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Trevor R. McDonald

Partner

403.260.0378
tmcdonald@bdplaw.com
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Education:
Intensive Trial Advocacy Course, Osgoode Hall, York University, 2005

University of Manitoba, Bachelor of Laws, 1999

University of Manitoba, Bachelor of Commerce, Honours, 1995

Bar admission: Ontario 2001 and Alberta 2007
Industries:
Franchises, dealerships and distributorships, Construction, Oil and gas, Real estate
Practice areas:
Commercial arbitration, Construction litigation, Energy litigation, Estate litigation, Technology litigation, Personal injury, Litigation and dispute resolution, Securities litigation

Experience

Trevor's focus is on:

  • Commercial and general litigation
  • Commercial tenancy litigation
  • Condominium and real estate litigation
  • Construction litigation
  • Energy litigation
  • Franchise litigation
  • Intellectual property litigation
  • Securities litigation

Trial and court experience

  • Litigated numerous trials, contested applications and appeals in the Alberta Court of Queen's and Court of Appeal, Ontario Superior Court of Justice and Court of Appeal, and Federal Court of Canada (Trial Division) and Court of Appeal
  • Extensive experience in bringing and defending applications for emergency injunctive relief in numerous scenarios, including breach of restrictive covenants and non-competition agreements, commercial landlord-tenant, corporate and shareholder, franchisor/franchisee, intellectual property and other disputes
  • Successfully applied for and defended applications for Mareva injunctions, attachment orders and Anton Piller orders
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Experience
  • Frequently represent clients in commercial arbitrations, mediations and settlement negotiations

Recent cases

  • Counsel for a condominium purchaser in a successful application to rescind the purchase agreement due to the developer's failure to provide or meet a fixed or ascertainable occupancy date. The Court ordered the return of the purchaser's deposits, and held the director of the development corporation personally liable for breaching the trust provisions of the Condominium Property Act. Avli BCR Developments Inc. v. Ulsifer, 2022 ABQB 81.
  • Counsel for a pharmacy group in the successful defence of an injunction application seeking to prevent them from competing by soliciting the clients of their former employer. The Court held that the employer had failed to make out a strong case for breach of fiduciary duty or breach of confidence. GG & HH Inc. v 2306084 Alberta Ltd., 2022 ABQB 58.
  • Counsel for a homeowner who was sued by the City of Calgary, which claimed ownership of a portion of her front yard under a decades-old road plan that had inadvertently not been registered at Land Titles. The Court held that the road plan could not defeat or supersede the innocent homeowner's indefeasible title to her property. Calgary (City) v. Teulon, 2021 ABQB 388. The Court also awarded the homeowner full indemnity for her legal costs. Calgary (City) v. Teulon, 2021 ABQB 501
  • Counsel to a real estate developer in a successful application to discharge a caveat and Certificate of Lis Pendens from title to its lands, which were holding up a construction project.1704455 Alberta Ltd v. Sage Property Development Inc., 2020 ABQB 776
  • Counsel to a plaintiff in an occupiers' liability trial, which found that the City of Calgary had breached the Occupiers' Liability Act by failing to have adequate security measures in place at a Light Rail Transit station and connected Plus 15 walkway on New Year's Eve. The failure to have adequate surveillance camera placement and quality, sufficient lighting, an effective video monitoring system, or sufficient peace officer patrols, contributed to an unsafe environment. This prevented Transit employees from observing or detecting a serious and prolonged series of assaults against the plaintiff, deploying peace officers or Calgary Police to intervene, or taking other steps to mitigate the harm. McAllister v. Calgary (City), 2018 ABQB 480. The decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal, subject to a clarification concerning the time within which the City ought reasonably to have detected and responded to the assault. McAllister v. Calgary (City), 2019 ABCA 214. On January 9, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada denied the City of Calgary leave to appeal the Alberta Court of Appeal's finding of liability in McAllister v. City of Calgary.
  • Counsel to a junior oil and gas exploration company in the successful summary dismissal of an action based on an alleged breach of a confidentiality agreement, upheld by the Court of Appeal. Beaumont Resources Ltd. v Cardinal Energy Ltd., 2017 ABCA 416.
  • Counsel to an oil and gas company in a successful appeal overturning a summary judgment order initially granted on the basis of exclusion clauses in the CAPP-CAODC Master Daywork Contract. Yangarra Resources Ltd. v Precision Drilling Canada Limited Partnership, 2017 ABCA 378
  • Counsel to a major energy producer in the summary and consent dismissal of over $125 million in contractual damage claims under a seismic data license agreement. Geophysical Service Incorporated v. Suncor Energy Inc., 2017 ABQB 465
  • Counsel to Wendy's Restaurants of Canada Inc. in a successful summary judgment application and dismissal of a claim pertaining to the termination of a franchise license. Seto v. Wendy's Restaurants of Canada Inc., 2016 ABQB 493.
  • Counsel to a condominium corporation in the successful defence of summary judgment applications in a $60 million action related to allegations of severe building deficiencies, all of which were upheld by the Court of Appeal. Condominium Corp. No. 0321365 v. Cuthbert 2016 ABCA 46; Condominium Corp. No. 0321365 v. 970365 Alberta Ltd. 2012 ABCA 26; Condominium Corp. No. 0321365 v. Marshall 2009 ABCA 292.
  • Lead counsel for a large group of defendant oil & gas companies in obtaining a substantial security for costs award against a seismic company. Geophysical Service Incorporated v. Encana Corporation, 2015 ABQB 196, var'd 2016 ABQB 49.
  • Counsel to an Alberta corporation in a successful appeal reinstating an action that had been assigned to it by a Receiver, but struck by a Judge on the grounds of champerty and maintenance. 1773907 Alberta Ltd v Davidson, 2015 ABCA 150.

Professional involvement

Professional associations

  • Member, Law Society of Alberta
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Advocates' Society

 

Representative work

Successfully defended a pharmacy group in a breach of confidence case

Counsel to a pharmacy group in the successful defence of an injunction application seeking to prevent them from competing by soliciting the clients of their former employer. The Court held that the employer had failed to make out a strong case for breach of fiduciary duty or breach of confidence. (GG & HH Inc. v 2306084 Alberta Ltd., 2022 ABQB 58).

Successful application to discharge a caveat and Certificate of Lis Pendens

Counsel to a real estate developer in a successful application to discharge a caveat and Certificate of Lis Pendens from title to its lands, which were holding up a construction project.(1704455 Alberta Ltd v. Sage Property Development Inc., 2020 ABQB 776).

Successful land titles dispute against the City of Calgary

Counsel for a homeowner who was sued by the City of Calgary, which claimed ownership of a portion of her front yard under a decades-old road plan that had inadvertently not been registered at Land Titles. The Court held that the road plan could not defeat or supersede the innocent homeowner's indefeasible title to her property. The Court also awarded the homeowner full indemnity for her legal costs. (Calgary (City) v. Teulon, 2021 ABQB 388, 2021 ABQB 501)

Successful occupiers' liability trial against the City of Calgary

Counsel to a plaintiff in an occupiers' liability trial, which found that the City of Calgary had breached the Occupiers' Liability Act by failing to have adequate security measures in place at a Light Rail Transit station and connected Plus 15 walkway on New Year's Eve. The failure to have adequate surveillance camera placement and quality, sufficient lighting, an effective video monitoring system, or sufficient peace officer patrols, contributed to an unsafe environment. This prevented Transit employees from observing or detecting a serious and prolonged series of assaults against the plaintiff, deploying peace officers or Calgary Police to intervene, or taking other steps to mitigate the harm. (McAllister v. Calgary (City), 2018 ABQB 480). The decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal, subject to a clarification concerning the time within which the City ought reasonably to have detected and responded to the assault. (McAllister v. Calgary (City), 2019 ABCA 214). On January 9, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada denied the City of Calgary leave to appeal the Alberta Court of Appeal's finding of liability in McAllister v. City of Calgary.

Successful summary dismissal on behalf of an oil and gas company

Counsel to a junior oil and gas exploration company in the successful summary dismissal of an action based on an alleged breach of a confidentiality agreement, upheld by the Court of Appeal. (Beaumont Resources Ltd. v Cardinal Energy Ltd., 2017 ABCA 416).

Successful appeal overturning a summary judgment order

Counsel to an oil and gas company in a successful appeal overturning a summary judgment order initially granted on the basis of exclusion clauses in the CAPP-CAODC Master Daywork Contract. (Yangarra Resources Ltd. v Precision Drilling Canada Limited Partnership, 2017 ABCA 378).

$125 million summary dismissal for contractual damages

Counsel to a major energy producer in the summary and consent dismissal of over $125 million in contractual damage claims under a seismic data license agreement. (Geophysical Service Incorporated v. Suncor Energy Inc.), 2017 ABQB 465

Advising Wendy's Restaurants of Canada Inc. in a successful summary judgment application

Counsel to Wendy's Restaurants of Canada Inc. in a successful summary judgment application and dismissal of a claim pertaining to the termination of a franchise license. (Seto v. Wendy's Restaurants of Canada Inc., 2016 ABQB 493).

Successful decision before the Alberta Court of Appeal

Counsel to an Alberta corporation in a successful appeal reinstating an action that had been assigned to it by a receiver, but struck by a Judge on the grounds of champerty and maintenance. (1773907 Alberta Ltd v Davidson, 2015 ABCA 150).

Dispute regarding conflict of laws

Counsel to an Alberta corporation in a conflict of laws matter involving issues of international jurisdiction and forum non conveniens. (RBZ Capital Corp. v. Petrol Alchemy LLC, 2014 ABQB 102).

Real estate developer's successful interim attachment order

Counsel to a real estate developer in actions against a group of U.K. purchasers who had defaulted under agreements to buy condominium units. The matter went to trial and included a successful interim attachment order preventing the defendants from transferring or disposing of their Alberta assets prior to trial. (Qualex-Landmark Investments Inc. v. Soroya 2011 ABQB 354 and Qualex-Landmark Investments Inc. v. Soroya 2009 ABQB 689).

$60 million summary judgment defense

Counsel to a condominium corporation in the successful defense of summary judgment applications in a $60 million action related to allegations of severe building deficiencies, all of which were upheld by the Court of Appeal. (Condominium Corp. No. 0321365 v. Cuthbert 2016 ABCA 46; Condominium Corp. No. 0321365 v. 970365 Alberta Ltd. 2012 ABCA 26; Condominium Corp. No. 0321365 v. Marshall 2009 ABCA 292).

Successful action against a condo developer

Counsel for a condominium purchaser in a successful application to rescind the purchase agreement due to the developer's failure to provide or meet a fixed or ascertainable occupancy date. The Court ordered the return of the purchaser's deposits, and held the director of the development corporation personally liable for breaching the trust provisions of the Condominium Property Act. (Avli BCR Developments Inc. v. Ulsifer, 2022 ABQB 81.)

Purchase agreement dispute

Counsel to a developer in a successful appeal of a Judge's decision declaring a purchase agreement null and void where the developer had failed to register a Condominium Plan by a specified date. (Swan Group Inc. v. Bishop, 2013 ABCA 29).

Dispute regarding wrongful termination of franchise agreements

Counsel to a franchisee in a successful injunction application and trial relating to the wrongful termination of franchise agreements which resulted in the reinstatement of the agreements, a ten year renewal of the expired agreement and a finding that the franchisor had acted in bad faith. (760437 Alberta Ltd. v. Fabutan Corp. 2012 ABQB 266).

Litigation advice to a group of energy companies

Counsel for a large group of defendant oil and gas companies in obtaining a substantial security for costs award against a seismic company. (Geophysical Service Incorporated v. Encana Corporation, 2015 ABQB 196, var'd 2016 ABQB 49).

Awards

Recent honours and recognition

Named as a litigation star by Benchmark Litigation Canada (2021-2022)

Recognized as a future star in Benchmark Litigation Canada (2019-2020)