Matthew Swanson

Matthew G. Swanson  

Partner

Executive Summary

Matthew Swanson is a litigation and dispute resolution lawyer in our Vancouver office. Matthew's practice covers all aspects of corporate, commercial and civil litigation, including contract law, real estate law, construction law and franchise law.

Recognized as a leading litigation and dispute resolution lawyer, Matthew has extensive experience acting for companies and individuals in critical business and personal disputes. He regularly handles matters involving collapsing and collapsed transactions, contract terminations, misrepresentation claims and disputes relating to the breakdown of business relationships. He handles matters arising under the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (REDMA), the Builders Lien Act and the Franchises Act (British Columbia).

Matthew has appeared before all levels of court in British Columbia. He has conducted numerous trials and summary trials and has appeared as counsel before the Court of Appeal for British Columbia.  He has also conducted numerous mediations and arbitrations. His clients include some of British Columbia's and Canada's leading companies, including real estate developers, landlords, franchisors and franchisees as well as companies involved in all levels of the construction industry. 

Matthew is a frequent author and speaker. He has written and spoken extensively on a broad range of litigation and dispute resolution issues, including topics relating to real estate law, construction law and franchise law. He is the author of leading publications on the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (REDMA) and Franchises Act (British Columbia).

Representative Work

General Corporate, Commercial and Civil Litigation

  • Extensive experience acting for companies and individuals with respect to the enforcement and termination of contracts including asset and share purchase agreements, partnership agreements, contracts of purchase and sale, leases, franchise agreements, distribution agreements, construction contracts, loan agreements, bank and credit union account operating agreements, indemnity agreements and trust agreements.
  • Acts for companies and individuals to advance and defend claims for fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, interference with contractual and economic relations and negligence.

Real Estate Litigation

  • Extensive experience acting for vendors and purchasers of commercial and residential real estate in collapsing and collapsed deals.
  • Advances and defends claims for specific performance and injunctions.
  • Acts for developers in defence of claims under the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (REDMA).
  • Acts for co-owners in partition and sale proceedings.
  • Acts for owners in respect of disputes relating to easements, restrictive covenants and other charges.
  • Acts for commercial landlords and tenants in lease disputes, including the termination and enforcement of leases as well as rent reviews to determine market rent for renewal terms.

Franchise and Distribution Litigation

  • Extensive experience advising franchisors and franchisees (including multi-unit and master franchisees) in all types of franchise disputes and franchise litigation matters, spanning a broad range of industries including quick services, food and beverage, hotel and hospitality, automotive, commercial services, residential services and education.
  • Acts for franchisors, franchisees and distributors with respect to the enforcement and termination of franchise agreements and distribution agreements, including in respect of restrictive covenants.
  • Acts for franchisors, franchisees and distributors in the prosecution and defence of claims for breach of contract, rescission, breach of the duty of good faith, misrepresentation, fraud, conspiracy, defamation, the Franchises Act (British Columbia). Competition Act, and the Trade-marks Act.
  • Acts for franchisors and distributors to recover monies due under franchise and distribution agreements.

Construction Litigation

  • Regularly acts for owners and contractors in disputes involving default and termination, including construction defect, deficiency, delay and productivity claims.
  • Regularly clears, defends and enforces Claims of Builders' Lien.

Banking Litigation

  • Acts for financial institutions in disputes relating to account operating agreements, breach of fiduciary duty and the Bills of Exchange Act claims.

Creditors Remedies

  • Acts for companies and individuals to collect overdue accounts and to enforce promissory notes, credit agreements and indemnity agreements.
  • Enforces domestic and foreign judgments.
  • Regularly provide advices to garnishees with respect to their obligations under garnishing orders.
  • Prosecutes claims for fraudulent preferences and conveyances.

Recent Cases

  • Counsel for a real estate developer in response to an appeal of a lower court judgment that dismissed all of the Plaintiff's claims, successfully defending an application for fresh evidence and obtaining a dismissal of the appeal (2017 BCCA 201).  
  • Counsel for a real estate developer in a dispute about the validity and enforceability of contracts of purchase and sale tied to a land assembly project, obtaining an order that the contracts were valid and enforceable (2017 BCSC 430).
  • Counsel to private lenders in a priority dispute in respect of funds paid into court, obtaining an order for the distribution of funds in favour of clients (2017).
  • Counsel to a purchaser of luxury property in a collapsing real estate transaction, seeking and obtaining specific performance (2017).
  • Counsel for a real estate developer in response to an appeal of a lower court judgment (where all of the plaintiff's claims were dismissed and lien security was returned to the developer), avoiding a stay of the judgment and obtaining security for costs ([2016] BCJ No 1329).
  • Counsel for a data centre operator in defence of claims for reduced up-time and data loss (2016). 
  • Counsel for a real estate developer in defence of a claim for alleged breaches of contract relating to the provision of a mechanical system, obtaining a dismissal of all claims (2015 BCSC 1928).
  • Counsel for a construction contractor in a complex construction matter with claims by and against the contractor, opposing and avoiding severance of the contractor's claims to ensure that all matters could be heard and determined together (2015). 
  • Counsel for an auto dealer / franchisee in a National Auto Dealer Arbitration Program (NADAP) proceeding in respect of alleged breaches of the franchise agreement (2015).
  • Counsel for a franchisor in defence of an application for an adjournment on the eve of trial, obtaining an order allowing the case to proceed to trial without delay ([2015] BCJ No 1969).
  • Counsel for a real estate developer in a collapsed real estate deal for commercial property, obtaining an order dismissing all claims made by the individual plaintiffs against the developer (2015). 
  • Counsel for a real estate developer in a collapsed real estate deal for commercial property, obtaining an order permitting the withdrawal of admissions made by the developer's previous counsel (2015). 
  • Counsel for investors in a mixed use real estate development seeking and obtaining recovery of their investment after the development project was halted (2015).
  • Counsel for a telecommunications company in an arbitration to set licence fees (2014). 
  • Counsel for a tenant in defence of eviction proceedings under the Commercial Tenancy Act, avoiding eviction (2014). 
  • Counsel for a construction contractor in an arbitration to recover amounts owing under contract, defending a counterclaim for alleged delays (2014). 
  • Counsel for a real estate developer in a case regarding the validity and enforceability of a restrictive covenant, obtaining an order to remove the restrictive covenant from title (2013).
  • Counsel for a real estate developer in a case regarding the validity of claims for an interest in land and the validity of a certificate of pending litigation, obtaining the removal of the certificate of pending litigation on an expedited basis (2013).
  • Counsel for a lender in respect of amounts owed to it, obtaining an order approving the sale of commercial property to satisfy the lender's claims ([2013] BCJ No 2924).
  • Co-counsel for a master franchisee in relation to claims for rescission and damages under the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure) (2013).
  • Counsel for an accounting professional in an arbitration in respect of the termination of a partnership (2012).
  • Counsel for a deposit bond provider in a case relating to breaches of an indemnity agreement, obtaining a Bullock order for costs (2013 BCSC 1165).
  • Counsel for a real estate brokerage in an ongoing partnership dispute relating to the purchase and sale of real estate, successfully opposing an application to add the brokerage as a defendant (2012 BCSC 997). 
  • Co-counsel for a real estate developer in defence of a summary judgment application involving allegations of breach of contract and the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (REDMA), obtaining an order allowing the case to proceed to trial so that credibility issued could be tested (2012 BCSC 363). 
  • Counsel for a deposit bond provider in a case relating to breaches of an indemnity agreement, obtaining full indemnity for the bond provider's losses, including legal costs (2012 BCSC 1283).
  • Counsel for a deposit bond provider in a case relating to breaches of contract (2011 BCSC 1825).
  • Counsel for a financial institution in respect of a claim for the distribution of funds where ownership was disputed (2011 BCSC 856).
  • Counsel for an international environmental solutions provider in an arbitration regarding a contractual dispute with its subcontractor (2011).
  • Counsel for a corporate vendor in defence of a case concerning the alleged breach of a contract of purchase and sale of land, obtaining dismissal of the plaintiff's claim at summary trial (2011 BCSC 1061).
  • Counsel for a commercial tenant in a lease dispute, obtaining an interlocutory injunction restraining the landlord from breaching the lease (2010 BCSC 1371).
  • Counsel for a commercial landlord in an arbitration to set renewal rent (2010).
  • Counsel for a financial institution in respect of a claim for the distribution of funds where ownership was disputed (2010 BCSC 1230).
  • Counsel for a construction contractor in a case concerning an alleged loss of profit arising from an alleged repudiation of a contract (2010).
  • Counsel for a plaintiff financial institution in a case to recover losses from a customer's negotiation of counterfeit cheques, obtaining judgment for all losses ([2010] BCJ No 2297).

Publications & Presentations

General Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Issues

Real Estate Litigation

  • Speaker, "Realtor Beware: Lessons Learned from Collapsed Real Estate Transactions," BLG Client Seminar, June 2017.
  • Co-Author, "Real Estate Development Marketing" chapter, Real Estate Development Practice Manual, CLE BC, February 1, 2017
  • Speaker, "REDMA: Pre and Post Amendment," Pacific Business & Law Institute, Hot Topics in Real Estate Development, October 2015. 
  • Co-Author, Real Estate Development Marketing" chapter, Real Estate Development Practice Manual, CLE BC, February 2015. 
  • Speaker, "Revisiting Specific Performance After Southcott," BLG U, November 2014.
  • Co-Author, "Know When To Hold 'Em, Know When To Fold 'Em: The Choice Between Alternative Remedies in a Collapsing Deal," Building.ca, March 2014.
  • Co-Author, "A Deal's a Deal, Until it Collapses," BC Business, July 2013. 
  • Speaker, "Real Estate Development Marketing Act: Where Are We Now?," BLG Real Estate Client Seminar, 2012.
  • Speaker, "The Collapsing Real Estate Deal," BLG Real Estate Seminar, 2011.
  • Co-Author, "Enforceable or Unenforceable? That is the Question: A Landlord's Right to Terminate After Receiving a Request to Assign," ICSC Shopping Center Legal Update, November 2010

   Franchise Litigation

  • Co-Author, "Franchise Law in British Columbia: The New Franchises Regulation," BLG Publication, July 2017.
  • Co-Author, "The British Columbia Franchises Act and Franchises Regulation: A Primer," Franchising World, May 2017.
  • Co-Author, "Franchise Law," Annual Review of Law & Practice, CLE BC, March 2017. 
  • Speaker, "Franchise Case Law Update," BLG Franchise Law Seminar, September 2016.
  • Speaker, "Franchise Class Actions: What's Going On and How to Avoid Them," BLG Franchise Law Seminar, September 2016.
  • Co-Author, "British Columbia Becomes the Sixth Province in Canada to Introduce Franchise Legislation," BLG Publication, August 2016.
  • Co-Author, "Franchise Law," Annual Review of Law & Practice, CLE BC, March 2016.
  • Speaker, "How Franchisors Can Avoid Misrepresentation Claims," BLG Franchise Law Seminar, 2015.
  • Speaker, "Legal Update for Franchisors," BLG Franchise Law Seminar, 2015. 
  • Speaker, "The Most Important Franchise Law Decisions in 2012/2013," BLG Franchise Law Seminar, May 2013. 
  • Speaker, "An Introduction to the Competition Act for Franchisors," BLG Franchise Law Seminar, May 2013. 
  • Speaker, "The Most Important Franchise Law Decisions in 2011/2012," BLG Franchise Law Seminar, May 2012.
  • Speaker, "The Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing," BLG Franchise Law Seminar, May 2011.

   Construction Litigation

Creditors’ Remedies

  • Co-Chair of CLE BC's Creditors' Remedies Seminar, October 2015.
  • Speaker, "Creditors' Remedies: A Strategic Overview," CLE BC's, Creditors' Remedies Seminar, October 2015.
  • Co-Author, "Getting Paid," On-Site Magazine, December 2012.
  • Guest Lecturer, "Creditors' Remedies," UBC Faculty of Law, 2011.

Testimonials & Rankings

Testimonials

  • "Matthew is a very tenacious, hardworking and creative litigator" - Acritas Stars, 2017

Rankings

  • ​Recognized as a 2017 Acritas Star.