Scott Kerwin

Scott Kerwin  


Executive Summary

Scott Kerwin is a litigation partner in our Vancouver office, Regional Leader of our Estate Litigation Group, Regional Co-Leader of our Family Wealth Counsel Group, and National Co-Leader of our Indigenous Law Group and Team North. He practises in the areas of  trusts, estates and incapacity dispute resolution; Indigenous law; constitutional law; and general litigation. 

Scott's trusts and estates litigation practice involves probate actions (litigation concerning the validity of wills); claims to rectify or vary wills under the Wills, Estates and Succession Act; restitution claims against estates; the appointment of committees under the Patients Property Act; applications concerning the administration of estates and trusts, including the removal and replacement of executors and trustees; variations of trusts pursuant to the Trust and Settlement Variation Act; and applications to the court for the interpretation of wills and trusts.

In the Indigenous law field, Scott's primary focus concerns Indigenous rights and title claims and the Crown's duty to consult Indigenous groups.

Prior to being called to the bar, Scott completed a judicial clerkship with the British Columbia Court of Appeal.

Representative Work

Estates and Trusts

Indigenous Litigation

  • Represents clients in disputes concerning Indigenous rights and title and the Crown's duty to consult Indigenous groups.
  • Co-counsel for British Columbia in a judicial review proceeding concerning the approval of a ski resort, with issues relating to the duty to consult Indigenous groups, the Honour of the Crown, sacred Indigenous sites, and freedom of religion under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Ktunaxa Nation v. British Columbia, 2015 BCCA 352, aff'g 2014 BCSC 568;
  • Co-counsel for CN Rail in an injunction application relating to the sale of railway corridor lands to local communities for use as a recreational trail: Okanagan Indian Band v. Canadian National Railway Company, 2015 BCSC 1365;
  • Co-counsel for a mining company in a judicial review proceeding concerning whether a First Nation had been adequately consulted in regards to a bulk sample permit: West Moberly First Nations v. British Columbia and CKD Mines, 2014 BCSC 924;
  • Co-counsel for British Columbia in an action brought by three First Nations for possession of lands near Chilliwack on the basis of Indigenous title or a pre-Confederation reserve: Chief Joe Hall v. Canada Lands Company Limited, 2014 BCSC 1704;

Civil Litigation

Publications & Presentations

  • Speaker/Author, "Estate Litigation and Legal Advice Privilege," Estate Litigation Basics, 2016, CLE BC, February 2016.
  • Speaker, "Aboriginal Sacred Sites and Religious Freedom: A Discussion of Ktunaxa Nation v. British Columbia," Presentation to CBABC Aboriginal – Vancouver Section, November 2015.
  • Speaker, "Update on Probate and Incapacity Legislation in British Columbia: Implications for Residents of Washington State," STEP Seattle, November 2015.
  • Contributor, "ADR and Trusts: An International Guide to Arbitration and Mediation of Trust Disputes," Spiramus Press Ltd., 2015.
  • Speaker, "The Scope and Limits of Section 58 of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act," CBABC Wills & Trusts– Vancouver Section, April 2015.
  • Speaker/Co-Author, "Challenging the Estate Plan: When Good Planning is Not Enough," Estate Litigation – 2014 Update, CLE BC, October 2014.
  • Author, "Validation and Rectification of Defective Wills Under the Wills, Estates and Succession Act: The Tranquil Revolution in Probate Law Comes to British Columbia,", Estates, Trusts and Pensions Quarterly, Volume 33, May 2014.
  • Speaker, "Corporate Counsel and the Law of Privilege: A Primer,",BLG U, May 2014.
  • Speaker, "Passings of Accounts and the New Probate Rules," WESA and the New Rules, CLE BC, November 2013.
  • Panelist, "Powers of Attorney – Litigation," Senior Estates & Trusts Practitioners' Forum, Langdon Hall, October 2013.
  • Speaker, "'This Water Question': An Overview of Claims to Aboriginal Water Rights in British Columbia," BLG U, Aboriginal Law Seminar, April 2013.
  • Speaker, "Powers of Attorney and Mental Incapacity," BLG, Corporate Security Roundtable, November 2012.
  • Speaker / Author, "The Last Word: Passing of Accounts in Contentious Estates," Estate Litigation Basics, 2012 CLE, November 2012.
  • Speaker/Author, "Pleadings, Remand, and Voyages on the Flying Dutchman: Aboriginal Caselaw Update," Aboriginal Law Conference, 2012, CLE BC, June 2012.
  • Speaker, "British Columbia's New Power of Attorney Act," IFB Fall Summit, November 2011.
  • Speaker/Author, "Settlement of Estate Litigation,",Estate Litigation – 2011 Update, CLE BC, November 2011.
  • Speaker/Author, "Probate Actions," Estate Litigation Basics, CLE BC, October 2010.
  • Author, "A Case Comment on Richardson Estate v. Mew," Estates, Trusts and Pensions Quarterly, Volume 29, June 2010.
  • Author, "Stare Decisis in the BC Supreme Court:  Revisiting Hansard Spruce Mills," The Advocate, Volume 62, July 2004.
  • Contributing Author, BLG's Aboriginal Legal Issues e-Newsletter, a publication providing case summaries and updates on Aboriginal law in Canada and other common law jurisdictions, 2000-present.
  • Author, three chapters in the British Columbia Probate and Estate Administration Practice Manual (Chapters 15, 16 and 17, concerning executors' accounts, compensation claims by executors and administrators, and solicitors' fees), The Continuing Legal Education of BC (CLE BC), 2005-present.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • ​Recognized in the 2019 (and since 2014) editions of The Best Lawyers in Canada (Trusts and Estates).