Business disputes can put owners, shareholders and operations at serious risk. Harper Grey lawyers offer sharp insight and extensive expertise to ensure that matters are resolved efficiently and effectively.
Our commercial litigation team understands your competitive environment and your goals. We'll respect your need to negotiate an early agreement or go all the way to trial and beyond.
Our advice is straightforward, our litigation skills renowned.
How We Can Help
We represent clients in mediations, at arbitrations, in hearings and in court every day. We understand that litigation can be costly, and we respect the fact that some of our clients want to resolve matters quickly and privately.
Our approach to dispute resolution begins with the premise that a matter will go to trial. The best litigation strategies anticipate every angle, twist and turn that may crop up if a dispute is argued before a judge and possibly a jury. Our lawyers strategize from the strongest possible position, regardless of whether the issues are resolved before or after court.
- Representation in mediations and arbitrations.
- Representation in court hearings and in trials, including appellate work.
- Negotiating contract disputes including those involving leases, finance, employment and international issues.
- Work involving libel and slander, including protection from the risks associated with defamation.
- Negotiating with debtors, creditors and collecting debt on behalf of businesses. Includes Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act matters, and issues relating to insolvency and foreclosures.
- Injunctions, which are sometimes necessary to prohibit proceedings such as purchase and sale of businesses.
- Representation in shareholder disputes, including oppression remedies, disputes over distributions and share structure, and family and inheritance issues.
- Representation for directors and officers of companies whose assets are at risk or who are held responsible for major loss.
- Obtaining civil search warrants on behalf of clients involved in litigation, including obtaining electronic evidence.
- Defending BC businesses against foreign judgments.
- Helping BC businesses find trusted lawyers in other jurisdictions worldwide through our membership in TAGLaw international.
Typical situations involving commercial litigation
- A business partnership dissolves after 20 years, and disputes arise over who gets which assets, including investments, trademark rights and client portfolios.
- A local manufacturer purchases a unique component for a large piece of machinery from a supplier in Europe. The supplier, however, shuts down its business, leaving the manufacturer in jeopardy of losing the machinery orders he pre-sold.
- A British Columbia mining company is accused of violating several statutes, including tax and tariff regulations, in another country. Expansion is inhibited and shares are devalued.
2017 Chambers Canada Commentary: Well-known local firm with a robust dispute resolution group. Acknowledged for its focus on medical defense work, the team also advises on a range of business disputes. Represents both public and private companies in commercial and securities litigation and class action suits. Strengths: “They exceeded all my expectations. I am very satisfied with the work and very happy to recommend them.”
- Defended a BC business in a three-week trial against allegations of breach of contract, unjust enrichment and misappropriation of funds.
- Defended a Crown Corporation against allegations that it had caused a plaintiff's initial public offering to fail - a case that involved an alleged $30 million in damages.
- Acted on behalf of a large securities firm in an Alberta-based dispute. Our client was granted the entire $500,000 debenture sought.
- Obtained an Anton Piller order (civil search warrant) and worldwide Mareva injunction in a contentious matrimonial dispute involving numerous foreign judgments and assets.
- Represented a law firm in a Legal Profession Act hearing over the enforcement of a significant contingency fee agreement. This case also involved the valuation of a large business.
- Represented the liquidator of a charitable organization in ground breaking litigation to sell properties to satisfy outstanding claims for sexual abuse perpetrated by individual Christian Brothers at the Mount Cashel orphanage in Newfoundland. The liquidator ultimately made a recovery of $19 million by way of settlement.
- Representing defendants in litigation following the collapse of two large financial institutions: Eron Mortgage Corporation and the Legion Credit Union.
Directors and Officers Liability
- Represented the plaintiff in an oppression trial over shares in a company that owned a successful taxi business and significant hotel assets. This case also involved a large business valuation.
- Represented the founder of a technology company in an oppression proceeding relating to the use of anti-dilution shares.
- Represented Kuehne & Nagel International at the Supreme Court of Canada in a landmark decision that allows third parties to claim the benefit of an exclusion clause in a contract to which they were not a party. This case also explored the boundaries between contract and tort law, and is recognized as the seminal decision in the ongoing debate concerning vicarious liability.
- Represented an employer before the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the British Columbia Court of Appeal concerning vicarious liability for an independent contractor.
- Represented the defendants in the combined trial of corporate oppression and derivative actions in Discovery Enterprises v. Ebco Industries.
Published in: Civil Litigation Update March 31 2017 edition