Marko Vesely

Marko Vesely



  • Business Litigation
  • Class Action Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Corporate Litigation

WSG Practice Industries


Lawson Lundell LLP
British Columbia, Canada

Marko practices civil and commercial litigation, with a focus on defamation, copyright and other intellectual property disputes securities litigation, class actions, products liability cases, and commercial arbitrations. He has appeared as lead counsel at all levels of court in British Columbia, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, before the Trade-marks Opposition Board, and as defence counsel before the British Columbia Securities Commission. Marko is the head of the firm's Defamation and Media Law Group.

Marko is a regular commentator on legal affairs on CBC television, CBC radio, CKNW radio, News 1130, the Vancouver Sun, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, BC Business magazine, Lexpert magazine, and Canadian Corporate Counsel magazine.

Marko is also a regular contributor to Lawson Lundell's Western Canada Business Litigation Blog, a resource that examines current trends and interesting issues emerging in the legal and business communities.

Bar Admissions

British Columbia (2000)
Saskatchewan (2005, currently inactive)
Alberta (2015)


Simon Fraser University (B.A. (Hons.), 1994)
University of Toronto (LL.B., 1998)
Areas of Practice

Business Litigation | Class Action Law | Commercial Litigation | Corporate Litigation | Defamation and Media | Intellectual Property | Internet and Cyberspace | Litigation | Product Liability

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

Recently, Marko has:

Represented a lender in the successful settlement of a class action concerning the alleged miscalculation of interest rates under adjustable residential mortgages (Bell v. Merix Financial Inc., BCSC, Jan 20, 2015)

Represented a forest company in the successful settlement of a class action concerning reductions to post-retirement health benefits (Dyer v. Weyerhaeuser Co. Ltd., BCSC, Sept 12, 2014)

Successfully defended a $53-million defamation action involving an international mining project (Monument Mining Ltd. v. Balendran Chong & Bodi, 2012 BCSC 1769)

Represented the BC Civil Liberties Assn. before the Supreme Court of Canada in opposing a publication ban over allegedly defamatory speech (A.B. v. Bragg Communications Inc., 2012 SCC 46)

Represented dissident shareholders in successfully setting aside the results of a proxy contest at a corporate Annual General Meeting (International Energy and Minerals Resources v. Mosquito Consolidated Gold Mines Limited, 2012 BCSC 1191)

Represented a website owner in the first case in Canada and the Commonwealth to enforce passive (or "browse wrap") online terms of use and related copyright claims (Century 21 Canada LP v. Rogers Communications Inc., 2011 BCSC 1196)

Represented the Government of Canada in tobacco class action and health care cost recovery actions (B.C. v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., 2009 BCCA 540; Knight v. Imperial Tobacco Ltd., 2007 BCSC 964)

Successfully defended an international publishing company and its author in a copyright infringement action (Thumbnail Creative Group Inc. v. Blu Concept, 2009 BCSC 1833)

Enforced letters of request from a foreign court to obtain evidence in BC (Maverick LNG Holdings Ltd. v. Teekay Shipping (Canada) Ltd., 2009 BCSC 1538)

Successfully defended a civil fraud and conspiracy action concerning the transfer of commercial real estate (Clock Holdings Ltd. v. Braich, 2008 BCSC 1697, appeal dismissed 2009 BCCA 269, 2009 BCCA 437)

Successfully defended a major telecommunications company in an action concerning the administration of its pension plan (Patrick v. Telus Communications Inc. 2008 BCCA 246, 2007 BCCA 200, and 2006 BCSC 854)

Overturned on appeal the certification of a major pension class proceeding and obtained a stay of that proceeding in favour of arbitration (Ruddell v. BC Rail Ltd., 2007 BCCA 269)

Represented both plaintiffs and defendants in defamation actions involving the print and online media

Defended various financial services companies and their licensed financial advisors in civil actions and in prosecutions before the B.C. Securities Commission

Successfully represented the purchaser of a private post secondary school in a commercial arbitration to resolve disputes arising from the purchase

Represented a major BC utility in striking out a class action brought against it (Strata Plan LMS 1816 v. BC Hydro, 2002 BCSC 485)

Professional Associations

Recognition and Ranking
*Benchmark Canada (2015): The Guide to Canadas Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys: recognized for commercial, intellectual property and media/defamation litigation in British Columbia
*Best Lawyers in Canada (2015): recognized for corporate and commercial litigation and defamation and media law
*Chambers Global: recognized in the Dispute Resolution (British Columbia) category
*Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada (2011): recognized as a "Litigation Lawyer to Watch"
*Lexpert Rising Star Award (2010): recognized as one of Canadas Leading Lawyers under 40
*Martindale-Hubbell International Law Directory: BV Peer Review rated

Professional Activities
*Guest lecturer at the UBC Faculty of Law (trial advocacy), University of Victoria Faculty of Law (class actions), and the UBC Graduate *School of Journalism (media law)
*Canadian Bar Association, Member
*Vancouver Bar Association, Member


"Affirmative Defenses to a Defamation Action", Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C. Conference (November 21, 2014)

Online Defamation: Practical Tips on Managing the File and Advising Your Client", Professional Development Webinar, Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch (April 3, 2014), Speaker

Federated Press: 10th Pension Law & Litigation Course (March 2014), Course Leader and Speaker

"Fiduciary Duties", 8th Pension Law & Litigation Course, Federated Press, Vancouver, BC (March 5-6, 2013), Conference Chair and Speaker

"Communication Risk Management: Managing Social Media Risks", Inaugural Mini LLB-MBA for Communications, Federated Press (October 11-12, 2012), Co-lecturer

"Social Media and the Law", The Canadian Public Relations Society (May 26, 2011), Presenter

"Social Media and Online Defamation: Keeping out of Court", Northern Voice Conference (May 13, 2011), Panelist

"Liability and the Trustee", 5th Pension Law & Litigation Course: Protecting the organization in an era of increased pension liabilities, shortfalls and litigation, Federated Press (March 17-18, 2010), Co-lecturer

"The Implied Undertaking Rule", Advocates Club in Vancouver (December 5, 2007), Paper

"Legal Research", Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C. Conference (2004), Co-Chair

Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Blog
Lawson Lundell LLP 

Lawson Lundell's Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Blog follows new and interesting issues emerging in the legal and business communities. Our goal is to provide a source of valuable information and insight on a wide variety of matters for our readers.

Privacy & Data Management Blog
Lawson Lundell LLP 

This blog is authored by members of the Privacy & Data Management Department. We follow new and interesting issues emerging in the legal and business communities. We follow emerging issues, legal developments, and new technology as they impact privacy and data management. We will focus on how...

Project Law Blog
Lawson Lundell LLP 

The Lawson Lundell Project Law Blog focuses on updating proponents on new and interesting issues emerging in the law and policy that applies to the development of major projects in Canada. The focus of the blog is on matters relating to environmental assessment and compliance, regulatory matters...

The Business Law Blog
Lawson Lundell LLP 

This blog is authored by members of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department. We intend to follow new and interesting issues emerging in the legal and business communities. The wide range of experience among the members of our litigation group will provide a diverse and insightful...


"Canadian Law of Defamation And The John Furlong Allegations", The Huffington Post Canada (October 1, 2012), Author

"Silence is golden: Injunctions in defamation law", Canadian Corporate Counsel (October 2011), Co-Author with Ben Heller and Chris Dafoe

"The Launch of the .xxx Top Level Domain Name - Protecting Your Brand's Reputation" (September 6, 2011), Co-Author

"Defamation in Social Media" BC Business Magazine (May 2, 2011), Author

"Anti-SLAPP statutes: Slippery slope or free speech salvation", Canadian Corporate Counsel (January 2011), Co-authored with Chris Dafoe

"The Law of Defamation: A Primer", co-authored with The Honourable Judge Thomas S. Woods

"Just a click away?: Internet hyperlinks and defamation liability", Canadian Corporate Counsel, Vol. 18 No. 3 (Nov/Dec. 2008), co-authored with Chris Dafoe

"Cusson v. Quan: the 'responsible journalism' defence comes to Canada", Canadian Corporate Counsel, Vol. 17, No. 7 (June 2008), co-authored with Chris M. Dafoe

"Safe to slander city hall? Ontario court bars defamation suits by government bodies", Canadian Corporate Counsel, Vol. 17, No. 5 (March / April 2008), co-authored with Chris M. Dafoe

"The Implied Undertaking Rule" (December 4, 2007)

"British Columbia Overturns Class Action Certification", Pension Planning, Vol. XIII, No. 4 (2007)

"Ruddell v. BC Rail Ltd. Case Comment" Class Action Defence Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 2 (December 2007), Co-authored with Craig Ferris

"Defamation over the Internet: The Difficult Question of Jurisdiction" (March 15, 2004)

"Recovering the costs of legal research" Legal Research, Vancouver: Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C., (2004)

"Recovery of payments made under practical compulsion" Canadian Corporate Counsel, Vol. 13, No. 6 (2004)

"Common interest privilege in the commercial context: When can privileged information safely be shared?" Canadian Corporate Counsel, Vol. 12, No. 4 (2003)

"Collateral attack of administrative orders outside of the penal context" Regulatory Boards and Administrative Law Litigation, Vol. 5, No. 2 (2002), Co-authored with C.W. Sanderson, Q.C.

"Counsel fees in class actions" Class Actions, Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C., Vancouver (2000), Co-authored with R.L. Hayley