Fillmore Riley



Dispute resolution

Founded in Manitoba more than a century ago, Fillmore Riley today stands as one of Winnipeg’s most often-mentioned legal shops. Although a full-service firm, peers are quick to identify key litigators there as being some of the best in the province. “They have the largest insurance department between Ontario and Calgary,” observes a peer. “If there is any insurance filing that comes through Manitoba, Fillmore Riley is going to have a piece of it.” One devoted client weighs in, “Fillmore Riley have an excellent insurance litigation department with all levels of experience. They are considered by the insurance industry as the top firm for this type of litigation matter.” Peers make sure to note, however, that “they are not just known for insurance. They have a broader repertoire.” In particular, one peer observes, “They have quite a few people doing trust and estates work, and they have really raised their game in the tax area, too.” In the latter two practices, Cy Fien is a noted standout. A peer insists, “We need to talk more about Cy! He’s an absolute star in terms of tax! Not just in this province, either – He’s known all throughout Western Canada.” Bernice Bowley, typically touted for her prominence in the firm’s celebrated insurance practice, has also raised her profile in other areas, namely the tax and municipal law areas. Acting for the defendant, Bowley brought a successful summary judgment motion dismissing the plaintiffs’ claim for damages arising out of tax sales of certain properties. The client’s motion for summary judgment was granted, with a consolidated action being dismissed. The plaintiffs appealed to the Court of Appeal, although past the deadline, and had to bring a motion seeking leave to appeal. That motion was dismissed with costs. Bowley also, along with Brandon Barnes Trickett, acts for a leading hydroelectric engineering firm headquartered in Québec, the defendant in a contract and tort claim related to Manitoba Hydro’s high-value infrastructure redevelopment and upgrade. “Bernice is our counsel of choice,” confirms a client. “She has a wide range of experience and has the ability to adapt to the many different situations in which we become involved.” In the firm’s insurance capacity, Stuart Blake continues to draw acclaim, boasting a “who’s who” list of clients in both the local and international insurance realms. Blake’s practice also comprises a fair bit of aviation work. “Stuart does most of the aviation work in the province,” confirms a peer. Blake acted for the insurer of the defendants, a group of farmers who allegedly caused flooding that adversely affected the plaintiff, also a farmer. Blake successfully struck the claim prior to trial on the basis that the plaintiff violated earlier orders of the Court. Andrew Loewen is also said to be keeping very busy with practice that balances insurance and insolvency work.