From August 2015 I will be on a two-year leave of absence from Hunter Litigation Chambers while I serve as Executive Legal Officer to the Chief Justice of Canada. More...

gve

I'm a lawyer at Hunter Litigation Chambers in Vancouver with a broad civil litigation practice including commercial, real estate, environmental, administrative and public law matters. I regularly appear as counsel in cases before the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the BC Court of Appeal. 

I also act in private arbitrations and have appeared as counsel in cases before the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal. In addition to my day-to-day practice, I am a well-known Canadian writer and speaker on international and constitutional law topics. 

Qualifications

  • Called to the BC bar in August 2004
  • Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada, January-December 2003
  • Law Clerk at the British Columbia Court of Appeal, 2001-2002
  • LL.M., University of Toronto, 2000 
  • M.A. (Hons.) in Law, University of Cambridge, 1998 
  • B.A. (Hons.) in History, McGill University, 1995

Contact me

Direct line: 604 891 2409
Email: gvanert@litigationchambers.com
Firm web site: Hunter Litigation Chambers, Vancouver

Areas of practice

Commercial and contractual disputes

    • Regularly act for plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of commercial and contract disputes, both in court and private arbitrations
    • Obtained judgment for over $600,000 against the buyer in a failed residential property transaction (Gulston v. Aldred 2010 BCSC 2412011 BCCA 147, 2011 BCSC 1051)
    • Obtained $225,000 in damages against a federal Crown Corporation for breaches of three contracts (ASEAN Technology Partners Inc. v. National Research Council 2007 BCSC 1539, 2009 BCCA 126)
    • Obtained an assessment of special costs against a disbarred lawyer without waiving privilege over my client’s file (Law Society v. Hanson 2006 BCSC 1993)

    Real estate disputes

    • Acted as lead counsel in an adverse possession claim to residential land in Nelson, BC (Mowatt v. British Columbia (Attorney General) 2016 BCCA 113)
    • Acted as co-counsel in a successful trespass claim arising from a boundary dispute involving land surveys dating back to the 1890s (Phillips v. Keefe 2010 BCSC 20052012 BCCA 123)
    • Acted for a homeowner in a series of successful lawsuits arising from a failed residential property transaction involving an underground oil storage tank
    • Acted for the buyers of a residential property against the vendor and real estate agents in a case of an undisclosed marijuana grow-op
    • Experience in claims against buyers, sellers and real estate agents

    Environmental law

    • Recovered remediation costs against the previous owners of a residential property contaminated by a leaking underground oil storage tank (Aldred v. Colbeck 2010 BCSC 57)—the first successful claim under the Environmental Management Act by a residential property-owner
    • Frequently advise homeowners on cost recovery actions arising from underground oil tanks and soil contamination

    Constitutional
    & public law

      • Intervened on behalf of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association in an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada concerning mobility rights and international law (Divito v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) 2013 SCC 47)
      • Acted for a charitable foundation in a leading case on the Minister of National Revenue's power to revoke charitable status (Prescient Foundation v. Minister of National Revenue 2013 FCA 120).
      • Widely published on constitutional issues involving international law questions

      Administrative law

      • Acted as co-counsel in two successful judicial reviews of decisions of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (British Columbia Lottery Corporation v. Dyson 2013 BCSC 11; British Columbia Lottery Corporation v. Skelton 2013 BCSC 12)
      • Successfully challenged a Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal decision rejecting an injured worker’s claim for temporary disability benefits (Gogol v. British Columbia (Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal) 2008 BCSC 489)

      Estates litigation

      • Acted for defendants in wills variation claims involving large estates, all of which have settled at mediation

      Appeals

      • Experience in appeals gained from serving as Executive Legal Officer to the Supreme Court of Canada and counsel in numerous appeals
      • Acted for the appellants (successfully) in the first adverse possession claim before the Court of Appeal for British Columbia in over sixty years (Mowatt v. British Columbia (Attorney General) 2016 BCCA 113)
      • Successfully defended an appeal from a Small Claims court decision awarding damages in connection with a failed real estate transaction (Pascall v. Aldred 2014 BCSC 328)

      International law

      • Author of numerous publications on international law topics including Using International Law in Canadian Courts, 2nd ed (Irwin Law, 2008)
      • Co-author (with Mark Freeman) of the textbook International Human Rights Law (Irwin Law, 2004)
      • Currently acting in a claim against Canada before the UN Human Rights Committee for breach of freedom of religion and conscience
      • Former visiting scholar at the Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge, England
      • Faculty member of the Phillipe Kirsch Institute
      • Frequently lecture on international and constitutional law issues at universities and legal education events