Ken McEwan, Q.C. and Trevor Bant successfully represented the Law Society of British Columbia in professional disciplinary proceedings concerning a lawyer’s receipt and disbursement of $26 million from offshore jurisdictions in 4 transactions. The decision confirmed important principles of lawyers’ self-regulation including when asked to facilitate a transaction that appears to be suspicious, a lawyer has a duty to make inquiries sufficient to establish, on an objective basis, that the transaction is legitimate, or should decline the engagement.
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.
On June 7, 2017, Ken McEwan presented on the role of respondent’s counsel at CLEBC’s course “Sexual Violence & Misconduct Policies for Post Secondary Institutions”.
Trevor Bant (with John Hunter, Q.C., former counsel at the firm) acted for a Member of the Legislative Assembly in a largely successful appeal dealing with parliamentary privilege, case-by-case privilege and the scope of document production orders against non-parties. The reasons for judgment are available here.
Hunter Litigation Chambers was the winner for Benchmark Canada’s 2017 award for British Columbia Firm of the Year, and is included in “Highly Recommended” British Columbia firm rankings.
Benchmark Canada has released its 2017 rankings and each of Claire Hunter, John Hunter QC, Randy Kaardal, Q.C., Ken McEwan, Q.C., Brent Olthuis, Mark Oulton, Bill Smart, Q.C. and Michael Stephens are recognized as litigation stars.
The partners, associates and staff are proud to report that on April 12, 2017, our senior founding partner, John J.L. Hunter, QC, one of Canada's leading constitutional, commercial and public law counsel, was appointed to the bench. To view the Government of Canada News Release announcing the appointment of the Honourable Mr. Justice Hunter to the Court of Appeal for British Columbia and the Yukon Territory, please click here.
Michael Stephens and Brent Olthuis successfully opposed an application seeking to convert a conventional commercial dispute into a class action in Great Canadian Gaming Corporation v British Columbia Lottery Corporation, 2017 BCSC 574. The decision considered a point that had not previously been resolved in British Columbia, and determined that it would be inappropriate to convert these plaintiffs’ action into a class proceeding.
Claire Hunter has been awarded the Ann Wilson and Robert Prichard Award for Community and Professional Service by the University of Toronto Law Alumni Association. The award is presented bi-annually and honours a graduate of the Faculty of Law who demonstrates the highest standards of professional integrity, excellence and leadership, and who has made a significant contribution to the legal profession and/or community through his or her public interest work, pro bono activities and/or community service.
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.
Ken McEwan, Q.C. was elected Secretary/Treasurer of the International Society of Barristers at its Annual Convention in Cancun, Mexico. Ken is the first Canadian lawyer to be so honoured by the United States based society, dedicated to excellence and professionalism in trial advocacy. Ken will be the Program Chair for the next annual convention, scheduled to be held on April 15-19, 2018 in London, England.
Ken McEwan, Q.C., William Smart, Q.C., and Ken Leung successfully defended Fortress Paper Ltd. and Fortress Specialty Cellulose Inc. against a multimillion dollar claim for alleged knowing assistance in breach of trust, breach of confidence, and inducing breach of contract pertaining to the Fortress defendants’ acquisition and conversion of a pulp mill in Thurso, Quebec. The plaintiffs pursued an accounting and disgorgement remedy, along with punitive damages. Their claims against the Fortress defendants were dismissed in their entirety. The reasons for judgment can be found here.
Randy Kaardal, Q.C. and Ken Leung successfully defended against an application to set aside a Mareva injunction obtained ex parte and in camera by a Chinese bank seeking to enforce a foreign arbitration award. While the Supreme Court of British Columbia found that the bank had overstated its case when seeking the injunction, the Court nevertheless concluded that the balance of convenience favoured maintaining the injunction. The reasons for judgment, released in December 2016, may be found here: China CITIC Bank Corporation Limited v. Yan, 2016 BCSC 2332. Randy and Ken also represented the bank in petition proceedings to recognize the award in British Columbia, and in February 2017, the arbitration award of approximately CAD 10 million was recognized by the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
Brent Olthuis and David McEwan were successful in an application to set aside an ex parte pre-judgment garnishing order in a claim alleging misrepresentation, breach of trust, and civil theft. In the result, a large quantity of the clients’ funds were released from court.
Randy Kaardal, Q.C., Ryan Androsoff, and Rebecca Robb represented an Alberta-based Rural Electrification Association in successfully defending against an application brought by the adverse electrical distribution utility for a declaration that an arbitrator had lost jurisdiction to deal with costs. The utility sought to deny the Association the opportunity to claim its costs of a lengthy and hard-fought arbitration brought under the Alberta Electric Utilities Act and the related Roles, Relationships and Responsibilities Regulation in which the Association enjoyed substantial success. The arbitrator’s ruling that he retains jurisdiction to deal with costs means the Association may now seek recovery from the utility of the considerable expense it incurred in the course of the arbitration.
Ken McEwan, Q.C. and Brian Duong successfully brought an application for summary trial, dismissing in its entirety a claim by owners of a residential development against the developer and adjacent property owners for additional parking stalls in a shared underground parking facility pursuant to an Agreement of Purchase and Sale. The reasons for judgment, released January 31, 2017, may be found here: Basha Sales Co. Ltd. v. Adera Equities Inc., 2017 BCSC 137. Ken and Brian were previously successful in the same action in having a certificate of pending litigation in respect of the claimed interest in parking stalls set aside. Those reasons for judgment may be found at: Basha Sales Co. Ltd. v. Adera Equities Inc., 2017 BCSC 94
We are pleased to announce that Kimberley Knapp has returned to the firm after a two year hiatus raising her children. Kim was called to the bar in 2000 and we welcome her back as an associate.
We also welcome Alexander Bjornson to the firm as an associate. Alex was called in 2015 and he comes to us with construction litigation experience from a large national law firm in Vancouver.
John Hunter Q.C. and Trevor Bant represented the Conflict of Interest Commissioner for British Columbia in obtaining a summary dismissal of a petition brought by Democracy Watch challenging the opinions given by the Commissioner over an allegation of conflict of interest brought against the Premier. The judgment can be found at here.