A Tradition of Excellence
Farris is a leading Canadian law firm with offices in Vancouver, Kelowna, and Victoria, B.C. Our full-service firm represents some of the largest public and private institutions and corporations in the province, offering versatile and innovative approaches for over 100 years. Farris has been consistently rated one of Vancouver’s leading corporate and litigation law firms.
Farris provides timely, creative and practical representation backed by tremendous local knowledge and experience. Since the firm was established in 1903 it has been involved in many of the province’s leading cases. Today its broad and dynamic litigation practice not only retains its traditional high profile but continues to lead the development of the law in newer areas such as social media, public-private partnerships, and alternative dispute resolution. Farris counsel are consistently recognized as leaders in their field. This extends not only to its senior counsel but also to its deep roster of other litigation partners who are recognized as “stars” and “future stars” in their own right.
Farris’ success has only one true measure: the success of the clients that it serves, and to that end, Farris litigators are driven by a tradition of doing the very best that can be done to serve their clients’ interests, on any time frame for which the clients’ situation calls. This is a high performance law firm serving a diverse client base ranging from individuals to some of the largest public institutions and private corporations in British Columbia. It balances a strong regional and national presence with an expanding international practice that includes U.S., European, and Asia-Pacific based Clients.
Farris’ litigation group has significant and extensive experience in all areas of litigation and the firm’s lawyers appear regularly in all BC courts, the Federal Court of Canada, and the Supreme Court of Canada. They also regularly appear in commercial and labour arbitrations as well as before a wide range of administrative tribunals including the BC Securities Commission, the BC Utilities Commission and many others. In addition, they advise on cross-border litigation, conduct a thriving international trade practice, and on occasion act for clients in other provincial superior courts.
Farris lawyers have helped to shape the legal profession in British Columbia and beyond. They regularly publish and teach on matters of advocacy, civil procedure and arbitration practice as well as on matters specifically related to the subject areas in which they practice. Their cases have set precedents followed by future generations in BC and elsewhere.
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
As Canada’s law firm, BLG provides high-value advice and advocacy to address our clients’ business challenges and problems. We go beyond legal to anticipate, consult and advise in a rapidly changing digital world.
We have extensive experience acting in specialized and complex deals and disputes. Vigilant, curious and collaborative, we harness technology and innovation to offer our clients exceptional service and value.
With over 750 lawyers across Canada, we serve clients throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Offering expertise in intellectual property, disputes and corporate transactional matters, our connectivity gives our clients the next-level service required to achieve success in complex and international matters. BLG advises businesses and institutions across all of their legal needs, including M&A and capital markets, complex disputes, financing, and trademark and patent registration.
At BLG, we regularly challenge our thinking to find better, smarter ways to enhance our services and find new ways to practise law. We recently announced a suite of innovative services called BLG Beyond that delivers value-driven, cost-effective solutions to our clients’ most pressing business challenges. Under the category of Managed Services, BLG Beyond offers Beyond eDiscovery, Beyond Leasing, and Beyond Lending. Under the category of Advisory Services, BLG Beyond provides Beyond IP Strategy and Beyond Consulting.
Fully bilingual throughout all practice areas and sectors, BLG excels in Canada’s common and civil law systems. Our five offices operate in Canada’s largest city centres. We offer our clients an established national presence and a global reach through our international network.
The firm continues to build a legacy of ‘firsts’: it was Canada’s first founded law firm, one of the first in North America to implement client service standards, and consistently receives legal industry recognitions for innovation in client service delivery and value.
International Work: We understand the needs of our international and domestic clients and the legal challenges that can affect their opportunities and operations in Canada or abroad. Whether seeking to do business in Canada or internationally, you require a legal partner that will help identify potential risks and provide guidance through any challenges that may arise.
With centuries of combined expertise, our International Group is peerless in our diversity and experience. Our multidisciplinary team of lawyers and intellectual property specialists provides efficient and effective advice to our business, individual and governmental clients.
We represent a diverse range of clients in over 30 languages from across the globe, including China, India, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).
We serve governments and private and public companies in numerous sectors. Our long history as Canada’s law firm combined with a global network of leading law firms enables us to resolve our clients’ most complex legal challenges, regardless of location.
Diversity: Diversity and inclusiveness are critical to the firm’s success. The principles of employment equity, diversity and human rights are an integral part of our culture. As Canada’s Law Firm, we work hard to ensure that everyone feels valued, respected and included. Our National Director of Diversity & Inclusion, in consultation with our D&I Council, proactively reviews all policies, processes and practices to eliminate barriers and support inclusion. BLG D&I initiatives include training and education, support for parental leaves, affinity groups, diversity-themed celebrations, and tracking and reporting on progress.
Our firm actively participates in and promote programs aimed at improving and celebrating diversity within the legal profession and the broader business community, including our robust Transgender Accommodation and Inclusivity Policy, BLG’s mental health strategy, unconscious bias training, and the development and continued growth of the Driven By Women™ initiative. BLG is a proud partners of Catalyst Canada, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and Pride at Work Canada.
Clients & Community: Outside our walls, we contribute to communities across Canada through our pro bono program, our BLG Reads to Kids literacy program, and supporting our members’ charitable efforts through fundraising and volunteer initiatives. BLG supports nearly 200 different non-profit organizations annually, ranging from local charities and grassroots community initiatives to international charitable missions. The firm’s cross-practice and cross-country firm provides more than 20,000 pro bono hours of legal support to nearly 200 not-for-profits and vulnerable individuals.
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 19 consecutive years as one of Canada’s Best Employers.
Last updated March 2021