In litigation, we emphasize getting results, and getting them as quickly as possible.

Those aren’t just empty words: that philosophy tends to be reflected in how we are paid in litigation. That means that we rarely bill hourly, because when a lawyer gets paid hourly for litigation, they are rewarded for taking longer to bring a file to its conclusion!

Generally speaking, in litigation matters, Kevin and James focus on money related matters in the broad sense, such as real estate disputes (for example, where a purchaser refuses to complete on a purchase of a house), estate litigation (e.g. where a person has been disinherited, or funds have been stolen from the estate), debt collection (Kevin’s original area of expertise), and contract disputes (e.g. construction disputes and builder’s lien disputes). Kevin and James do not get involved in car accidents or family law litigation.

Because Kevin and James typically work together on litigation files, you get the benefit of both the solicitor’s and the litigator’s perspectives which increases your chances of winning.

We are often open to contingency fee arrangements (where we only get paid when you get paid, and if you don’t get paid, then we don’t either). You then know that our incentives are aligned with yours. We are also open to being paid for finishing a stage of a case, which again emphasizes moving the file to a conclusion (in this type of arrangement, legal fees are payable regardless of the outcome of the file, but the amount may be depend on the outcome achieved). And yes, we are open to being paid hourly, though most of our clients prefer to pay us for results.

To get a flavour of what we do, take a look at a sampling of some of the cases that we have done over the years below. All cases noted are files where Kevin and James worked together unless specifically noted otherwise. We have a short summary of the case, as well as a link to the judgment itself.

  • Wife Taking Son’s Mother’s Money

    A son held significant moneys that belonged to his mother. When the son’s wife found out about the moneys as the son was dying (he was not in the same house as the wife at this time), the wife got the son to transfer the money to her. We successfully argued that the money still belonged to the mother despite the fact that the son transferred the money to his wife on the basis that the son was holding the moneys in trust for his mother (what is known in law as a “resulting trust”).
    Pan v. Pan Estate, 2010 BCSC 1230
    Pan v. Pan Estate, 2011 BCSC 856

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  • MGM Grand Case – Fraudulent Conveyance Case

    The husband of our client, the wife, was a compulsive gambler. When coming to Canada from Taiwan, he would often go to Las Vegas to gamble. One weekend he lost over USD$5m. Shortly after that, the husband and the wife went back to Taiwan and got divorced, with the wife getting the house and some money. MGM said that the divorce was a fraudulent conveyance designed to defeat the claim that MGM would otherwise have had against the house and money. MGM sued to undo the transfer of the house and the moneys. We successfully defended the wife against MGM’s claim for the house and the money.
    MGM Grand Hotel Inc. v. Liu, 1997 CanLII 2369 (BC SC)

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  • Notary Case – Notary Negligence Due to Non-Resident Owner

    Our clients bought a property in a court ordered sale. The owner of the property had been involved in an international arbitration, and had lost. The creditor was now selling the property. The notary for our client asked, but did not get an answer, as to whether the owner of the property was a resident or not, and the contract was completely silent as to whether the owner was a resident of Canada for tax purposes. The notary completed the purchase for the purchasers without confirming the residency of the owners, and it turned out that one of them was a non-resident, which resulted in the purchasers being liable for $695,000 in tax that was owing by that non-resident owner. We successfully sued the notary for negligence and in contract for failing to protect the purchasers.
    Mao v. Liu, 2017 BCSC 226

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