Robert J. C. Deane

Partner

Vancouver
RDeane@blg.com
604.640.4250
Rob is recognized nationally and internationally as a leading counsel in commercial litigation, international and domestic commercial arbitration, privacy, and intellectual property litigation, among other areas.

As litigation counsel, Rob has litigated complex cases throughout Canada and at all levels of Court, including to the Supreme Court of Canada, in diverse areas including contractual disputes, arbitration-related litigation including appeals, mining disputes, life sciences and other intellectual property disputes, consumer class actions, sponsorship and advertising disputes, shareholder disputes, securities regulation, information and privacy law, and administrative law.

As arbitration counsel, Rob has appeared in significant arbitration proceedings in North America, Asia and Europe, under almost all major institutional sets of rules, in a wide array of industry sectors including manufacturing, technology, distribution, pharmaceuticals, energy, mining and infrastructure, as well as investor-State disputes.

As arbitrator, Rob has either chaired or been sole arbitrator in international and domestic proceedings involving parties throughout the world engaged in disputes arising in, among others, the distribution, patent licensing and resource sectors.

Rob is the National Leader of BLG’s International Trade and Arbitration Group, and a member of the Partnership Board, the Firm's governing body.

After graduating from the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia as the Law Society of British Columbia Gold Medallist in 1998, Rob served as a Law Clerk to the Honourable Madam Justice Beverley McLachlin of the Supreme Court of Canada (until recently the Rt. Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada) in 1998-1999.

Experience

  • Litigation Experience
    • Representative recent cases on which Rob has been counsel include the following:
      • South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority formerly known as Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority dba TransLink, et al. v. BMT Fleet Technology Ltd., et al. – counsel to a successful party in a jurisdictional challenge arising in a commercial arbitration.
      • Fortinet Technologies (Canada) ULC v. Bell Canada – counsel to the successful appellant in parallel litigation to a commercial arbitration.
      • Centura Building Systems (2013) Ltd. v. 601 Main Partnership – counsel to the successful appellant in a significant case concerning the law of builders’ liens.
      • Re Hecla Mining Company – counsel to the successful target in contested take-over bid proceedings heard jointly by the British Columbia Securities Commission and the Ontario Securities Commission.
      • Acuitas Therapeutics Inc. v. Arbutus Biopharma Corporation – counsel to a successful applicant for an interlocutory injunction in a patent licensing dispute.
      • British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority v. British Columbia (Information and Privacy Commissioner) – counsel to a public body in judicial review proceedings.
      • Drover v BCE Inc. - counsel to a defendant in a succcesful application to dismiss a putative consumer class action.
      • Weyerhaeuser Company Limited v. Hayes Forest Services Limited – counsel to the successful respondent in a contract dispute in the forestry sector.
      • Bell Mobility Inc. v. TELUS Communications Company – counsel in a series of advertising disputes, including claims for injunctive relief, in the telecommunications sector.
      • BCE Inc. v Gillis – counsel to a successful defendant in proceedings brought to challenge a putative consumer class action as an abuse of process.
      • Nordural Helguvik ehf v. Alterra Power Corp. – counsel in a contract dispute related to an international arbitration.
      • Garford Pty Ltd. v. Dywidag Systems International, Canada, Ltd. – counsel to a successful party in patent licensing litigation.
      • Powerex Corp. v. Alcan Inc. – counsel to a party to proceedings arising from an international arbitration award in the energy sector.
      • Wires Jolley LLP v. Wong – counsel to the successful petitioner for enforcement of an international arbitration award in the services sector.
      • Reference re: Criminal Code of Canada (B.C.) – pro bono counsel to an intervener in a constitutional reference case.
  • Arbitration Experience
    • Rob’s practice has provided him with opportunities to work with most major sets of institutional rules in the world, including the LCIA Rules, the ICSID (Additional Facility) Rules, the ICC Arbitration Rules, the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, the Arbitration Rules of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, the American Arbitration Association’s International Arbitration Rules (ICDR), the Arbitration Rules of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, the Domestic and International Arbitration Rules of the British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre, and the National Arbitration Rules of the ADR Institute of Canada, among others.
    • Illustrative commercial arbitration matters on which Rob has been counsel include:
      • Counsel to a Mexican beverage supply franchisee in a dispute with a Canadian franchisor (UNCITRAL).
      • Counsel to a Canadian technology company in a dispute with an Asian mobile phone supplier (HKICAC).
      • Counsel to a Canadian metal refining company in an investor-State dispute with an Asian state (UNCITRAL).
      • Counsel to a Provincial Crown Corporation in a dispute with a sports team relating to sponsorship rights (BCICAC).
      • Counsel to a Canadian airline in a dispute with its former CEO (BCICAC).
      • Counsel to one of the parties in the dissolution of a law firm partnership (BCICAC).
      • Counsel to a Canadian biopharmaceutical developer in a dispute with a Canadian licensor (BCICAC).
      • Counsel to a Canadian partner in a dispute with an American partnership relating to a large casino project (BCICAC).
      • Counsel to a United States supplier of large aircraft landing gear systems in a dispute with a Canadian sub-supplier (ICC).
      • Counsel to a Canadian pharmaceutical company in a dispute with a South Korean company arising out of a license and revenue sharing contract (ICC).
      • Counsel to a Canadian software development company in a dispute with American licensees arising out of a license and development contract (BCICAC).
      • Counsel to an Icelandic power producer in a series of disputes with an American-owned Icelandic aluminum smelter operator concerning a 25 year contract with an estimated value of between USD$1 billion and USD$3 billion (SCC).
      • Counsel to a British Columbia energy utility in a dispute with a contractor in relation to a major infrastructure project (BCICAC).
      • Counsel to a British Columbia energy utility in a dispute with a major forestry company under a clean energy purchase agreement (BCICAC).
      • Counsel to a major North American forestry company in a series of arbitrations relating to a revenue-sharing agreement with its primary forestry services-provider (BCICAC).
      • Counsel to a Canadian heavy equipment supplier in in a dispute with a Texas distributor (ICDR).
      • Counsel to a major British Columbia insurer in a series of disputes with brokers (BCICAC).
      • Counsel to a Canadian-based electricity utility in a dispute concerning liability for and quantification of a termination payment under a long term power purchase and sale agreement consequent upon the Enron bankruptcies (AAA).
      • Counsel for an Alberta energy utility in a dispute concerning representations and warranties given by the vendors of two run-of-river power plants in British Columbia (ADR Institute of Canada).
    • Rob also has significant experience as counsel to a State Party to the North American Free Trade Agreement in court proceedings before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada relating to investor-State awards (Metalclad Corp. v. United Mexican States; Feldman v. United Mexican States; Bayview Irrigation District v. United Mexican States; Corn Products International Inc. v. United Mexican States; Cargill Inc. v. United Mexican States; and B-Mex LLC et al. v. United Mexican States).
    • Illustrative commercial arbitration matters on which Rob has been appointed as arbitrator include:
      • Sole arbitrator hearing a dispute between Australian and American parties regarding patent assignment and licensing agreements (ICC).
      • President of a tribunal hearing a dispute among Irish, French, and American parties arising in the pharmaceutical distribution industry (ICC).
      • Sole arbitrator hearing a dispute between the seller and purchaser of an oil services business, in relation to a working capital adjustment (CAA).

Beyond Our Walls

Professional Involvement

  • Member, International Arbitration Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (ICC Canada)
  • Member, Western Canada Commercial Arbitration Society
  • Member, Toronto Commercial Arbitration Society
  • Member of the Advisory Board, The Institute for Transnational Arbitration
  • Editor (Investment Arbitration Section), IBA Arbitration News (International Bar Association – Arbitration Committee)
  • Roster Member, International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), International Division of the American Arbitration Association
  • Roster Member, ICDR Canada, International Division of the American Arbitration Association
  • Roster Member, British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre
  • Roster Member, Canadian International Internet Dispute Resolution Centre
  • Regional Representative for North America (Canada), Young International Arbitration Group – London Court of International Arbitration (2010 – 2013)
  • Co-Chair, Working Group on Best Practices for Electronic Document Discovery and Production in Canada (Sedona Canada) (2010-2014); Member of Steering Committee and Editorial Board, Sedona Canada, 2005-2010
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association – British Columbia Branch
  • Member, American Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • Director, Cystic Fibrosis Canada (Member, Governance Committee and Human Resources Committee), 2019 to present
  • President, Cystic Fibrosis Canada - Vancouver Chapter, 2013-2019

Awards & Recognitions

  • Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Recognized in the 2020 edition (and since 2016) of Chambers Canada — Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business (Litigation: General Commercial Litigation, British Columbia; Dispute Resolution: Arbitration)
  • Recognized in the 2020 edition (and since 2011) of Chambers Global — The World's Leading Lawyers for Business (Dispute Resolution – Arbitration)
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2015) of Benchmark Canada – The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a “Local Litigation Star: British Columbia" and a "Litigation Star: Arbitration, General Commercial Litigation, Competition, Intellectual Property”
  • Recognized in the 2020 edition (and since 2012) of The Best Lawyers in Canada (International Arbitration, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Class Action Litigation, Advertising and Marketing Law, Privacy and Data Security Law)
  • Recognized in the 2020 edition (and since 2015) of The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Commercial Arbitration, Litigation – Corporate Commercial, Litigation – Intellectual Property)
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2015) of Who's Who Legal (Global) (Arbitration; E-Discovery)
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2015) of Who's Who Legal (Canada) (Arbitration)
  • Recognized in the 2020 edition of the Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada (National: Commercial Arbitration)
  • Recognized in the 2020 edition (and since 2017) of The Legal 500 Canada as a “Leading Lawyer” (Dispute Resolution)
  • Recognized in both 2017 and 2018 as the “Vancouver Privacy and Data Security Law Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in Canada
  • Recognized as the 2017 “Vancouver International Arbitration Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in Canada
  • Recognized as the Arbitration Lawyer of the Year (2016) and Arbitration Counsel of the Year (2014 and 2013) by Benchmark Canada — The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2014) of the Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2014) of the Lexpert Report on Business Litigation Special Edition as a leading litigator
  • Honoured with a 2014 Lexpert Zenith Award (International Commercial Arbitration)
  • Recognized in 2017 and 2018 as an Acritas Star

Bar Admission & Education

  • British Columbia, 2000
  • LLB, University of Victoria, 1998 (Law Society of BC Gold Medallist)
  • BA, Simon Fraser University, 1995