Rhys Davies, Q.C.
Rhys Davies, Q.C. is a member of the Litigation Practice Group. He has been a litigator since 1983, when he was called to the Bar. His experience includes disputes over pension plans, wills and estates, trusts, and commercial disputes in several areas, including forestry, real estate, banking and contracts ranging from overhauling helicopters to developing complex computer software.
He also deals with defamation and privacy issues. He has been involved in several class proceedings brought under the B.C. legislation. In addition to going to court, he is experienced in mediations and arbitrations.
Rhys has appeared at all levels of the courts in Canada, from the B.C. Supreme Court to the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also appeared in the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench and the Federal Court of Canada.
Recent cases include:
In the pension law area, matters he has acted in include representing a large benefits and actuarial consulting firm in a class proceeding by members of an underfunded pension plan and in another matter involving allegations of actuarial malpractice in the valuation of a public sector pension plan over a fifteen-year period.
The latter case involved several thousand documents and several novel issues in the law of professional negligence. The amount claimed was close to $40 million.
Other pension law matters he has worked on include advising plan sponsors as to their obligations under plan provisions, on pension issues arising in termination of employment, advising on conversions from defined benefit to defined contribution, acting in disputes over how plan provisions should be applied (for example, employer withdrawal from a multi-employer plan), surplus ownership issues, and claims against actuaries alleging mistakes in valuations.
He acted as counsel for a large Canadian public company that was the defendant in a class action brought by members of the company pension plan claiming rights to surplus in the pension fund on a conversion from defined benefit to defined contribution. The defence was completely successful and in March, 2010 the Plaintiffs agreed to a consent dismissal of the action and abandoned the claim. They did not proceed with their certification application.
In the estates and trusts area, Rhys was counsel for the successful appellant in the leading case under the Wills Variation Act, Tataryn v. Tataryn Estate,  2 S.C.R. 807. He has acted in cases over trusts, contested wills, and claims against estates by beneficiaries.
Most recently he acted for a trustee in an application to the court to vary the terms of a significant testamentary charitable trust so that it may qualify for registration as a charity, and to resolve other problems with the trust involving complicated property law issues. He is listed in Lexpert® in this area.
In commercial law matters, Rhys is experienced in disputes involving logging contracts and other forestry matters, real estate cases, and financial cases. He was counsel in the Supreme Court of Canada for CIBC in Boma Manufacturing Ltd. v. CIBC  3 S.C.R. 727 (a case on cheques) and Pax Management Ltd. v. CIBC  2 S.C.R. 998 (a case involving guarantees).
More recently, it was his argument that persuaded the B.C. Court of Appeal that arbitrators in B.C. do have the power to award equitable remedies, overturning earlier decisions to the effect that they lacked that jurisdiction - see Hayes Forest Services Limited v. Teal Cedar Products Ltd. 2008 BCCA 283, paragraphs 78-86, where the Court of Appeal adopted submissions made by Rhys, who represented Fraser Valley Road Builders Ltd. in the appeal.
Rhys advises a respected B.C. business publication with respect to defamation and privacy matters. He has acted for both plaintiffs and defendants in defamation cases. He acted for the successful plaintiff in Mitchell v. Nanaimo District Teachers' Association, a case involving defamation by cartoon.
Rhys has the highest peer review rating, "AV", from the Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory.
He graduated from UBC law school in 1982 as the Gold Medallist.
He was appointed Queen's Counsel in British Columbia in January 1998.
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Rhys Davies, Q.C.
Areas of Practice
Called to the Bar