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Brendan MacArthur-Stevens
Brendan MacArthur-Stevens How to pronounce this name. (he, him, his) Partner | Calgary

About Brendan

Brendan specializes in complex commercial disputes, deal litigation, and public law matters. He has significant trial, appellate litigation, and arbitration experience across a variety of industries and practice areas, including transportation (air and rail), large infrastructure projects and construction, energy, insurance, procurement, administrative law, and constitutional law.

Brendan has appeared before the Alberta Court of King's Bench, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Federal Court of Canada, the Court of Appeal of Alberta, and the Supreme Court of Canada.

He also teaches Administrative Law at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law and is part of Avenue Calgary Magazine's Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2022.

Before joining Blakes, Brendan clerked for the judges of the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Honourable Justice Andromache Karakatsanis of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Select Experience

Recent matters in which Brendan has been involved include:

Commercial Disputes

  • Successfully representing the City of Edmonton in resisting an application to stay an arbitration in favour of litigation (decision reported at IBI Group Architects v. Edmonton (City), 2022 CarswellAlta 1805) and then in the underlying commercial arbitration proceedings

  • Successfully representing a Canadian municipality in a four-week C$125-million private commercial arbitration regarding allegations of unlawful contract termination, delay, disruption and bad faith in the context of a significant public transportation project

  • Successfully representing an energy company in a C$65-million expedited private arbitration that progressed from notice of arbitration to final award within 2.5 months

  • Successfully representing Encana Corporation in an appeal to the Court of Appeal of Alberta involving breach of confidence, copyright infringement, and limitations periods (decision reported at Geophysical Service Incorporated v. Encana Corporation, 2018 ABCA 384)

  • Successfully representing an insured to obtain a C$362-million award in a five-week private arbitration against its insurer pursuant to a political risk insurance policy

  • Successfully representing WestJet Airlines Ltd. in the context of multiple complex plan of arrangement proceedings before the Alberta Court of King's Bench, including its C$5-billion sale to Onex Corporation

  • Representing a First Nation in a four-week trial in the Alberta Court of King's Bench involving allegations of unjust enrichment and breach of duties by the Federal Crown

  • Successfully representing the National Hockey League in the Alberta Court of King's Bench to obtain a stay in favour of arbitration of a claim involving an on-ice incident between a referee and a player

  • Successfully representing a large energy services company in a five-week intellectual property trial in the Federal Court of Canada, involving both patent infringement and patent validity issues (reported at Packers Plus Energy Services Inc. v. Essential Energy Services Ltd., 2017 FC 1111)

Public Law Commercial Disputes

  • Successfully representing SaskEnergy Incorporated, a Crown corporation, in judicial review proceedings in the Federal Court of Canada arising out of The SaskEnergy (Carbon Tax Fairness for Families) Amendment Act and the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act

  • Successfully representing the applicant at first instance and on appeal in a judicial review application to quash a decision of the Minister of Energy and obtain related declarations (Court of King's Bench decision reported at Shell Canada Limited v. Alberta (Energy), 2022 ABQB 4; Court of Appeal decision reported at Shell Canada Limited v. Alberta (Energy), 2023 ABCA 230)

  • Representing the respondent, ATB Financial, in a case known as Redwater before the Supreme Court of Canada involving the constitutional doctrine of federal paramountcy and insolvency law (decision reported at Orphan Wells Association v. Grant Thornton Ltd., 2019 SCC 5)

  • Successfully representing Suncor Energy Inc. in a judicial review application in the Court of King's Bench of Alberta involving the calculation of oil sands royalties

Public Interest Litigation

  • Successfully representing QMUNITY and the Skipping Stone Foundation as lead counsel in the Supreme Court of Canada in a case about anti-SLAPP legislation and the public interest in speech that counters discrimination against vulnerable groups (reported at Hansman v. Neufeld, 2023 SCC 14)

  • Successfully representing a public-interest organization to obtain intervenor status in the Alberta Court of King's Bench and the Court of Appeal of Alberta to make submissions regarding the constitutionality of an Alberta law that facilitates Gay-Straight Alliances and protects the privacy of LGBTQ2S+ youth (injunction decision reported at P.T. v. Alberta, 2018 ABQB 496; Court of Appeal decision reported at P.T. v. Alberta, 2019 ABCA 158)

Awards & Recognition

Brendan is recognized as a leading lawyer in the following publications:

  • The Legal 500 Canada 2024 (Next Generation Partner – Dispute Resolution: Alberta)

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business 2024 (Construction)

  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Canada – 2022–2024 (Corporate and Commercial Litigation)

  • The Legal 500 Canada 2023 (Rising Star: Dispute Resolution: Alberta)

  • Avenue Calgary Magazine (Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2022)

  • Euromoney’s Rising Stars Expert Guide 2022 (Litigation)

Professional Activities

Brendan teaches Administrative Law at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law. He also volunteers with the Civil Claims Duty Counsel Program and the King's Bench Amicus Program, where he provides pro bono legal advice to unrepresented litigants.

Brendan is on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Bar Association's Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community Forum (SOGIC) and a member of the Young Advocates Standing Committee of The Advocates' Society.

Brendan helped found the first Trans ID Clinic in Alberta, which provides pro bono legal services to assist trans individuals in updating their name and gender markers on government-issued identification. The Clinic has now expanded to include substantive legal advice in various areas. Brendan also does extensive pro bono work for various LGBTQ2S+ organizations in Alberta.

Publications
Professional Appearances
  • Speaker : 2SLGBTQ+ Rights and Legal Updates
    Ontario Bar Association, SOGIC Winter Social, Toronto, Ontario, December 4, 2023.
  • Speaker : Arbitration Advocacy – Case Law Update
    The Advocates' Society, Arbitration Advocacy Program, Calgary, Alberta, November 22, 2023.
  • Speaker : The Supreme Court of Canada's Decision in Hansman v Neufeld
    Canadian Bar Association, SAGDA Section, Calgary, Alberta and online, October 26, 2023.
  • Speaker : What is a Conflict of Interest?
    Blakes Business Class Seminar, National Webcast, October 25, 2023.
  • Speaker : EDI for Litigators – The Duty to Learn
    The Advocates’ Society, National Webcast, October 5, 2023.
  • Speaker : Proactive Litigation Management
    Blakes Business Class Seminar, National Webcast, September 29, 2023.
  • Speaker : Creating Inclusive Spaces
    CREW Calgary and NAIOP Event, Calgary, Alberta, June 27, 2023.
  • Speaker : Climate Change Disputes in Canada: Are You Ready?
    Blakes Business Class Seminar, Calgary, Alberta, May 3, 2023.
  • Speaker : The Law of Good Faith in Contract Termination
    Blakes Business Class Seminar, Calgary, Alberta, March 1, 2023.
  • Speaker : Jurisdictional Battles Between Arbitration and Litigation
    Canadian Bar Association, Construction Law Alberta Section, Webcast, October 24, 2022.
  • Speaker : Contractual Good Faith and Arbitration Appeals
    Canadian Bar Association, Civil Litigation North Alberta Section, Webcast, June 14, 2022.
  • Speaker : Delay and Damages in Construction Litigation
    Blakes Business Class Seminar, National Webcast, December 1, 2021.
  • Speaker : The Art and Science of Settling Litigation and Arbitration
    Blakes Presentation to In-House Counsel, National Webcast, November 5, 2021.
  • Speaker : Retention After the Recruit: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
    University of Calgary Faculty of Law, National Webcast, May 26, 2021.
Education

Admitted to the Alberta Bar – 2017
Admitted to the Ontario Bar – 2015
JD (With Distinction; Bronze Medal; Dean's Key), University of Toronto – 2014
BA (Hon.), University of Western Ontario (Richard Ivey School of Business, Valedictorian) – 2011

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