Peter R. Senkpiel, K.C.


T: 778.945.1476

Peter R. Senkpiel, K.C. is a leading barrister in British Columbia with a broad commercial litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and advisory practice. Peter has extensive experience as trial and appellate counsel in the BC Supreme Court and BC Court of Appeal in a broad range of matters including contract and business disputes, securities litigation, shareholder disputes, class actions, defamation, and trusts.

In 2022, at just 38 and after only 12 years of call, Peter was appointed King’s Counsel by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General for British Columbia. This honorary title recognizes exceptional professional merit, contribution, integrity and character. Peter is one of the very youngest King’s Counsel appointees in British Columbia’s history.

In addition to his commercial practice, Peter is often retained in difficult matters affecting the legal profession and the public. In A.B. v. C.D., he was appellate counsel for an intervenor in an appeal dealing with informed consent under the Infants Act in the context of transgender healthcare. He regularly acts for the Law Society of British Columbia both as discipline counsel and on appeal. He was appellate counsel for the LSBC in Walkom v LSBC, a case addressing important questions about statutory immunities and whether a duty of care is owed by the Law Society.

Peter’s approach to counsel work reflects the influence of his mentors. After law school, Peter clerked for Chief Justice Lance Finch at the B.C. Court of Appeal, and then joined Nathanson, Schachter & Thompson LLP, where he has learned his craft from some of the province’s best trial and appellate counsel, Irwin G. Nathanson, K.C., Stephen R. Schachter, K.C., Murray A. Clemens, K.C., and Geoffrey B. Gomery, K.C. (now Mr. Justice Gomery).

Recognizing that litigation can be stressful, time-consuming, and expensive, Peter protects his clients’ litigation and business interests both inside and outside the courtroom. Peter combines a strong facility with the law, creative problem solving, negotiation skills, tactical insight, practicality, and sound judgment to advocate on his clients’ behalf. When in court, Peter draws from a wealth of experience and skills developed during many long and hard-fought trials and appeals.

Peter’s contributions to the law extend beyond the boardroom and courtroom. For example, he is the editor of the Civil Appeal Handbook. He was a former director on the Board of Directors for the Vancouver International Arbitration Center. From 2015-2019, he was an adjunct professor at UBC Law teaching a course on the law of Restitution and Unjust Enrichment.

  • British Columbia Bar, 2010
  • J.D., University of Toronto, 2009
  • B.A., University of British Columbia, 2006.
  • Appointed King’s Counsel (formerly known as Queen’s Counsel) in 2022
  • Winner of an Impact Case Award for Pirani v Pirani, from Benchmark Litigation Canada, 2021
  • Shortlisted for the British Columbia Litigator of the Year Award, Benchmark Litigation Canada, 2021 and 2022
  • Litigation Star, 2020, 2021, and 2022 Benchmark Canada. 
    • In their 2022 commentary, Benchmark states: “Peter Senkpiel received high acclaim from peers.” A client describes Peter as “outstanding as the legal representative on my matter and is definitely in the top tier of lawyers I have dealt with over the past 40 years. [He is] Extremely knowledgeable as it pertained to my position, circumstances, and standing. Over the many years of my involvement in the administration and enforcement of laws, I have not come across a lawyer who was so committed to ensuring that my interests were protected and represented.”
    • In their 2021 commentary Benchmark states: “Peter Senkpiel is another younger partner seeing a steady ascent in profile.” A peer notes, “‘Peter is getting a lot of buzz around town right now, doing good Law Society work…I do get a bit jealous when I see his name on things.'”
    • In their 2020 commentary, Benchmark stated: “Peter Senkpiel is observed by peers as someone who ‘will be moving into the upper echelons at that firm. He is a good guy to litigate opposite of. He’s difficult, creative, advances things and puts up a good fight, which I find very fun’.”
  • Leading practitioner in Corporate & Commercial Litigation, Best Lawyers Canada, 2024
  • Leading Lawyer to Watch, Lexpert, 2021
  • Ranked in Corporate Commercial Litigation, Lexpert, 2024
  • Leading Individual for dispute resolution in British Columbia, The Legal 500 Canada, 2024
    • In their 2022 commentary, The Legal 500 describes Peter as a “key figure among the next generation of top counsel”
  •  “40 & Under Hot List,” 2018-2022, Benchmark Canada.
  • Leading Lawyers Under 40 Award winner, Lexpert, 2020
Community Involvement
  • Former director on the Board of Directors, Vancouver International Arbitration Center.
Cases of Interest
  • Law Society of British Columbia v. Guo, 2022 BCCA 154
    Partner Peter R. Senkpiel and associate Heather E. Doi successfully represented the Law Society of British Columbia at the British Columbia Court of Appeal in an important appeal dealing with the definition of “trust funds” under the Law Society’s Rules. The Court of Appeal affirmed a Law Society Tribunal decision that funds received by a lawyer pursuant to fixed or flat fee arrangement for services to be performed are trust funds that must be deposited into a trust account until the services have been performed, unless there is an express agreement with the client.
  • Pirani v Pirani, 2020 BCSC 974
    Acting as lead counsel throughout the litigation and trial, and supported by Stephen R. Schachter Q.C. and James P. Parker, Peter acted in a case involving allegations of breach of trust arising from the winding up of one of four family trusts that held significant assets, including hotel properties in BC and the United States. The trial lasted four weeks and involved over 10 days of cross-examination of the defendants by Mr. Senkpiel. In a judgment released June 30, 2020, the trustees were found to have acted in bad faith and to have breached their fiduciary duties. Disgorgement was ordered.
  • A.B. v. C.D., 2020 BCCA 11
    Lead appellate counsel together with Julia K. Lockhart for an intervenor, the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health, in an appeal dealing, in part, with informed consent under the Infants Act in the context of transgender healthcare.
  • Ming Sun Benevolent Society v Philippine Women Centre of B.C., 2020 BCSC 423
    Lead counsel for the Ming Sun Benevolent Society in successfully setting aside a default judgment. The Society has been working to redevelop its building, located in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown, into low-cost social housing, with financial assistance from the BC Housing Management Commission. The judgment creditors had sought damages of over $3,000,000. This result allows the Society to continue to pursue development. NST continues to represent the Society in the dispute.
  • Walkom v. Law Society of British Columbia, 2019 BCCA 391
    Lead appellate counsel supported by Julia K. Lockhart for the Law Society of BC in an appeal addressing important questions about statutory immunities and whether a duty of care is owed by the Law Society. 2018 BCSC 1990
  • DaKow Ventures Ltd. v Daski Contracting Ltd., 2018 BCSC 2016, and 2018 BCSC 2128 Lead trial counsel for New Wave Energy Services and Daski Contracting Ltd. in obtaining an interlocutory injunction enforcing a restrictive covenant prohibiting certain competition by a former principal and employee and a related company.
  • McCormick v. Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, 2014 SCC 39
    Co-counsel for a leading national law firm before the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada in relation to a former partner’s human rights age discrimination complaint. McCormick was listed by Lexpert magazine as one of the top 10 business cases of 2014.
  • Sun-Rype Products Ltd. v. Archer Daniels Midland and Others, 2013 SCC 58
    Co-counsel for one of the defendants before the Supreme Court of Canada in a class proceeding alleging a conspiracy to fix prices in the sale and distribution of high-fructose corn syrup. Sun-Rye was part of the Supreme Court’s “Class Action Trilogy,” and listed by Lexpert as one of the “Top Ten Cases of 2013.”
  • Peter acted for the parent company for Freshii restaurants in successfully obtaining an injunction preventing a Freshii franchisee from operating a non-compliant restaurant.
Publications and Presentations
  • Editor of the leading text on appellate practice in BC, the Civil Appeal Handbook.
  • Adjunct professor, UBC Law. 2015-2019, teaching a course on the law of Restitution and Unjust Enrichment.
  • Co-Chair, CLE’s Restitution Course, 2014 (presenter: Change of Position Defence)
  • Regular presenter, Continuing Legal Education courses: Commercial Litigation, 2018 (Oppression Proceedings); How to Be a Great Litigation Junior, 2019; A Litigator’s Arsenal, 2019; Damages, 2020.
  • Guest speaker, CBABC Appellate Advocacy meetings and UBC Law’s Ethics and Professionalism course.
  • Author, “Three’s a Crowd: Third-Party Litigation Funding of Class Actions in Canada,” Canadian Class Action Review, Vol. 5, No. 2, August 2009.