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Lawson Lundell LLP

Craig A.B. Ferris, Q.C.

Craig A.B. Ferris, Q.C.

Partner

Expertise

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

WSG Practice Industries

Activity

Lawson Lundell LLP
British Columbia, Canada

Profile
Craig is a litigator and acts for clients in commercial and business disputes. His particular areas of specialization include shareholder remedies, trust, pension and fiduciary disputes, securities and transactional litigation, product liability, mining disputes and real estate litigation. Craig has appeared in all levels of court in British Columbia as well as the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also acted in private arbitrations and in administrative settings including before the British Columbia Securities Commission. Craig has particular expertise in class actions and acted as lead counsel in several successful defences of major class proceedings.

Craig is 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 (1991)
Queen's Counsel, British Columbia (2014)

Education

University of British Columbia (B.A., 1986)
University of British Columbia (LL.B., 1989)
Areas of Practice

Business Immigration | Class Action Law | Commercial Litigation | Corporate Litigation | Insurance | Insurance Defense | Litigation | Product Liability

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

Representative experience includes:

Successfully represented an equity lender in the enforcement of a complex multi-property, multi-borrower mortgage enforcement proceeding and defeated a related counterclaim. The action raised issues of unconscionability, fiduciary duty, abuse of a Power of Attorney and various statutory claims. (Canmerica Mortgage Corporation v. Yu, 2015 BCSC 773)
Represented the Canadian Bar Association as an intervener in the Supreme Court ourt of Canada in a successful constitutional challenge to the application of money laundering laws to lawyers in Canada. The decision supported the protection of solicitor client privilege as a constitutional principle and established the lawyers' duty of commitment to his or her client as a principle of fundamental justice in Canada. (Canada (Attorney General) v. Federation of Law Societies of Canada, 2015 SCC 7).
Successfully represented the British Columbia Pension Corporation in a dispute alleging the wrongful payment of a survivor's pension benefit. (Fricker v. British Columbia Pension Corporation et al, 2014 BCSC 1729).
Successfully defended at trial and on appeal a complex commercial claim involving breach of fiduciary duty and professional negligence in the context of a real estate acquisition and proposed development in British Columbia. The claim involved allegations relating to the both the solicitation of the investment, and the operation of the limited partnership which acquired the real estate. (Voegtlin v. Paprotka, 2013 BCSC 1613, 2014 BCCA 323).
Successfully represented a real estate developer in an action brought pursuant to the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (British Columbia) asserting rescission of a pre-construction contract of purchase and sale of a residential condominium due to alleged misrepresentations (Chaisson v. Avra Development Corp. 2014 BCSC 925).
In 2013/14, successfully represented an international mining client in a private arbitration concerning an option agreement related to an exploration property located in Africa.
Successfully challenged and overturned the election of directors and the passing of all resolutions at an annual general meeting of a publicly traded company and obtained an order for a new meeting. In doing so, Craig had a proxy solicitation system provided by a major Canadian proxy solicitation service found to be oppressive to the company's shareholders (International Energy and Mineral Resources (Hong Kong) Company Limited v. Mosquito Consolidated Gold Mines Limited, 2012 BCSC 1191).
In 2012, successfully represented a bio-energy producer in a private arbitration and obtained an award relating to the value of bio-fuel from a specific supplier.
Argued a leading decision on the question of the waiver of privilege over client communications in the context of a law firm's defence of a claim by a non-client (Voegtlin v. Paprotka, 2012 BCSC 728).
British Columbia Court of Appeal substantially adopted our position with respect to the commencement of a limitation period in an intended class proceeding arising in the pension context. (Weldon v. Agrium Inc., 2012 BCCA 53)
Successfully obtained an order for special costs against the Defendant due to his conduct. Resolved the costs award for a 90% indemnity of the total actual legal fees incurred throughout the proceeding (Hoffman v. Percheson, 2011 BCSC 1175)
Successfully defended a mortgage lender accused of fraudulently failing to account for mortgage payments alleged to be part of a scheme to avoid taxation. Extensive reasons were given dismissing the allegations on the basis of the borrower's and his agent's lack of credibility. (Hoffman v. Percheson, 2011 BCSC 770)
Successfully obtained a mutli-million dollar judgment in relation to a complex limited partnership/debt dispute on a summary trial application (Tocchio v. Graoch Associated Limited Partnership (BCSC Action No. S110326), April 6, 2011)
Obtained an order disqualifying counsel for the opposing party based on a conflict of interest (Roeder v. Chamberlain and Davies & Company, 2010 BCSC 920)
Successfully obtained a judgment ordering that two legal proceedings commenced in British Columbia against Alberta lawyers be transferred to the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench (Broman v. Machida Mack Shewchuk Meagher LLP, 2010 BCSC 760)
Successfully obtained summary dismissal of a claim of breach of duty and negligence against a Pension Administrator (Estate of Martens v. Martens and BC Pension Corporation, 2009 BCSC 1477, 2010 BCCA 326)
Successfully defeated an application to stay a British Columbia Supreme Court proceeding in favour of arbitration under the Rules of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (H & H Marine Engine Service Ltd. v. Volvo Penta of the Americas, Inc., 2009 BCSC 1389)
In 2008, successfully represented an international mining client in a private arbitration and obtained an award with respect to the proper interpretation of the contractual formula for the calculation of a royalty payment
Successfully obtained an appraisal remedy for the same price as the underlying take-over bid (Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. v. Vesuna et al., 2007 BCSC 1374, 2008 BCCA 248)
Succeeded in proving fraud against a claimant of disability benefits from a benefit trust (The Trustees of the IWA- Forestry Industry Ltd. Plan v. Bhullar, 2008 BCSC 168)
Overturned on appeal 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)
Successfully defended a Petition challenging the approval of a second step business combination under OSC Policy 61-501 and alleging oppression (Bingham v. Ashton Mining of Canada Inc., 2007 BCSC 281)
Successfully overturned on appeal certification of a major pension class proceeding (Williams v. College Pension Board, 2007 BCCA 19)
Successfully defended a shareholder's right plan before the British Columbia Securities Commission (Re. Imperial Metals Corporation, CAT-Gold Corporation and bcMetals Corporation, November 10, 2006)
Successfully obtained pre-certification dismissal of a major class proceeding which sought remedies based on trust, competition law and statutory authorization law issues (The Consumers Association of Canada v. Coca Cola Bottling Company et al 2007 BCCA 356; 2006 BCSC 1233)
Successfully represented the Trustees of the IWA ââ"¡Ã‚¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Forest Industry LTD Plan and obtained an early summary dismissal of a claim against them for breach of fiduciary duty relating to their adjudication of disability claims; (Atco Lumber v. Leech, 2006 BCSC 524 and Atco Lumber Ltd. v. Leech, 2007 BCCA 238)
Successfully represented the plaintiff in a leading decision on the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of British Columbia over foreign defendants (Xytus v. Century Mining Corporation, 2005 BCSC 741)
Successfully represented a major forest product company in a private arbitration brought under the Timber Harvesting Contract and Subcontract Regulation (British Columbia) during 2005
A class action involving complex pension issues in which the court largely adopted our position on certification issues (Gregg v. Freightliner 2003 BCSC 241)
Successfully obtained a declaration of insurance coverage for our client (EFP Holdings Ltd. v. the Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company of Canada 2001 BCSC 1580; 2002 BCCA 637)
The leading British Columbia case on contested corporate arrangements. We successfully obtained court approval on behalf of our client; and (Re Pacifica Papers Inc. 2001 BCSC 1069; 2001 BCCA 486)
Successfully quashed a multi-million dollar logging tax assessment and successfully defended the decision before the British Columbia Court of Appeal (Slocan Forest Products Ltd. et al v. HMTQBC et al (1999) 99 DTC 5836; 2000 BCCA 520)
Class Proceedings

Representative matters acting as defence counsel includes the following class proceedings:

Representing a major industrial client in relation to a claim arising from the conversion of its pension plan from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan.
Represented an industry organization in a proposed class proceeding arising from its involvement in a government sponsored management agreement of certain natural resources and the legality of fees charged under the management system.
Defended the appeal from the dismissal of an intended class proceeding relating to allegations of charging improper fees, unauthorized use of funds and breach of The Trade Practices Act
Defended a society against allegations of improper receipt and use of monies received
Defended two national trust companies in a class proceeding relating to claims of breach of fiduciary duty


Professional Associations

Craig is a litigator and acts for clients in commercial and business disputes. His particular areas of specialization include shareholder remedies, trust, pension and fiduciary disputes, securities and transactional litigation, product liability, mining disputes and real estate litigation. Craig has appeared in all levels of court in British Columbia as well as the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also acted in private arbitrations and in administrative settings including before the British Columbia Securities Commission. Craig has particular expertise in class actions and acted as lead counsel in several successful defences of major class proceedings.

Craig is 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.

Recognition and Ranking
Chambers Global: recognized in the Dispute Resolution (British Columbia) category
Benchmark Canada: The Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys: recognized for commercial, environmental, insurance, product liability and securities litigation in British Columbia
Best Lawyers in Canada: recognized for corporate and commercial litigation and employee benefits law
Martindale-Hubbell International Law Directory: AV Peer Review rated
Professional Activities
Law Society of BC, Bencher
Canadian Defence Lawyers Association, Member
Vancouver Board of Trade, Member
Western Canada Business Litigation Blog, Contributor
Canadian Bar Association, Member
The Advocates' Society, Member
Discipline Committee, Law Society of British Columbia, Non-Bencher Member (2010-12)
Community Activities
Bard on the Beach Society, Director
Capital Campaign Committee, Bard on the Beach Society, Member (2010-11)
Capital Campaign Committee, West First Theatre Centre, Member (2014 – ongoing)


Seminars

"Evidence that Wins," Vancouver Bench & Bar Series, The Advocates' Society (April 15, 2015), Faculty
27th Essential Skills for Pension Committee Members, Vancouver (November 6, 2014), Speaker
24th Essential Skills for Pension Committee Members, Vancouver (November 20, 2013), Speaker
"Economic Torts", Torts 2013 Course, Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (May 23, 2013), Speaker
"Liability and the Trustee", 8th Pension Law & Litigation Course, Federated Press, Vancouver, BC (March 5-6, 2013), Speaker
"Mosquito Consolidated Gold Mines Ltd. Panel Discussion", Vancouver, BC (January 29, 2013), Speaker
"Liability and the Fiduciary", 18th Essential Skills for Pension Committee Members, Federated Press, Vancouver, BC (November 14-15, 2011), Speaker
"Employer and Employee Rights and Obligations in Disability Claims", 4th Annual Disability Claims and Management Litigation, Insight Information Co., Vancouver, BC (October 27-28, 2011), Speaker
"Protecting the organization in the era of increased pension liabilities, shortfalls and litigation", 6th Pension Law & Litigation, Federated Press, Vancouver, BC (March 14-15, 2011), Co-lecturer
"Liability and the Fiduciary", 16th Essential Skills for Pension Committee Members Conference, Federated Press, Vancouver, BC (November 8-9, 2010), Co-Lecturer
"Proactively Protecting Your Plan",, Pension Basics - Beyond the Basics Continuing Education Series, Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute, Burnaby, BC (January 20, 2010), Speaker
"Liability and the Trustee", 14th Essential Skills for Pension Committee Members Conference,, Federated Press, Vancouver, BC (November 4 - 6, 2009), Speaker
"Protecting the organization in an era of increased pension liabilities, shortfalls and litigation", 3rd Pension Law & Litigation, Federated Press, Vancouver, BC (April 20 & 21, 2009)
"Liability and the Trustee", 11th Annual Essential Skills for Pension Committee Members, Federated Press, Vancouver, BC (November 24, 2008), Speaker
"Pollution Exclusion Clauses: An Analysis of the Canadian Jurisprudence", The Canadian Institute (June 17-18, 2008), Speaker
"Pension and Employee Benefit Class Actions ââ"¡Ã‚¬" The Defence Perspective", The Canadian Institute Pension Law and Litigation (January 30-31, 2008), Speaker
"Mergers and Acquisitions ââ"¡Ã‚¬" Recent Litigation Trends", Corporate Governance Course, Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia (November 2007), Speaker
"Current Trends in Pension and Benefit Class Actions", Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia (April 6, 2006), Speaker
"Pension Class Actions", Canadian Pension and Benefit Institute (October 9, 2003), with Ward Branch, Speaker
Articles

Lawyers win exemption from money-laundering law, Globe and Mail (February 13, 2015), Quoted
Canadian mining companies face lawsuits over foreign activities (December 10, 2014), Interview
Benefit changes inspire class action and other lawsuits, National Post (November 26, 2014), Interview
Craig Ferris quoted by the Globe and Mail, CBC and National Post about the constitutional Issues surrounding the Bountiful, BC Polygamy case. (August 19, 2014)
Mining report: Mining companies need to do a better job of preparing for AGMs, Business in Vancouver (March 17, 2014), Co-author
Craig Ferris' article "Was That A Gift? Or Does Someone Else Own My Land?" featured in Best Lawyers (January 10, 2014)
Class Action Law Bulletin: Green Light for Class Actions by Consumers (November 4, 2013), Author
A Framework Emerges - Recent developments in the Law of Intentional Economic Torts (May 23, 2013), Co-author
The Western Investor publishes Craig Ferris' article, "Rescinding a pre-sale" (June 1, 2012), Author
Team of Lawson Lundell lawyers recognized in Lexpert Magazine's Big Deals for their role in the US Gold Corporation acquisition of Minera Andes Inc. (April 12, 2012)
Canadian Corporate Counsel Magazine mentions Lawson Lundell's role in Western Coal Corp.'s acquisition by Walter Energy Inc. (December 27, 2011)
Craig Ferris quoted in The Globe and Mail article, "Proxy-fight trend looks like it’s here to stay" (December 15, 2010)
Craig Ferris quoted in The Wall Street Journal article, "Getting Personal Canada: Shareholders Increasingly Activist", (November 15, 2010), Interview
Lawson Lundell Launches the Western Canada Business Litigation Blog (October 1, 2010)
Have Pension Class Actions Altered Traditional Trust Cost Rules? A Recent Trend (April 17, 2009)
Liability and the Trustee, 3rd Pension Law & Litigation Course, Federated Press Course, April 20 & 21, 2009, Co-lecturer (March 12, 2009)
Supreme Court of Canada Appeal (November 17, 2008)
Pollution Exclusion Clauses: An Analysis of the Canadian Jurisprudence (June 19, 2008)
Pension and Employee Benefit Class Actions - The Defence Perspective (February 20, 2008)
“Bingham v. Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. – Sepp’s Gourmet Revisited”, Corporate Litigation, Vol. VIII, No. 3 p. 486 (2007)
“Ruddell v. BC Rail Ltd. – Case Comment”, Class Action Quarterly, Vol. 2 No. 2 (December 2007)
Understanding Arbitration Clauses in Class Actions: Have the Sands Shifted Once Again? (September 21, 2007)
Pension Dispute Arbitration Prevails Over Class Proceedings (July 30, 2007)
“Pension Dispute Arbitration prevails over Class Proceeding in Ruddell”, The Lawyers Weekly, p. 12 (July 20, 2007), Co-Author with Murray Campbell
“British Columbia Overturns Class Action Certification”, Pension Planning, ol. XIII, No. 4 (2007), Co-authored with Marko Vesely
Pension Plans Under Attack: Protecting Your Fund From Class Action Litigation (May 18, 2007)
Denial of Disability Benefits (February 21, 2007)
“BC decisions indicates clear preference for class action legislation over ADR”, The Lawyers Weekly (March 24, 2006)
Pension Arbitration Trumped by Class Proceeding Legislation (March 12, 2006)
“Novel claims are becoming more precedent in pension class actions”, The Lawyers Weekly (March 25, 2005)
How Class Action Suits are Changing the Pension and Benefits Landscape (November 10, 2004)
Pension Class Actions (November 1, 2003)
“Defending Against the Worker’s Compensation Board”, Int. I.L.R. 208 (1998), Co-Author with Thomas Fox


Blogs

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.

Labour & Employment Law Blog
Lawson Lundell LLP 

Lawson Lundell's Labour and Employment Law Blog provides updates on the most recent legal developments impacting the Canadian workplace and offers practical tips for employers. We cover a range of topics, including labour relations, employment law, collective bargaining, human rights, employment...

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...

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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