Scott Kerwin

Scott Kerwin  


Executive Summary

Scott Kerwin is a litigation partner in our Vancouver office, Regional Leader of our Wealth Management Group and Estate Litigation Group, and a member of our Aboriginal Law Group. He practises in the areas of  trusts, estates and incapacity dispute resolution; Aboriginal law; insurance and tort law, including product liability claims; and general litigation. 

Scott's trusts and estates litigation practice involves probate actions (litigation concerning the validity of wills); claims under the Wills Variation Act; restitution claims against estates; the appointment of committees under the Patients Property Act; applications concerning the administration of estates and trusts, including the removal and replacement of executors and trustees; variations of trusts pursuant to the Trust and Settlement Variation Act; and applications to the court for the interpretation or rectification of wills and trusts. In the Aboriginal law field, Scott’s primary focus concerns Aboriginal rights and title claims and the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal groups.

Prior to being called to the bar, Scott completed a judicial clerkship with the British Columbia Court of Appeal.

Representative Work

  • Provides strategic advice to banks, credit unions and other financial institutions about mental capacity and elder law issues, including the validity and scope of enduring powers of attorney, representation agreements, and committeeship orders.
  • Represents clients in disputes concerning Aboriginal rights and title and the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal groups.
  • Represented the executors in a matter concerning whether a bequest of “money” in a will included approximately $15 million in corporate shares and interests: Re Thiemer Estate, 2012 BCSC 629;
  • Represented the executor of a $10-million estate in a petition for the interpretation of a will with issues relating to misdescription of beneficiaries, whether certain language was precatory or binding in nature, and the application of the cy-près doctrine for charitable gifts: Re Eberwein Estate, 2012 BCSC 250;
  • Represented Bauer Hockey Corp. ina three-month trial and at the B.C. Court of Appeal in a complex product liability claim concerning the design and manufacture of a hockey helmet: More v. Bauer Nike Hockey Inc., 2011 BCCA 419, aff’g 2010 BCSC 1395;
  • Represented a trust beneficiary to obtain an order that Ontario, not British Columbia, was the proper jurisdiction to determine a dispute about a testamentary trust: Gordon Estate v. Venables,2008 BCSC 501;
  • Represented an executor and beneficiary of an estate to recover trust property that had been mistakenly distributed to the wrong persons: Abram Estate v. Shankoff, 2007 BCSC 1368;
  • Represented a securities dealer at a summary trial to successfully strike out an enforcement proceeding brought by the BC Securities Commission: British Columbia Securities Commission v. Bapty (2006), 52 BCLR (4th) 372, 2006 BCSC 638;
  • Represented British Airways PLC in regards to claims by a travel agency made under the Competition Act: Cimaco International Sales Inc. v. British Airways PLC, 2005 BCSC 1338;
  • Has resolved many claims at mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Publications & Presentations

  • Speaker/Author, “Validation and Rectification of Defective Wills Under WESA: The Tranquil Revolution in Probate Law Comes to British Columbia,” The Wills, Estates and Succession Act: Preparing for Modernization, Pacific Business & Law Institute, October 29, 2013.
  • Panelist, “Powers of Attorney – Litigation,” Senior Estates & Trusts Practitioners' Forum, Langdon Hall, October 2013.
  • Speaker, “‘This Water Question’: An Overview of Claims to Aboriginal Water Rights in British Columbia,” BLG U, Aboriginal Law Seminar, April 2013.
  • Speaker, “The Duty to Consult: 2012 / 2013 Caselaw Update,” BLG U, Aboriginal Law Seminar, March 2013.
  • Speaker, “Powers of Attorney and Mental Incapacity,” BLG, Corporate Security Roundtable, November 2012.
  • Speaker / Author, “The Last Word: Passing of Accounts in Contentious Estates,” Estate Litigation Basics, 2012 CLE, November 2012.
  • Contributing Author, BLG’s Aboriginal Legal Issues e-Newsletter, a publication providing case summaries and updates on Aboriginal law in Canada and other common law jurisdictions, 2000-present.
  • Author, three chapters in the British Columbia Probate and Estate Administration Practice Manual (Chapters 15, 16 and 17, concerning executors’ accounts, compensation claims by executors and administrators, and solicitors’ fees), The Continuing Legal Education of BC (CLE BC), 2005-present (with Gary J. Wilson). 
  • Speaker/Author, “Pleadings, Remand, and Voyages on the Flying Dutchman: Aboriginal Caselaw Update,” Aboriginal Law Conference, CLE BC, June 2012.
  • Speaker, “Beneficiary Designations – An Essential Estate Planning Tool,” Independent Financial Brokers (IFB) Spring Summit, June 2011 (with Tamara Wong).
  • Speaker, “British Columbia’s New Power of Attorney Act,” IFB Fall Summit, November 2011.
  • Speaker/Author, “Settlement of Estate Litigation,” Estate Litigation – 2011 Update, CLE BC, November 2011.
  • Speaker/Author, “Upcoming Changes to the Law of Estates in British Columbia: 10 Things to Know,” IFB Spring Summit, April 2011.
  • Speaker/Author, “Probate Actions,” Estate Litigation Basics, CLE BC, October 2010.
  • Author, “A Case Comment on Richardson Estate v. Mew,Estates, Trusts and Pensions Quarterly, June 2010.
  • Author, “Stare Decisis in the BC Supreme Court:  Revisiting Hansard Spruce Mills,” The Advocate, July 2004.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • ​Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2014 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada (Trusts and Estates).