Stephen R. Schachter, Q.C. is one of the top trial and appellate lawyers in British Columbia.
Leading legal publications have referred to Mr. Schachter, stating that he “is not only one of the best litigators in BC, he’s one of Canada’s great trial lawyers, dyed in the wool”; “
He is described as “a highly analytical, cerebral litigator”, “a terrific, very skilled lawyer”, and a “very intelligent and tough litigator”.
He and Geoffrey Gomery, 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. Schachter 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.
Best Lawyers lists Mr. Schachter as Vancouver's Lawyer of the Year (2015) in Bet-the-Company Litigation. He was recently selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers Canada 2016 in the fields of Bet-the-Company Litigation, Class Action Litigation and Corporate Commercial Litigation. Benchmark Canada listed Mr. Schachter as a “Litigation Star” in 2012, 2013, and 2014 and, in 2014, shortlisted Mr. Schachter as B.C.’s Litigator of the Year. Lexpert lists Mr. Schachter as “repeatedly recommended” in the areas of Corporate Commercial Litigation and Directors’ & Officers’ Liability. Mr. Schachter was selected as a leading litigator by Who's Who Legal: Litigation 2015.
Mr. Schachter regularly appears in the British Columbia Supreme Court, the British Columbia Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada. He also appears before the Federal Court of Canada and the B.C. Securities Commission.
Mr. Schachter 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 negligence, 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. Schachter was lead counsel or co-counsel in the following cases.
In Sun-Rype Products Ltd. v. Archer Daniels Midland and Others, the firm successfully represented, ultimately before the Supreme Court of Canada, 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 what is described as the Supreme Court’s “Class Action Trilogy”, Lexpert listed this as one of the “Top Ten Cases of 2013”.
In Samos v. James A. Pattison and Others, the firm successfully defended a proposed class action in which the plaintiff sought to certify a $500 million claim alleging fraud and misrepresentation. Certification was refused and a subsequent application for reconsideration was also refused.
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. The case was notable for its compressed time frame—the trial was heard in early September 2012, and the appeal was expedited and heard by the Court of Appeal in early October 2012. Lexpert Magazine has referred to this case as “an epic shareholder dispute that demanded inter-firm teamwork and strategic vision.”
In Casey v. Copperleaf Technologies Inc., 2010 BCSC 417, the firm acted for Copperleaf Technologies in successfully opposing a shareholder’s claim for oppression.
In Northern Minerals Investment Corp. v. Mundoro Capital Inc., 2012 BCSC 1090, the firm acted for Mundoro Capital in successfully defending against an application attempt to block various acts of the board, brought by a dissident shareholder.
The firm has successfully represented parties in two of Canada’s most significant mining cases: Minera Aquiline Argentina SA v. IMA Explorations Inc. and Inmet Mining Corp. v. Homestake Canada Inc.
In Minera Aquiline, the defendant was compelled to transfer to the plaintiff the Navidad Project – a world class silver deposit in Argentina – as a result of its unlawful use of confidential exploration data.
In Inmet, the plaintiff vendor of a gold mine was awarded $111 million from the defendant who unlawfully refused to complete a purchase agreement on the basis of an alleged failure to disclose material facts.
In Buschau v. Rogers Cablesystems Inc., the firm successfully defended related actions, twice appearing in the Supreme Court of Canada, in which employees sought to recover pension surplus by forcing the wind-up of a closed pension plan.
Other Commercial Matters
In R. v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., 2013 BCSC 1963, the firm was retained by the leading plaintiffs’ class action firm in British Columbia in a disqualification motion brought by the Tobacco defendants that engaged unique issues of conflicts. The firm was successful in having the defendants’ application dismissed.
- Presenter at OBA Continuing Legal Education – 5th Annual Class Action Colloquium (Dec. 2013).
- Presenter at the Northwind Class Action Symposium (June 2013).
- Faculty, various Continuing Legal Education Society courses including chambers practice, the new Rules, advocacy training.
- Faculty, UBC Law School advocacy training program.
- Member, Canadian Pension & Benefits Institute.
- Past Chair of the Civil Litigation section of the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association.