Michael O'Brien
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9753

Michael is a Partner in the Litigation & Dispute Group. Michael's practice includes all areas of corporate, commercial and real property litigation, including mediations and arbitrations. Michael has appeared as counsel before all levels of Court in Alberta and has been involved in Applications for Leave to Appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada. Michael has also appeared as counsel in a number of complex multi-party arbitrations and mediations.

Michael obtained his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Calgary and obtained his law degree from the University of Alberta. Michael is the author of numerous publications and has spoken extensively on issues related to the new Alberta Rules of Court. Michael is also the author of a number of publications in the areas of oil and gas law, energy law and securities litigation. Michael is a volunteer facilitator and competency evaluator with the CPLED Bar Admission Course and is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and the Calgary Bar Association.

SELECT EXPERIENCE

Recent matters in which Michael has been involved with include:

  • Acting for energy companies in Power Purchase Arrangement disputes (see for example ENMAX Energy Corporation v TransAlta Generation Partnership)

  • Oil and gas litigation where he acted for an oil and gas company at trial in a C$100-million dispute regarding forward commodity contracts in the derivatives industry
  • The voluntary liquidation and dissolution of a major multi-million dollar Canadian corporation
  • Successfully striking out a defamation claim against ENMAX Energy Corporation
  • Counsel for leading multinational manufacturers and distributors in the defence of individual product liability actions involving surgical devices and hospital equipment
  • Representing ExxonMobil in successfully setting aside a trial decision finding liability under the Competition Act which included setting aside the highest damages at large and then highest punitive damage award in Canadian law including successfully defending a different multinational trading corporation in a section 45 Competition Act investigation (see for example: 321665 Alberta Ltd v Husky Oil Operations Ltd, 2013 ABCA 221 (CanLII), leave to SCC denied 2014 CanLII 1208 (SCC))

  • Successful prosecution of an injunction on behalf of OPA! Souvlaki Franchise Group enforcing a Non-Competition Clause in the Franchise Agreement, including an award of full solicitor-client costs
  • Bankruptcy and insolvency litigation where he acted on behalf of Calpine in its CCAA restructuring and the restructuring of SemCanada in its CCAA proceedings
  • Successful prosecution of an injunction to restrain the defendants from utilizing the trade secrets, confidential information and other associated intellectual property issues relating to specialized oil and gas drilling technology (see Catalyst Canada Services LP v Catalyst Changers Inc, 2013 ABQB 73)
  • Summarily dismissing a C$30-million putative class action against ENMAX Energy Corporation
  • Defence of class actions on behalf of Canadian and U.S. financial institutions with claims in excess of C$100 million arising from alleged ponzi schemes
PUBLICATIONS
Show Past:
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Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, November 23, 2017.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, October 16, 2017.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation and Dispute Resolution, June 9, 2017.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, April 27, 2017.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, March 28, 2017.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, December 14, 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Corporate & Commercial and Litigation & Dispute Resolution, August 9, 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Oil & Gas, June 7, 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Commercial Real Estate and Litigation & Dispute Resolution, May 12, 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Securities Litigation , May 5, 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, December 15, 2015.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, October 8, 2015.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, July 2015.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, May 2015.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, April 2015
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