Gordon R. Johnson  

Partner

Executive Summary

Gordon Johnson is a Partner and the Chair of BLG’s Professional Committee. Gordon has a commercial litigation practice that covers many topics. In addition to his experience with a broad range of commercial disputes, Gordon's background includes many years' experience in securities industry disputes, including both prosecuting and defending regulatory issues, defending investment claims and dealing with disputes between investment firms. Gordon also has particular experience in dealing with real estate disputes, including claims related to failed real estate transactions, claims in the development field, and valuation claims.

Before commencing practice, Gordon was a clerk with the British Columbia Court of Appeal, and a research intern with the Law Reform Commission of Canada. Since then, he has frequently appeared as counsel before the British Columbia Supreme Court, the British Columbia Court of Appeal, the British Columbia Securities Commission, and various other tribunals.

Representative Work

  • TELUS v. CDS and Mason Advisors — represented CDS in the British Columbia Supreme Court and the British Columbia Court of Appeal in a claim which determined the ability of beneficial shareholders to exercise shareholder rights through Canada’s share depository system.
  • Bank Gutenberg and BC Securities Commission – resolved allegations of Non-Canadian Financial Institute responsibility for trades by clients.
  • Receivership of Symphony Development – confirmed the circumstances where a constructive trust may be available in a claim against an insolvent business.
  • Mutual Fund Dealers Association v. British Columbia Securities Commission — represented the MFDA in a proceeding relating to internal processes and meetings of members.
  • Represented clients in two high profile Coroner’s Inquests in 2014.
  • Attorney General of British Columbia — represented the Province of British Columbia in a proceeding to enforce a mortgage against the owners of Burns Bog and defended the quality and good faith of the Province's environmental review of that location.
  • HSBC Kelowna − defended investment dealer from allegations made by investor who suffered in technology collapse in 2000.
  • Icon Omega — represented Alberta real estate developer in a claim that defined the extent to which British Columbia's Real Estate Development and Marketing Act applies to development outside of the Province.
  • HSBC Pavlis — represented investment dealer in claim by former unrepresented employee; case helped define (at the trial level) the type of breach of contract that will be considered fundamental, and confirm (at the appeal level) the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not obligate Province to provide financial support for appeals.
  • Hypo Bank BCSC — represented a foreign bank in a securities proceeding that confirmed the ability of British Columbia regulators to hold off-shore institutions responsible if local "know your client" rules are not followed regarding investors.
  • Eron Lenders Committee — represented a group of investors after the collapse of Eron Mortgage Corporation in establishing the ability of a class of investors to create a representative group and have it granted standing in an insolvency context.
  • Northern Securities Ltd. v. GLG Lifetech Inc. — represented a public company in resisting a fee claim by its sponsor for acting as a sponsor in an application for a listing on the TSX.
  • Merrill Lynch Canada − represented Merrill Lynch in the defence of a class action related to the method used by investment dealers in converting currency for transactions in investor accounts.
  • Vancouver Stock Exchange v. Delmas — represented the VSE in the British Columbia Supreme Court and the British Columbia Court of Appeal on issues regarding jurisdiction and the ability of a regulatory body to delegate jurisdiction.

Publications & Presentations

  • Author, "The Collapsing Deal" chapter, British Columbia Real Estate Practice Manual, Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia (CLE BC), updated yearly 2001-present.
  • Author, "Creating & Preserving Enforceable Rights," Real Estate Deals: Creating and Enforcing them in Challenging Times, CLE BC, June 2009.
  • Author, "Streamlining Litigation — Choosing Procedural Tools to Reduce Cost," Economical Litigation, CLE BC, January 2009.
  • Author, "Maximizing Examinations for Discovery," Insight Information Seminar on Litigation, Securities and Corporate Commercial Law, May 2008.
  • Contributing Author, "Directors' and Officers' Liability for Failing to Prevent Internal Fraud," Fraud: Detection, Recovery and Prevention, CLE BC, October 1997.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2017, 2016 and 2015 editions of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Corporate and Commercial Litigation).
  • Martindale-Hubbell® BV® Distinguished™ 4.4 out of 5 Peer Review Rated.
  • Recognized in the 2017, 2016 and 2015 editions of Benchmark Canada - The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a “Local Litigation Star: British Columbia” and a “Litigation Star: Commercial, Securities.”