Brent B. Olthuis
Brent Olthuis is an experienced litigator with a broad practice in the areas of civil, commercial, administrative and constitutional law. He represents individual and corporate clients in civil and commercial matters ranging from disputes over property ownership to claims in negligence, breach of contract, breach of trust and fiduciary duty, and breach of privacy. Brent also regularly acts for regulated professions and their member professionals, as well as for other public bodies. He has acted as external counsel to the Auditor General of Canada in respect of the 2015 audit of the Senate and for the Attorney General of British Columbia in constitutional proceedings, and presently acts for the City of Richmond in the trial of an Aboriginal title claim.
Brent is a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers and has appeared before all levels of court in British Columbia and Ontario, including in 10 appeals before the Supreme Court of Canada and over 35 before the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. He has also conducted hearings before the trial courts in Alberta and Yukon Territory, the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal, various administrative tribunals including the BC Financial Services Tribunal, the BC Human Rights Tribunal and the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada, and commercial arbitration panels.
Brent is recognized in numerous third-party publications, including the London-based Chambers Guide, Best Lawyers, Who’s Who Legal, Benchmark Litigation, and The Legal 500 Canada. He has also received Martindale-Hubbell’s “AV/Preeminent” rating following a peer-review process. The AV/Preeminent rating is the top standard, and signifies that a large number of Brent’s peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence, for legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards.
Brent’s academic writing on Aboriginal law has been cited by the courts. He has published additional peer-reviewed articles in the fields of criminal practice and gaming law, and is the author of the professional conduct chapter in a leading text on the practice of law in Canada. He has written and presented a number of papers at continuing legal education conferences, on diverse topics including administrative, criminal and constitutional law. Brent is also a regular faculty member for professional development offerings of The Advocates’ Society.
Brent serves on the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC’s board of directors and is on the executive of The Advocates’ Society’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group. He previously served on the board of the BC Law Institute and as an elected Provincial Council representative for the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch. He is a also member of the Vancouver Bar Association, l’Association des juristes d’expression française de la Colombie-Britannique and the International Commission of Jurists Canada.
Prior to entering practice, Brent served as law clerk to three Justices of the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Honourable Justice Frank Iacobucci of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Huang v Li, 2021 BCSC 1727, 61 ETR (4th) 165: Successfully defended claims in deceit (fraud) in the context of a lawyer’s providing gifts to his client’s family members in China.
British Columbia (Director of Civil Forfeiture) v Angel Acres Recreation and Festival Property Ltd, 2020 BCCA 290, 41 BCLR (6th) 405: Obtained a stay of proceedings concerning the trial judge’s declaration of constitutional invalidity.
College of Midwives of British Columbia v MaryMoon, 2020 BCCA 224, 451 DLR (4th) 100 (Co-counsel with Trevor Bant): Intervened on behalf of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC in a case concerning the constitutionality of “reserved titles” legislation.
Cowichan Tribes v Canada (AG), 2020 BCSC 1146, 41 BCLR (6th) 150 (Co-counsel with Trevor Bant): In-trial application regarding the admissibility of historical and ethnographic documents upon which a plaintiffs’ expert relied.
Cowichan Tribes v Canada (AG), 2020 BCSC 165, 33 BCLR (6th) 397: Resisted the admission of a prior draft of an expert’s report in a lengthy Aboriginal title action over lands in Richmond on the south arm of the Fraser River.
Angel Acres Recreation and Festival Property Ltd v British Columbia (AG), 2019 BCSC 1421, 443 CRR (2d) 110: Acted for the Attorney General and Director of Civil Forfeiture as respondents to a petition seeking to dismiss the Director’s action against three properties that serve as clubhouses for local chapters of an international motorcycle club. The court rejected the various statutory and constitutional arguments and dismissed the petition.
College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia v Ezzati, 2019 BCCA 306, 28 BCLR (6th) 92 (Co-counsel with Trevor Bant): Enlarged a finding of contempt on appeal, with the Court of Appeal agreeing that the respondent’s having explained the risks and benefits of botulinum toxin (Botox) and dermal filler injections for the purposes of obtaining clients’ informed consent amounted to the practice of medicine and was in breach of the terms of an interim injunction.
Cowichan Tribes v Canada (AG), 2019 BCSC 1243: Resisted the admission of two out-of-court statements as trial evidence in a lengthy Aboriginal title action concerning lands in Richmond on the South Arm of the Fraser River.
Li v Rao, 2019 BCCA 264, 26 BCLR (6th) 219 (With Aubin Calvert): Successfully defended a Supreme Court order enjoining Rao from proceeding with an arbitration before the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) until the BC courts ruled on various applications. The appeal is a leading authority on “anti-arbitration injunctions” in the Canadian context.
College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia v Khahk, 2019 BCSC 1604: Successfully prosecuted a “second offence” contempt of court against the unlicensed respondent. The court found that the respondent had injected a client with botulinum toxin (Botox) shortly after having been found in contempt for the first time. By way of penalty, the court lifted the suspension on the initial custodial sentence and ordered the respondent to spend an additional 30 days incarcerated. It also ordered the respondent to pay a fine of $7,500.
Aulakh v Nahal, 2019 BCCA 57, 22 BCLR (6th) 71: Acted for the appellant in a challenge to the trial judge’s assessment of “uniqueness” for the purposes of analyzing the suitability of specific performance as a remedy for breach of a contract of purchase and sale of residential real estate.
College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia v Khahk, 2019 BCSC 501: Obtained an order finding the unlicensed respondent guilty of contempt of court for having injected persons with dermal fillers, contrary to a consent injunction. In the result, the respondent was given a suspended sentence of 30 days and two years’ probation. She was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia v Ezzati, 2018 BCSC 2006 (Co-counsel with Trevor Bant): Obtained an order finding the respondent, who is not licensed to practice medicine in BC, guilty of contempt of court for having held herself out as being qualified to practise medicine on her website and Instagram profile, and for having referred to herself as “doctor”, all in breach of an interim injunction.
College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia v Li, 2018 BCSC 923 (Co-counsel with Trevor Bant): Obtained an order finding the non-registrant Li guilty of contempt of court for having breached an injunction by performing “East Asian blepharoplasty” (double eyelid surgery) on a client.
H(M) v Legal Services Society, 2018 BCSC 195: Represented the Legal Services Society’s in a successful defence of a funding decision made in respect of the petitioner’s application for legal aid representation.
College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia v Tan, 2017 BCSC 2233: Obtained an injunction for the petitioner Health College, preventing the respondent and her company from providing mole-removal services while not licensed as a medical professional.
Democracy Watch v British Columbia (Conflict of Interest Commissioner), 2017 BCCA 366: Acted for the respondent Conflict of Interest Commissioner in proceedings seeking to challenge his opinion concerning certain activities of the then-Premier. The proceedings were dismissed with no impact on the Commissioner’s opinion.
Tracey v. Gokturk, 2017 BCSC 1813: Successfully represented a director of a technology company in a dispute arising out of a board deadlock over a proposed transaction.
Cowichan Tribes v. Canada (Attorney General), 2017 BCSC 1575, 1 BCLR (6th) 214: Represented the City of Richmond in an important application in a First Nations land claim, concerning the plaintiffs’ obligation to notify private landowners of their claim.
Aulakh v. Nahal, 2017 BCSC 1000: Represented the purchaser of residential real estate in Richmond, arguing successfully that the vendor had breached the contract of purchase and sale on the designated closing date.
Great Canadian Gaming Corp. v. British Columbia Lottery Corp., 2017 BCSC 574 (co-counsel with Mike Stephens): Represented the defendant in successful opposition to the plaintiff’s application to convert a conventional action to a class proceeding.
Brito v. Terry L. Napora Law Corp, 2016 BCSC 1476: Represented the Law Society to oppose the plaintiff’s application for a “Norwich Pharmacal order” to obtain discovery of the defendant lawyer’s client information.
Mann v. British Columbia (Insurance Council), 2015-FIA-002(a): Represented a licensed insurance agent in a disciplinary appeal that reduced the length of suspension by a factor of 6.
Google Inc. v. Mutual, 2016 BCSC 1169: Represented VideoShare LLC (plaintiff in Delaware proceedings against Google and others) in petition concerning deposition of a witness in British Columbia.
MM v. United States of America, 2015 SCC 62,  3 SCR 973: Intervened on behalf of the BC Civil Liberties Association in a case concerning the “double-criminality” requirement under the Extradition Act
British Columbia v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Limited, 2015 BCSC 1713: Represented Imperial Tobacco in successful application for production of documents from the federal government
Harrison v. Law Society of British Columbia, 2015 BCCA 258: Applied successfully to have an appeal dismissed as an abuse of process
College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia v. Fofie, 2015 BCSC 907: Obtained order for College of Physicians granting search and seizure powers in respect of a clinic offering aesthetic treatments
Sun West Financial Ltd. v. 0800978 BC Ltd, 2014 BCSC 2167: Applied successfully to have a foreclosure petition converted from summary proceedings into a trial
Haghdust v. British Columbia Lottery Corp., 2014 BCSC 1327: (co-counsel with Randy Kaardal and Shannon Ramsay): Defended, on behalf of the Lottery Corporation, a class action suit challenging its refusal to pay jackpots to self-excluded gamblers
John Doe v. Ontario (Finance), 2014 SCC 36,  2 SCR 3: Intervened on behalf of the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association in a case concerning the “advice or recommendations of a public servant” exception to disclosure in access to information legislation
Reference re Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32,  1 SCR 704: (co-counsel with John Hunter, Q.C., Claire Hunter and others): Represented amicus curiae in a proceeding concerning the process for amending the provisions in the Constitution concerning the Senate
College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia v. Shapoval, 2014 BCSC 505: Represented the College of Dental Surgeons in a successful prosecution for contempt of court, resulting in a penalty of 45 days’ imprisonment
Henry v. Canada (A.G.), 2014 BCCA 30, 53 BCLR (5th) 282: (co-counsel with Mark Oulton and Stephanie McHugh): Represented three clients in public-interest constitutional challenge to federal voter identification rules
Canada (A.G.) v. Bedford, 2013 SCC 72,  3 SCR 1101: Intervened on behalf of the BC Civil Liberties Association regarding the appropriate standard of causation in cases involving the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Insurance Corp. of British Columbia v. COPE, Local 378, 2012 BCSC 1244: Represented defendant in response to injunction application based on alleged breaches of ICBC’s intellectual property rights
Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. Alberta Teachers’ Association, 2011 SCC 61,  3 SCR 654: Intervened on behalf of the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association in a case concerning the failure to comply with statutory time limits
Reference re Section 293 of the Criminal Code, 2011 BCSC 1588: Represented children’s rights advocacy groups in proceedings concerning the constitutionality of the provision criminalizing polygamy
Fuller v. Harper, 2010 BCCA 421, 9 BCLR (5th) 236: Successfully appealed from a trial order requiring client to transfer title to property in the Okanagan, based on an application of the presumption of resulting trust
R. v. Cunningham, 2010 SCC 10,  1 SCR 331: (co-counsel with John Hunter, Q.C.): Intervened on behalf of the Law Society of Yukon in a case concerning the ethical responsibilities of lawyers when determining whether to withdraw services
“Can We Make It Any Clearer? BC’s Experience with Legislated Standards of Review”, prepared for and presented at the Ontario Bar Association administrative law conference “Ten Years Later: Coherence and Consistency In Administrative Practice Post-Dunsmuir”, Toronto, ON, 6 February 2018
"Shutting Down the Charlatan (or, Policing Unauthorized Practice)", prepared for and presented at the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC's Self-Governing Professions conference, Vancouver, BC, 2 June 2017
"The ‘Outermost Reaches’ of Negligence: Gaming and the Duty to Protect" (2015) 8 Canadian Gaming Lawyer 4
"On the Front Cover: Jeremy Webber" (2014) 72 Advocate 179
"Meanwhile, On The West Coast..." (2012) 2(2) Class Act (Ontario Bar Association, Class Action Section)
"Criminal Investigators in Municipal Functionaries' Clothing?: The Safety Standards Act and Controlled Substances Bylaws", prepared for and presented at the Trial Lawyers’ Association of British Columbia’s Contemporary Criminal Law conference, Vancouver, BC, 23 September 2011
"Life, Liberty and Security of the Person as Generalized Human Rights: A Section 7 Redux", prepared for and presented at the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC’s Human Rights Conference, Vancouver, BC, 25 November 2011
"The Constitution’s Peoples: Approaching Community in the Context of Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982" (2009) 54 McGill L.J. 1
"Professional Conduct" in Dodek & Hoskins, eds., Canadian Legal Practice (formerly Barristers & Solicitors in Practice, 2d ed.) (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2009), c 3 [ongoing update to looseleaf publication]
"Civil Procedure: Court Rules" in Susan Munro et al, Annual Review of Law & Practice (Vancouver: Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia: 2008) 43 (with M Oulton, S McHugh, and S Ramsay)
"Disclosure of Electronic Information: R. v. Cassidy" Note (2004) 49 Crim LQ 287
"Defrosting Delgamuukw" (2001) 12 National Journal of Constitutional Law 385
Brent is involved in the profession and in his community. He is presently a Member-at-Large for the Commercial Litigation Practice Group of The Advocates’ Society (TAS), a national association headquartered in Toronto as the authoritative voice of advocates within the justice system. TAS is committed to providing members with opportunities for mentoring, networking and collegiality. Brent completed TAS’ skills instructor training programme in 2015, and since then has been a regular faculty member and skills instructor in TAS workshops, both in Vancouver and Toronto.
Brent is a director of CLEBC and sits executive committee of The Advocates’ Society’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group. In the past, he served on the board of the BC Law Institute, a not-for-profit law reform agency working to improve and modernize the law. He also served a term as an elected Provincial Council representative for the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch, and two terms as co-chair of that organization’s Administrative Law Section. He was a member of the CBA national working group that produced the Review of Judicial Conduct Process of the Canadian Judicial Council in July 2014.
Beyond contributions to the profession, Brent has been a generous contributor of pro bono legal services to the BC public, being twice recognized as Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year by the province’s leading pro bono services provider. In his community, he canvassed for many years as part of the Canadian Cancer Society’s “Daffodil Campaign” and was a volunteer coach with the North Shore Female Ice Hockey Association, North Vancouver Minor Hockey Association and North Vancouver Spring Flag Football League.
While a law student, Brent participated in student governance, serving as president of his third year LL.B. class at McGill and a Students’ Representative on the Graduate Studies Committee while at UVic.
Awards and Recognition
Awards & Recognition
Brent was elected a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers in 2020, joining a select number of Canadian lawyers in the society. Among other peer-reviewed honours, Brent was awarded the highest distinction from Martindale-Hubbell (“AV/Preeminent”), indicating that a large number of Brent’s peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence, for legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards.
Other publications recognizing Brent as a leading barrister include Chambers and Partners, Lexpert, Best Lawyers, Benchmark Canada (in which he was one of five finalists across the country in 2016, for the “Emerging Talent of the Year” award), Who’s Who Legal and The Legal 500 Canada. Lexpert Magazine named Brent a "Rising Star (Leading Lawyers Under 40)" in 2012, and subsequently named him as a "US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyer to Watch".
Brent was named "Lawyer of the Year" for Access Pro Bono’s Judicial Review Roster programme in 2008 and the following year received APB’s general "Lawyer of the Year"award. In addition, Hunter Litigation Chambers has been the recipient of numerous pro bono awards arising out of Brent’s work: in 2010, the firm received a Lexpert Zenith Award for "Political Pro Bono" related to Brent’s representation of the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association in judicial review proceedings, and in 2011, it received a Zenith Award for "Pro Bono by Team or Firm" for work on the Polygamy Reference.
While a law student, Brent was the recipient of multiple scholarships and awards, and made the Dean’s Honour List in each year of studies. He graduated at the top of his class at McGill Law before commencing clerkships at the Court of Appeal for Ontario and Supreme Court of Canada.
HLC congratulates Brent Olthuis on being named for a seventh time in the 2022 Chambers & Partners directory for his work in Commercial Litigation.
Best Lawyers in Canada™ has released the 2022 edition of its publication and Brent Olthuis is recognized in four areas: Aboriginal Law, Administrative and Public Law, Appellate Practice and Corporate and Commercial Litigation.
Brent Olthuis represented a BC society in a statutory appeal of a decision by the Minister of National Revenue. The Minister had refused the client’s application for registration as a “Canadian amateur athletic association” under the Income Tax Act. The Federal Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and remitted the matter to the Minister to reconsider in light of the governing legal principles. The reasons for judgment in the case and its companion case are available here and here.
Brent Olthuis and Caitlin Ehman obtained summary judgment, dismissing the entirety of the plaintiffs’ claims against their client. The court agreed with their submissions that the claim was bound to fail, and that “estoppel by representation” was a rule of evidence, not a basis to sue. A copy of the court’s reasons can be found here.
Claire Hunter Q.C. and Brent Olthuis have jointed the BC roster of the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute. The Institute allows lawyers appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada to conduct an pre-hearing “moot” of their argument in front of senior appellate counsel, and obtain feedback from that counsel. The Institute was set up in 2007 by the Honourable Frank Iacobucci, for whom both Claire and Brent clerked, and other lawyers. Aubin Calvert is also involved with the Institute, with responsibility for co-ordinating BC sessions.
The Supreme Court of Canada cited Brent Olthuis’ article “The Constitution’s Peoples” in its judgment R v Desautel, 2021 SCC 17. The Desautel case concerned the right of a US citizen and resident who was hunting in BC to assert an Aboriginal rights traced through his ancestors.
Brent Olthuis, with Kaitlyn Chewka of Lovett Westmacott, delivered tips on “Presenting Your Argument” for CLEBC’s Fundamentals of Judicial Review 2021.
Brent Olthuis demonstrated cross-examination techniques for on-line proceedings in The Advocates’ Society’s programme “Cross Examination: Strategies for Success”.
Brent Olthuis participated as a skills instructor for The Advocates’ Society’s Motions Advocacy professional development programme.
Brent Olthuis and Trevor Bant continue to represent the City of Richmond defending a claim asserting Aboriginal title to lands on the South Arm of the Fraser River. The trial has now been proceeding for over 200 days. The plaintiffs recently applied to have the court admit certain documents as evidence, in the absence of a witness. A copy of the court’s ruling can be found here.
Brent Olthuis and Trevor Bant represented the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC in a matter involving proof of the most substantial and extensive example of unlicensed practice of medicine in the province. In the result, the court found the unlicensed person guilty of contempt of court, and imposed a penalty including a six-month custodial sentence and a $15,000 fine. A copy of the court’s reasons can be found here.
For the second year in a row, Brent Olthuis presented as a guest lecturer for the third year class of Thompson Rivers University’s Faculty of Law. Brent presented his thoughts on case planning and developing the theory of a case.
Brent Olthuis and Julia Roos represented a Vancouver ratepayer couple in a successful challenge to the City’s assessment of vacancy tax for the 2017 taxation year.
Brent Olthuis and Aubin Calvert represented the District of Sicamous in appeal proceedings arising from a catastrophic 2012 flood. On 30 December 2020, the Court of Appeal released reasons for judgment, allowing the District’s appeal in part. The reasons may be found here.
Brent Olthuis and Alex Bjornson, along with former colleague David McEwan, successfully defended their client from allegations and deceit and fraud made by her former lawyer in a case that received CBC media coverage. The trial court’s reasons for judgment are available here.
Brent Olthuis has been recognized as a Future Leader by the Who’s Who Legal independent research team in that body’s 2020 Litigation Guide.
Brent Olthuis and Julia Roos, working with a counsel team including several Ontario lawyers, successfully fended off an application to stay their client’s intended class proceeding against several LifeLabs entities. A copy of the reasons can be found here.
Brent Olthuis and Trevor Bant, acting for the Attorney General and Director of Civil Forfeiture, obtained an order from a justice of the Court of Appeal, staying the operation of a declaration of constitutional invalidity. The reasons for judgment are found here.
Brent Olthuis was named secretary of The Advocates’ Society’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group for the 2020-21 term.
Brent Olthuis was named as the Law Society’s appointee to the Board of Directors of the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC (CLEBC), for a three-year term.
The trial over an Aboriginal title claim to lands on the South Arm of the Fraser River continues. Brent Olthuis and Trevor Bant represent the City of Richmond, and received a ruling in early August concerning the admissibility of documents through the plaintiffs’ expert witness. A copy of the reasons for judgment is available here.
Brent Olthuis and Trevor Bant represented the College of Physicians and Surgeons in an appeal concerning the constitutionality of the reserved titles regime under the provincial Health Professions Act. In the result, the Court allowed an appeal from the chambers judge, and found the legislation in compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A copy of the ruling can be found here.
The Advocates’ Society’s board of directors ratified the appointments of Mark Oulton and Brent Olthuis as, respectively, vice-chair of the Arbitration and Mediation Advocacy practice group and member-at-large for the Commercial Litigation Practice Group for the 2020-21 term.
Brent Olthuis was elected as a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers. The ISOB is a society with a regular membership of fewer than 750 lawyers in the US, Canada, Australia, England, Scotland and Ireland. Fellows of the Society are adjudged by their peers and judges to be “outstanding in the field of advocacy”, and are committed to the highest of ethical standards and to civility in their professional relationships.
HLC is pleased to continue to receive the highest ranking of “Highly Recommended” in Benchmark Canada 2020. This is a testament to the talent and hard work of our individual lawyers, seven of whom have been ranked as “Litigation Stars” by Benchmark. Congratulations to Bill Smart Q.C., Randy Kaardal, Q.C., Claire Hunter, Q.C., Mike Stephens, Mark Oulton, Brent Olthuis and Ryan Dalziel.
Hunter Litigation Chambers has again been ranked in Lexpert Canada Directory 2020 in the areas of Litigation-Corporate Commercial and Forestry Law. In addition, six of our Counsel have been again recognized by Canadian Legal Lexpert 2020 Directory in a wide variety of practice areas: Randy Kaardal, Q.C. (Employment), Claire Hunter, Q.C. (Corp/Comm Litigation), Mike Stephens (Corp/Comm Litigation), Mark Oulton (Forestry Law), Brent Olthuis (Corp/Comm Litigation) and Ryan Dalziel (Corp/Comm Litigation and Regulatory & Public Law). Congratulations to all for this well-earned recognition.
Brent Olthuis and Trevor Bant obtained a civil search and seizure order under section 29 of the Health Professions Act, permitting inspectors of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia to search for evidence of the unlawful practice of medicine.
Brent Olthuis presented a guest lecture to the Thompson Rivers University third-year law class, as part of the law school’s mandatory trial advocacy course, on the topic “Trial Preparation and Theory of the Case”.
Brent Olthuis was a panelist and skills instructor for The Advocates’ Society’s “Credibility for Litigators” professional development program in Toronto. The learning-by-doing course addressed the primary credibility issues driving trial preparation, presentation and outcome. A description of the course is found here.
The Legal 500 has once again ranked Hunter Litigation Chambers in the field Dispute Resolution: British Columbia in its 2020 edition. Two of our counsel, Claire Hunter QC and Brent Olthuis, were included on a select list of 15 lawyers nation-wide as “Next Generation Partners”.
Claire Hunter QC and Brent Olthuis acted as volunteer guest instructors for the Civil Mock Trial portion of the UBC Allard Law’s Allan McEachern Advanced Trial Advocacy Course.
Brent Olthuis served as a skills instructor in The Advocates’ Society’s “Direct Examination Skills Workshop” professional development course, where he provided a demonstration of how to lead evidence-in-chief from a witness at trial.
Who’s Who Legal’s independent research team has again identified Brent Olthuis as a Future Leader for its 2019 Litigation Guide.
Hunter Litigation Chambers and its counsel were again highly ranked in the 2020 Chambers Canada guide released this month by Chambers and Partners. The Chambers Canada guide ranks lawyers and law firms in over 40 specialist practice areas across Canada, based primarily on peer and client interviews. In this most recent edition, five of our counsel achieved recognition, and across three categories. Randy J. Kaardal, Q.C., Claire Hunter, Q.C., Mike Stephens and Brent Olthuis were each again ranked as leading practitioners in the general commercial litigation category for British Columbia. Mike was also featured in the spotlight table for administrative & public law litigation in BC. Mark Oulton again achieved Band 1 recognition – the highest ranking - for his work in Agribusiness/Forestry nationally.
Brent Olthuis, with Trevor Bant and a lawyer employed with government, represented the Attorney General and Director of Civil Forfeiture in petition proceedings challenging the Director’s authority to collect information from the RCMP and seeking certain relief under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The court dismissed the petition and found the Director has lawful authority to collect information from the RCMP and to commence civil forfeiture proceedings on the basis of that information. A copy of the court’s reasons can be found here.
Brent Olthuis and Trevor Bant succeeded in an appeal for the College of Physicians and Surgeons, by broadening a finding of contempt of court against a non-registrant. The decision represents the first occasion on which the BC Court of Appeal has confirmed that giving advice on Botox and dermal filler injections for the purposes of obtaining the client’s informed consent constitutes the practice of medicine. A copy of the court’s reasons for judgment can be found here.
Brent Olthuis and Aubin Calvert won an appeal challenging the issuance of an anti-suit injunction in the arbitral context. The judgment represents one of the first, if not the first, times an appellate court in Canada has addressed the topic. A copy of the reasons for decision can be found here.
Brent Olthuis and Trevor Bant successfully prosecuted a contempt of court application for the College of Physicians and Surgeons. In the result, the court found beyond a reasonable doubt that a non-registrant injected botulinum toxin into a client, in breach of an injunction. The court lifted the suspension it had placed on a 30-day sentence for an earlier contempt, and ordered the non-registrant to serve an additional 30 days in jail. In addition, the non-registrant was ordered to pay $7,500 ($300 of which will reimburse the person she injected).
Benchmark Canada has released its 2019 Attorney rankings and again Brent Olthuis is recognized as a litigation star.
Brent Olthuis represented an Invermere-based corporation in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, successfully opposing a shareholder’s application for various records. Matthew Palmer assisted with the matter.
Brent Olthuis and Trevor Bant represented the College of Physicians and Surgeons in contempt of court proceedings against a non-registrant who performed dermal filler injections contrary to an injunction. In the result, the contemnor was given a 30-day suspended sentence, a two-year term of probation and a $5,000 fine ($300 of which will reimburse a client), and ordered to pay the College “special costs”. A copy of the court’s reasons for judgment is here, and media coverage of the matter can be found here and here.
Brent Olthuis is counsel for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia in another case that has received media attention. See here. The matter is ongoing.
Hunter Litigation Chambers was again recommended as a Top-Tier Firm in Dispute Resolution in British Columbia, in The Legal 500 Canada 2019 edition. Four Lawyers are recommended in the editorial, William Smart QC, Michael Stephens, Brent Olthuis and Claire Hunter. Brent and Claire are also recognized as Next Generation Lawyers in 2019.
Brent Olthuis has been recognized by Who’s Who Legal in the “Litigation – Future Leaders – Partners” category.
Brent Olthuis was in the news on account of both the resumption of high-profile civil forfeiture proceedings and proceedings filed on behalf of the College of Physicians and Surgeons against unlicensed persons. See the respective reports here and here.
Brent Olthuis and Alexander Bjornson successfully applied to remove a certificate of pending litigation from their client’s property and obtained an order for costs in favour of their client. The reasons are available here.
Hunter Litigation Chambers was again highly ranked in the 2019 Chambers Canada guide, recently published by Chambers and Partners. The Chambers Canada guide ranks the best lawyers and law firms in over 40 specialist practice areas across Canada. Rankings are primarily based on peer and client interviews, but also rely on information submitted by law firms. In this most recent edition of the Guide, five of our counsel achieved recognition, and across two categories. Randy J. Kaardal, Q.C., Michael Stephens, Brent Olthuis and Claire Hunter were each again ranked as leading practitioners in the area of Litigation: General Commercial. Mark Oultonachieved a Band 1 recognition – the highest ranking - for his work in Agribusiness: Forestry – Nationwide - Canada.
The Best Lawyers in Canada (2019 Edition) recognized Brent Olthuis in the area of Corporate and Commercial Litigation.
Brent Olthuis and Trevor Bant obtained an order for the College of Physicians and Surgeons, finding a non-registrant in contempt of court for having held herself out as qualified to practise medicine and having referred to herself as “doctor”. The court’s reasons for judgment are available here.
Martindale-Hubbell has released their 2018 ratings. Bill Smart, Mark Oulton and Brent Olthuis received the “AV/Preeminent” rating from their peers, which is the highest ranking. Michael Stephens and Randy Kaardal received the “Distinguished” rating. Each of these rating means that they were deemed by their peers to have very high professional ethics and preeminent/distinguished legal ability. Only lawyers with high ethical standards and professional ability receive a Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating.
Benchmark Canada has released its 2018 Attorney rankings and each of Claire Hunter, Randy Kaardal, Q.C., Brent Olthuis, Mark Oulton, Bill Smart, Q.C. and Michael Stephens are recognized as litigation stars.
Brent Olthuis, with Trevor Bant, successfully prosecuted a contempt of court application on behalf of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC. The respondent, who is not licensed to practise medicine, was found to have breached an injunction by performing “East Asian blepharoplasty” (double eyelid surgery) on a customer. The court’s reasons for judgment can be found here.
Brent Olthuis and Trevor Bant obtained an order for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, enjoining a non-doctor and her corporation from injecting Botox and other dermal fillers. Media coverage of the case can be found here.
Brent Olthuis was in the news in relation to the opening of a high-profile civil forfeiture case: two of the media reports can be found here and here. The firm’s Trevor Bant and a lawyer with the Attorney General’s office round out the counsel team on the file.
Brent Olthuis was quoted in an article on the arrests and court proceedings of the Kinder Morgan protesters, speaking about the differences between civil and criminal contempt of court. A copy of the article can be found here.
Five Hunter Litigation Chambers lawyers — Mike Stephens, Brent Olthuis, Claire Hunter, Trevor Bant and Julia Roos — were recognized in the British Columbia Court of Appeal’s 2017 Annual Report for their contributions to pro bono services on Court of Appeal cases in 2017.
Brent Olthuis was in the news for an appeal he argued on behalf of the City of Salmon Arm. A copy of the report can be found here.
Brent Olthuis and Trevor Bant represented the Legal Services Society in a successful defence of a funding decision. A copy of the decision can be found here.
The Ontario Bar Association invited Brent Olthuis to sit on a standard of review panel at its Administrative Law conference “Ten Years Later: Coherence and Consistency In Administrative Practice Post-Dunsmuir”. Brent presented his paper “Can We Make It Any Clearer?” concerning BC’s experience with legislated standards of review in the Administrative Tribunals Act. The Conference agenda is available here, and Brent’s paper here.
Brent Olthuis obtained an order for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, enjoining a non-doctor from performing mole (nevus) removal. A copy of the judgment of Mr Justice Macintosh can be found here.
Brent Olthuis and Mark Oulton acted as volunteer guest instructors for the Mock Civil Trial portion of UBC Allard Law’s Allan McEachern Course in Trial Advocacy, for which Bill Smart is one of three adjunct faculty instructors.
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.
Brent Olthuis and Trevor Bant represented the British Columbia Conflict of Interest Commissioner in an appeal challenging an opinion the Commissioner rendered concerning the certain activities of the former Premier. The appeal was dismissed for reasons that can be found here.
Brent Olthuis successfully represented a director of a Vancouver tech company in a board dispute, obtaining an award of costs in his client’s favour. A copy of the decision is available here.
Brent Olthuis moderated a panel discussion, “Latest Development in Legal Privilege and FOI”, at the BC Information Summit event. The conference agenda can be found here.
Brent Olthuis and Trevor Bant represented the City of Richmond in an important application in a First Nations land claim, concerning the plaintiffs’ obligation to notify private landowners of their claim. A copy of the judgment can be found here.
Brent Olthuis presented his paper “Shutting Down the Charlatan (Or, Policing Unauthorized Practice)” at the CLEBC’s June 2, 2017 course “Self-Governing Professions”.
Brent Olthuis and Greg Allen represented the purchaser of residential real estate in Richmond, arguing successfully that the vendor had breached the contract of purchase and sale on the designated closing date. A copy of the decision can be found here.
Brent Olthuis (with Michael Stephens) 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.
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.
Brent Olthuis has been appointed as a Director of the BC Law Institute (BCLI) from October 2016 to October 2019.
Brent Olthuis represented the Law Society of British Columbia in a successful defence of solicitor-client confidentiality where a plaintiff sought client information from a deceased lawyer. The reasons for judgment are available here.
Brent Olthuis represented a licensed insurance agent in an administrative appeal from disciplinary proceedings. In the result, the licensee’s suspension was reduced from one year to two months. The reasons for judgment are available here.
Brent Olthuis and Brian Duong represented VideoShare LLC, the plaintiff in Delaware proceedings alleging patent infringement by Google Inc. and others, in proceedings brought in British Columbia concerning the deposition of a witness. The reasons for judgment are available The reasons for judgment are available here.
Hunter Litigation Chambers was nominated as British Columbia firm of the year. The firm has once again been identified in the current Benchmark 2016 as "Highly Recommended", the highest category in the Benchmark listing. Ken, John Hunter, Q.C., Randy Kaardal, Q.C., Bill Smart, Q.C.,Michael Stephens and Brent are recognized as "Local Litigation Stars", while Claire Hunter is listed under "Future Stars".
Ken McEwan, Q.C. co-chaired the Advocates Society Civil Advocacy Trial College, a skills-based trial advocacy program held in Vancouver on November 5-6, 2015. Brent Olthuis was a member of the faculty, conducted a mock cross-examination and assisted in providing feedback to the participants. Ken is a director of the Advocates Society and Emily Kirkpatrick is a member of the Society's National Standards Committee.
The UK-based Chambers Guide has for the first time published a guide focussed on Canada. Hunter Litigation Chambers was listed on the top rank in Dispute Resolution, and four of our counsel, John Hunter, Q.C., Ken McEwan, Q.C., Mike Stephens and Brent Olthuis, were identified as leading practitioners in Dispute Resolution. John was also recognized in the field of Aboriginal Law.
Brent Olthuis has been elected to the Provincial Council of the Canadian Bar Association (BC Branch). Brent has recently been acting as external counsel to the Auditor General of Canada in respect of the audit of the Senate.
Ken McEwan, Q.C. and Brent Olthuis were members of the faculty of the Advocates' Society "Evidence That Wins" programme on April 15. Ken was co-chair of the programme with Mr. Justice Skolrood of the British Columbia Supreme Court.
Benchmark Canada has announced its annual awards, and for the third straight year Ken McEwan, Q.C. has been recognized as British Columbia Litigator of the Year. Ken was also nominated for Canadian Trial Lawyer of the Year and Canadian Competition Lawyer of the Year. Hunter Litigation Chambers was nominated for British Columbia firm of the year, Canadian class action firm of the year and Canadian litigation boutique firm of the year and continues to be designated as "highly recommended", the highest category in the Benchmark listing. Ken, John Hunter, Q.C., Randy Kaardal, Q.C., Bill Smart, Q.C. and Mike Stephens are included as "Local Litigation Stars" while Brent Olthuis and Claire Hunter have been recognized as "Future Stars." Brent was also nominated for emerging talent of the year in Canada.
Brent Olthuis was in the news recently in connection with his representation of three B.C. voters who have been challenging the federal voter identification rules. Read more
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.
Ken McEwan, Q.C. and John Hunter, Q.C. were recognized by Lexpert as leading corporate-commercial practitioners in that company's 2013 Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada. Brent Olthuis was identified as one of Lexpert's "US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers to Watch."
We are very pleased to announce that Claire Hunter and Gib van Ert have accepted our invitation to become Counsel with the firm. They will join Bill Berardino, Q.C., John Hunter, Q.C., Ken McEwan, Q.C., Randy Kaardal, Michael Stephens, Mark Oulton, Brent Johnston and Brent Olthuis in that capacity with the firm. Congratulations to both!
John Hunter, Q.C., Brent Olthuis and Claire Hunter appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada on the Senate Reform Reference the week of November 12. The Reference concerned the interpretation of the constitutional amending formula in respect to reform of the Senate. Mr. Hunter was appointed amicus curiae to the Court, along with Daniel Jutras, Dean of Law at McGill Law School.
Brent Olthuis was in the news recently as counsel for the B.C. College of Dental Surgeons in connection with a contempt hearing. Read more
Benchmark Canada, a third party directory that describes itself as "the Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys" has released its 2013 edition and again Hunter Litigation Chambers is listed in the top category for British Columbia. The Guide identifies Michael Stephens, Randy Kaardal, Ken McEwan, Q.C., John Hunter, Q.C. and Bill Berardino, Q.C. as "Local Litigation Stars" and Brent Olthuis as one of BC's "Future Stars".
Brent Olthuis was in the news in connection with his work as counsel on an appeal from a second degree murder conviction: Read more
December 2012We are very pleased to announce that Brent Olthuis has been honoured as a "Lexpert Rising Star: Leading Lawyers Under 40." These awards are presented annually to leading lawyers across Canada under the age of 40 who are considered rising stars in the Canadian legal community. Lexpert selects the finalists based on criteria including the candidates' legal talent, business acumen, major accomplishments, interpersonal skills and the views of their peers, and an advisory board votes on the winning candidates.
Brent Olthuis has published an article on waiver of tort in class actions in the Ontario Bar Association's Class Action Newsletter: "Meanwhile, On The West Coast" (2012) 2(2) Class Act. Read the article here.
Another third party directory has published its list of leading litigation firms and Hunter Litigation Chambers is again recognized in the top tier of litigation firms in British Columbia. Benchmark Canada, describing itself as "The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys", identifies Michael Stephens, Randy Kaardal, Ken McEwan, Q.C., John Hunter, Q.C. and Bill Berardino, Q.C. as "Local Litigation Stars" and Brent Olthuis as one of BC's "Future Stars".
We are very pleased to announce that Brent Johnston and Brent Olthuis have accepted our invitation to become Counsel with the firm, effective March 1. They will join Bill Berardino, Q.C., John Hunter, Q.C., Ken McEwan, Q.C., Randy Kaardal, Michael Stephens and Mark Oulton in that capacity with the firm. Congratulations to both!
Once again, we have the pleasure of welcoming a new addition to our growing firm. Brent Olthuis has joined the firm to work as a litigation associate. Brent graduated first in his class at McGill Law School in 2000 and then clerked with first the Ontario Court of Appeal and then Justice Iacobucci in the Supreme Court of Canada. He was called to the bar in Ontario in 2001 and practised commercial litigation with a national firm in Ottawa for two years before returning to British Columbia in 2005, when he was called to the British Columbia bar. After receiving a Master's degree from the University of Victoria in 2006, Brent practiced with a litigation boutique before joining Hunter Litigation Chambers. We are pleased to have him with us to continue his practice in civil litigation and administrative law.