Stephen R. Schachter, Q.C.

Partner

E: sschachter@nst.ca
T: 778.945.1470

Stephen R. Schachter, Q.C. is one of the top trial and appellate lawyers in British Columbia. He has litigated many of British Columbia’s leading complex business disputes. Stephen regularly appears in the British Columbia Supreme Court, the British Columbia Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada. He also appears before the Federal Court of Canada and the B.C. Securities Commission.

Stephen acts as counsel on a range of matters, with a focus on corporate commercial litigation matters, including class actions, hostile take-over bids, derivative actions, pension litigation, professional negligence, and securities matters, including shareholder disputes. He is often retained to work with major international law firms based in Eastern Canada and the United States.

Education
  • British Columbia Bar, 1978
  • LL.B., University of British Columbia, 1976
  • B.A. (Anthropology), University of British Columbia, 1973
Recognition
  • Excellence Award Winner for Commercial Litigation Team of the Year, Canadian Law Awards 2020
  • Appointed Queen’s Counsel, 2001
  • Lawyer of the Year for Corporate Commercial Litigation, 2020, Lawyer of the Year for Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2015, Best Lawyers Canada.
  • “Litigation Star” and as one of the Top 50 Trial Lawyers in Canada, Benchmark Canada, since 2012.
  • “Most frequently recommended” in the area of Corporate Commercial Litigation, “repeatedly recommended” in the areas of Directors’ & Officers’ Liability and Securities Litigation, and a leading practitioner in these areas and in Corporate Commercial Litigation, Lexpert.
  • Most Frequently Recommended for Corporate Commercial Litigation, Canadian Lexpert® Directory and listed in their American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada. 
  • Consistently ranked as a leading litigator by Chambers and Partners and Who’s Who Legal.
Community Involvement
  • Faculty, various Continuing Legal Education Society courses including chambers practice, the new Rules, advocacy training.
  • Faculty, UBC Law School advocacy training program.
  • Member, Canadian Pension & Benefits Institute.
  • Past Chair, Civil Litigation section of the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association.
  • Chair, Vancouver Recital Society
Cases of Interest
  • Concord Pacific Acquisitions Inc. v. Hong Leong Oei, Hong Kong Expo Holdings Ltd. and Canadian Metropolitan Properties Corporation, 2019 BCSC 1190
    Acting with NST partner Irwin G. Nathanson, Q.C. and Associate M. Caitlin Ohama-Darcus, Stephen successfully defended a claim in excess of $350 million brought by Concord Pacific Acquisitions Inc. against three named defendants, including renowned Singaporean businessman, Hong Leong Oei. At the heart of this dispute was a purported transaction to develop a significant piece of waterfront land owned indirectly by Mr. Oei, described in the court’s reasons as a “multiyear billion-dollar development.” The NST team argued a 48-day trial before the Honourable Mr. Justice Voith. On July 19, 2019, the Supreme Court of British Columbia released its judgment. Concord has now appealed.Sample press coverage:

  • Pirani v Pirani, 2020 BCSC 974
    Co-counsel with Peter R. Senkpiel on a case involving allegations of breach of trust arising from the winding up of four family trusts that held significant hotel properties in BC and the United States. The trial lasted four weeks and involved over 13 days of cross-examination 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.
  • Kepis & Pobe Financial Group Inc. v. Timis Corporation, 2018 BCCA 420
    Together with partner Julia K. Lockhart, Stephen successfully obtained and defended a Mareva injunction in relation to an international contract fee dispute.
  • Fulcrum Capital Partners Inc. v HSBC Bank Canada, 2017 BCSC 2147
    Acted together with partner Julia K. Lockhart on a trial relating to a contractual indemnity claim
  • Sun-Rype Products Ltd. v. Archer Daniels Midland and Others, 2013 SCC 58
    Successfully represented, ultimately before the Supreme Court of Canada, one of the defendants in a class proceeding alleging a conspiracy to fix prices in the sale and distribution of high-fructose corn syrup. Part of what is described as the Supreme Court’s “Class Action Trilogy,” Lexpert listed this as one of the “Top Ten Cases of 2013.”
  • R. v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., 2013 BCSC 1963
    Retained by the leading plaintiffs’ class action firm in British Columbia in a disqualification motion brought by the Tobacco defendants that engaged unique issues of conflicts. Succeeded in having the defendants’ application dismissed.
  • Telus Corp. v. Mason Capital Management LLC, 2012 BCCA 403
    Represented Mason Capital, an American hedge fund, in a corporate battle against Telus. The case was notable for its compressed time frame – the trial was heard in early September 2012, and the appeal was expedited and heard by the Court of Appeal in early October 2012. Lexpert magazine has referred to this case as “an epic shareholder dispute that demanded inter-firm teamwork and strategic vision.”
  • Northern Minerals Investment Corp. v. Mundoro Capital Inc., 2012 BCSC 1090
    Successfully defended Mundoro Capital against a dissident shareholder application to block various acts of the board.
  • Icahn Partners LP v. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., 2010 BCSC 1547
    Successfully represented a New York hedge fund both at trial and on appeal in a shareholders’ oppression action seeking to set aside transactions converting approximately $110 million from debt to equity. This matter was successfully defended on its merits within three months of the disputed conversion.
  • Casey v. Copperleaf Technologies Inc., 2010 BCSC 417
    Acted for Copperleaf Technologies in successfully opposing a shareholder’s claim for oppression.
  • Minera Aquiline Argentina SA v. IMA Exploration Inc., 2006 BCSC 1102; 2007 BCCA 319
    With NST partners Irwin G. Nathanson, Q.C., and James C. MacInnis, Q.C., Stephen 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:

  • Buschau v. Rogers Cablesystems Inc., 2006 SCC 28
    Successfully defended related actions in the Supreme Court of Canada in which employees sought to recover pension surplus by forcing the wind-up of a closed pension plan
  • Inmet Mining Corp. v. Homestake Canada Inc., 2002 BCSC 61, 2003 BCCA 610
    Together with partners Irwin G. Nathanson, Q.C. and Murray A. Clemens, Q.C., Stephen acted for the plaintiff vendor of a gold mine, who was awarded $111 million from a defendant who unlawfully refused to complete a purchase agreement on the basis of an alleged failure to disclose material facts.
  • Samos v. James A. Pattison and Others, 2001 BCSC 1790, 2003 BCCA 87
    Successfully defended a proposed class action in which the plaintiff sought to certify a $500-million claim alleging fraud and misrepresentation. Certification was refused and a subsequent application for reconsideration was also refused.
Publications and Presentations
  • Presenter, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) – Litigator’s Arsenal, 2019
  • Presenter, CLE – 19th Annual Winning Advocacy Skills Workshop, 2018
  • Presenter, CLE – Introducing Evidence at Trial, 2017
  • Presenter, CLE – 17th Annual Winning Advocacy Skills Workshop, 2016
  • Presenter, CLE – 15th Annual Winning Advocacy Skills Workshop, 2014
  • Presenter, OBA CLE – 5th Annual Class Action Colloquium, 2013
  • Presenter at the Northwind Class Action Symposium, 2013