Forrest C. HumeCounsel
Forrest is a leading counsel in transportation and related litigation in Canada. He was in-house regulatory litigation counsel for Canadian National Railway Company (1978-1985) and Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (1985-1993) in their respective headquarters in Montreal, following which he returned to private practice, focusing on railway litigation across Canada representing shippers, ports, terminals, all levels of government, short line railways and commuter rail authorities. In 1998 he moved his practice to Vancouver and opened a prominent boutique firm. He joined Davis LLP, now DLA Piper (Canada) LLP as a partner in 2013, where he is currently co-chair of the firm’s Rail Transportation Group.
In his practice, Forrest appears frequently before federal courts and tribunals in cases involving issues of significance to stakeholders in the rail transportation industry. He has been counsel on many of the leading transportation cases involving the rail industry in Canada in the past 40 years, and has been widely recognized by his peers as a leader in this area of the law that is of such importance to Canadian business and the economy.
A particular focus of his practice is on assisting clients to achieve reasonable freight rates and improved rail service from the Class I railways. On the freight rate side, he has acted as counsel on the majority of the freight rate cases taken against the railways in Canada under the Canada Transportation Act since the remedy was enacted in 1988. On the service side, his litigation of level of service and service level arbitration cases before the Canadian Transportation Agency and the courts has established leading precedents in the jurisprudence.
EXAMPLES OF RECENT LEADING CASES
- Canadian National Railway Company v. Western Canadian Coal Corp.  F.C.J. No. 988 (established that the final offer arbitration provisions of the Canada Transportation Act did not violate the railway’s rights under the Canadian Bill of Rights)
- Canadian National Railway Company v. Northgate Terminals Ltd., 2010 FCA 147 (established that terminals are entitled to complain to the Canadian Transportation Agency that a federally-regulated railway is in breach of its level of service obligations pursuant to the Canada Transportation Act)
- Quebec North Shore & Labrador Railway v. New Millennium Capital Corp.  F.C. 765 (dismissed a second railway challenge to the final offer arbitration provisions of the Canada Transportation Act on the basis that they violate the railway’s rights under the Canadian Bill of Rights)
- Canadian National Railway Co. v. Canada (Attorney General),  2 SCR 135, 2014 SCC 40 (established that shippers have the right to apply to the Canadian Transportation Agency for a determination that a railway’s fuel surcharge is unreasonable pursuant to section 120.1 of the Canada Transportation Act notwithstanding the existence of a confidential contract between the parties, This decision sustained an Order-in-Council that was issued to require the Agency to hear the application of such shippers)
- Canadian Pacific Railway Company v. Canada (Transport, Infrastructure and Communities), 2015 FCA 1 (established that the interchange between the lines of CP and BNSF at Coutts, AB ; Sweet Grass, MT was an interchange within the meaning of the Canada Transportation Act, and that shippers are entitled to require that traffic be interchanged at that location at prescribed rates).
- Canadian National Railway Company v. Louis Dreyfus Commodities Canada Ltd., 2016 FCA 232 (clarification of the proper interpretation of the level of service provisions of the Canada Transportation Act including an analysis of the seminal Patchett case, Patchett & Sons Ltd. v. Pacific Great Eastern Railway Co.,  SCR 271)
- Canadian National Railway Company v. Emerson Milling Inc., 2017 FCA 86, leave to appeal to SCC refused, 2018 CanLII 7101 (established that a railway’s level of service obligation to shippers is statutory, not contractual, and that shippers may require a Class I railway to provide service on the railway’s infrastructure pursuant to the provisions of the Canada Transportation Act, notwithstanding that the shippers do not have their own infrastructure for that purpose at their facilities - the Supreme Court of Canada denied CN leave to appeal the decision in 2018)
- LL.B., Dalhousie University, 1974 (converted to J.D. 2011)
- B.A., Dalhousie University, 1970
- Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in Canada (Transportation Law: Vancouver), 2022
- Best Lawyers in Canada (Transportation Law), 2017-2023; (Railroad Law), 2022-2023
- Chambers Canada (Transportation: Rail & Road), Band 1, 2016-2023
- The Legal 500 Canada (Transport: Other), 2020-2023
- Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Transportation: Road and Rail), 2007-2023
- Canadian Who's Who, 2009-2021
- Leading Lawyer, The Legal 500 Canada (Transport: Other), 2017-2023
- Chambers Global (Transportation), 2014-2017
- The 2008 Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 lawyers in Canada
- Litigation Star, Benchmark Canada (Trucking & Transportation), 2016-2019
Memberships And Affiliations
- Professionals for Rail Safety Accountability Inc., Vice-President, 2003 to present
- Advisor to the Freight Management Association of Canada
- Canadian Bar Association
- Law Society of British Columbia
- Barreau du Quebéc
- Nova Scotia Barristers' Society
- Law Society of New Brunswick