Founded in Vancouver in 1979, Whitelaw Twining started as a small, boutique law firm with three partners. Since the beginning, we’ve pushed beyond standard litigation to find progressive, creative solutions for our clients.
Culture: Driven, progressive, creativewe don’t settle for how things have always been done. We’re doing away with traditional law firm hierarchies, choosing collaboration over competition and balance over burnout. From support staff to senior partners, we work side-by-side, sharing successes as a team.
Approach: We work closely with every client to determine their needs and find the most efficient and effective resolution. We think outside the box, finding creative solutions that improve cycle times, and we share updates every step along the way. With an eye on data and analytics, we are continually improving our processes to give you the best service possible.
Expertise: When it comes to litigation, we don’t do one-size-fits allwe are industry leaders in 27 areas of law. We have a deep understanding of what makes each sector unique, allowing us to specialize our services and achieve the best results possible.
Offices: We are headquartered in downtown Vancouver, BC with locations in Surrey, Victoria, and Calgary, AB. Our spaces are designed to be open, collaborative and inspiringand we all share the view.
Hunter Litigation Chambers has been consistently recognized as one of the premier firms in British Columbia practicing in the field of dispute resolution. The senior counsel have developed their reputations as leading litigation and arbitration counsel during their respective tenures at some of Canada’s leading corporate/commercial law firms. Randy Kaardal Q.C., Bill Smart, Q.C., Michael Stephens, Mark Oulton, Brent Olthuis, Claire Hunter, Q.C., and Ryan Dalziel, Q.C. have consistently been identified in peer-reviewed publications as leading counsel in various litigation-related categories. Bill Smart Q.C. is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and both he and Brent Olthuis are Fellows of the International Society of Barristers. Randy Kaardal, Q.C. and Claire Hunter, Q.C. are both Fellows of the Litigation Counsel of America.
The firm’s experience is enhanced by Associate Counsel Martin Taylor, Q.C., one of Canada’s leading counsel and adjudicators over the past 40 years.
Hunter Litigation Chambers has the depth and capability to handle the full range of commercial litigation, arbitration, product liability, aboriginal, administrative, labour and employment, public law litigation, and criminal and quasi-criminal matters. In addition to their trial level practice, counsel from the firm appear regularly in the British Columbia Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Canada, and in the federal courts, including the Federal Court of Appeal and Tax Court of Canada. Our senior lawyers are experienced appellate counsel and often provide specialized appellate services to lawyers whose practices are primarily at the trial level.
The firm embraces a strong commitment to professional and academic excellence with many of its lawyers having clerked for justices of the superior courts of Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada.
Commercial Litigation is a primary practice area for Hunter Litigation Chambers. All of the counsel in the firm practice in this area. In addition to the experience of our senior lawyers, our junior and intermediate counsel are developing strong reputations as competent and creative commercial counsel. The firm is able to assemble a team capable of handling commercial matters of any size and complexity.
Class Actions – Michael Stephens, Brent Olthuis and Claire Hunter, Q.C. have extensive experience in the field.
Products Liability – Counsel from Hunter Litigation Chambers have a history of handling a variety of complex products liability matters involving failed or allegedly dangerous products. Our cases have involved aircraft components, oil field equipment, machinery, roofing materials and motor vehicles. In addition, we have acted for pharmaceutical companies and handled cases involving allegedly defective medical devices and other allegedly dangerous products including tobacco.
Arbitration – Randy Kaardal, Q.C. and Michael Stephens have acted as arbitration counsel in several commercial matters and also as litigation counsel in cases arising out of arbitration proceedings, including the leading case on judicial review of arbitral decisions.
Administrative and Public Law – The firm has a diverse public law practice, which includes acting for and against provincial and federal administrative tribunals and ministries in judicial review proceedings, administrative appeals, marketing board proceedings, constitutional challenges, and permit hearings.
Randy Kaardal Q.C., Michael Stephens and Ryan Dalziel, Q.C. have broad experience in administrative and public law disputes and representing public bodies and professional regulatory tribunals. They have extensive experience before administrative tribunals and courts in judicial review proceedings. Michael Stephens is an annual contributor to the Continuing Legal Education’s Annual Review of Law and Practice in the area of Administrative Law. Claire Hunter, Q.C. has an active marketing board practice and has acted in a wide variety of legal challenges to administrative decisions. Randy Kaardal, Q.C., Bill Smart Q.C., and Brent Olthuis have experience practicing before professional regulatory tribunals, including representation of both professional associations and their members
Aboriginal Law – Counsel from Hunter Litigation Chambers have been in the forefront of the development of a body of Aboriginal Law in British Columbia, representing industry and government in responding to claims of Aboriginal rights and title.
Forestry Law – Mark Oulton heads the forestry law practice at Hunter Litigation Chambers. Mr. Oulton regularly represents licensees and other companies and individuals in matters before the Forest Appeals Commission, the British Columbia Supreme Court, and the British Columbia Court of Appeal.
Labour and Employment Law – The firm’s labour and employment practice is headed by Randy Kaardal Q.C. who has over 25 years of experience handling labour and employment matters. The labour and employment practice is supported by Paul Heisler, who has over 10 years of experience handling all matters arising in the labour and employment field. Mr. Kaardal and Mr. Heisler, together with a talented group of associates, have been counsel on many of the leading decisions in British Columbia related to employment law, labour law, and human rights law. The firm’s labour and employment practice is broad-based, dealing with the full spectrum of issues arising out of the employment relationship in both union and non-union environments.
Criminal and Regulatory Law – Hunter Litigation Chambers has developed a broad-based criminal law and regulatory practice that includes prosecutions under the Criminal Code as well as various other federal and provincial statutes and regulations. The firm is also retained from time to time by the Crown to act on its behalf. Bill Smart, Q.C. has over 35 years of experience appearing in trial courts on criminal law and regulatory cases and has been a member of faculty of the Federation of Law Societies National Criminal Law Program for the last 30 years. Brent Olthuis also appears regularly in criminal cases in all levels of court in the province.
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.
15 Farris partners ranked in Benchmark Litigation Canada.
29 Farris partners ranked in The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.
2 Farris partner ranked in The Lexpert®/American Lawyers Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada.
14 Farris partners in 13 years listed as Lexpert® “Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40.”
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.