December 2017

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.

Claire Hunter has been appointed to the CBABC Governance Review Task Force, which has been struck to review and consider on structural governance matters within the CBA's BC Branch.

On December 14, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada has released its reasons for judgment in Cowper-Smith v. Morgan, an important case on estate law and the law of proprietary estoppel, available here. Claire Hunter and Ryan Androsoff were counsel for the respondent Gloria Morgan at the Supreme Court of Canada. Claire was also quoted in the Lawyers Daily about the significance of the decision for the test for proprietary estoppel.

Claire Hunter, with the assistance of Anna Poezzhaeva (articling student), obtained a dismissal for our strata corporation client of a claim by an owner that a decision of the strata had been significantly unfair. The decision is available here.

November 2017

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.

On November 29, 2017, Claire Hunter was a panelist on a CBABC webinar entitled "Anatomy of a Document, Documentary Evidence: How to Assess it, Organize it and Submit it at Trial".

On November 21, 2017, Claire Hunter was a guest lecturer at the upper year Ethics and Professionalism class at UBC Law School. Claire made a presentation and led a discussion on access to justice.

Claire Hunter was presented a Rising Stars Award at the Gala honouring Canada’s Leading Lawyers Under 40. Lexpert paid tribute to the rising stars of the legal community at an awards presentation on Thursday, November 16, 2017.

On November 1, Michael Stephens and Claire Hunter were on the faculty for the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia’s “Appellate Practice 2017” program. Mike spoke on a panel on “Commencing the Appeal” about standards of review in appellate proceedings and Claire spoke on a “Special Issues” panel about interlocutory appeals and self-represented litigants.

Mark Oulton and Brent Olthuis 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.

October 2017

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.

Claire Hunter, Shannon Ramsay, Rebecca Robb and Nicole Gilewicz attended the inaugural Canadian Benchmark Women in Litigation Forum in Toronto on October 18. Claire spoke on a panel on the “Importance of leadership in developing your career”.

On October 11, Rebecca Robb and Trevor Bant were recognized at the Access Pro Bono Society’s Annual General Meeting as among the Top 10 volunteers in the roster program for 2016. Rebecca was also in the top 10 civil chambers program volunteers. Congratulations to Rebecca and Trevor!

We are pleased to welcome Julia Roos back to the firm as an associate. Julia summered and articled with the firm prior to her call to the bar in 2016. She re-joins as an associate following a clerkship for the Honourable Justice Robert Barnes at the Federal Court of Canada.

September 2017

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.

Trevor Bant (with Ken McEwan, Q.C., former counsel at the firm) successfully represented the Law Society of British Columbia in the disciplinary phase of professional misconduct proceedings concerning a lawyer’s receipt and disbursement of $26 million from offshore jurisdictions. The decision, available here, confirms that Law Society Hearing Panels have the power to order disgorgement of fees received by a lawyer as a result of his or her professional misconduct. (The earlier decision on misconduct is available here.)

August 2017

The Best Lawyers in Canada (2018 Edition) recognized Randy J. Kaardal, Q.C. in 5 areas of Law: Administrative and Public Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Appellate Practice, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, and Labour and Employment Law.

William Smart, Q.C. is recognized for Criminal Defense and Michael Stephens for Administrative and Public Law and Corporate and Commercial Litigation.

We are pleased to welcome Nicole Gilewicz to the firm as an associate. Nicole was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 2016 after completing her articles at an international law firm in Vancouver. She joins the firm following a clerkship at the Federal Court of Appeal for the Honourable Justice Donald J. Rennie.

June 2017

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.

Mark Oulton represented a timber sale licensee in the Court of Appeal, successfully defending an appeal from a decision summarily dismissing a claim that logging activities carried out under a valid timber sale licence constituted a private nuisance and/or gave rise to a claim in negligence. A copy of the decision can be found here. here.

Michael Stephens and Mark Oulton (with John Hunter, Q.C., former counsel at the firm) successfully appealed a decision of the BC Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, thereby restoring an award of compensation, including interest, obtained in an arbitration conducted under the Forestry Revitalization Act. The reasons for judgment are available here.

Mark Oulton and Trevor Bant successfully defended an application seeking summary dismissal of a series of stumpage appeals before the Forest Appeals Commission. The reasons of the Commission are available here.

Ken McEwan, Q.C. and Trevor Bant successfully represented the Law Society of British Columbia in professional disciplinary proceedings concerning a lawyer’s receipt and disbursement of $26 million from offshore jurisdictions in 4 transactions. The decision confirmed important principles of lawyers’ self-regulation including when asked to facilitate a transaction that appears to be suspicious, a lawyer has a duty to make inquiries sufficient to establish, on an objective basis, that the transaction is legitimate, or should decline the engagement.

On June 8, 2017, Mark Oulton gave a presentation entitled “Blockades in the Resource Sector in British Columbia” to the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch, Natural Resources Law section meeting. A copy of his presentation can be found here.

On June 7, 2017, Ken McEwan, Q.C. presented on the role of respondent’s counsel at CLEBC’s course “Sexual Violence & Misconduct Policies for Post Secondary Institutions”.

May 2017

Ken McEwan, Q.C. and Claire Hunter successfully obtained dismissal of trial after five weeks on a no evidence/abus of process motion. The reasons for judgment are available here.

April 2017

Trevor Bant (with John Hunter, Q.C., former counsel at the firm) acted for a Member of the Legislative Assembly in a largely successful appeal dealing with parliamentary privilege, case-by-case privilege and the scope of document production orders against non-parties. The reasons for judgment are available here.

Law Society Award Hunter Litigation Chambers was the winner for Benchmark Canada’s 2017 award for British Columbia Firm of the Year, and is included in “Highly Recommended” British Columbia firm rankings.

Benchmark Canada has released its 2017 rankings and each of Claire Hunter, John Hunter Q.C., Randy Kaardal, Q.C., Ken McEwan, Q.C., Brent Olthuis, Mark Oulton, Bill Smart, Q.C. and Michael Stephens are recognized as litigation stars.

Ken McEwan, Q.C. is ranked as one of the Top 50 Trial Lawyers in Canada.

The partners, associates and staff are proud to report that on April 12, 2017, our senior founding partner, John J.L. Hunter, Q.C., one of Canada's leading constitutional, commercial and public law counsel, was appointed to the bench. To view the Government of Canada News Release announcing the appointment of the Honourable Mr. Justice Hunter to the Court of Appeal for British Columbia and the Yukon Territory, please click here.

Michael Stephens and Brent Olthuis successfully opposed an application seeking to convert a conventional commercial dispute into a class action in Great Canadian Gaming Corporation v British Columbia Lottery Corporation, 2017 BCSC 574. The decision considered a point that had not previously been resolved in British Columbia, and determined that it would be inappropriate to convert these plaintiffs’ action into a class proceeding.

Claire Hunter has been awarded the Ann Wilson and Robert Prichard Award for Community and Professional Service by the University of Toronto Law Alumni Association. The award is presented bi-annually and honours a graduate of the Faculty of Law who demonstrates the highest standards of professional integrity, excellence and leadership, and who has made a significant contribution to the legal profession and/or community through his or her public interest work, pro bono activities and/or community service.

The Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C. has published its Annual Review of Law and Practice, and once again Hunter Litigation Chambers is well represented among the authors of this practice guide. Greg Allen, Eileen Patel and Ken Leung wrote the chapter of Administrative Law; Mark Oulton, Rebecca Robb and Ken Leung authored the section on Court Rules; and Alex Bjornson co-authored the chapter on Tort law.

March 2017

Ken McEwan, Q.C. was elected Secretary/Treasurer of the International Society of Barristers at its Annual Convention in Cancun, Mexico. Ken is the first Canadian lawyer to be so honoured by the United States based society, dedicated to excellence and professionalism in trial advocacy. Ken will be the Program Chair for the next annual convention, scheduled to be held on April 15-19, 2018 in London, England.

Ken McEwan, Q.C., William Smart, Q.C., and Ken Leung successfully defended Fortress Paper Ltd. and Fortress Specialty Cellulose Inc. against a multimillion dollar claim for alleged knowing assistance in breach of trust, breach of confidence, and inducing breach of contract pertaining to the Fortress defendants’ acquisition and conversion of a pulp mill in Thurso, Quebec. The plaintiffs pursued an accounting and disgorgement remedy, along with punitive damages. Their claims against the Fortress defendants were dismissed in their entirety. The reasons for judgment can be found here.

Randy Kaardal, Q.C. and Ken Leung successfully defended against an application to set aside a Mareva injunction obtained ex parte and in camera by a Chinese bank seeking to enforce a foreign arbitration award. While the Supreme Court of British Columbia found that the bank had overstated its case when seeking the injunction, the Court nevertheless concluded that the balance of convenience favoured maintaining the injunction. The reasons for judgment, released in December 2016, may be found here: China CITIC Bank Corporation Limited v. Yan, 2016 BCSC 2332. Randy and Ken also represented the bank in petition proceedings to recognize the award in British Columbia, and in February 2017, the arbitration award of approximately CAD 10 million was recognized by the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Rebecca Robb was interviewed for an article entitled "How to turn a clerkships into a job", in Precedent JD.

February 2017

Brent Olthuis and David McEwan were successful in an application to set aside an ex parte pre-judgment garnishing order in a claim alleging misrepresentation, breach of trust, and civil theft. In the result, a large quantity of the clients’ funds were released from court.

Randy Kaardal, Q.C., Ryan Androsoff, and Rebecca Robb represented an Alberta-based Rural Electrification Association in successfully defending against an application brought by the adverse electrical distribution utility for a declaration that an arbitrator had lost jurisdiction to deal with costs. The utility sought to deny the Association the opportunity to claim its costs of a lengthy and hard-fought arbitration brought under the Alberta Electric Utilities Act and the related Roles, Relationships and Responsibilities Regulation in which the Association enjoyed substantial success. The arbitrator’s ruling that he retains jurisdiction to deal with costs means the Association may now seek recovery from the utility of the considerable expense it incurred in the course of the arbitration.

January 2017

Ken McEwan, Q.C. and Brian Duong successfully brought an application for summary trial, dismissing in its entirety a claim by owners of a residential development against the developer and adjacent property owners for additional parking stalls in a shared underground parking facility pursuant to an Agreement of Purchase and Sale. The reasons for judgment, released January 31, 2017, may be found here: Basha Sales Co. Ltd. v. Adera Equities Inc., 2017 BCSC 137. Ken and Brian were previously successful in the same action in having a certificate of pending litigation in respect of the claimed interest in parking stalls set aside. Those reasons for judgment may be found at: Basha Sales Co. Ltd. v. Adera Equities Inc., 2017 BCSC 94

We are pleased to announce that Kimberley Knapp has returned to the firm after a two year hiatus raising her children. Kim was called to the bar in 2000 and we welcome her back as an associate.

We also welcome Alexander Bjornson to the firm as an associate. Alex was called in 2015 and he comes to us with construction litigation experience from a large national law firm in Vancouver.

John Hunter Q.C. and Trevor Bant represented the Conflict of Interest Commissioner for British Columbia in obtaining a summary dismissal of a petition brought by Democracy Watch challenging the opinions given by the Commissioner over an allegation of conflict of interest brought against the Premier. The judgment can be found at here.