Jeff Horswill is a litigator whose practice focuses on the litigation and resolution of complex disputes.

Jeff acts most commonly in the areas of commercial litigation and dispute resolution; product liability actions; shareholder and society member disputes; and disputes involving international law, although he has experience in a wide variety of cases in other areas, including those involving significant public relations or political components. 

In addition to his barrister practice, Jeff has developed a practice in relation to the investigation and prevention of corruption, fraud, money laundering and related issues.  In particular, he has investigated alleged bribe payments, developed anti-corruption and training programs, advised companies in relation to FINTRAC compliance, investigated fraud allegations, and provided advice in relation to Canada’s sanctions regime.

Jeff’s practice has allowed him to act as counsel in a wide variety of forums including: all levels of British Columbia Courts and the Federal Court, formal and informal mediations, and ad hoc arbitrations conducted under the UNCITRAL Rules.

Jeff is the co-chair of the BC-CBA Subsection on International Law, on the executive of the CBA National sub-section on International Law and on that subsection’s International Dispute Resolution Committee.

Professional Experience

Commercial Disputes

  • Co-counsel to major Asian Banks pursuing the proceeds of fraud in Canada.
  • Counsel in product liability actions, including in relation to construction, aviation and tobacco products.
  • Counsel in complex shareholder disputes resolved in court and through managed dispute resolution conducted by counsel.
  • Counsel in disputes over the governance of not-for-profit societies and charities.
  • Counsel in breach of confidence cases in a variety of industries including mining, technology and network marketing.
  • Counsel in respect of contract disputes in a wide variety of business sectors.
  • Counsel in environmental litigation including in respect of contaminated properties and compliance with environmental statutes.
  • Counsel in disputes in respect of common law monopolies, including the use of aerodrome facilities and in respect of transportation tariffs.
  • Counsel for application for plans of arrangement for public components section to de-list from securities market.

Disputes with Government

  • Counsel for women ski jumpers seeking inclusion in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games through an action against VANOC under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • Counsel to a group of citizens seeking equitable access to a Greater Vancouver park facility.
  • Counsel to an American client resisting the imposition of charges by the Canadian government under the Softwood Lumber Export Charge Act.
  • Counsel in appeals of environmental permits before the BC Environmental Appeal Board.
  • Member of counsel team in matter before the Competition Bureau in price fixing defences and contested merger cases.

Investigations and Compliance

  • Conducted investigations of alleged corrupt payments by company officials and contractors in foreign jurisdictions.
  • Provided advice in respect of due diligence for corruption issues for major corporate transactions.
  • Created anti-corruption policies and provided anti-corruption training programs.
  • Created FINTRAC compliance policies.
  • Investigated and litigated major and minor fraud cases.
  • Investigated and litigated cases related to the laundering of fraudulently obtained funds.
  • Advised on sanctions, export controls and other obligations imposed by Canada under the United Nations Act, the Special Economic Measures Act, Export and Import Permits Act, the Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act and their associated regulations.

International Law and Trade

  • Member of counsel team that advises companies on their investment treaty rights and strategies for effectively using these rights.
  • Junior counsel to two Canadian forestry companies taking action against the Government of the United States of America under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement in relation to the conduct of the United States during the softwood lumber dispute. This was the first Chapter 11 case to go through the Article 1126 consolidation procedures, and the first case to test the relationship between the Treaty’s AD-CVD and investment chapter.
  • Junior counsel to an American courier company in its arbitration against the Government of Canada under NAFTA’s Chapter 11, alleging that advantages provided to the courier owned by Canada Post were discriminating.
  • Counsel and junior counsel in a number of matters, actions and motions regarding private international law.
  • Counsel advising on NAFTA, WTO and arbitration provisions in numerous transactions including the implications of the WTO and NAFTA procurement provisions on PPP project investments.
  • Member of counsel team advising a client with respect to its rights under the international treaties governing water flow in the Kootenay and Columbia River systems.
  • Counsel providing advice in respect of international law issues related to foreign investment, including the mitigation of political risk, the effect of international sanctions, and compliance with anti-corruption legislation.
  • Advising on issues arising under the Softwood Lumber Agreement in commercial transactions, investments and policy proposals.