The firm is very pleased to announce that Claire Hunter was appointed Queen’s Counsel. In announcing Claire’s appointment, the Attorney General explained that the QC designation recognizes a lawyer’s “superb record of achievement and commitment to our province’s legal system” and, in Claire’s case, noted that she “is a prominent voice for the provision of pro bono services and a frequent presenter on access-to-justice issues”. The news release is available here.
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, Bill Smart, Q.C., 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 Trevor Bant are counsel for the College of Physicians and Surgeons in a contempt of court application receiving attention in the media. See news coverage here. The hearing is presently scheduled to proceed in December.
We are pleased to welcome Sarah Chaster to the firm as an associate. Between 2017 and 2018 she served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Richard Wagner of the Supreme Court of Canada. Sarah was called to the Ontario and British Columbia Bars in 2018.
On November 10, Claire Hunter spoke on a panel entitled “Social Media: What Every Litigator Needs to Know” at The Advocates’ Society’s Fall Convention in Laguna Beach, California. Mark Oulton and Brent Olthuis were also in attendance.
We are pleased to welcome Matthew Palmer back to the firm as an associate. Matthew was a summer student at the firm in 2016 and between 2017 and 2018 he served as a law clerk to Justice Andromache Karakatsanis of the Supreme Court of Canada. Matthew was called to the Ontario and British Columbia Bars in 2018.
Claire Hunter was appointed to the Advocates’ Society’s national Access to Justice Taskforce.
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 Oulton achieved a Band 1 recognition – the highest ranking - for his work in Agribusiness: Forestry – Nationwide - Canada.
On October 4-5, Access Pro Bono BC hosted “Seeing the Need, Taking the Lead” the 7th National Pro Bono Conference in Vancouver. Claire Hunter is the President of Access Pro Bono and chaired panels at the conference on “Unlocking the Professional Development of Pro Bono” and “New Frontiers in Pro Bono Service”. Hunter Litigation Chambers was a gold sponsor of the conference.
Best Lawyers in Canada has released the 2019 Edition of its publication, and five of the firm’s lawyers have been recognized. Randy J. 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). Brent Olthuis is recognized in Corporate and Commercial Litigation. Mark Oulton is recognized in three areas (Administrative and Public Law, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, and Natural Resources Law). Bill Smart, Q.C. is recognized in Criminal Defence, and Mike Stephens is recognized in Administrative and Public Law as well as Corporate and Commercial Litigation.
On August 20, the Court of Appeal released its Reasons for Judgment on a costs application in J.P. v. British Columbia (Children and Family Development), a family case that has been the subject of significant attention and commentary. On the costs application, the Court dismissed a number of orders sought against counsel for the mother, including an application for an order counsel for the mother pay special costs of the proceedings personally. Bill Smart, Q.C. and Claire Hunter acted for the mother’s lawyer in successfully resisting the orders sought against him.
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.
Mark Oulton and Julia Roos acted for Taseko Mines Limited in successfully defending a petition brought by the Tsilhqot’in Nation challenging an exploration program on consultation and accommodation grounds. The reasons for judgment can be found here.
Following a trial of over 50 days, Claire Hunter and Ken McEwan (former counsel at the firm) obtained dismissal of a claim brought for breach of trust against a national law firm. The reasons for judgment are available here.
Brian Duong and Greg Allen (of Allen/McMillan) successfully defended a summary trial application on the part of the plaintiffs, in a commercial case involving a real estate transaction and allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and fraudulent misrepresentation. The reasons for judgment can be found here.
The Royal Norwegian Embassy has appointed Randy Kaardal as Honorary Consul General with jurisdiction in the province of British Columbia. This appointment has been recognized by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada effective April 23, 2018.
Randy Kaardal, Q.C. and Julia Roos successfully brought an appeal concerning the presumption of undue influence under s. 52 of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act and the test for converting a petition to an action. The reasons of the Court are available here. Randy Kaardal Q.C. was also quoted by The Lawyer’s Daily in an article regarding the case, a copy of which can be found here.
On June 22, 2018 Claire Hunter was on the faculty for CLEBC’s Commercial Litigation 2018 program. Claire spoke on a panel and co-wrote a paper with Ross McGowan and Abbas Sabbur on Fraud in Civil Proceedings.
Paul Heisler and Alexander Bjornson published an article in the Canadian Bar Association June 2018 publication “BarTalk” on the impact of the upcoming Cannabis Act on employers and employees.
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.
The May 2018 issue of Canadian Lawyer magazine identifies the firm as one of the ten top litigation boutiques in Canada. This marks the fifth time in a row the magazine has given the firm this distinction, with the March 2010 issue declaring that “many consider this litigation shop the best in the country”.
In the Benchmark Canada 2018 publication, Hunter Litigation Chambers was again included in “Highly Recommended” British Columbia firm rankings.
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.
On May 11, 2018, Claire Hunter was on the faculty for the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia’s “Expert Evidence” program. Claire’s presentation was on “Professionalism and Ethical Issues with Expert Evidence”.
Mark Oulton and Trevor Bant successfully defended an appeal brought by the Province from a decision of the Forest Appeals Commission dismissing their attempt to summarily dismissal of a series of stumpage appeals. The reasons of the Court are available here.
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.
Lexpert has released their 2018 directory of leading Canadian lawyers. Once again, Hunter Litigation Chambers is one of only two British Columbia litigation boutiques ranked in the top “most frequently recommended” band for corporate commercial litigation and the firm is also ranked as a leading firm in forestry law. Four lawyers are ranked as leading practitioners: Randy Kaardal is ranked in employment law (employer and employee), Michael Stephens and Claire Hunter in corporate commercial litigation and Mark Oulton in forestry law.
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.
We are pleased to welcome Aubin Calvert to the firm as an associate. Between 2016 and 2018 she served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Richard Wagner of the Supreme Court of Canada. Aubin was called to the Ontario Bar in 2017 and to the British Columbia Bar in 2018.
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.
We are pleased to announce that Esher Madhur was called to the British Columbia bar on March 26, 2018 after completing her articles with the firm. Esher returned to the firm to article after clerking for six Justices of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver in 2016 - 2017.
Randy Kaardal has been selected as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. The LCA is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellowship in the LCA is highly selective and by invitation only. Fellows are selected based upon excellence and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation. The LCA is aggressively diverse in its composition. Established as a trial and appellate lawyer honorary society reflecting the American bar in the twenty-first century, the LCA represents the best in law among its membership. The number of Fellowships has been kept at an exclusive limit by design, allowing qualifications, diversity and inclusion to align effectively, with recognition of excellence in litigation across all segments of the bar. Fellows are generally at the partner or shareholder level, or are independent practitioners with recognized experience and accomplishment. In addition, the LCA is dedicated to promoting superior advocacy, professionalism and ethical standards among its Fellows.
On March 7, 2018, Mark Oulton was a panelist in a professional development session put on by The Advocate’s Society entitled "Top Cases in Commercial Litigation". Mark spoke on three recent appellate cases dealing with the applicable standard of review in contractual interpretation.
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.
Claire Hunter has been re-elected as a director of the VSO School of Music.
On February 23, Michael Stephens and Shannon Ramsay were on the faculty for the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia’s “Civil Litigation Basics 2018” program. Mike spoke as one of the presenters of the “Advocacy Practice Panel” and Shannon presented on the topic of “Organizing your Evidence (Including Documents)”.
Mark Oulton and Brian Duong successfully defended a challenge to an anton piller order in a commercial case involving allegations of breach of contract, conversion and misuse of confidential and proprietary information and obtained an order to access and examine the electronic and physical evidence seized pursuant to the original Anton Piller Order. The reasons for judgment can be found here.
Mark Oulton and Brian Duong successfully appealed a decision of the BC Supreme Court which ordered the buy-out of a minority owner’s interest in a farm by its majority owners. The BC Court of Appeal set aside the order and remitted the matter back to the trial judge. A copy of the decision can be found here.
Claire Hunter has been re-appointed as Vice Chair of the Law Society of BC’s Access to Legal Services Advisory Committee for 2018. Claire has been a member of this committee since 2015.