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February 2021

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.

January 2021

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.

Mark Oulton and Brian Duong successfully obtained an order of certiorari staying a stop work order and a declaration that several municipal bylaws were inapplicable to activities carried out in respect of the development and operation of a quarry authorized by a provincial Mines Permit within municipal boundaries. A copy of the decision can be found here.

In a related matter decided in November 2020 for which reasons were just released, Mark Oulton and Brian Duong successfully defended a judicial review brought by a local community association of a Mines Permit authorizing a quarry on Vancouver Island. A copy of the decision can be found here.

Claire Hunter, QC and Adrienne Smith are counsel to a youth referred to as YZ whose mother had obtained an ex parte injunction to stop him from obtaining gender affirming chest surgery. On January 18, 2021 the BC Supreme Court struck the mother’s claim as an abuse of process in reasons available here. Hunter Litigation Chambers associate Diana Sepulveda assisted in preparing for the application. Media coverage of the decision is available here and 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.

December 2020

HLC is pleased to announce that Ryan Dalziel was appointed Queen’s Counsel. In announcing Ryan’s appointment, the Attorney General explained that the QC designation recognizes a lawyer “for demonstrating dedication, integrity and exceptional commitment to their careers and community.” In Ryan’s case, the Attorney General noted that he "has undertaken 2,000 hours of pro bono work on behalf of the B.C. Civil liberties Association, religious freedom, First Nations and other advocacy organizations." The news release is available here.

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.

November 2020

Brent Olthuis and Alexander 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.

Claire Hunter, QC and Alexander Bjornson successfully resisted a shareholder’s effort in the B.C. Court of Appeal to commence a derivative action against directors of a mining company. The shareholder’s petition was not granted leave to commence the proposed derivative action by a chambers judge and then appealed the chambers judge’s decision. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision and dismissed the shareholder’s appeal. Reasons for judgment can be found here.

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.

We are pleased to announce that Stacey Waterman has joined the firm as an Associate. Stacey joins us from a New York law firm, and will continue to develop her practice in general litigation, and public and commercial law.

October 2020

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.

Claire Hunter provided a counsel perspective on a panel entitled “Navigating the new world of chambers and trial practice” at CLEBC’s Litigation Update 2020.

Mike Stephens presented at the Canadian Institute’s 20th Anniversary Advanced Administrative Law & Practice Virtual Conference. Mike co-presented at a post-conference workshop entitled “Decision Writing Post-Vavilov: A Practical Guide for Drafting Robust Reasons”.

Randy Kaardal, Q.C., Julia Roos and articling student Ben Kaardal were successful in defending a summary trial application seeking to dismiss a breach of contract claim. The summary trial application focused on the asserted defences of force majeure and frustration. Reasons for judgment can be found here.

The Access Pro Bono Society of British Columbia held its Annual General Meeting on October 21, 2020. Claire Hunter, Q.C. completed her term as President of Access Pro Bono and Trevor Bant was elected as a director of the Society.

Ryan Dalziel, Caitlin Ehman, and Daniel Corrin successfully represented a plaintiff on appeal by ICBC from a finding of vicarious liability for a hit-and-run by an unidentified driver of an identified car. The appeal tested the limits of the inferences that could be drawn by the trial judge from purely circumstantial evidence about the presence of the car at a nightclub, and whether the car owner granted any one of a number of persons at the club permission to drive the vehicle. A copy of the decision can be found here.

We are pleased to announce that Claire Hunter, Q.C., was named as the co-Gold Winner of the Woman of the Year award in Lexpert’s Canadian Law Awards. Claire tied for this honour with Audrey Boctor of IMK LLP in Montreal. We congratulate both Claire and Audrey for this well-deserved recognition.

Hunter Litigation Chamber was also named as an Excellence Award Recipient in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Boutique Law Firm of the Year category. We are honoured to be included with such well-respected litigation firms from across Canada.

September 2020

We are pleased to announce that Maryanna Dinh has joined the firm as an Associate. Maryanna joins us from a national firm, and will continue to develop her practice in general civil litigation.

Mark Oulton co-chaired the “Arbitration Advocacy” webcast program put on by The Advocates’ Society on September 24, 2020. A copy of the program agenda can be found here.

Mark Oulton and Brian Duong successfully defended an application seeking a stay pending judicial review of a Mines Permit authorizing a quarry on Vancouver Island. A copy of the decision can be found here.

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.

August 2020

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.

Hunter Litigation Chambers has been recognized in Chambers Canada 2021 for its work in General Commercial Litigation (BC) and Agribusiness: Forestry (Nationwide). Individual Counsel have also been recognized as follows: Agribusiness: Forestry (Nationwide) Mark Oulton, Administrative & Public Law (BC) Claire Hunter, Q.C., K. Michael Stephens and Ryan Dalziel, General Commercial Litigation Brent B. Olthuis, K. Michael Stephens and Randy Kaardal, Q.C..


Best Lawyers Award Badge Best Lawyers in Canada™ has released the 2021 edition of its publication, and eight of the firm’s lawyers have been recognized. Bill Smart, Q.C. is recognized in Criminal Defence and Administrative and Public Law. Randy Kaardal, Q.C. is recognized in five areas: Administrative and Public Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Appellate Practice, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, and Labour and Employment Law. Claire Hunter, Q.C. is recognized in four areas: Administrative and Public Law, Appellate Practice, Class Action Litigation and Corporate and Commercial Litigation. Mike Stephens is recognized in three areas: Administrative and Public Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Corporate and Commercial Litigation. Mark Oulton is recognized in three areas: Administrative and Public Law, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, and Natural Resources Law. Brent Olthuis is recognized in four areas: Aboriginal Law, Administrative and Public Law, Appellate Practice and Corporate and Commercial Litigation. Ryan Dalziel, is recognized in four areas: Aboriginal Law, Administrative and Public Law, Appellate Practice and Corporate and Commercial Litigation. Paul Heisler is recognized in Best Lawyers in Canada™ for the first time for his work in Labour and Employment Law.

Law Society Award

The firm congratulates Claire Hunter, QC for her selection by Benchmark Litigation as one of the Top 50 Women in Litigation in its annual publication. This is a national award and recognizes Claire’s skills as a litigator as well the many significant matters in which she is lead counsel.

Claire Hunter, QC and Julia Roos successfully acted for an applicant on judicial review, challenging a decision made on behalf of the Minister of Health refusing to grant a security clearance to the applicant under the Cannabis Regulations. The decision was set aside as unreasonable and remitted back to the decision-maker for redetermination. Reasons for judgment can be found here.

July 2020

Aubin Calvert and Trevor Bant have each been re-acclaimed to the CBA BC Appellate Advocacy section executive for 2020-21 as, respectively, chair and legislative liaison.

The Supreme Court of Canada released its judgment in Atlantic Lottery Corp. Inc. v. Babstock, 2020 SCC 19, an important gaming law and class actions case in which Mike Stephens, Shannon Ramsay, and Aubin Calvert appeared on behalf of the intervener the British Columbia Lottery Corporation.

June 2020

Bill Smart, Q.C. and Trevor Bant acted for the Law Society in a review of a professional misconduct decision of a hearing panel of the Law Society Tribunal. The review, which was decided in favour of the Law Society, concerned the correct approach to lawyers’ misconduct where there are issues of substance abuse or mental health.

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.

Hunter Litigation Chambers is pleased to announce that Randy Kaardal, Q.C. has been named Labour & Employment Litigator of the Year by Benchmark Litigation (see press release). We congratulate Randy on this well-deserved recognition.

May 2020

Law Society Award

The May 2020 issue of Canadian Lawyer magazine identifies Hunter Litigation Chambers as one of the top ten litigation boutiques in Canada. This marks the sixth time in a row the magazine has given the firm this distinction, and speaks to the firm’s depth of talent and ability to develop top tier litigation counsel. We are very proud of this achievement and thank our clients for their trust and confidence over the years.

Hunter Litigation Chambers is a proud sponsor of the KidSafe annual golf tournament. Since the golf tournament is unable to proceed in 2020, HLC is pleased to convert its sponsorship to a donation so KidSafe can continue providing its wonderful programs to at-risk children and their families during COVID-19. We thank KidSafe and their amazing members and volunteers for this important contribution to our community.

Mark Oulton and Nicole Gilewicz successfully obtained an order dismissing an application brought under s. 31 of the Arbitration Act seeking leave to appeal from an arbitral award relating to the proper interpretation of a replaceable road construction agreement. A copy of the decision can be found here.

Randy Kaardal comments on employment law issues during the COVID-19 pandemic in a CTV news interview. Read the full article here.

Mark Oulton and Alex Bjornson co-authored a piece on the potential implications of COVID-19 for commercial leases with David Martin of Stirling LLP. A copy of the article may be found here.

Law Society Award

April 2020

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.

Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 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 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.

Lexpert has now released the list of finalists in its Canadian Law Awards 2020. Hunter Litigation Chambers is honoured to be named in the category of Litigation & Dispute Resolution Boutique Law Firm of the Year. We also congratulate Claire Hunter, Q.C. who is a finalist for the Woman of the Year award. Both of these nominations are, we believe, a testament to the depth, experience and talent of the HLC team. The winners will be announced at an event in Toronto on October 6th. We congratulate all nominees and are gratified to be named among such impressive firms and lawyers.

Randy Kaardal, Q.C. is named as a finalist in the Labour/Employment Lawyer category of the Benchmark Canada awards 2020. Unfortunately, the award dinner in April has been cancelled, but winners will be announced on May 28th. The firm congratulates Randy and his fellow nominees for this well-deserved recognition.

March 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE: March 17, 2020

Trevor Bant obtained an order granting leave to the College of Physicians and Surgeons to intervene in two appeals dealing with the constitutionality of a provision of the Health Professions Act.

Trevor Bant represented the College of Physicians and Surgeons in the penalty phase of a contempt of court proceeding. On the strength of Trevor’s submissions, the court ordered that the contemnor Maria Ezzati pay a fine of $5,000 as well as 50 per cent of the client’s special costs. A copy of the court’s judgment is available here.

Brent Olthuis was in the news following his client’s execution of a civil search and seizure order obtained in February. Media coverage can be found here and here.

February 2020

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.

Trevor Bant and Caitlin Ehman successfully resisted an appeal from a child support order, acting for the recipient of child support. The reasons for judgment, which are available here, provide guidance a variety of procedural and substantive issues relating to child support orders.

Mark Oulton served as co-moderator of a panel discussion put on by the Arbitration and Mediation Advocacy and the Regulatory and Administrative Law Practice Groups of The Advocates’ Society entitled “Bell & Vavilov: The SCC’s impact on standard of review, administrative law and arbitration decisions.” Panel members included the Honourable Marshall Rothstein, former SCC justice, Barbara Jackman, counsel for the Respondent in Vavilov and Brandon Kain, counsel for Bell.

We are pleased to announce that Kenneth Leung has rejoined the firm. Ken practiced with the firm for several years, before moving to act as general counsel and corporate secretary for a TSX listed pulp and paper company. HLC is fortunate to have Ken’s skills and expertise back within the firm.

Paul Heisler and Susan Humphrey were successful in an application to dismiss a complaint made to the BC Human Rights Tribunal against their client, the Legal Services Society. The decision can be found here.

January 2020

Trevor Bant represented the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia on an application to set the penalty for a contempt of court, after Maria Ezzati was found to have practised medicine contrary to an injunction. The court has reserved judgment on the matter.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal issued reasons on January 10, 2020 in a significant family appeal relating to the right of the 14-year old transgender teenager identified as AB to consent to gender affirming medical treatment over the objections of his father. The Court confirmed that AB was entitled to consent to the medical treatment and dismissed the appeal from this aspect of the order below. Claire Hunter, QC and Sarah Chaster, together with barbara findlay, QC and Kay Scorer, were counsel to AB on the appeal. The team was assisted by UBC student Devin Eeg during his summer articles at Hunter Litigation Chambers.

Aubin Calvert obtained leave to appeal for her client pursuant to s. 193(e) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act on the question of whether fraudulent intent is required to revoke the discharge of a trustee under s. 41(8) of the Act. The reasons of the Court of Appeal judge in chambers granting leave are here.

Claire Hunter, QC, with the assistance of articling student Diana Sepúlveda successfully resisted an application by the Egg Marketing Board to summarily dismiss the appeal of our egg farm client. The appeal will now proceed before the Farm Industry Review Board.

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”.

Claire E. Hunter, QC has been appointed to the Law Society of British Columbia’s Access to Justice Advisory Committee for the 2020 term. Claire has also been appointed to the Western Canada Advisory Board for McGill University.