Andrew Nathanson has a broad litigation practice with a focus on complex commercial litigation and white-collar crime. Andrew has represented clients including BHP Billiton, TELUS, Chrysler Canada, Western Forest Products, KPMG and Talisman Energy. He has acted for corporations, directors and investors in shareholders' disputes (including oppression claims) and proxy contests, as well as commercial disputes more broadly. Andrew has particular experience in the mining, hospitality and entertainment industries.
In 2010 and 2011, Andrew was co-counsel for Lions Gate Entertainment in one of the most prominent corporate cases in BC in recent years. Lions Gate successfully defended claims brought by the Icahn Group, who alleged that Lions Gate engaged in oppression and improper defensive tactics to defeat its hostile takeover bid and proxy contest seeking control of Lions Gate, a leading Hollywood motion picture and television studio. The case, which featured parallel proceedings before the BC Supreme Court, the BC Securities Commission and both state and federal court in New York, was legally significant for its affirmation that where there is a hostile bid for control, a corporation's directors may, consistent with their fiduciary duties, take measures to resist the bidder where they reasonably conclude that it is in the best interests of the corporation to do so. This has long been a controversial question in Canadian corporate law.
Many of Andrew's cases involve multi-jurisdictional disputes, and he is an honorary member of the UK's Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR).
In the area of white-collar crime, Andrew has acted for both the Crown and defence, including on a number of high profile matters. He has particular experience in assisting corporations and individuals in responding to criminal and regulatory investigations, in some cases avoiding charges altogether. Andrew has been involved in significant constitutional cases involving free speech during elections, the right of drug addicts to access health services, jury secrecy and the right to financial assistance to make full answer and defence. Andrew served as Associate Commission Counsel for the second phase of the Davies Commission of Inquiry into the death of Frank Paul, which examined the Crown's charging decisions arising out of the in-custody death of Mr. Paul, a homeless Aboriginal man. The Davies Commission report led to the creation of the Independent Investigations Office to conduct criminal investigations where police are suspected of involvement in incidents resulting in death or serious harm. Andrew was also co-counsel for a witness at the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.
Andrew has appeared before all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as before administrative tribunals including the BC Securities Commission. He has lectured and written on directors and officers' liability, restitution, civil litigation, advocacy and legal ethics. Since 2004, Andrew has taught civil procedure as an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia.
Honours and Awards
- Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory 2013-2014 for Corporate and Commercial Litigation
- Named as a “local litigation star” in British Columbia and a “litigation star” for white collar crime in Canada by Benchmark Canada, 2014
- Chambers Global 2013-2014 for Dispute Resolution (British Columbia) (“The "smart, meticulous and thorough" Andrew Nathanson is recognised for his expertise in commercial litigation and white-collar crime, and has considerable experience in cases relating to the mining and entertainment industries”)
- The Best Lawyers® in Canada 2013-2014 for Corporate and Commercial Litigation
- Named as a “local litigation star” in British Columbia by Benchmark Canada, 2013
- Chambers Global 2011-2012 for Dispute Resolution (British Columbia) ("rising star Andrew Nathanson")
- Benchmark Canada 2012 for Future Litigation Star ("Andrew Nathanson, another unanimous mention at the future star level ... 'Five years from now, if you're doing litigation in British Columbia, you'll be dealing with him'")
- Lexpert® Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers 2010 for Litigation Lawyer to Watch
- Recognized as a Lexpert® Rising Star 2009: Leading Lawyer Under 40
- Adjunct professor, The University of British Columbia Faculty of Law, Civil Litigation
- Guest lecturer, The University of British Columbia Faculty of Law, Advanced Trial Advocacy course
- Guest lecturer, Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, advocacy programs
- Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD)
- Honorary member, Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
- Former President, The Advocates Club
- Canadian Association of Law Teachers
- Civil Litigation and Criminal Law Sections, Canadian Bar Association