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James Sullivan, K.C.

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Recent experience includes:

  • Acting as counsel for Kobe Steel Ltd. in a national class action alleging misrepresentations that metal products used in automobile manufacturing met certain specifications or standards

  • Counsel for several financial institutions in purported class actions

  • 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, and leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was dismissed

  • 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 purported class actions across Canada concerning various pharmaceutical products

  • 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

  • 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 an arbitrator for government and businesses

Awards & Recognition

Jim is recognized nationally and internationally as leading litigation counsel in a number of publications including:

  • Who's Who Legal Global: Recognized as a Global Leader in Life Sciences - Product Liability and Product Liability Defence calling Jim "standout counsel", "an excellent, experienced advocate" and receiving acclaim from sources who describe him as "a star, so clever and so thorough with a light touch"

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada (Life Science and 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. Recognized as one of Canada's top five product liability defence lawyers, the only lawyer so recognized in British Columbia

  • Best Lawyers in Canada (Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Class Action Litigation, Product Liability Law, Environmental Law and Appellate Practice)

  • 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, (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)

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (a litigation star in British Columbia and a national 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)

  • The Legal 500 Canada (Recommended for Dispute Resolution)

  • Appointed Queen's Counsel

Professional Activities

Jim is the author of A Guide to the British Columbia Class Proceedings Act (Butterworths, 1997) and is the co-author, with the Honourable Mr. Justice Mazko of the British Columbia Supreme Court, of the Class Proceedings Act, Annotated (The Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C., 2000 & 2002). He is a contributor to the British Columbia Supreme Court Class Action Manual (Supreme Court of British Columbia, 1999) and a contributing author to Litigating Conspiracy: An Analysis of Competition Class Actions (Irwin Law, 2006) and Government Liability: Law and Practice (Canada Law Book, 2007).

Jim is also a contributing editor of the Federated Press Class Action Journal and has written numerous articles and lectured extensively on class actions and environmental law throughout Canada, the United States and Europe.

Jim is a former governor of the Law Foundation of British Columbia.

  • Co-author: Plaintiffs Face Obstacles in COVID-19 Employment Class Actions
    Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, June 19, 2020.
  • Co-author: The Next Wave of Global Litigation
    Defence Counsel Journal, Vol. 87, No. 2, April 30, 2020.
  • Author: Access to Justice Through Class Actions
    Bar Talk Magazine, The Canadian Bar Association, British Columbia Branch, October 2019.
Professional Appearances
  • Speaker: Managing Adverse Foreign Judgments in Local Litigation
    International Association of Defense Counsel Mid-Year Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona, February 20, 2022.
  • Panellist: Product Liability Class Actions and Product Recalls
    2020 National Conference on Class Actions, Barreau du Québec, Montréal, Quebec, October 23, 2020.
  • Speaker: The Supreme Court of Canada, Babstock and Waiver of Tort
    Canadian Bar Association, Class Action Sub-Section Webinar, October 6, 2020.
  • Presenter: Cooking and Conversation with Jim and Monika Sullivan
    International Association of Defence Counsel Webinar, August 23, 2020.
  • Speaker: Long Term Home Class Actions – preparing for Covid-19 Claims
    Investing in and Operating Senior Housing and Long Term Care Facilities Webinar, June 29, 2020.
  • Speaker: Class Actions Arising Out of COVID-19 Responses: A Look Ahead
    Blakes Business Class Webinar, May 28, 2020.
Admitted to the British Columbia Bar - 1988
Harvard Law School PIL Mediation Training - 1999
Harvard Law School PIL Negotiation Training - 1997
L.L.B., University of Saskatchewan - 1987
B.A., University of Saskatchewan - 1984
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