Geoffrey B. Gomery, Q.C. is a leading trial and appellate lawyer in British Columbia.
Mr. Gomery has litigated many of British Columbia’s leading complex business disputes. Recent examples include acting as trial and appellate counsel in Sun-Rype Products Ltd. v. Archer Daniels; Icahn Partners LP v. Lions Gate; and Telus Corp. v. Mason Capital.
Benchmark Canada listed Mr. Gomery as a “Litigation Star” in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Lexpert lists Mr. Gomery as a leading litigator in Corporate Commercial Litigation. Mr. Gomery was recently selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers Canada 2016 in the fields of Corporate Commercial Litigation and Class Action Litigation.
Leading legal publications have described Mr. Gomery as “‘a very bright and strong lawyer’ who earns praise for his skill in handling securities litigation” and as “at the forefront of the next generation of leaders”. He and Stephen Schachter, Q.C. have been referred to as a “tag team and get some really good stuff … A particular area of expertise on their part is that of the ‘poison pill’ litigation arising from hostile takeovers ... They do that same high-level work in that area that firms like Wachtell Lipton handle in the States."
Mr. Gomery regularly appears in the British Columbia Supreme Court and the British Columbia Court of Appeal. He appeared as counsel in the Supreme Court of Canada in Kerr v Baranow, Sun-Rype Products Ltd. v. Archer Daniels Midland and Others, and Strother v. 3464920 Canada Inc.. He has also appeared in court in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and before the Federal Court and before various administrative tribunals.
Mr. Gomery acts as counsel on a range of matters, with a focus on corporate commercial litigation matters, including class actions, hostile take-over bids, derivative actions, pension litigation, professional discipline, and securities matters, including shareholder disputes. He is often retained to work with major international law firms based in Eastern Canada and the United States.
Mr. Gomery is an Adjunct Professor at the UBC Faculty of Law, where he co-teaches a course on the law of Restitution. He co-chaired CLEBC’s Restitution Course (2009 and 2014).
Mr. Gomery was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1984 and joined Nathanson, Schachter & Thompson in 1990.
Mr. Gomery has acted as lead or co-counsel in a range of commercial and business disputes, including:
In Sun-Rype Products Ltd. v. Archer Daniels Midland and Others, the firm successfully represented one of the defendants in a class proceeding alleging a conspiracy to fix prices in the sale and distribution of high-fructose corn syrup. Part of the Supreme Court of Canada’s “Class Action Trilogy”, Lexpert listed this as one of the “Top Ten Cases of 2013”.
Oppression Claims/Securities/Shareholders Disputes
In Icahn Partners LP v. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., the firm successfully represented a New York hedge fund both at trial and on appeal in a shareholders’ oppression action seeking to set aside transactions converting approximately $110 million from debt to equity. This matter was successfully defended on its merits within three months of the disputed conversion.
In Telus Corp. v. Mason Capital Management LLC, the firm represented Mason Capital, an American hedge fund, in a corporate battle against Telus involving parallel proceedings in the British Columbia courts. The case was notable for its compressed time frame—one hearing in the trial court took place in early September 2012, and Mason’s successful appeal was expedited and heard by the Court of Appeal in early October 2012. Lexpert Magazine described this case as “an epic shareholder dispute that demanded inter-firm teamwork and strategic vision.”
In Western Wind Energy Corporation v. Savitr Capital, LCC, the firm successfully represented Savitr Capital in an application by Savitr for an order under s. 186 of the Business Corporations Act that the Court appoint an independent chair for Western Wind’s General Meeting.
In HudBay Minerals Inc. (Re), the firm successfully represented August Resource Corporation in resisting the application brought by HudBay Minerals before the B.C. Securities Commission for a cease-trade order of Augusta’s shareholder rights plan.
In Bower v. Cominco Ltd., the firm successfully defended a $78 million claim by pensioners alleging an unlawful pension surplus transfer between plans.
In Hughes v. Vander Zalm, the firm represented B.C.’s former conflict of interest commissioner, Ted Hughes, in a successful libel action before a jury against former B.C. Premier Bill Vander Zalm. Hughes recovered $60,000 damages and court costs.
Other Commercial Matters
In Strother v. 3464920 Canada Inc., the firm represented one of Canada's national law firms in proceedings before the British Columbia Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. The plaintiff, a former client of the law firm, accused the law firm and one of its former partners of breach of fiduciary duty resulting from acting in a conflict of interest. While the plaintiff achieved some success in the Court of Appeal, in the Supreme Court of Canada the law firm was exonerated of misconduct and the remedy awarded by the Court of Appeal was substantially reduced.
In Hollinger Inc. v. Radler, the firm successfully defended an application to continue an ex parte mareva injunction pronounced by the Supreme Court of British Columbia on October 25, 2006. The continuation application was heard over 4 days and dismissed on November 18, 2006. An application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed on November 29, 2006. The firms subsequently represented the defendant, Mr Radler, in proceedings before the Ontario Superior Court that were settled in 2014.
In Kerr v Baranow, Mr. Gomery appeared as counsel at the Supreme Court of Canada in a claim for unjust enrichment. The SCC’s decision is a leading authority on the law of unjust enrichment.
In Stevested Machinery & Engineering Ltd. v. Metso Paper Ltd., 2014 BCCA 91, the firm represented Metso Paper Ltd. at trial and in the Court of Appeal in a claim for breach of contract and unjust enrichment.
- B.A. (Hons.) from Queen's University, 1980
- LL.B. from the University of Toronto, 1983
- B.C.L. (with distinction) from Oxford University, 2006
- Appointed Queen's Counsel, 2010
- Dean's List, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, 1982, 1983
- Medal in Politics, Queen's University, 1980
- Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia Law School, 1985-1987, 2010-present
- Faculty, various Continuing Legal Education Society courses including Restitution (Co-Chair, 2009 and 2014), Discovery of Documents (2002), Torts (2007), New Civil Rules (2010), Torts (2013) and Mergers & Acquisitions (2013)
- Book review, "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined", by Steven Pinker, 70 The Advocate 452-455 (2012).
- 'Whose autonomy matters? Reconciling the competing claims of privacy and freedom of expression', 27 Legal Studies 404-429.
- 'Evaluating the Evidence on a Certification Application: Is Pro-Sys v Infineon the Final Word?'4 Class Action Defence Quarterly (No 4) 43-47
- "Unjust Enrichment", British Columbia Business Disputes Manual