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About Keith

Keith is an on-the-feet litigator with extensive courtroom and arbitration experience. With over 55 reported decisions in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, plus numerous other unreported decisions and confidential arbitration awards, he has a proven track record of success in prosecuting and defending complex legal disputes. Clients say that Keith is "an excellent litigator, he's smart, he's articulate, and he exercises very good judgment."

In 2022, Keith received the honourary title of King's Counsel (KC) in recognition of his significant contributions to the legal profession and the community. He has also earned rankings and recognition from several industry publications, including Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Insurance Dispute Resolution, The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as "Repeatedly Recommended" for Class Actions and The Best Lawyers in Canada for Alternative Dispute Resolution, Class Actions, and Corporate and Commercial Litigation. In addition, Thomson Reuters has recognized Keith as a "stand-out lawyer," as judged by senior in-house counsel.

After clerking with the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario, Keith worked at an Am Law 100 firm in New York for several years. Thereafter, he joined Blakes in 2012 and was elected to the partnership in 2017. Keith has a broad corporate-commercial litigation practice and devotes a significant portion of his practice to class-action litigation, construction disputes, and insurance coverage and disputes.

He has appeared as lead counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada and courts in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario, as well as before courts in New York and Texas. Licensed to practise in multiple jurisdictions, including Alberta, Ontario, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., and England and Wales, Keith brings a diverse perspective to his legal practice.

Select Experience

A representative sample of recent experience includes:

Class Actions

  • Counsel to WestJet in a proposed class action about baggage fees and alleged breaches of the Competition Act

  • Successfully represented Canada Bread in obtaining a stay of a proposed class action in Alberta about packaged bread products and alleged breaches of the Competition Act

Corporate/Commercial and Construction Cases

  • Counsel to Coastal GasLink Pipeline in the Supreme Court of Canada and in the Alberta Courts with respect to a successful defense of an injunction application about a draw on a C$117-million letter of credit provided to Coastal GasLink Pipeline by a contractor

  • Successfully represented a major Canadian municipality in a four-week C$125-million commercial arbitration about allegations of unlawful termination, delay, disruption and bad faith in the context of a significant public transportation infrastructure project

  • Counsel to Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) with respect to a construction performance bond provided to HOOPP by Clark Builders and The Guarantee Company of North America in connection with a warehouse construction dispute involving alleged negligent workmanship

  • Acted for Fort Hills Energy/Suncor against an international chemicals company in a C$182-million construction case regarding allegations of product liability and breach of the duty to warn

  • Counsel to Pembina Pipeline Corporation in the Court of Appeal of Alberta in its successful defense of a challenge to the license authorizing its construction and operation of two pipelines from Fox Creek to Namao, Alberta

Insurance Matters

  • Successfully represented two insureds in a precedent-setting case involving the scope of, and exceptions to, an insurer's right and duty to defend; in an Alberta first, the court concluded that, in an appropriate case, an insurer may have to surrender its right and duty to defend to its insured, thereby permitting the insured to control his or her own defence and to appoint defence counsel of his or her own choosing, at the insurer's cost

  • Represented Tundra Oil & Gas and its insurers in a subrogated action with respect to a pipeline failure and spill in Manitoba

  • Conducting annual independent insurance program reviews for several utilities, energy producers, pipeline companies, and oil field service providers

Awards & Recognition
  • Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyers – Independently Rated Lawyers – 2019–2024 (As nominated by senior in-house counsel: "He is an excellent litigator, he's smart, he's articulate, and he exercises very good judgment." – Comment from the 2020 edition)

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2024 (Insurance: Dispute Resolution)

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2024 (Alternative Dispute Resolution, Class Action Litigation, Corporate and Commercial Litigation)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2023 (Repeatedly Recommended – Class Actions)

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2023 (Corporate and Commercial Litigation)

  • "Direct Service Volunteer Lawyer" Volunteer of the Year in 2016 (Recognized by the Children's Legal & Education Resource Centre "for outstanding service and commitment to CLERC's mission")

  • Matthew G. Leonard Partner in Justice Award for Pro Bono Excellence 2012 (From MFY Legal Services, Inc. in recognition and appreciation for his efforts with the Kinship Caregiver Law Project, which provides pro bono services to low-income residents of the State of New York in adoption, guardianship and custody matters in Family Court and Surrogate's Court)

Professional Activities

Keith is the treasurer of the Legal Archives Society of Alberta.

He is also a member of the advisory board of the dual JD program at the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law and the University of Detroit Mercy, School of Law.

Professional Appearances
  • Co-speaker : Class Actions in Canada – From Then to Now and Parts in Between Panel Discussion
    Toronto Risk and Insurance Education Forum, Toronto, Ontario, February 23, 2023.
  • Co-speaker : Legal & Class Action Update Panel
    Calgary Risk and Insurance Education Forum: Insurance and the Energy Industry - A Look-Ahead to 2023, Calgary, Alberta, February 13, 2023.
  • Speaker : CDRI Seminar Series: Delay and Damages
    Blakes Webinar, December 1, 2021.
Media Activities
  • Interviewed : Calgary Risk and Insurance Education Forum: Insurance and the Energy Industry - A Look-Ahead to 2023
    Global Television, February 13, 2023.

Appointed King's Counsel – 2022
Admitted to the England and Wales Bar – 2013
Admitted to the Alberta Bar – 2012
Admitted to the Ontario Bar – 2009
Admitted to the New York State Bar – 2009
Admitted to the District of Columbia Bar – 2009
Admitted to the Massachusetts Bar – 2008
JD (Summa Cum Laude), University of Detroit Mercy, School of Law – 2008
LLB (Board of Governors' Medal), University of Windsor, Faculty of Law – 2008

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