Maritime

We handle maritime law matters that include a Canadian aspect for a worldwide client base.  Our clients include marine insurers, domestic and foreign ship owners, charterers, shippers, receivers, tug and tow operations, forwarders and salvors as well as banks and legal counsel in other jurisdictions.

Our litigation work frequently involves commercial and marine casualty disputes (including collisions and personal injuries), marine insurance coverage disputes, marine insurance subrogation, ship arrest, recoveries for cargo damage or loss and yacht construction disputes.  We emphasize a results-oriented approach that focuses on desired client outcomes. Our team is experienced at all levels of court both in British Columbia and in the Canadian Federal Court system.

Our commercial work comprises drafting commercial contracts, marine mortgages, insurance policies, financings and other transportation industry documents including bills of lading, ship sale agreements, shipbuilding and repair contracts and contracts of affreightment.

Industry Involvement

Members of the Maritime Practice Group have participated at the executive level or spoken at several leading Canadian and international maritime conferences and seminars, and are actively involved in the Canadian Maritime Law Association, the Canadian Bar Association National Maritime Law Section, the Canadian Board of Marine Underwriters and Marine Insurance Association seminars, the Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia, the Transportation Lawyers Association and the Canadian Transportation Lawyers Association.

Representative Matters

  • Wells Fargo Equipment Finance Company and Others v. The Owners and All Others Interested in the Barge “MLT-3” and Others, 2012 FC 738. The first and only decision on Section 43(2) of the Marine Liability Act, which held that the Hague-Visby Rules do not apply to contracts of carriage within Canada unless there is a written contract.
  • North King Lodge Ltd. v. Gowlland Towing Ltd., 2005 BCCA 557. Court of Appeal decision that restates the limited duty of care that an owner or occupier of maritime property owes to a trespassing vessel.
  • J.A. Johnston Company Ltd. v. The Ship Tindefiell, (1973) 2 F.C. 1003. The first decision outside the United States to hold that a shipping container was not a “package” within the Hague Rules.

  • Norsk Pacific Steamship Co. Ltd. v. Canadian National Railway Company (Jervis Crown), [1992] 1 S.C.R. 1201. Broadened the ambit of recovery for pure economic loss.
  • Bayside Towing Ltd. v. Canadian Pacific Railway Co., [2001] 2 F.C. 258. The first decision in Canada on the new limitation of liability regime.