Matthew G. Swanson



Matthew is a leading litigation and disputes lawyer. He has extensive experience acting for companies and individuals in critical business and personal disputes, including corporate and commercial litigation, contract disputes, real estate disputes, construction disputes and franchise disputes. 

He has conducted numerous trials and summary trials, appearing before all levels of court in B.C., including the Court of Appeal. He  has also been involved in numerous arbitrations. He regularly handles matters involving collapsing and collapsed transactions, contract terminations, misrepresentation claims and disputes related to the breakdown of business relationships. This includes issues covered under the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (REDMA), the Builders Lien Act and the Franchises Act (B.C.).

Matthew is a frequent author and speaker. He has written and spoken extensively on a broad range of litigation and dispute resolution issues, including topics relating to contract law, real estate law, construction law and franchise law. 

Matthew provides legal services through a Law Corporation.



  • Counsel to a real estate developer in response to an appeal of a lower court judgment declaring contracts of purchase and sale valid and enforceable, successfully obtaining a dismissal of that appeal (2017 BCSC 430).
  • Counsel to a real estate developer in response to an appeal of a lower court judgment that dismissed all of the plaintiff's claims, successfully defending an application for fresh evidence and obtaining a dismissal of the appeal (2017 BCCA 201).
  • Counsel to a real estate developer in a dispute about the validity and enforceability of contracts of purchase and sale tied to a land assembly project, obtaining an order that the contracts were valid and enforceable (2017 BCSC 430).
  • Counsel to private lenders in a priority dispute in respect of funds paid into court, obtaining an order for the distribution of funds in favour of clients (2017).
  • Counsel to a purchaser of luxury property in a collapsing real estate transaction, seeking and obtaining specific performance (2017).
  • Counsel to a construction manager in a domestic arbitration, successfully advancing a claim to obtain compensation for services rendered, defending against claims for alleged defects, deficiencies and backroom deals (2016); in turn, obtaining a supplementary award for reasonable legal costs incurred in the arbitration (2017).
  • Counsel to a real estate developer in response to an appeal of a lower court judgment, in which all of the plaintiff's claims were dismissed and lien security was returned to the developer, avoiding a stay of the judgment and obtaining security for costs ([2016] BCJ No 1329).
  • Counsel to a data centre operator in defence of claims for reduced up-time and data loss (2016).
  • Counsel to a real estate developer in defence of a claim for alleged breaches of contract relating to the provision of a mechanical system, obtaining a dismissal of all claims (2015 BCSC 1928).
  • Counsel to a construction contractor in a complex construction matter with claims by and against the contractor, opposing and avoiding severance of the contractor's claims to ensure that all matters could be heard and determined together (2015).
  • Counsel to an auto dealer/franchisee in a National Auto Dealer Arbitration Program proceeding in respect of alleged breaches of the franchise agreement (2015).
  • Counsel to a franchisor in defence of an application for an adjournment on the eve of trial, obtaining an order allowing the case to proceed to trial without delay ([2015] BCJ No 1969).

Beyond Our Walls

Professional Involvement

  • Member, Law Society of British Columbia
  • Member, Law Society of Saskatchewan
  • Member, Greater Vancouver Home Builders' Association
  • Member, Vancouver Regional Construction Association
  • Member, Canadian Franchise Association
  • Member, International Franchise Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Past member, editorial advisory board, Journal of Commerce

Community Involvement

  • Supervising lawyer, Pro Bono Students Canada ID Project, Powell Street Getaway Resource Centre
  • Past member, BLG United Way campaign
  • Past mentor, Canadian Bar Association

Awards & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada (Franchise Law)
  • Recognized in the 2019 and 2018 editions of Benchmark Litigation — 40 & Under Hot List, Canada, as a top litigation lawyer in Canada aged 40 or younger.
  • Recognized in the 2019 Edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory® as a Leading Lawyer to Watch (Litigation - Corporate and Commercial).
  • Recognized in the 2021 (and since 2019) editions of Benchmark Canada – The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a "Future Star" in litigation in B.C.
  • Recognized in 2021 (and since 2017) as a Thomson Reuters Standout Lawyer (formerly known as Acritas Star Lawyers)

Bar Admission & Education

  • Colombie-Britannique, 2008
  • Saskatchewan, 2019
  • LLB, Université de la Colombie-Britannique, 2007
  • BA (Dist., Philosophy), Université de Regina, 2003