James Sullivan
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3358

Jim has appeared as counsel in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, as well as before the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also frequently appeared before the British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board and other administrative tribunals. In February 2013 Benchmark Canada named Jim Canada's Class Action Litigator of the Year.

Jim has represented clients in numerous major corporate commercial, class action, energy, contaminated site, regulatory offence, constitutional and product liability cases. He also advises clients on national and international compliance with foreign and domestic anticorruption legislation.

SELECT EXPERIENCE

Recent experience includes:

  • Acting for the Province of British Columbia in a purported class action alleging that the Province's regulation of fish farms had injured the aboriginal fishery; action was dismissed by the British Columbia Court of Appeal (2011), and leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was dismissed (November 2012)

  • Counsel to Microsoft Corporation in a class action alleging breaches of the Competition Act and various other economic claims regarding the sale of software products throughout Canada
  • Acting as counsel to Lafarge Canada Inc. in a matter finally decided in the Supreme Court of Canada concerning the constitutional question of which level of government controlled the development of a concrete facility on the Vancouver waterfront; Supreme Court of Canada upheld Lafarge Canada Inc.'s position and enabled the facility to be developed
  • Acting as counsel to Merck & Co., Inc. and Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. in a purported class action in British Columbia relating to Propecia and Proscar
  • Conducting international anticorruption investigations and due diligence for multinational clients in connection with allegations of improper payments to government officials
  • Acting as counsel to Hunt Oil in an action concerning an oil and gas tenure in northeastern British Columbia - Hunt Oil acquired the tenure only to find out that the Province of British Columbia had not disclosed that the tenure was in an area that was considered historically and spiritually significant by a local aboriginal group; the matter proceeded through an extensive litigation process and settled, successfully for Hunt Oil on the eve of trial in 2012
  • Acting as counsel to Coca Cola Ltd. in the co-ordination of its Canadian litigation concerning Vitaminwater® class actions; these class actions have to be co-ordinated not only between various jurisdictions in Canada but also with other international jurisdictions
  • Acting as counsel to Syscon Justice Systems Canada Ltd., successfully defending a 10-week trial for a commission sought in the amount of C$17-million
  • Acting as arbitrator for government and business
AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Jim is recognized nationally and internationally as leading litigation counsel in the following publications:

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada 2017 (Life Sciences, Product Liability)
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada (Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Class Action Litigation, Product Liability Law, Environmental Law and Appellate Practice)
  • Who's Who Legal: Canada (Product Liability Defence - "Highly Recommended" for his advice to corporate clients regarding the prevention of product liability claims and his "fabulous abilities" at defending leading manufacturers in the courts). In 2016 recognized as one of Canada's top five product liability defence lawyers, the only lawyer so recognized in British Columbia)
  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada (Class Actions - the only British Columbia lawyer so recognized)
  • Lexpert's Special Edition on Litigation in Report on Business Magazine, December 2014 (recognized as one of Canada's highest-ranked business-focused litigation lawyers)
  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (Canada's Class Action Litigator of the Year 2013)
  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (a litigation star in British Columbia and a litigation star in Class Actions, Competition and Environmental Law)
  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business (Dispute Resolution, describing Jim as "an excellent advocate - very customer focused and good at figuring out what clients need")
  • Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Litigation Lawyers
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Class Actions)
  • Who's Who Legal: Product Liability Defence (as "one of the leading product liability experts in British Columbia")
  • The Legal 500 Canada (Recommended for Dispute Resolution)
PUBLICATIONS
Show Past:
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Blakes Bulletin on Class Actions, December 16, 2015.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, October 2014.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, October 2014.
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PROFESSIONAL APPEARANCES
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Speaker: Taming the Beast: Bringing Class Actions to Trial
Canadian Regional Meeting, International Association of Defense Counsel, Toronto, Ontario, June 6, 2017.
Lecturer: Anatomy of a Class Action: The Defence Perspective
Allard Hall School of Law, University of British Columbia, April 4, 2017.
Lecturer: Access to Justice and Class Actions
Allard Hall School of Law, University of British Columbia, March 30, 2017.
Speaker: Post-Certification Strategies
Ahead of the Class: Important Updates and Developments in Class Actions, Blakes Business Class Seminar, Toronto, Ontario, February 2, 2017.
Speaker: Cross-Border Litigation
Association of Corporate Counsel, Washington State Chapter, Seattle, Washington, September 20, 2016.
Speaker: Defining the Class
13th National Symposium on Class Actions, Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Ontario, April 21, 2016.
Lecturer: The Anatomy of a Class Action Trial
University of British Columbia Law School, Vancouver, British Columbia, April 5, 2016.
Speaker: Class Definition - The New Battleground for Certification
Western Canada Class Actions Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, February 26, 2016.
Speaker: Important Updates and Developments in Class Action Practice
Blakes Business Class Seminar, Toronto, Ontario, January 27, 2016.
Speaker: Mastering Civil Evidence 2016
The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, February 1, 2016.
Speaker: Management of Cross-Border Class Action Settlements
Litigation Management in a New York Minute Conference, The Network of Trial Lawyers, New York, New York, August 7, 2015.
Panellist: Current Issues in White Collar Crime
Litigation Management in a New York Minute Conference, The Network of Trial Lawyers, New York, New York, August 7, 2015.
Speaker: Class Actions at Trial: How to Manage the Unmanageable, Class Actions Forum West
The Canadian Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia, May 21, 2015.
Speaker: Best Practices for the Settlement of Parallel U.S. and Canadian Class Actions
Litigation Management Conference, The Network of Trial Law Firms, Napa Valley, California April 17, 2015.
Speaker: From Calamity to Confidence: Best Practices for Effective Crisis Management
Blakes Business Class Seminar, February 24, 2015, Toronto, Ontario.
Speaker: Ethics Forum 2014
Pacific Business & Law Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia, December 2, 2014.
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MEDIA APPEARANCES
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Interviewed: Class Action Update
Lexpert Online Magazine, June 21, 2016.
Mentioned: Canadian Judge Rules Microsoft Files to be Privileged
Global Competition Review, February 8, 2016.
Interviewed: Class Action
Lexpert Online Magazine, December 11, 2015.
Mentioned: Fission 3.0 and Dahrouge drop lawsuits
Stockwatch, February 11, 2015.
Featured: Canada's Leading Litigation Lawyers
The Globe and Mail Report on Business Magazine, December 2014.
Interviewed: Canada's Appeal for Class Actions
The 2014 Lexpert Guide to Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada, December 1, 2014.
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