McEwan Partners is a litigation boutique with a focus on complex corporate, commercial, and securities matters. Formed in the fall of 2017, the firm is headed by Ken McEwan Q.C., Bob Cooper Q.C., and Craig Dennis Q.C., three nationally- and internationally-recognized litigators. The firm’s lawyers share a dedication to exceptional advocacy, professionalism, rigourous legal analysis, and business-minded practicality. Just six months after its inception, McEwan Partners was the recipient of Benchmark Canada’s Litigation Boutique of the Year award for 2018 and 2019, and British Columbia Firm of the Year for 2020.
Although our litigation expertise is broad, the firm’s primary focus is on business disputes. Most of our lawyers have experience in full-service corporate commercial firms, working closely with business lawyers on complex securities and corporate litigation and arbitration. We strive to understand our clients’ businesses and to deliver practical results tailored to their interests.
Our firm’s 14 lawyers include seven former judicial clerks – two in the Supreme Court of Canada – and members of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and Litigation Counsel of America. All six partners are recognized as Litigation Stars or Future Litigation Stars by Benchmark Canada. Our lawyers have delivered successful results for clients in trials and appeals across Canada, including significant victories at the Supreme Court of Canada. McEwan Partners lawyers are consistently recognized by peer review agencies, including Lexpert, Benchmark, Who’s Who, Canada’s Best Lawyers, and Martindale Hubbell, with recent highlights including rankings among the top 50 trial lawyers in Canada, a 2019 lawyer of the year, a 2019 corporate and commercial litigation lawyer of the year in Vancouver, and a 2019 top 500 leading lawyers in Canada.
In addition to all our lawyers acting as counsel, our senior lawyers also arbitrate and mediate disputes. Three are members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Ken McEwan, Q.C. is an author of Commercial Arbitration in Canada and contributing author to A Practitioner’s Guide to Commercial Arbitration.
McEwan Partners’ Representative Experience:
Administrative and Public Law: Craig Dennis, Q.C. represented the Mining Associations of British Columbia and Canada as interveners in the judicial review in Federal Court of the Taseko New Prosperity mine environmental assessment in Taseko Mines Limited v. Canada(Environment). Craig’s expertise in this area is reflected in his selection as the Best Lawyers in Canada “Lawyer of the Year” in Administrative and Public Law in Vancouver for 2018.
Class Actions: Our lawyers have expansive, precedent-setting experience in class actions across a wide range of disputes. Lexpert and Best Lawyers recognize Ken McEwan Q.C. and Craig Dennis Q.C. as leaders in the area of class actions, and Best Lawyers named Ken McEwan Q.C. its class actions lawyer of the year in Vancouver for 2018. Ken does both plaintiff and defendant work.
Commercial: In Este v. Esteghamat-Ardakani et al, Ken McEwan Q.C. and Emily Kirkpatrick successfully upheld a ruling obtained at trial that the plaintiff’s claim amounted to an abuse of process due to the taking of inconsistent positions. Both
at trial and on appeal in Maxam Opportunities Fund Limited Partnership v. 729171 Alberta Inc., Bob Cooper, Q.C. led a successful defence on behalf of a company against whom it was alleged that there existed an obligation to borrow funds from the plaintiff.
Competition/Antitrust: Ken McEwan, Q.C. successfully led the defence of
Fortress Paper Ltd. and Fortress Specialty Cellulose Inc. against a claim alleging
knowing assistance in breach of trust, breach of confidence, and inducing breach of contract in Sateri (Shanghai) Management Ltd. v. Vinall.
Constitutional:Our lawyers have appeared as counsel in leading constitutional cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, including Law Society of British Columbia v. Mangat, and British Columbia v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd.
Corporate and Shareholder: In Arkansas Teachers Retirement System v. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Ken McEwan, Q.C. and Emily Kirkpatrick successfully defeated a shareholder application to bring a derivative action against current and former directors and officers of Lions Gate.
In Wigen v. Wynndel Logging Co. Ltd., Ken McEwan, Q.C. successfully defeated a minority shareholder’s claim alleging oppression and seeking leave to bring a derivative action
Insolvency and Restructuring: Owen James acted for the successful appellant in Century Services Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General), in which the Supreme Court of Canada for the first time directly interpreted key provisions of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.
In Kriegman v. Dill, Ken McEwan, Q.C. and David McEwan were successful for the appellant Trustee in Bankruptcy in registering the foreign judgment of a Washington State Court against the respondent. In its decision, the Court of Appeal commented on issues relating to the possible application of Part XIII of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act as an alternative mechanism to deal with cross-border insolvencies.
Product Liability:Our lawyers, including Ken McEwan, Q.C. and Craig Dennis, Q.C., have acted in significant product liability cases on behalf of Daimler Chrysler, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M), Imperial Tobacco, and British American Tobacco, among others. Ken and Craig are consistently recognized in this area, with Ken having been recently described by Who’s Who Legal: Product Liability for 2018 as “incredibly skilled” and “a practitioner who consistently impresses clients with his encyclopaedic knowledge.”
Real Estate: In Bison Properties Ltd. (Re), Ken McEwan, Q.C. and Craig Dennis, Q.C. lead successful defences for separate defendants of a claim by bond investors and real estate purchasers in the redevelopment of the iconic Oak Bay Beach Hotel. The case concerned the interpretation of the Real Estate Development Marketing Act, breach of trust, knowing receipt and tracing of trust property, and the priority scheme under the Land Title Act.
Ken McEwan, Q.C. succeeded in setting aside part of a court order to wind up a strata corporation in Owners, Strata Plan VR2122 et al v. Bradbury in the Court of Appeal’s first opportunity to consider recent amendments to the Strata Property Act allowing for wind-up of a strata corporation.
Securities:In Aurizon Mines Ltd. v. Northgate Minerals Corporation, KenMcEwan, Q.C. successful upheld a standstill agreement and enjoined a take-over bid both at summary trial and on appeal. Extraordinarily, the time from the commencement of the action, through trial and appeal, and to the appeal judgment was 28 days.
Updated March 2021
Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP is a Canadian law firm with offices in both Vancouver and Toronto. Since our beginnings, we have grown to a team of nearly 70 lawyers and over 100 employees. Last year, we expanded into the Toronto market, merging our well-known and respected Vancouver practice with the practices of senior commercial litigation and senior construction and infrastructure lawyers in Toronto. This combination of geography and experience formed a powerful national platform from which to better serve our clients across the country.
We offer an extensive range of legal services in the areas of construction and infrastructure, commercial litigation, commercial real estate, corporate commercial, insurance defense, professional liability, product liability, workplace law, and business immigration.
Our core area of practice is construction and infrastructure law, with over half of the lawyers in the firm focused on this area. Our construction lawyers are recognized practitioners, litigators, solicitors, and engineers who have a wealth of experience to draw on.
We have a strong history of assisting clients with a variety of projects nationwide. We work on all matters in our space including large-scale infrastructure, institutional, industrial, and commercial projects such as highways, railways, tunnels, pipelines, mines, industrial facilities, schools and other education facilities, hospitals, manufacturing plants, commercial buildings, and condominiums.
Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel were also co-counsel to the Ontario Government preparing a report and guiding the legislative drafting of Ontario’s Construction Act. As such, they are uniquely positioned to advise clients on the effects of the new Act.
A Client Focused Approach
At Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP we have developed our firm with a fundamental understanding that our clients deserve exceptional legal service that is delivered in a manner that is honest, creative, clear, relatable, flexible, and cost effective.
We provide solutions customized to our clients’ needs in various sectors including education, healthcare, government, and industry. We help our clients seize emerging opportunities and find solutions to complex legal problems.
Our lawyers have an impeccable sense of the challenges that can arise within their areas of expertise and are committed to working together collaboratively across disciplines to find the best solutions for our clients.
Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Canada is leading the world in terms of diversity, inclusion and pluralism. It is a strength that unifies our country and its people, and strengthens business relationships creating opportunities for success.
At Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP, we are committed to fostering a culture of diversity, inclusion and pluralism in the workplace that embraces the unique backgrounds, perspectives, experiences, and talents of individuals at all levels of the firm to ensure that we represent the communities we serve in Canada.
As the firm continues to grow, we are committed to consistently improving our diversity and inclusion policies to ensure they continue to reflect the culture and values of our employees and clients.
Community Involvement and Pro Bono Work
Beyond our commitment to our staff and our clients, our firm is also committed to the communities in which we have been able to grow and thrive. In that regard, we as a firm, and our individual members, are involved in a variety of community-oriented organizations.
We also encourage our lawyers to get involved with pro bono work by offering each lawyer credits every year for time spent providing legal services on pro bono files that reflect their individual interests and commitments.
Our lawyers have participated over the years as instructors of various courses taught at the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, and Stanford University. We are keenly interested in education as it relates to our practices and the development of future experts in law.
Shapray Cramer Fitterman Lamer is a Vancouver-based boutique litigation firm that specializes in corporate and commercial litigation, alternate dispute resolution and strategic advice.
Shapray Cramer Fitterman Lamer is known for dynamism, ingenuity and common sense, which, when matched by the wealth of the collective experience of our lawyers, results in timely, pragmatic solutions.
The firm’s clients range from entrepreneurs to major Canadian and US-based corporations. Our work frequently involves large, complex or high-profile disputes, and we routinely manage intricate, multi-party litigation and document-intensive cases.
Our lawyers have represented clients before all levels of court in Canada, including in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.
As a dispute resolution boutique, we consider all available options in our goal to achieve a favourable settlement. As such, we are highly skilled in the art of negotiation and strategic positioning. Our expertise also extends to mediations and arbitrations.
The firm began in 1993 as Shapray Cramer LLP, when Howard Shapray, QC, for many years the head of the litigation department of one of Vancouver's leading international law firms, and Brad Cramer, who also enjoyed a distinguished career in the same firm, established their innovative and focused litigation boutique. Top-notch litigators Francis Lamer and Stephen Fitterman joined in 1997 and 1999. In 2010, Abbas Sabur was hired away from one of Canada’s leading multidisciplinary firms. Sandra Foweraker and Lorne Kotler joined the firm in 2019, both from other highly-respected litigation boutiques in Vancouver.
Shapray Cramer LLP formally became Shapray Cramer Fitterman Lamer LLP in July 2013.
Updated March 2021
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