James C. MacInnis, K.C.


E: jmacinnis@nst.ca
T: 778.945.1475

James C. MacInnis, K.C., is a respected trial and appellate lawyer who carries on a commercial litigation practice. He has regularly appeared as counsel before the British Columbia courts for more than 20 years.  Recognized as leading litigation counsel by Chambers Global, Best Lawyers Canada, Lexpert, and Benchmark Canada, James is committed to providing clients with the highest quality legal advice and advocacy. James’ greatest reward has been building valued client relationships and serving those clients as a trusted advisor.

  • Clerk to the Chief Justice of British Columbia, British Columbia Court of Appeal, 1997-1998
  • British Columbia Bar, 1998
  • LL.B., (Gold Medallist), University of British Columbia, 1997
  • M.A., (Guy Drummond Scholar), McGill University, 1993
  • B.A., (Honours), McGill University, 1990
  • Appointed King’s Counsel (formerly known as Queen’s Counsel) in 2019
  • Lawyer of the Year Award Recipient 2024 – Corporate Commercial Litigation (Vancouver) – Best Lawyers Canada
  • Recognized by several publications as a leading commercial litigation counsel in British Columbia:
  • “Litigation Star,” Benchmark Canada, since 2012
  • Leading practitioner & “repeatedly recommended” in Corporate Commercial Litigation, Lexpert
  • Leading practitioner in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Corporate & Commercial Litigation, Best Lawyers Canada
  • Ranked for Commercial Litigation, Chambers Canada, since its inception
  • Recognized as one of the British Columbia Continuing Legal Education Society’s most prolific contributors.
Community Involvement
  • KidSafe Project Society – Board of Directors 2014-2023; Board Chair 2020-2021.
  •  Crofton House School –Board of Governors 2022-Present; Risk Management Committee Chair.
Cases of Interest
  • The9 Limited v. Skychain Technologies Inc., 2022 BCSC 1666
    Counsel for the plaintiffs in a matter involving construction of a crypto currency mining project. Together with associate Edith Chen, James sought judgment for an outstanding debt on the basis that the defendant was in default of its delivery obligations under the Financing Agreement and that the General Security Agreement provided for acceleration of the debt upon default. The court granted judgment to the plaintiff for the full amount owing under the debentures.
  • Quanta Services, Inc. v. Rokstad Power Corp., (BCSC 2018)
    Counsel for a leading distribution and transmission construction company that operates across the United States and Canada in a dispute with a competitor concerning allegations of breach of confidence and unfair competition.
  • South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority v. BMT Technology Ltd., 2017 BCSC 1683, 2018 BCCA 468
    Acted as counsel for TransLink in attempting to repair its arbitration claim against consultants arising from design and construction of a new passenger ferry for TransLink’s SeaBus service
  • Byrn v. Farris Vaughan Wills & Murphy LLP, 2017 BCCA 454
    Acted as counsel for Farris LLP before the B.C. Supreme Court, B.C., Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court of Canada in successfully striking out a claim arising from an estate matter concerning the severance of joint tenancy at common law.
  • Linden Advisers LP v. Dippenaar (BCSC 2016)
    Represented eight former directors of an international mining company in an action by plaintiffs claiming damages of $40 million arising from their investment in convertible debentures.
  • XY LLC v. Canadian Topsires Selection Inc., 2015 BCSC 2116
    Represented defendant in multi-party commercial dispute concerning allegations of fraud and breach of confidence.
  • Callahan v. Shasta Properties Ltd., 2015 BCSC 663
    Acted in successful defence of majority shareholders’ attempt through litigation to force a minority shareholder to sell them his shares in a company that controlled a substantial development property in the Okanagan.
  • Mercer Gold Corp. (Nevada) v. Mercer Gold Corp. (B.C.), 2012 BCSC 322
    Acted as counsel for Nevada mineral exploration company in dispute with British Columbia company over control of Colombian mining concession, successfully obtained an injunction to prevent interference with client’s control of the property.
  • Boxer Capital Corp. v. Marine Land Developments Ltd., 2012 BCSC 684
    Represented real estate developer in a successful application to stay court proceedings in favour of arbitration.
  • Liquor Barn Income Fund v. Mather, 2011 BCCA 141
    Acted for Liquor Barn Income Fund before the B.C. Court of Appeal in a multi-party fraud case.
  • Dawson v. Tolko Industries, 2010 BCSC 1384
    Represented 67 employees and former employees of Tolko Industries in a claim against the employer and its actuaries arising from the conversion of the pension plan from a defined benefit to defined contribution plan.
  • Strata Plan LMS 1751 v. Scott Management Ltd. and Strata Plan LMS 1725 v. Pacific Place Holdings Ltd., 2007 BCSC 1870, 2010 BCCA 192
    Counsel for multinational corporation defending claims advanced in two of British Columbia’s largest construction disputes.
  • M.D.A. Marine Design Associates Ltd. v. British Columbia Ferry Services Inc., 2008 BCSC 1432
    Represented B.C. Ferries in successful defense of a defamation claim.
  • Chudy v. Merchant Law Group, 2008 BCCA 484
    Counsel for a British Columbia couple in successful action and appeal for breach of fiduciary duty against their former solicitors.
  • Adroit Resources Inc. v. Tres-Or Resources Ltd., 2008 BCSC 1211
    Counsel for mineral exploration company and its president in defence of claims arising out of joint venture agreement.
  • Schwarzkopf v.  McLaughlin, 2008 BCSC 730
    Counsel for plaintiff in successful action against former financial advisor resulting in damage award of $6.3 million and constructive trust over property.
  • Minera Aquiline Argentina SA v. IMA Exploration Inc., 2006 BCSC 1102, 2007 BCCA 319
    With NST partners Stephen R. Schachter, Q.C., and Irwin G. Nathanson, Q.C., James acted for the plaintiff in this long running fight to control what was considered to be the world’s largest undeveloped silver deposit, in the Chabut region of Argentina. The plaintiff was the Argentinean subsidiary of an Ontario public corporation, which had acquired the subsidiary through a competitive bidding process run by Newmont Gold. Following the acquisition, the plaintiff discovered silver anomalies in data developed by the subsidiary while it was owned by Newmont, and then discovered that the defendant’s geologists had received the data as part of their due diligence in the bidding process and had used the data to stake the claims.  The matter raised complex issues relating to the scope of the constructive trust remedy, as well as the consideration of foreign legal principles by British Columbia courts. NST’s client was successful in obtaining ownership of the mineral claims though a constructive trust following a 3-month trial, an appeal and a leave application to the Supreme Court of Canada.Sample press coverage:

Publications and Presentations
  • British Columbia Supreme Court Rules Annotated, 2001-Present (Thomson Reuters)
  • “British Columbia Business Disputes” (British Columbia Continuing Legal Education Society). Awarded ACLEA’s Outstanding Achievement in Publications award. Contributing chapter author and co-editor of the book with Ludmilla Herbst Q.C. and the Honourable Mr. Justice David Crerar.
  • Introducing Evidence at Trial: A British Columbia Handbook (British Columbia Continuing Legal Education Society) Contributing Author.
  • The British Columbia Civil Trial Handbook (British Columbia Continuing Legal Education Society) Contributing Author.
  • “Evidence,” Annual Review of Law and Practice, published annually 2003-2018 (British Columbia Continuing Legal Education Society) Chapter Author.
  • “Protecting Your Client from Yourself: The Pitfalls of Negotiating Real Property Transactions by Solicitor’s Correspondence,” 1999, 27 Real Property Reports (3d) 67
  • “Lenders (and others) Beware,” 1999, 11 Lex Mundi’s World Reports 3 Co-author.
  • “Supreme Court of Canada Clarifies the Criminal Interest Rate Provision,” 1999, 14(1) National Creditor-Debtor Review 5 Co-author.
  • “Neither Nice Nor Easy: Reconsidering Clairol International and Section 22 of the Trade-marks Act,” 1998, 13 Intellectual Property Journal 25
  • “Commercial Morality and Passing-off: a model for a modern tort,” 1998, 30 Canadian Business Law Journal 415

Mr. MacInnis acts as a mediator in commercial matters, assisting parties and their legal counsel in the resolution of their disputes. He received his mediation training through Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation. With more than 25 years working as a commercial litigator, Mr. MacInnis has experience across many industries, including real estate development and leasing, mining, construction, banking, franchises, and professional services, and involving numerous areas of law such as contract disputes, fraud claims, breach of fiduciary and breach of trust claims, and professional negligence claims. Mr. MacInnis has extensive experience dealing with shareholder and partnership disputes. He welcomes inquiries from legal counsel to determine if he can be of assistance in the mediation of their claims.