The Firm: 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 renowned Singaporean businessman, Hong Leong Oei. In Wastech Ltd. v. GVS&DD, the firm appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada which is expected to further clarify the Bhasin test. 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. Stephen Schachter and Peter Reardon received Lawyer of the Year awards for 2020.
Last updated Feb 2020
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.
Last updated March 2020
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.
Although our litigation expertise is broad, the firm’s primary focus is onbusiness disputes. Most of our lawyers have experience in full-service corporate commercial firms, working closely with business lawyers oncomplex 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 eight former judicial clerks – three 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.
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. and Eileen Patel 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. and Sandra Foweraker 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.
Last updated March 2020
Bennett Jones is consistently recognized for its expertise in domestic and cross-border litigation. The firm is known for its uncompromising strength in the areas of competition and antitrust, securities, class actions, energy, commercial, intellectual property, fraud, construction, restructuring/insolvency, employment, health, and professional negligence litigation and has prominent practitioners in alternate dispute resolution, including international commercial arbitration. We are committed to working with our clients to develop an effective and cost-efficient strategy to identify and achieve their unique goals in the prosecution and defense of business disputes.
With more than 100 lawyers practicing commercial litigation nationally, Bennett Jones litigators have significant experience in all aspects of dispute resolution, and have leading reputations before courts and tribunals. We represent some of Canada's largest corporations, including energy producers, and technology and telecommunications companies, and are skilled in conducting commercial arbitrations, including those involving issues in the oil and gas, mining and construction industries. Our litigation practice is supported by the considerable strength of our appellate advocacy and judicial review practice which provides clients and referring counsel with specialized and strategic advice on all aspects of cases on appeal or under judicial review.
We are frequently retained by major domestic and international corporations in the defense of class actions. Representing parties at every stage of the lawsuit, from pre-certification motions and applications through to trial, we bring to each phase coordinated strategies and effective communications to streamline the litigation process. We also advise clients on mitigating their class action risk and proactively monitor trends in prospective class action developments.
Recognizing that many disputes are settled prior to trial, our commercial and technical expertise provides another valuable set of skills to the negotiation and settlement of litigation. Our team approach ensures that we provide the most timely, effective and innovative support to our clients. Our lawyers' reputations, contributions to Canadian case law, and distinguished history of service have resulted in top rankings in all major legal directories for many of our litigators, in a multitude of litigation practice areas.
Bennett Jones reflects the integrity and professional excellence of the firm’s Founding Partners. Over the years, the firm has produced some of Canada’s most accomplished legal and business leaders, fostering values that established it as one of Canada’s most successful business law firms. The firm prides itself on offering clients innovative, strategic and forward-thinking approaches to legal and regulatory challenges and opportunities. Mutual respect and independent thought are cornerstones of client and colleague interactions. Bennett Jones is proud to have been recognized for 17 consecutive years as one of Canada’s Best Employers.
Last updated March 2020