Suite 750 - 900 Howe Street
Vancouver, British Columbia, V6Z 2M4
Led by five Queen’s Counsel, Nathanson, Schachter & Thompson LLP’s practice is limited to civil litigation, with a focus on business disputes. The firm has litigated many of British Columbia’s largest and most complicated commercial lawsuits.
Known for its intellectual rigour, high quality advocacy, responsiveness to clients’ needs, and flexibility in procedural matters, the firm has experience arguing and defending certification motions, judicial reviews, summary trials, trials, and appeals.
In addition to the firm’s five Queen’s Counsel, the firm includes many former law clerks from the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada. The firm’s lawyers serve as adjunct professors at UBC Law School; write chapters in texts on Business Torts, Government Liability, and the Annual Review of Law and Practice; frequently speak at continuing legal education events; and co-author the annual British Columbia Supreme Court Rules Annotated, and The Civil Appeal Handbook.
Representative Work: A few of the firm’s practice areas and representative cases include:
Recent Commercial/Civil Disputes: In Concord Pacific Acquisitions Inc. v. Oei, the firm successfully defended a claim in excess of $350 million brought by Concord Pacific against the three named defendants, including Singaporean businessman and NST client Hong Leong Oei. NST’s clients were also awarded special costs, expected to be in excess of $4 million. In Wastech Ltd. v. GVS&DD, the firm succeeded in a landmark case on the good faith limit on the exercise of contractual discretions before the Supreme Court of Canada. In Pirani v. Pirani, NST succeeded at trial in a dispute involving allegations of breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty and knowing assistance arising from the winding up of four discretionary trusts that held significant hotel properties in BC and the United States. In a further hearing, the trial judge also awarded NST’s clients special costs. In Great Canadian Gaming Corporation v. British Columbia Lottery Corporation, the firm represented Great Canadian in a $35 million commercial dispute, achieving settlement on the eve of a nine week trial. NST acted on behalf of the Vancouver Aquarium in Ocean Wise Conservation Association v. Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation in a dispute regarding breach of contract and municipal law relating to animals in captivity. NST is currently acting in two high profile civil forfeiture matters.
In addition, Murray Clemens Q.C. actively arbitrates and mediates a wide variety of commercial disputes.
Oppression Claims/Securities/Shareholder Disputes/Partnerships: In Icahn Partners LP v. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., the firm successfully represented a New York hedge fund at trial and on appeal in a shareholders’ oppression action seeking to set aside transactions converting approximately $110 million from debt to equity. In Telus Corp. v. Mason Capital Management LLC, the firm represented American hedge fund Mason Capital in a corporate battle against Telus. The case was notable for its compressed time frame. NST is also acting in shareholder disputes connected to the emergence of the cannabis industry.
Human Rights Law: In 2019, NST acted for an intervenor, the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health, before the BCCA in A.B. v. C.D. The intervenor addressed issues relating to informed consent under the Infants Act in the context of trans youth, and issues relating to the appropriateness of restrictions on the youth’s father’s freedom of expression. In McCormick v. Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, the firm represented a leading national law firm before the Court of Appeal and the SCC in relation to a former partner’s human rights age discrimination complaint.
Property Disputes: NST regularly acts in disputes relating to property rights and property development and acquisition. For example, in Hodgson v. Musqueam, the firm successfully acted for over 70 leaseholders in a dispute about significant rent increases. In a recent arbitration, the firm successfully acted for a partner in a dispute relating to partnership interests in and valuation of a property development involving lands worth over $100 million and a partnership interest of $20 million.
Class Actions: In Sun-Rype Products Ltd. v. Archer Daniels Midland the firm successfully represented, ultimately before the SCC, one of the defendants in a class proceeding alleging a price-fixing conspiracy.
Defamation: In Hughes v. Vander Zalm, the firm successfully represented B.C.’s former conflict of interest commissioner Ted Hughes in a jury trial against former B.C. Premier Bill Vander Zalm.
Mining Disputes: The firm successfully represented the plaintiff in Minera Aquiline Argentina SA v. IMA Explorations Inc, in which the defendant was compelled to transfer a world class Argentinian silver deposit to the plaintiff as a result of its unlawful use of confidential exploration data.
Pension Litigation: In Buschau v. Rogers Cablesystems., the firm successfully defended related actions, twice appearing in the Supreme Court of Canada, in which employees sought to recover pension surplus by forcing a plan wind-up.
Benchmark Canada listed the firm as B.C. litigation “Firm of the Year” in February 2013, and regularly lists many of the firm’s lawyers as “Litigation Stars”, including: Irwin Nathanson, Q.C., Stephen Schachter, Q.C., Murray Clemens, Q.C., R.J. Randall Hordo, Q.C., James MacInnis, Q.C., Karen Carteri, Kevin Loo and Peter Senkpiel. Julia Lockhart is recognized as a Future Star. Irwin Nathanson and Stephen Schachter have also been recognized as two of Canada’s Top 50 Trial Lawyers.
Chambers and Partners Canada ranks NST in its top category of B.C. commercial litigation firms. Lexpert has ranked the firm in its top tier of litigation specialty firms in Vancouver since the inception of that publication. It ranks partners Irwin Nathanson, Stephen Schachter, Murray Clemens and James MacInnis as leading commercial litigators in Vancouver and new associate counsel Peter Reardon as a leader in insolvency litigation.
Best Lawyers consistently ranks members of the firm as leading lawyers in a variety of categories, including Bet-the-Company Litigation, Class Action Litigation, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Director and Officer Liability, Labour and Employment, and Securities Law. Randy Hordo and Irwin Nathanson received Lawyer of the Year awards for 2021.
Last updated March 2021