v. British Columbia, 2016 BCSC 760: Counsel for a timber sale licensee in successfully obtaining a summary dismissal of a claim that logging activities carried out under a valid timber sale licence constituted a private nuisance and/or gave rise to a claim in negligence.

Gormac Developments Ltd. v. Teal Cedar Products Ltd, Arbitration (Award - November 26, 2015): counsel for Teal Cedar in successfully defending a dispute regarding the interpretation of a replaceable road construction agreement. The claimant has sought leave to appeal the arbitration award.

Metropole Enterprises Ltd. v. Metropole Investments Limited Partnership, 2015 BCSC 421: counsel for Metropole Investments Limited Partnership in obtaining a successful result in a commercial rent dispute and defending an application for leave to appeal the associated arbitration award.

Ross v. British Columbia Lottery Corporation, 2014 BCSC 320 (with K. Michael Stephens and Brent B. Olthuis): for the British Columbia Lottery Corporation in successfully defending a claim of, among other things, negligence and breach of contract brought in respect of BCLC’s Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program.

Behn v. Moulton Contracting Ltd., 2013 SCC 26 (with John Hunter, Q.C.): for the intervener Council of Forest Industries in an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on the issue of abuse of process.

Canadian Forest Products Ltd. v. Sam, 2013 BCCA 58, 2011 BCSC 676: Counsel for Canadian Forest Products Ltd. in successfully appealing an interlocutory injunction obtained by a First Nations group precluding Canfor from harvesting under one of its cutting permits in Northern British Columbia.

British Columbia (Ministry of Forests) v Teal Cedar Products Ltd., 2012 BCSC 543 (with John Hunter, Q.C.): acting for Teal in successfully obtaining leave and appealing part of an arbitration award made under the Forestry Revitalization Act and successfully defending a cross-appeal brought by the Province of the same award.

British Columbia v. International Forest Products Ltd., 2012 BCSC 746; Forest Appeals Commission Decision No. 2009: FA - 007 – counsel for Interfor in obtaining and successfully defending an appeal of a decision of the Forest Appeals Commission setting aside a stumpage determination issued by the Province under the changed circumstance provisions of the Coast Appraisal Manual.

Heli-tech Services (Canada) Ltd. v. Weyerhaeuser Company Limited: 2011 FCA 193, affirming 2009 FC 592 – counsel for three licensees in successfully defending two appeals and an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada brought from a decision of the Prothonotary striking out certain parts of the Plaintiffs’ claims.

Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. v. British Columbia, Forest Appeals Commission Decision No. 2009 – FOR – 006(a): counsel for Ainsworth in successfully appealing a determination that Ainsworth had contravened s. 105.1 of the Forest Act in making the appraisal data submission in respect of one of its cutting permits.

Emtwo Properties Inc. v. Cineplex (Western Canada) Inc., 2009 BCSC 1592 (with Ken McEwan, Q.C.): for Emtwo in successfully opposing an application to sever damages and liability.

Nathanson Schachter & Thompson v. Inmet Mining Corp., 2009 BCCA 385, 2007 BCSC 724 (with John Hunter, Q.C.): acting for Inmet in obtaining and successfully defending two appeals brought from the Registrar’s assessment of a “fair fee” in circumstances where the manner of billing employed by the firm was not disclosed to the client.

Western Forest Products Limited v. British Columbia, 2009 BCCA 354 (with John Hunter, Q.C.): in a successful appeal of a challenge brought by the Crown to a decision of the Forest Appeals Commission. The principal issue was whether it was unsuitable to appraise a licensee using an appraisal log dump that was unavailable for use by any other licensee.

Canadian Forest Products Limited v. British Columbia and the Forest Appeals Commission, 2009 BCSC 1040 (John Hunter, Q.C.): acting for Canfor in a successful appeal of a decision of the Forest Appeals Commission relating to the authority of the Minister to retroactively change stumpage rates for timber that had already been scaled.

In the Matter of British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority and An Application for Approval of the 2008 Long Term Acquisition Plan, British Columbia Utilities Commission, Reasons for Order G-91-09 issued July 27, 2009: represented COPE 378 in successfully opposing BC Hydro’s proposed 2008 Long Term Acquisition Plan on the grounds that it was not in the public interest.

Hayes Forest Services Limited v. Teal Cedar Products Ltd. et. al (British Columbia Supreme Court, 2007; Court of Appeal, 2008) ( with Peter Voith, Q.C.): representing Teal in obtaining and upholding a stay granted in favour of arbitration. The appeal established, among other things, that an arbitrator appointed under the Timber Harvesting Contract and Subcontract Regulation has the requisite jurisdiction to award equitable remedies.

British Columbia v. Foster Forest Products Limited and others, 2008 BCSC 1514: successfully represented two licensees in a summary trial relating to the scope of the lien created in favour of the Crown by s. 130(1)(d) of the Forest Act.

Powell Daniels Contracting v. Cascadia Forest Products Ltd. (Arbitration, February 28, 2008), co-counsel for Cascadia in successfully defending a fairness objection raised by a contractor in response to a Forestry Revitalization Proposal made under the Timber Harvesting Contract and Subcontract Regulation

In the Matter of a Filing by British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority of Energy Supply Contracts with Alcan Inc, (British Columbia Utilities Commission, 2007): (co-counsel with John Hunter, Q.C.) representing the District of Kitimat in successfully opposing the acceptance of the LTEPA Amending Agreement and the Amended and Restated Long-Term Electricity Purchase Agreement on the grounds that the agreements were not in the public interest.

Publications

Publications

"Civil Procedure – Court Rules" in the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC’s Annual Review of Law & Practice (2016) by Mark Oulton, Rebecca J. Robb, Katie E. Webber and Kenneth K. Leung

“Best Practices in Advising and Preparing Your Client for an Opportunity to be Heard” prepared and presented by Mark S. Oulton as part of the “Forestry Law - 2015” seminar put on by the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, December 9, 2015, Vancouver, B.C.

"Civil Procedure – Court Rules" in the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC’s Annual Review of Law & Practice (2015) by Mark Oulton, Rebecca J. Robb, Katie E. Webber and Kenneth K. Leung

"Civil Procedure – Court Rules" in the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC’s Annual Review of Law & Practice (2014) by Mark Oulton, Shannon Ramsay and Jacqueline Hughes

“Actions v. Judicial Review: The Doctrine of Collateral Attack” presented by Mark S. Oulton as part of the “Suing and Defending the Government – 2013 Update” seminar put on by the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, November 1, 2013, Vancouver, B.C.

"Civil Procedure – Court Rules" in the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC’s Annual Review of Law & Practice (2013) by Mark Oulton, Shannon Ramsay, Jacqueline Hughes and Caily DiPuma.

"Civil Procedure – Court Rules" in the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC’s Annual Review of Law & Practice (2012) by Mark Oulton, Shannon Ramsay, Jacqueline Hughes and Caily DiPuma

"Effectively Setting the Stage: Managing the Discovery Process - A Primer" prepared and presented by Mark Oulton as part of the “Commercial Litigation – 2012” seminar put on by the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, September 27, 2012, Vancouver, BC

"Civil Procedure – Court Rules" in the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC’s Annual Review of Law & Practice (2011) by Mark Oulton, Shannon Ramsay, Jacqueline Hughes and Caily DiPuma

"Managing Litigation Risk in Business Deals" by Mark Oulton, presented September 21, 2011 as part of the Major Business Agreements program offered by Insight Information

"Civil Procedure – Court Rules" in the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC’s Annual Review of Law & Practice (2010), by Mark Oulton, Shannon Ramsay, Jacqueline Hughes and Caily DiPuma

"Civil Procedure – Court Rules" in the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC’s Annual Review of Law & Practice (2009) by Mark Oulton, Shannon Ramsay, Jacqueline Hughes and Caily DiPuma

"Civil Procedure – Court Rules" in the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC’s Annual Review of Law & Practice (2008) by Mark Oulton, Shannon Ramsay, Jacqueline Hughes and Caily DiPuma

"Common Interest: A New Breed of Privilege or More of the Same Old Song?", by Mark Oulton presented November 17, 2008 to The Advocate’s Club

Community

Community

Current board member (since 2011) and Chair (since July 2013) of the Board of Directors of the Brockton Preparatory School Society which runs Brockton School in North Vancouver. Brockton is an independent, community focused, IB continuum school offering a JK - Gr 12 program (see www.brocktonschool.com for more information).

News

News

October 2017

Hunter Litigation Chambers has again been listed as one of the three top dispute resolution firms in British Columbia by the influential Chambers Guide 2018. Randy Kaardal, Q.C., Michael Stephens, Mark Oulton, Brent Olthuis and Claire Hunter were identified as leading litigation practitioners in the Guide.

June 2017

Mark Oulton represented a timber sale licensee in the Court of Appeal, successfully defending an appeal from a decision summarily dismissing a claim that logging activities carried out under a valid timber sale licence constituted a private nuisance and/or gave rise to a claim in negligence. A copy of the decision can be found here.

Mark Oulton and Michael Stephens (with John Hunter, QC, former counsel at the firm) successfully appealed a decision of the BC Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, thereby restoring an award of compensation, including interest, obtained in an arbitration conducted under the Forestry Revitalization Act. The reasons for judgment are available here.

Mark Oulton and Trevor Bant successfully defended an application seeking summary dismissal of a series of stumpage appeals before the Forest Appeals Commission. The reasons of the Commission are available here.

On June 8, 2017, Mark Oulton gave a presentation entitled “Blockades in the Resource Sector in British Columbia” to the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch, Natural Resources Law section meeting. A copy of his presentation can be found here.

April 2017

The Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C. has published its Annual Review of Law and Practice, and once again Hunter Litigation Chambers is well represented among the authors of this practice guide. Greg Allen, Eileen Patel and Ken Leung wrote the chapter of Administrative Law; Mark Oulton, Rebecca Robb and Ken Leung authored the section on Court Rules; and Alex Bjornson co-authored the chapter on Tort law.

July 2016

Mark Oulton, Shannon Ramsay and Caily DiPuma successfully defended Canadian Forest Products Ltd. in respect of a $5.5 million claim arising out of alleged negligence and breach of contract relating to a 6,100 hectare wildfire occurring in 2010 near Vanderhoof, BC. The reasons for judgment can be found here.

April 2016

Mark Oulton successfully obtained summary dismissal of a claim that logging activities carried out under a valid timber sale licence constituted a private nuisance and/or gave rise to a claim in negligence. The reasons for judgment may be found here: Chingee v. British Columbia.

December 2015

On December 9, Mark Oulton was on the faculty for CLEBC's “Forestry Law - 2015” program. Mark gave a presentation entitled "Best Practices in Advising and Preparing your Client for an Opportunity to be Heard" based on a paper he wrote of the same name.

November 2015

Mark Oulton was counsel for Teal Cedar in successfully defending a dispute regarding the interpretation of a replaceable road construction agreement. The arbitration award can be found here: Gormac Developments Ltd. v. Teal Cedar Products Ltd. The claimant has sought leave to appeal the arbitration award.

March 2015

Mark Oulton and Shannon Ramsay were counsel for the landlord in successfully defending an application for leave to appeal from an arbitration award in a commercial rent dispute. Reasons for judgment can be found here: Metropole Enterprises Ltd. v. Metropole Investments Limited Partnership. Mark and Shannon were also counsel for the landlord in the underlying arbitration.

March 2014

Mike Stephens and Mark Oulton successfully defended the British Columbia Lottery Corporation in an action brought by a member of BCLC's Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program in Ross v. British Columbia Lottery Corporation, 2014 BCSC 320. The decision is the first of its kind in Canada to consider whether a casino operator owes a duty of care to a member of a voluntary self-exclusion program. In its decision the B.C. Supreme Court ruled that there was no negligence in BCLC's operation of the voluntary self-exclusion program, and also dismissed claims brought against BCLC on grounds of unjust enrichment and breach of fiduciary duty. Brent Olthuis and Shannon Ramsay also participated in the trial resulting in the judgment.

November 2013

On November 1, Mark Oulton served as a faculty member for the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia's course entitled "Suing and Defending the Government 2013". Mark spoke as part of a panel on "Remedies in Government Litigation", dealing with the Doctrine of Collateral Attack.

February 2013

Mark Oulton, Stephanie McHugh and Greg Allen successfully appealed an injunction granted on behalf of a First Nation against Canadian Forest Products based on a dispute over the validity of Canfor's cutting permit: Canadian Forest Products Ltd. v. Sam, 2013 BCCA 58

December 2012

Mark Oulton and John Hunter represented the Council of Forest Industries and the Alberta Forest Products Association in the Supreme Court of Canada to intervene in an appeal on the question whether asserted aboriginal rights could be asserted as a defence to an action by a forest company to remove a road blockade.

April 2012

Mark Oulton and John Hunter successfully defended a multi-million dollar arbitration award against the Provincial Government in British Columbia (Ministry of Forests) v Teal Cedar Products Ltd., 2012 BCSC 543