Health law is a complicated, increasingly complex area of practice that is constantly changing. Our depth of experience in all areas of health care in BC is unique. And it is that depth of experience that has cultivated the unique insights, perspectives and skills that sets us apart.
William S. Clarkwclark@harpergrey.com
Cameron B. Eldercelder@harpergrey.com
We are the leader in civil litigation defence for health practitioners in British Columbia and the Yukon.
We defend physicians, surgeons and health specialists in civil litigation matters and have significant experience representing clients in complex medical malpractice cases before all levels of Court in British Columbia.
We have been counsel on the leading cases addressing the standards of medical care, consent, medical malpractice, limitation defence, and liability for medical products.
We advise clients in professional regulation matters touching on issues of ethics, professionalism, regulation, privileges, policy advice, general representation in investigations including workplace, privacy and confidentiality, employment, fraud, malfeasance, and quasi-criminal matters related to practice of medicine.
We have acted as counsel for most types of professionals, including doctors, dentists, psychologists, occupational therapist, physiotherapists, engineers and nurses.
We advocate for our clients in hearings before the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, Provincial Health Authorities, the Medical Services Commission, the College of Dental Surgeons, hospital administration boards, and other regulatory bodies.
We are deeply committed to the medical and health professions. Our lawyers participate in medical/legal educational programs throughout the province and at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine. We were also instrumental in founding the Medical/Legal Society of BC and the Health Law subsection of the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association.
Members of our practice group are committed to remaining at the leading edge of developments in the field of health law.
- Claims resulting from medical treatment and care.
- Allegations of breach of fiduciary duty between doctor and patient.
- Advice regarding legislative and regulatory changes that may affect medical practice, such as the Health Professions Act and the Health Care Costs Recovery Act.
- Advice in response to threats from patients.
- Advice regarding the release of medical records in family law cases.
- Preparation when a physician is a defendant or witness in a criminal matter.
- Coroners' Inquests or other types of inquiries.
- Proceedings before professional administration bodies such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia and hospital administration boards.
- Proceedings by the Medical Services Commission.
- A decision by the Supreme Court of Canada which determined the circumstances in which compliance with standard medical practice will defeat a claim of negligence.
- A trial and appeal in an obstetrical negligence case which considered the correct test to apply in determining the liability of a defendant physician, involving principles related to non-pecuniary loss and the upper limits of recovery.
- A Supreme Court of Canada matter which held that defendants are entitled to the benefits of services provided through the social safety net with an appropriate allowance for the contingency of such programs changing or ending.
- A Supreme Court of Canada matter which considered the limits of doctor-patient confidentiality in circumstances of danger to the public.
- A trial and appeal which considered the standard of review applicable to professional disciplinary bodies in a case involving a physician charged with infamous conduct following a sexual relationship with a patient.
- A Supreme Court of Canada case which considered the application of the modified objective test to causation in the context of informed consent claims.
- A trial and appeal dealing with a medical malpractice claim involving performance of an additional procedure not contemplated in advance of surgery.
- A Supreme Court of Canada matter in a breast implant product liability action which considered a manufacturer’s duty to warn consumers and the application of the “learned intermediary” doctrine.
- Determining for the first time in British Columbia whether a fetus can bring a negligence action against a physician and whether it can bring a claim for failure to obtain informed consent.
25 Lawyers Recognized as Leaders in their field by Benchmark Canada® 2022
Harper Grey recognized as a “Top-Listed” firm in Vancouver and in British Columbia in the area of Health Care Law by Best Lawyers® In Canada, 2014-2022
Harper Grey recognized as "Most Frequently Recommended" in the area of Medical Negligence by Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory®, 2017-2023
Harper Grey recognized as a "Leading Firm" nationally in the area of Healthcare by Chambers Canada®, 2017-2023
Harper Grey recognized as a “Top-Listed” firm in Vancouver and in British Columbia in the area of Medical Negligence by Best Lawyers® In Canada, 2014-2022
Harper Grey lawyers receive 58 rankings from Best Lawyers® in Canada 2022
Harper Grey shortlisted as Healthcare Law Firm of the Year by Chambers Canada Awards, 2021
Harper Grey recognized as a “Top-Listed” firm in Vancouver and in British Columbia in the area of Legal Malpractice Law by Best Lawyers® In Canada, 2014-2018
Harper Grey receives the 2016 National Medical Defence / Health Law Firm of the Year award from Benchmark Canada®
Harper Grey recognized as a "Leading Firm" in the area of Medical Negligence (Consistently Recommended) by Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory®, 2016
William Clark selected as Vancouver Health Care "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® in Canada, 2017
Harper Grey receives highest firm ranking as a “Highly Recommended” local litigation law firm in British Columbia from Benchmark Canada® 2014-2021
Barbara Norell bestowed the honorary title of Queen’s Counsel or QC
24 Harper Grey lawyers recognized for litigation expertise by Benchmark Canada®, 2021
29 Harper Grey lawyers recognized across 15 specialty areas by Best Lawyers® in Canada, 2020
19 Harper Grey lawyers recognized as “Leading Practitioners” by Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory®, 2021
Kim Yee receives prestigious Lexpert® 2016 Rising Stars Award honoring Canada’s Leading Lawyers Under 40
Guy Brown, QC recognized in 2016 for his prolific volunteer contributions by The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia
Harper Grey receives the TAGLaw Membership Award of Distinction acknowledging 15 years of outstanding service
Harper Grey recognized as a "Leading Firm" regionally in the area of Dispute Resolution by Chambers Canada®, 2017-2020
Martindale Hubbell® recognizes 13 Harper Grey lawyers across 27 practice areas
Jennifer Woznesensky receives prestigious Lexpert® 2014 Rising Stars Award honoring Canada’s Leading Lawyers Under 40
Harper Grey recognized as a Top 10 Regional Firm in British Columbia, Alberta and the Territories by Canadian Lawyer Magazine, 2012 and 2014
Our clients shared their views with Chambers including “They have an excellent team of highly skills and knowledgeable professionals”, “The team have been doing this work for many years as a skilled group of advocates and they have deep knowledge of the practice area”, and “Harper Grey has outstanding practitioners who are very talented. They provide top service and are quick to respond.”
“acts as business counsel to a range of clients including medical device and technology companies.”
“Harper Grey is highly regarded for its work on behalf of physicians, surgeons and other health specialists in British Columbia … and also represent medical clients in litigation in the Yukon.” Chambers also noted that our “health law and professional regulation groups assist with both civil litigation and professional regulation issues and our lawyers are also heavily involved with regard to end of life issues”
“They were amazing to work with! They were incredibly competent and resolution based. They kept me centered in the midst of the storm and got me a great result in very short time frame.”
“Harper Grey has a 100-year-old profile in this market,” testifies one senior-level peer, adding, “but the talent there now is mostly all younger than me!”
"They are our go-to counsel in BC."
"The Harper Grey team is a well-oiled machine. All the lawyers I deal with are well-trained and hardworking. They communicate well and are always available for questions."
"Cameron Elder and Chris Rusnak are excellent lawyers and honorable people. We found them to be very personable and responsive to change."
“I have a very high regard for the Harper Grey group because they demonstrate that civility and effective counsel work go hand in hand."
“They fight hard for their clients and are widely renowned as the medical malpractice experts in Vancouver.”
“Incredibly strong skill set, knowledge of litigation and strategic, and keen ability to solve problems.”
“These lawyers are all subject matter experts, and leader in their field, whose knowledge and skill are matched by their excellent client service.”
“This team has provided outstanding legal service. They are prompt, responsive, and communicative. They are strong strategists and provide well researched, experienced legal advice. We work with many firms, and Harper Grey stands out. One member of the team remembers every interaction, memo, pleading and document. They understand a very complicated file and address it with ease and candor. We very much appreciate their strong advocacy.”
“The firm is top notch. They have many lawyers specialized in medical defense work who are highly skilled in their legal acumen and practice management, but who also recognize the importance of carrying out their work in a practical, results-oriented manner. They actively look for ways to more efficiently partner with their clients for effective management of the work, while at the same time not weakening their excellent service delivery, their responsiveness, or their effectiveness in the work.”
“The firm’s lawyers are principled and have deep integrity. Their work is thorough and of consistent high quality.”
“Excellent response time, good talent from junior and intermediate to senior levels and reasonable service costs.”
"The firm is a recognized force in healthcare in BC."
"They've got some real gems. Kimberly Jakeman, Guy Brown, James Lepp, Karen Douglas, Abigail Turner – I've seen all of these people on occasion and I've been very impressed. These cases are not easy to cope with – they involve a lot of factual evidence you wish you didn't have to hear – but from what I've witnessed the Harper Grey team has done a very commendable job of providing assured, steady counsel in cases where it would be easy for those with less backbone and less adequate acumen to falter."
“Harper Grey’s celebrated medical defense/health capacity is brimming with regionally and nationally recognized talent, such as Kimberly Jakeman and Abigail Turner.”
“Harper Grey is one of the best firms in Vancouver. They have excellent service, knowledge and their cost structure is excellent.”
“Every day it seems like I am dealing with someone at Harper Grey, and I always find them professional, courteous and effective.”
“A Vancouver staple, Harper Grey is perhaps the most BC-centric of the “highly recommended” firms, owing largely to the firm’s bench strength in several key areas.”
A lawyer who refers work to Harper Grey wrote it has ‘great service, a breadth of practice and I have never received a negative comment from referrals to the firm’.
They exceeded all my expectations. I am very satisfied with their work and very happy to recommend them.
The firm has real quality people, and they’ve put three people on the bench there in six years.
"Harper Grey lawyers are ‘dedicated to their clients and focused on finding and implementing practical solutions for them. The lawyers are prompt, intelligent and insightful, and provide a high level of customer service’."
Harper Grey is a trial lawyer’s firm, and they’ve got a big deep bench of well-trained litigators.
Harper Grey has a stellar pedigree as a litigation firm, and they’ve put a ton of people on the bench”, observes one peer.
News & Knowledge