Michael A. Skene

Partner

Vancouver
MSkene@blg.com
604.640.4248

Michael advises clients in a range of construction and infrastructure matters, with extensive experience in dispute-related issues.

He counsels a variety of groups, including sureties, developers and contractors.

Michael has successfully represented clients before various tribunals, provincial and superior courts, and in the Supreme Court of Canada.

Additionally, he has a robust media and defamation practice, with experience in all aspects of the sector, including defending libel claims and setting aside publication bans.

Experience

  • Michael defended a Canadian Joint Venture against a $1.1 billion arbitration that arose after the successful construction of a mineral processing facility.  Our team of 75 BLG timekeepers (13 partners, 15 associates, 12 students, 9 paralegals, and many eDiscovery, Litigation Support, Library, Document Production and other staff) worked with numerous client personnel and in-house counsel in various locations, and with eight expert witnesses, insurers and reinsurers.  The details of the settlement in December 2016 are confidential.  BLG achieved a great result in a timely and efficient way.
  • Seymour Capilano Twin Tunnels Project; counsel for the general contractor and its sureties pursuing and defending complex tunneling engineering and geotechnical claims and claims of builders lien (project value $400+ million).
  • Brilliant Expansion Project; counsel for the general contractor pursuing complex construction claims (project value $116+ million).
  • Lulu Island and Annacis Island Wastewater Treatment Plants; counsel for the general contractor in complex delay and productivity claims against the owner and engineers, and in numerous contract, tort, builders’ lien and trust claims against subtrades and suppliers (project value $280+ million).
  • Sky Train Millennium Line; counsel for an international consortium pursuing significant delay and productivity claims (project value 272+ million).
  • UBC Thunderbird Student Housing; counsel for contractor and surety pursuing delay and productivity claims and defending water-ingress claims with respect to a ten-building project.
  • UBC Chan Centre; counsel for contractor pursuing delay and productivity claims.
  • R. v. Malik and Bagri (Air India); various media applications for print and television media.
  • R. v. Pickton; successfully opposed an application by the accused to close the courtroom to the public and to the media.
  • R. v. Trott, R. v. Ertmoed; obtained access to court files regarding videotaped confessions in murder cases.
  • Anumba v. The Minister of Employment and Immigration; set aside publication ban and court closure regarding refugee claimant fearing persecution by headhunters.
  • Ironworkers Local 97 v. Gordon Campbell, the Liberal Party of BC, Southam Inc. and Brian Kieran; defence co-counsel in a libel claim resulting in dismissal of claim following trial.

Beyond our Walls

Professional Involvement

  • Fellow, Canadian College of Construction Lawyers
  • Director and Past President, Alumni Association of St. George’s School, 2007-present
  • Director, St. George's School Foundation Board, 2014-2016
  • Director, St. George’s School Society Board, 2012-2014 and 2016-present

Community Involvement

  • Panelist, Commercial Litigation / Inns of Court Annual Program, Law Society of British Columbia, 2002-present
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Member, Ad Idem Canadian Media Lawyers Association

Awards & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2019 edition of the Lexpert Special Edition - Canada's Leading Infrastructure Lawyers.
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Construction Law).
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition of Benchmark Canada – The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys (Commercial).
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2010) of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Defamation and Media Law). 
  • Recognized in the 2018 edition of Who’s Who Legal: Canada (Construction). 
  • Recognized as a "Litigation Star" in the 2018 edition of Benchmark Canada (Insurance, Professional Liability, and Securities).

Bar Admission & Education

  • British Columbia, 1993
  • LLM, University of Cambridge, 1995
  • JD, University of Toronto, 1992
  • B.Comm. (Hons.), University of British Columbia, 1992