December 2015

Alexander Bjornson was co-counsel representing an insurer in its successful dismissal of appeals from court orders relating to a costs assessment and expert reports. The reasons are available here.

We are very pleased to announce that former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Marshall Rothstein, Q.C. has joined our firm as Associate Counsel. Marshall Rothstein returns to the practice of law after spending more than nine years as a Judge with Canada’s highest court from 2006 to 2015. He brings almost 50 years of legal and judicial experience to Hunter Litigation Chambers. Mr. Rothstein will provide legal advice and opinions while working primarily as an arbitrator on commercial and public law cases.

November 2015

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.

Claire Hunter was recently on the faculty of CLEBC's program "A Litigator's Arsenal 2015". Claire gave a presentation entitled "Litigation in the Facebook Age: Creative Discovery Through Cutting-Edge Internet Research on Parties and Witnesses" based a paper co-written by Claire and Hunter Litigation Chambers articling student, Julia Roos.

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., Michael Stephens and Brent Olthuis, were identified as leading practitioners in Dispute Resolution. John was also recognized in the field of Aboriginal Law.

Ken McEwan, Q.C. has been listed in the Commercial Arbitration edition of Expert Guides.

John Hunter, Q.C. was quoted in the press as counsel for the Attorney-General of British Columbia in the Ivan Henry wrongful conviction trial. Read More

October 2015

John Hunter, Q.C. has been elected to the Board of Regents of the American College of Trial Lawyers. The ACTL is an influential U.S.-based organization composed of trial lawyers in the United States and Canada to which membership is extended by invitation only. The management of the College’s affairs is vested in a Board of Regents, consisting of five officers and fifteen regents. Each of the regents has an assigned jurisdiction of states and/or provinces. John will be responsible for the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta and the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

On October 16, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Goodwin v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles), 2015 SCC 46, upholding the decisions of the British Columbia courts with respect to the constitutionality of the province’s 2010 Automatic Roadside Prohibition scheme targeting impaired drivers. Claire Hunter and Eileen Patel were counsel to the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association on the appeal.

‎On October 23, Claire Hunter was on the faculty of CLEBC's program "A Litigator's Arsenal 2015". Claire gave a presentation entitled "Litigation in the Facebook Age: Creative Discovery Through Cutting-Edge Internet Research on Parties and Witnesses" based a paper co-written by Claire and Hunter Litigation Chambers articling student, Julia Roos.

September 2015

Ken McEwan, Q.C. and Caily DiPuma have successfully defended a claim for breach of confidential information and breach of a non-competition agreement after a thirteen day trial: 2015 BCSC 1698.

John Hunter, Q.C. and Claire Hunter have successfully defended John Furlong, the Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Committee, in a defamation suit brought by a journalist who had published unsubstantiated allegations against Mr. Furlong and had in turn been criticized by him. The decision can be found in Robinson v. Furlong, 2015 BCSC 1690. John, Claire and Bill Smart had represented Mr. Furlong in earlier proceedings against him, all of which were dismissed.

August 2015

The Chief Justice of Canada, The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., has announced the appointment of Gib van Ert, counsel with Hunter Litigation Chambers, to the position of Executive Legal Officer of the Supreme Court of Canada. Gib will join the Chambers of the Chief Justice on August 24, 2015, for a two-year term. In announcing the appointment, the Chief Justice said: "Mr. van Ert brings to the position a broad range of experience and talents as legal counsel and as a distinguished scholar, which will serve the Court well in the coming years".

The third party directory, Best Lawyers in Canada, has released its current guide and once again lawyers from this firm are well represented. We have been recognized in eight practice areas, Corporate and Commercial Litigation (Ken McEwan, Q.C. and John Hunter, Q.C.), Administrative and Public Law (Randy Kaardal, Q.C. and John), Bet-the-Company Litigation (John), Class Action Litigation (Ken), Natural Resources Law (John), Labour and Employment Law (Randy), Securities Law (Ken) and Aboriginal Law (John).

July 2015

Bill Berardino, Q.C., one of the founders of Hunter Litigation Chambers and the leading commercial counsel of his day, retired from practice on July 1, 2015. Bill was for many years the recognized leader of the commercial bar and the most frequent choice of counsel in bet-the-company litigation. His friends and colleagues in the firm wish him a very happy retirement.

John Hunter, Q.C. was in the news as counsel for the Yukon Government in the dispute about land use planning in the Peel watershed of the Yukon.

June 2015

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. has been elected a director of the Advocates Society, an Ontario-based society whose membership is made up of members of a Law Society in Canada with at least five years’ experience, and whose principal practice is advocacy in civil disputes. Ken is the only B.C. based director of the Advocates Society. Ken has also been appointed a director of the BC Legal Historical Society.

The Canadian Bar Association has awarded Claire Hunter the prestigious Harry Rankin QC Award for Pro Bono Services in recognition of her contribution to the provision of pro bono services in British Columbia and nationally.

John Hunter, Q.C. has been identified as one of the top practitioners in Commercial Litigation by the international publication Who’s Who Legal 2015, published in London England. John was one of four litigation counsel practising in British Columbia to be recognized.

We are pleased to announce that Gib van Ert has been appointed Executive Legal Officer to the Chief Justice of Canada, the Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin. Gib will begin work at the Supreme Court of Canada in August 2015 for a two-year term. The Executive Legal Officer acts as principal advisor to the Chief Justice and is responsible for media relations at the Court. Gib will be taking a leave of absence from Hunter Litigation Chambers commencing in August. We wish him well and will look forward to his return at the end of his appointment.

Ken McEwan, Q.C. gave a presentation on June 17th to the Canadian Bar Association on “Best Practices and Limits with Respect to Retention and Instruction of Experts”.

John Hunter, Q.C. and Claire Hunter were in the press recently in connection with a two week trial in which the firm acted for former VANOC CEO John Furlong in a defamation action brought against him by Laura Robinson. Judgment in the trial was reserved.

May 2015

Randy Kaardal, Q.C., Paul Heisler and Rebecca Robb successfully appealed a trial judgment finding that the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce had wrongfully terminated the employment of a financial advisor at the bank: Ogden v. C.I.B.C., 2015 BCCA 175.

Claire Hunter has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the VSO School of Music, a school established under the auspices of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra to promote music education in Vancouver. Claire has also been appointed to the Board of the Lawyers Inn.

Gib van Ert gave two presentations at a conference sponsored by the Philippe Kirsch Institute on “Effective Use of International Law before Canadian Courts” Gib spoke on “Reception law basics” (an overview of how public international law is received in Canadian law and “Judicial review of international legal questions” (where he argued for a correctness standard of review in ministerial and tribunal decisions involving questions of international law).

On May 29, 2015 Gib van Ert spoke at Laval University in Quebec City in honour of the career of former Supreme Court of Canada justice Louis LeBel. Gib's paper, "Portes et fenêtres: Louis LeBel et l'approche québécoise à l'interprétation des lois à la lumière du droit international" will be published in a forthcoming volume of Les cahiers de droit.

Michael Stephens and Claire Hunter were on the faculty for the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia’s conference “Appellate Practice 2015”. Claire was on panels on Court of Appeal Chambers practice, which included Madam Justice Saunders and Registrar Outerbridge and on Access to Justice Issues, which included Madam Justice Bennett and Michael spoke on Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

April 2015

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.

John Hunter, Q.C. gave a presentation at the biannual conference of the Commonwealth Law Society that took place in Glasgow, Scotland in April. John spoke on the response of the Canadian legal profession to money laundering legislation and the recent Supreme Court of Canada judgment addressing this issue.

The B.C. Court of Appeal has held that the Shaughnessy Golf Club should be assessed for property tax purposes as a golf club, not as land available for residential development, as argued by the Musqueam Indian Band. John Hunter, Q.C. was counsel for the Shaughnessy Golf Club on this appeal.

March 2015

Bill Smart, Q.C. and Claire Hunter, with the assistance of Rebecca Robb, successfully obtained dismissed at trial of a historical abuse claim made against the firm’s client John Furlong. The Court found that the conduct in the litigation of the man who made claim was egregious, reprehensible and worthy of rebuke and awarded special costs to Mr. Furlong. The Oral Reasons For Judgment are available here.

Bill Smart, Q.C. and Claire Hunter were in the news following the dismissal of three actions alleging historical abuse made against the firm’s client former VANOC CEO John Furlong:

Mark Oulton and Shannon Ramsay were counsel for the successful respondent in the dismissal of an application for leave to appeal an arbitration award: Metropole Enterprises Ltd. v. Metropole Investments Limited Partnership, 2015 BCSC 421.

Bill Smart, Q.C. gave a presentation on the Air India trial to the Annual Meeting of the International Society of Barristers in Florida. Bill was one of the defence counsel in the trial.

Michael Stephens and Claire Hunter were on the faculty for the Preparing and Conducting the Trial section of the Continuing Legal Education Society’s Conference on Civil Litigation Basics 2015. Claire gave a talk on Organizing Your Evidence and Michael spoke on Advocacy Practice.

February 2015

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 Michael 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.

John Hunter, Q.C. and Claire Hunter, with the assistance of Rebecca Robb, successfully obtained dismissal at summary trial of a historical abuse claim made against John Furlong. The woman’s claim was dismissed on the basis that the evidence supported a conclusion that she did not attend the school at which Mr. Furlong taught during the time he was there. The Reasons for Judgment are available here.

The firm was in the news providing comments on behalf of Mr. Furlong. Read More.

The Vancouver International Wine Festival completed another successful annual festival under the stewardship of Randy Kaardal, Q.C., Chair of the Board of Directors of the Vancouver International Wine Festival Society. Hunter Litigation Chambers was one of the Official Sponsors of the festival. The designated charity for this annual event is Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.

On February 13th, the Supreme Court of Canada released its long-awaited judgment in Canada (Attorney General) v. Federation of Law Societies of Canada, 2015 SCC 7. The Supreme Court held for the first time that the lawyer’s duty of commitment to the client’s cause was a principle of fundamental justice in Canadian constitutional law and struck down provisions of Canada’s anti-money laundering legislation insofar as they imposed record-keeping obligations on lawyers concerning their clients’ activities. John Hunter, Q.C. was counsel for the Federation.

January 2015

We are pleased to announce that Claire Hunter has become a shareholder in the firm. After serving as a law clerk in the Supreme Court of Canada in 2004, Claire began her practice in commercial and regulatory litigation, first in New York, now in Vancouver with our firm. Congratulations to Claire!

We are also pleased to welcome Ken Leung as an associate of the firm. Before joining the firm, Ken practiced with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York, where he focused on defending financial institutions in complex litigation. A graduate of the Harvard Law School, where he was supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review, Ken served as a law clerk in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit before starting his practice. Ken will be practising in the areas of civil litigation and public law.

Ken McEwan, Q.C. and John Hunter, Q.C. have once again been recognized in the 2015 Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada for Corporate-Commercial Litigation, and have been designated among the leading Canadian cross-border commercial litigators in the December 2014 Lexpert magazine.

Randy Kaardal, Q.C. was counsel on a successful appeal that reinstated a commercial arbitral award that had been set aside by the Supreme Court. The Reasons for Judgment are available here.