Dale Sanderson, Q.C.



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 Dale Sanderson, Q.C.

Dale Sanderson is a senior litigation partner at Davis. He is experienced in commercial litigation and arbitration with emphasis on contract, corporate and shareholder disputes, professional negligence, products liability, land transactions, trusts and breach of trust, breach of confidentiality, trade secrets, defamation, injunctive relief and construction.

Dale has appeared as counsel before all levels of provincial and federal courts including the Federal Trial and Appellate Courts, the British Columbia Provincial, Supreme and Appellate Courts and the Supreme Court of Canada.

He has appeared as counsel before a wide variety of arbitration boards and administrative tribunals including the B.C. Labour Relations Board, B.C. Energy Commission, Workers' Compensation Board, Medical Appeal Board, B.C. Motor Carrier Commission, B.C. Coroners' Inquests, B.C. Securities Commission and the National Energy Board.

He has been counsel or judge in approximately 350 cases where written reasons, both reported and unreported have been issued which can be referenced here (see written decisions).

He has considerable experience in the following areas:

Judicial Experience

Dale accepted an appointment to the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands on March 20, 2000, where he has sat as a judge for three years. He elected not to renew his contract and decided to return to private practice in Vancouver but returned to the Cayman Islands at the request of the Chief Justice to sit as an acting judge for several months each year from 2003 until 2008.

While sitting on the Court, he heard cases in a wide variety of areas. The majority of his work was in the commercial field, including liquidations and receiverships, trusts, corporate reorganizations and disputes, contractual disputes, judicial review and administrative or public law matters. He sat in many significant family law cases as well as criminal law cases including murder and attempted murder and complex commercial fraud cases. In addition, he heard many cases involving freezing of assets under the Proceeds of Crime Law, Misuse of Drugs Law, the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and money laundering legislation.

In 2008 Dale, along with 12 other senior litigators in BC, was appointed to sit in the Provincial Court of British Columbia as part of a pilot project in Vancouver and Richmond. He sits one day per month.

General Commercial Litigation

In the 24 years prior to his appointment to the bench, Dale's general practice was in commercial litigation. He has tried cases in a variety of areas such as breach of contract, shareholders disputes, leasing and sale of land, municipal by-laws, breach of trust, breach of confidentiality, trade secrets, liquidations and receiverships both national and cross-border, wrongful dismissal, numerous injunctions, including Mareva injunctions and Anton Pillar orders, commercial lending transactions, enforcement of foreign judgements, proceedings under the Judicial Review Procedure Act, bankruptcy matters, fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation, expropriation, asset and share purchase agreements, non-competition agreements and personal injury. He also has experience in criminal law having done many provincial court trials as well as acting as counsel in commercial fraud, Competition Act, criminal negligence causing death and murder cases.

Products Liability

Dale has acted in over a dozen significant products liability cases. For example, he has been counsel for a major heavy equipment manufacturer in several fatality cases involving alleged mechanical failures of graders and unstable design of all-terrain vehicles; Mitsubishi Canada in several complex equipment design cases dealing with large industrial and hydro-electric equipment failures; Skeena Cellulose, Crown Equipment Canada and others in cases involving design and operation of major industrial equipment.

Professional Negligence

Over the past many years, Dale has been counsel in a number of significant cases involving professional negligence. He has been plaintiffs counsel in several medical malpractice cases involving misdiagnoses and improper or incorrectly performed surgical procedures. He has also acted both as plaintiff and defence counsel in negligence cases involving accountants, lawyers, pharmaceutical companies and professional engineers. He has acted for the Law Society in unauthorized practice cases and as counsel to the Society in a complaint to the Disciplinary Committee.

Family Law

Dale has acted as counsel in many family law matters. Most recently he acted on behalf of a client seeking to set aside a marriage agreement which provided for a fairly small settlement in the event of divorce. The trial judge concluded the agreement was unfair, that our client had made a contribution to the business and therefore the court made a substantial award for the division of family assets and spousal support. See W.H. v. I.R., 2012 BCSC 1483.

He has also appeared as counsel in a significant case where the court granted our client a worldwide mareva injunction freezing assets alleged to exceed $20 million in value.

He also acted as counsel in a recent leading case in British Columbia dealing with when a BC resident may be permitted to sue, in the Provincial Court of British Columbia, a former spouse or partner who is living in a foreign jurisdiction for spousal or child support. See Kendregan v. Kendregan, 2009 BCSC 23.


Dale has considerable experience in liable and slander cases, both as counsel and advisor. He has recently acted as counsel in several important cases including: DDI Diamonds Direct Inc. v. Raney (2006), 58 B.C.L.R. (4th) 78 (B.C.S.C.), British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Stone et al, Creative Salmon Company Ltd. v. Staniford, 2007 BCSC 62 and Creative Salmon Company Ltd. v. Staniford, 2009 BCCA 61.

Construction / Engineering

He has been counsel in over 30 construction cases acting for both owners and contractors for such clients as Fletcher Challenge, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Vancouver General Hospital, B.C. Hydro, ITT Canada, Skeena Cellulose, PCL Construction, Peter Kiewit & Sons, B.C.I.T., Kumagai Construction and the Operating Engineers' Pension Plan as well as many others. The cases have involved lengthy and complex arbitrations and trials of up to five months duration. The issues have included delay claims, changes to work and design, engineers' negligence, defective construction, equipment and building failure including leakage, bidding disputes and builders' liens.


Dale has been counsel in several aviation accident cases. He has acted for both injured passengers and families of deceased passengers, as well as airlines and air charter companies in both fixed wing and helicopter cases. He succeeded in an action against an insurer for breach of policy in denying coverage. The various cases have involved issues of pilot error and mechanical failure, weather conditions and the requirements under the Aeronautic Act and Regulations. In addition, he has experience with accident reconstruction experts, metallurgical and engineering experts, pilot, medical, actuarial and cost of future care experts in aviation cases.  He is currently counsel to the Pilots Association of a major airline.

Administrative and Public Law

Dale has appeared as counsel before a number of administrative tribunals as well as trial and appellate courts in judicial review matters. He has been involved in many cases dealing with municipal or city planning, professional conduct, environmental disputes, appeals from commercial arbitral awards, and hearings and appeals from various government tribunals.

Regulatory Hearings

Dale has acted as counsel to the British Columbia Petroleum Corporation, Westcoast Transmission, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Resources in many significant cases before the National Energy Board, the B.C. Energy Commission, arbitration panels and the Federal Trial and Appellate Courts. The cases have involved lengthy hearings dealing with wholesale and retail prices for natural gas, taxation, determination of natural gas reserves, approval for capital expansions to pipeline systems and applications to set aside new construction approval.


  • Appointed as a non bencher to sit on disciplinary panels for the Law Society of BC, 2011
  • Appointed to sit as an adjudicator one day per month in Provincial Court of BC, 2008
  • Appointed Queens Counsel, 1999
  • Appointed as Arbitrator for the British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre, 2003
  • Lectured at the University of Liverpool Law School in 2000-2002 on trial advocacy and ethics
  • Guest Lecturer at the University of British Columbia Trial and Appellant Advocacy course, 1998, 2003, 2004
  • Co-Chairman of the Caribbean Convention on Human Rights, 2004
  • Mr. Sanderson has acted as counsel for the Law Society in proceedings before the Supreme Court
  • Former member of the Law Society Practice Standards Committee
  • He has acted as a member of the Law Society Conduct Review Sub-committee
  • He is a past member of the Canadian Construction Association and an Amalgamated Construction Association
  • He has lectured at several Continuing Legal Education courses including:
    • Drafting Better Pleadings
    • Expert Reports
    • Conducting Examinations for Discovery
    • Conduct of a Civil Trial
  • For 15 years Mr. Sanderson was active as a baseball coach on the North Shore with the Forest Hills Little League and subsequently West Vancouver Little League. He has coached teams from pee-wee to seniors including several all star teams and the District 5 junior champions
  • He has coached basketball for several years and was involved in establishing the junior Grizzlies basketball program in West Vancouver
  • He is a former director, vice president and chairman of the discipline committee of the Blackcomb Freestyle Ski Team (for competitive skiers, age 10-21)
  • He has done volunteer work for the North Shore Family Services, Christmas Bureau

Parcours académique

  • LL.B., University of British Columbia, 1975
  • B.Comm., University of British Columbia, 1974


  • English