Ken McEwan, Q.C.*
*Practicing through a law corporation.
Ken McEwan practices as general counsel focusing on complex corporate-commercial litigation, class action litigation, commercial arbitration and administrative law at the trial and appellate levels, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He received the designation of Queen’s Counsel from the Attorney General of British Columbia in 2004. Martindale-Hubbell has given Ken a ranking AV-Preeminent.
In 2018, Chambers Canada ranked Ken in Band 1 for dispute resolution noting “he recently left Hunter Litigation Chambers to establish McEwan Partners, and enjoys a stellar reputation … interviewees say he is “absolutely spectacular,” describing him as “incredibly detail-orientated” and “very talented.” In 2018, Benchmark Canada recognized Ken as British Columbia litigator of the year, a distinction he has held for five of the past six years. In 2017, Benchmark named Ken one of the top 50 trial lawyers in Canada. Ken has been named in Lexpert’s 2018 Guide to the leading 100 U.S./Canada cross-border litigators, as well as being named in the 2018 Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada. He is rated by Lexpert as most frequently recommended in corporate commercial litigation, and is recognized in class actions, director and officer liability, and securities litigation. He is listed in the Legal Post Best Lawyers in Canada in the areas of securities law, corporate commercial and class action litigation. Ken is listed in Who’s Who Legal: Litigation and Who’s Who: Legal Product Liability for 2018. Who’s Who Litigation says Ken “is one of Canada’s most distinguished silks and litigators.”
Ken is the current Second Vice-President of the International Society of Barristers, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Director of its Canadian Foundation, Chair of the Advocates’ Society National Standing Committee and Vice-Chair of Advocates Society Standing Committee on Advocacy and Practice. He has been appointed by the Law Society of British Columbia as the civil litigation representative to the Committee on Relations with the Judiciary. He was appointed by the Attorney General of British Columbia to the Supreme Court Rules Revision Committee where he served for many years until the committee disbanded in April 2016.
Ken is the author of the third edition of Sopinka on the Trial of an Action, a leading text on trial practice, including jury trials, published in 2017. He is an adjunct professor of law at the University of British Columbia Law School, teaching its advanced trial advocacy course. He is a past president of the Sopinka Cup Society which hosts the national finals of the Canadian law school trial moot competition in Ottawa and contributes regularly to both the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia and the Advocates’ Society on topics related to litigation and arbitration. He chairs a panel of the British Columbia Inns of Court project which was established to foster professionalism among young lawyers.
Outside the courtroom, Ken also acts as both arbitrator and mediator of commercial disputes. He is a co-author of Commercial Arbitration in Canada: A Guide to Domestic and International Arbitrations published by Canada Law Book, annually updated, and which has been cited as authority in judgments across Canada. He is a contributing author to A Practitioner’s Guide to Commercial Arbitration, published by Irwin Law in September 2017. He is listed in Expert Guides – Commercial Arbitration for 2018. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Western Canada Commercial Arbitration Society.
- Queen’s Counsel 2004
- Benchmark: Top 50 Trial Lawyers in Canada, 2017-2020
- Benchmark, Litigator of the Year in British Columbia, 2013-2016 and 2018-2020
- Lexpert, Top 500 Lawyers in Canada, 2018
- Lexpert, Leading Cross-Border Litigators, 2018
- Chambers Canada, British Columbia Dispute Resolution, Band 1, 2018
- Best Lawyers in Canada, 2020
- Who’s Who: Legal Litigation, 2018
- Who’s Who: Legal Product Liability, 2018
- LLB, University of British Columbia (1986)
- Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
- President, International Society of Barristers, 2020
- Second Vice-President, International Society of Barristers, 2017-2019.
- Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Member, American College of Trial Lawyers “Legal Ethics and Professionalism Committee”
- Member, American College of Trial Lawyers, Gale Cup Committee
- Member, American College of Trial Lawyers, Sopinka Cup Committee
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers.
- Director, American College of Trial Lawyers Canadian Foundation
- Chair, Advocates Society National Standing Committee, 2020
- Vice Chair, Advocates Society Standing Committee on Advocacy and Practice 2020
- Director, Advocates Society, 2017-2020
- Adjunct Professor of Law, University of British Columbia
- Member, Canadian Bar Association, British Columbia Branch
- Member, Vancouver Bar Association
- Session Leader, Inns of Court Project
- Member, Committee on Relations with the Judiciary
- Member, Canadian Bar Association National Class Action Task Force
- British Columbia (1987)
Owners, Strata Plan LMS 3905 v. Crystal Square Parking Corp., 2020 SCC 29, successful on behalf of the respondent, Crystal Square Parking Corp. in upholding the decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal. The case concerned a dispute over the obligation of a strata corporation to pay for parking as provided for in an agreement that had been executed at the time of the property’s development (before the strata existed). In upholding the decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada (Rowe J., dissenting in part) clarified and confirmed the law of pre-incorporation contracts, as well as the law in respect of contract formation, more generally. The Court also addressed the interplay between the Strata Property Act and contract law, and between contract law and real covenants, respectively.
Yi Teng Investment Inc. v. Keltic (Brighouse) Development Ltd., 2019 BCCA 357, successful both on application and on appeal on behalf of the defendant developer seeking to discharge a certificate of pending litigation. Both the chambers judge and Court of Appeal concluded that the plaintiff’s claim gave rise to no “interest in land”.
In June 2017, Ken represented the Law Society of British Columbia in professional disciplinary proceedings concerning a lawyer’s receipt and disbursement of $26 million from offshore jurisdictions.
Ken successfully led the defence of a claim by owners of a residential development against the developer and adjacent property owners for additional parking stalls in a shared underground parking facility.
Ken successfully obtained a dismissal of the claim after five weeks of trial as an abuse of process.
Ken successfully led the defence of Fortress Paper Ltd. and Fortress Specialty Cellulose Inc. against a claim alleging knowing assistance in breach of trust, breach of confidence, and inducing breach of contract.
Successfully defended an application brought against a national law firm claiming a disqualifying conflict of interest.
Ken McEwan, Q.C. and Emily Kirkpatrick successfully defeated a shareholder application to bring a derivative action against current and former directors and officers of Lions Gate.
Ken McEwan, Q.C. successfully represented The Law Society of British Columbia in professional conduct proceedings relating to the handling of trust funds.
Ken successfully brought an insufficient evidence motion when the plaintiffs’ case closed after 13 days of trial.
Ken acted as counsel for for Capital One Bank (Canada Branch) in an application to certify a class action against the credit card industry in Canada.
Ken McEwan, Q.C. and Eileen Patel represented Cargill, and successfully opposed certification of a class action alleging anti-competitive behaviour in the market for high fructose corn syrup. The case was awarded the National Impact Case of the Year by Benchmark and was one of the top 10 litigation cases of the year as listed by Lexpert
Ken successfully led the defence in opposing a certification application in a proposed class action concerning the purchase of development units in the Private Residences at the Hotel Georgia.View all Ken's cases
Ken McEwan, Q.C., was ranked in Chambers Global amongst the top three lawyers in B.C, and 16 in Canada, for Litigation in its 2021 guide.... Read more
Ken McEwan, Q.C. and Eric Aitken successfully represented the plaintiff in an 18-day trial in the British Columbia Supreme Court for specific enforcement of an agreement for the sale... Read more