British Columbia


Dispute resolution

Farris Vaughan Wills & Murphy provides a comprehensive and diverse array of litigation services that ranges from commercial litigation, securities, family law and administrative law to labor and employment. While recognized as “a classic Vancouver firm,” Farris is noted by peers as being “well positioned because of the big group of younger partners that are coming up and complementing the more senior people that are Farris ‘lifers.’”  
     Peers largely credit this transition to Ludmila Herbst, an all-purpose litigator who earned her stripes at Farris over the past several years and has since emerged as “a de facto leader now.” Among other engagements, Herbst leads a firm team that represents the Law Society of British Columbia, one of the participants granted standing in a commission inquiry that was established by the provincial government in 2019 to investigate allegations of money laundering in several specific industry sectors. While Herbst is lauded for her role in continuing Farris’s tradition of litigation excellence through development of the team, Michael Wagner has risen to become noted as “the entrepreneurial litigation magnet of that firm,” by a peer, who goes on to marvel, “I think he’ll be doing this for the next 25 years, he’s just at that sweet spot. The amount of work that comes in for him is just staggering, and it’s all really interesting work! All of his cases seem to have a story behind them, which he is great at relaying.” Another star whose profile continues to ascend, securities specialist Teresa Tomchak is representing the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) in a hearing and review application before the British Columbia Securities Commission. The applicant filed an application for a hearing and review of a decision of the TSXV that imposes certain requirements upon the applicant relating to his ability to become a director or officer of an exchange-listed issuer. The matter concerns the applicant’s involvement with another exchange-listed issuer at a time the applicant was CEO, director and president of the issuer and during which the issuer breached numerous policies of the TSXV relating to misrepresentations to the TSXV and the public. Tomchak is also leading counsel to several individuals in an ongoing regulatory proceeding involving Bridgemark Financial before the British Columbia Securities Commission involving 65 respondents, as well as a related class action. Tomchak also represents Palisades Goldcorp in proceedings before the Ontario Superior Court in a matter involving allegations of insider trading relating to the sale of shares of NewFound Gold Corp. It is alleged that at the time of the sale the defendants were in possession of certain drilling results which were not publicly disclosed. Rebecca Morse attends to an insolvency and estate litigation practice, with a substantial level of this dedicated to the construction sector. Robert McDonell is counsel for three defendants in the massive opioid national class action commenced across Canada. There are 49 defendants with the provincial and federal governments as the intended members in the British Columbia class action. Michael Korbin attends to a vibrant labor and employment practice. A peer confirms, “I send all my high-end employment files to Michael because he’s so ferocious!” Key members of the younger generation at Farris are also making their marks. Tim Louman-Gardiner, an insolvency-focused partner, acted for the seller of a winery in obtaining security for an unpaid portion of the purchase price and the appointment of a receiver, with the sale of assets through that process allowing the winery to continue to operate as a going concern. This matter is valued at $12 million. New partner Kevin Smith (who attained this status as of January 2022) is said to have “taken up the cudgel of public law cases, a practice once dominated by universally respected former Farris partner, the late Joe Arvay.”