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Dalton McGrath

Dalton W. McGrath, Q.C., FCIArb.
Dalton W. McGrath, Q.C., FCIArb. Partner | Calgary
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Representative cases include the following:

  • Lead counsel in successfully defending ENMAX in connection with the defence of a high-profile, C$600-million action by the Attorney General of Alberta which sought to set aside a provision in an instrument under which it was terminated (see: Alberta (Attorney General) v. Alberta Power (2000) Ltd. et al., 2017 ABQB 195 and Alberta (Attorney General) v Alberta Power (2000) Ltd, 2018 ABQB 100)

  • Representing, as lead counsel, 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: 321665 Alberta Ltd. v. Husky Oil Operations Ltd., 2013 ABCA 221 (CanLII), leave to SCC denied 2014 CanLII 1208 (SCC))

  • Representing domestic and international clients, such as Saudi Arabian Oil Company, in successfully prosecuting and defending intellectual property disputes including as lead counsel in a multi-billion dollar and leading oil and gas patent dispute in Canada which was awarded an “Impact Case of the Year” Award for 2017 by Benchmark (see for example: Packers Plus Energy Services Inc. v. Essential Energy Services Ltd., 2017 FC 1111 and Phoenix Technology Services LP v. Braisher, 2007 ABQB 261)

  • Litigating several high-profile injunction applications including successfully obtaining a high-profile mandatory injunction against a statutory corporation (see for example: ENMAX Energy Corporation v. Balancing Pool, 2017 ABQB 718 and Catalyst Canada Services LP v. Catalyst Changers Inc., 2013 ABQB 73)

  • Advising Fortune 500 and other prominent companies on energy disputes including the successful representation of major oil producers in arbitration arising from their oilsands production and transportation operations, including a multi-billion dollar dispute concerning various bitumen and condensate agreements

  • Acting for energy companies in Power Purchase Arrangement disputes, including arbitration, for over a decade (see for example ENMAX PPA Management Inc. v. Balancing Pool, 2017 ABQB 605 and ENMAX Energy Corporation v. TransAlta Generation Partnership, 2015 ABQB 185) including matters relating to all aspects of PPAs

  • Litigating, arbitrating and advising the banking and oil and gas industries on physically and financially settled derivative swap transactions, including the successful collection of over C$1.3-billion claims arising from the bankruptcy of Enron Corp.

  • Acting as successful defence counsel in class actions, including summarily dismissing a C$30-million putative class action against ENMAX Energy Corporation and striking out one of the largest reported representative actions in Alberta for another client (see for example: Calgary Herald: Judge Dismisses $30 M Lawsuit Against ENMAX)

  • Successfully defending a multi-national oil company in dismissing twenty-one civil actions and a proposed class action involving Alberta's largest site contamination matter in Lynnview Ridge in Calgary

  • Litigating a number of cybersecurity matters including data breach incidents and writing in that area

  • Acting as successful counsel in a number of domestic and international arbitrations

Awards & Recognition

Dalton is recognized as a leading lawyer in the following rating agencies.

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (Rates Dalton as a “Litigation Star”; testimony from a major client of the Firm includes: “We retained Dalton on a very high stakes, high-profile matter. After working with him closely over an extended period, I can definitely say that there is nobody else I would rather retain for material disputes or appeals. Dalton is an exceptional and “kick-ass” litigator; a brilliant and creative strategist with top-notch, legal, procedural and advocacy skills and expertise; very driven to win. He has a rare combination of being aggressive, ethical and always provides direct and honest advice, not sugar-coated “what-you-want-to-hear” information. I completely trust his judgment and instincts…”)

  • Acritas Stars: Independently Rated Lawyers (Nominated as a stand-out lawyer by senior in-house counsel and described by clients as follows: “Strategically innovative, aggressive and super practical,” “Practical advice, very knowledgeable and aggressive” and “He’s the best courtroom lawyer in Calgary. He has the best courtroom skills, he has an insane work ethic, he’s very practical, very driven to results, and very smart.”)

Dalton was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2010 and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in 2013.

Professional Activities

Dalton is a contributing author of Halsbury's Laws of Canada, Barristers & Solicitors In Practice (LexisNexis) and Canadian Legal Practice: A Guide for the 21st Century (LexisNexis). He is also a leading expert and author in the field of civil procedure and evidence.

Dalton teaches and is an evaluator at the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education. He served on the Alberta Practice Advisory Committee of The Law Society of Alberta in formulating the new Alberta Rules of Court and is a member of the advisory board of the Institute for Energy Law.

Dalton is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He volunteers extensively for The Law Society of Alberta, the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary and Student Legal Assistance. He was awarded the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award in recognition of his humanitarian work. He served from 2010-2014 as a director of Calgary Legal Guidance, Calgary's largest provider of pro bono legal advice to low-income individuals and continues a wide range of pro bono and charitable works. Dalton is the Chairman of the Professional Advisory Committee of Calgary Legal Guidance and recently appeared as counsel, on a pro bono basis, at the Alberta Court of Appeal in Allen v Alberta which involved a section 7 Charter challenge regarding Alberta's prohibition on private health insurance on behalf of an injured party forced to attend and pay for surgery outside of Alberta due to lengthy surgical wait times in Alberta.

Publications
Education

Appointed Fellow - The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - 2013
CIArb Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration - 2012
Member Certificate - The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - 2009
Advanced Trial Advocacy Course, Harvard Law School - 2002
Intensive Trial Advocacy Course, Osgoode Hall Law School - 1993
Admitted to the Alberta Bar - 1991
J.D., University of Calgary - 1990
B.A. (Hon., Economics), University of Calgary - 1987

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