David Wotherspoon, Partner, is a commercial litigator whose focus is in crisis management, anti-counterfeiting, social media, intellectual property, technology and defamation. He has acted for clients such as TELUS, Hermès, Emily Carr University, Nintendo, Canadian Pacific Railway, many early stage companies, and individuals. One of David’s clients has said that he “has the strongest client relationship skills of any lawyer I’ve worked with in Canada or the US. I’ve lost count of the number of matters he’s gone to court for me on, and he has never lost any of them.” When it comes to early resolution, one client said, “Any company would be well served in retaining him to advise them when they need a win-win outcome for both sides." David is extensively engaged in pro bono cases, taking on several opportunities to represent those who would otherwise have difficulty in accessing or navigating the justice system. Many of his cases have involved protecting businesses that have been targeted in a way that requires intense and swift action and often injunctions to safeguard clients' rights. He is consistently recommended in the world’s leading legal publications for his intellectual property law expertise.
Injunctions and Anton Piller Orders
Arguably his most substantial practice, much of David’s work involves injunctions and Anton Piller orders. So much so, in fact, that he is regularly called on by other firms for his experience and knowledge of this practice. David has filed injunctions for clients ranging from individuals to massive corporations, and regularly delivers favourable outcomes.
David is extensively engaged in pro bono cases, taking on several opportunities to represent those who would otherwise have difficulty in accessing or navigating the justice system. His most recent involvement includes the representation of the interests of homeless people to defend their right to exist. David believes fervently in the right to fair representation, his pro bono practice reflects that commitment.
David’s work in this practice is guided by the understanding that litigation must first serve the client's business purposes. David’s litigation expertise includes areas such as technology and software disputes, fraud investigations professional indemnity/negligence, and commercial disputes.
Defamation & Free Speech
David’s practice in defamation provides him with some incredible stories, and give him a wide-range of experience. He advises on a plethora of cases, speaks on Continuing Legal Education Society of BC’s panels, and is often a primary contact for defamation issues. One of his most recent cases involved representing a client who was the target of an internet defamation campaign by an environmental activist. David’s free speech practice has produced landmark decisions, most recently involving a petition for google to remove a particular search result from their engine, a previously unheard of judgement. David works to strategize with clients on maintaining reputation while keeping a business-focussed approach, and continually delivers extraordinary success in this particular area.
David has close to 20 years’ experience working with clients ranging from solo inventors and entrepreneurs to small- and medium-sized enterprises and multinational companies to enforce, protect and exploit intellectual property rights and assets. He has been referred to by his clients as one of the top IP lawyers in Canada. His practice includes all matters of intellectual property, litigation before courts, and enforcement and anti-counterfeiting.
Frequently called on as trusted advisor, David provides insight on methods to manage crisis and public relations communications, and combines his knowledge and experience to see clients through potentially damaging situations. His cases in this area are frequently intense and require swift action to safeguard clients’ rights. David delivers consistent results in this facet, and always applies a business-oriented approach when looking for solutions to issues.
David’s work in alternative dispute resolution has become a significant part of his practice, seeing him act as counsel in arbitrations, and as a neutral. One of his most recent cases involved appearing in the Supreme Court of Canada as an intervenor on behalf of the British Columbia International Arbitration Centre in a matter involving commercial arbitration. The submission stated that the courts should provide deference to the commercial arbitration process, given the consensual nature of the process and the choice by the parties to avoid the courts.
Honours and Awards
- Best Lawyers® in Canada 2017 for Intellectual Property Law
- Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory 2014-2016 for Computer & IT Law, Intellectual Property and Litigation - Intellectual Property
- WTR 1000's World Leading Trademark Professionals 2015
- The Legal 500 Canada 2015 for Intellectual Property
- Awarded the 2014 Access to Justice Award by the Pivot Legal Society for outstanding support of the organization and it's mandate to use the law to combat the root causes of poverty and social exclusion in Canada
- Named as a “local litigation star” in British Columbia and a “litigation star” for intellectual property in Canada by Benchmark Canada, 2014
- Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory 2011-2013 for Computer & IT Law, and Intellectual Property
- Named as a “local litigation star” in British Columbia by Benchmark Canada, 2013
- Awarded a Silver ranking for both anti-counterfeiting and trademark enforcement expertise in the 2013 edition of the WTR 1000: The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals, published by World Trademark Review
- Outstanding Achievement Award in the Best Publications category for British Columbia Business Disputes from the International Association for Continuing Legal Education. Co-authored the chapter on IP Disputes
- Named as a “local litigation star” in British Columbia and a “litigation star” for intellectual property in Canada by Benchmark Canada, 2012
- Named as "Leading Trade-mark Practitioner" by World Trademark Review
- Director, Peace Geeks
- Director, Environmental Youth Alliance
- Volunteer, Pivot Legal Society
- Governor (past), Collingwood School
- Governor (past), Emily Carr University of Art + Design