Matthew G. Swanson

Attorney in Vancouver, BC

Executive Summary

Matthew Swanson is a commercial litigation associate in our Vancouver office. Matthew focuses his practice on commercial litigation, with an emphasis on real estate, construction and franchise litigation. He also practises in the areas of creditors' remedies and banking litigation.

Matthew has appeared as lead counsel in trials, summary trials, contested chambers applications and commercial arbitrations. In the area of real estate litigation, Matthew has assisted clients with collapsing or collapsed deals, the defence of Real Estate Development Marketing Act claims, vendor-purchaser litigation, title disputes, and partition and sale matters. He has also assisted clients with commercial leasing disputes, including rent arbitrations, evictions / lease terminations, and lease enforcement matters. In construction matters, Matthew regularly clears, defends and enforces claims of builders' liens, and he has also advanced and defended claims relating to deficiencies, delays, fundamental breach, and loss-of-profit claims. He has represented owner-developers, contractors and subtrades. In the area of franchise litigation, Matthew has assisted both franchisors and franchisees with the enforcement and termination of franchise agreements.

Matthew is a frequent author and speaker. He has published in the Journal of Commerce, On-Site: Canada's Construction Magazine, and The International Council of Shopping Centers' (ICSC) publications, and has also appeared as a guest lecturer at the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law.

Representative Work

· Defended an application to add a real estate brokerage as a defendant to an ongoing partnership dispute relating to the purchase and sale of real estate, 2012.

· Advanced a claim on behalf of a surety company for breach of an indemnity agreement, obtaining full indemnity for the surety's losses, including legal costs, 2012.

· Defended a financial institution in a claim for breach of contract arising out of an order for conduct of sale in foreclosure proceedings, 2011.

· Obtained an interlocutory injunction on behalf of a commercial tenant restraining its landlord from breaching the lease, 2010.

· Defended a renewal rent arbitration for a landlord, which resulted in a substantial increase to the yearly rent, 2010.

· Defended a general contractor in a trial involving a claim for loss of profit arising from an alleged repudiation of a subcontract, 2010.

· Advanced a claim for damages in favour of a financial institution and defended allegations of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, all in relation to the negotiation of a counterfeit cheque, 2010.

· Obtained an order allowing a pre-judgment garnishing order to be served ex juris, 2010.

· Advanced an application on behalf of a general contractor to dismiss a claim of buliders' lien by a subcontractor for want of prosecution, 2009.

Publications & Presentations

· Author, "A Deal's a Deal, Until it Collapses," BC Business, July 2013 (with Rob Davis).

· Contributed to "Real Estate Development Marketing," chapter, Real Estate Development Practice Manual, CLE BC, 2013.

· Author, "Extensions of Time Matter: A Primer on Time Being at Large and Acceleration," On-Site, Canada's Construction Magazine, June 2013 (with Grant Mayovsky).

· Speaker, "An Introduction to the Competition Act," BLG Client Seminar, May 2013.

· Speaker, "The Most Important Franchise Decisions in 2012/2013," BLG Client Seminar, May 2013.

· Speaker, "What You Need to Know About Claims of Builders' Lien," BLG Client Seminar, April 2013.

· Author, "Pick your Battles: Is ADR Right for You?," On-Site, Canada's Construction Magazine, March 2013 (with David Claassen).

· Author, "Tender with Care," On-Site, Canada's Construction Magazine, February 2013 (with Bill Woodhead).

· Author, "Getting Paid," On-Site, Canada's Construction Magazine, December 2012 (with Blair Rebane).

· Author, "It's Worth Noticing Notice Provisions," Journal of Commerce, November 2012 (with Krista Johanson).

· Quoted in "Time Limit Change to Civil Suits Adds Certainty for Industry," Journal of Commerce article by Peter Caulfield, November 2012.

· Author, "Preparing for Delays," On-Site, Canada's Construction Magazine, October 2012 (with Krista Johanson).

· Author, "A New Limitation Act for British Columbia," Journal of Commerce, August 2012 (with Erin Tolfo).

· Author, "Builders' Lien Update: An Extraordinary Remedy Requires Expeditious Enforcement," VRCA Newsletter, June 2012 (with Krista Johanson).

· Author, "Taking a Closer Look at Standard Form Contracts," Journal of Commerce, June 2012 (with Christopher W. Eagles).

· Speaker, "The Most Important Franchise Decisions in 2011/2012," BLG Franchise Law Client Seminar, 2012.

· Speaker, "Real Estate Development Marketing Act: Where Are We Now?," BLG Real Estate Client Seminar, 2012 (with Gordon R. Johnson).

· Speaker, "The Collapsing Real Estate Deal," BLG Real Estate Seminar, 2011.

· Speaker, "The Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing," BLG Franchise Law Client Seminar, 2011.

· Guest Lecturer, "Creditors' Remedies," UBC Faculty of Law, 2011.

· Author, "Enforceable or Unenforceable? That is the Question: A Landlord's Right to Terminate After Receiving a Request to Assign," ICSC Shopping Center Legal Update, November 2010 (with Blair A. Rebane).

· Contributed to "Renewal Clauses in Commercial Leases: No Formula for Renewal Rent, No Problem," ICSC Shopping Center Legal Update, 2009 (with Blair A. Rebane).

· Author, "Development Projects in Tough Times - Pre-Sale Contracts," BLG Construction Seminar, 2009 (with David Miachika)

· Contributed to "Are Continuous Operation Clauses in Leases Enforceable?," ICSC Shopping Center Legal Update 2008 (with Blair A. Rebane).

· Author, "A Primer on Conversion Claims," BLG Corporate-Security Roundtable, 2008 (with Grant H. Mayovsky and Evan A. Cooke).

· Contributed to "Have Canadian Courts Adopted the Theory of Efficient Breach in the Context of Lease Law?," ICSC Shopping Center Legal Update 2007 (with Blair A. Rebane).

Professional Involvement

· Member, Law Society of British Columbia

· Member, Canadian Bar Association, Civil Litigation, Real Estate and Construction Sections

Community Involvement

· Mentor, Canadian Bar Association

· Member, Greater Vancouver Home Builders' Association

· Member, Vancouver Regional Construction Association, U40 Group

· Member, BLG's Young Professionals Committee

· (Past) Member, BLG's United Way Campaign

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Areas of Law

  • Litigation and Arbitration
  • Corporate Commercial Litigation and Arbitration
  • Construction and Engineering
  • Franchise Licensing and Distribution
  • Banking Litigation and Arbitration


Experience & Credentials



Admission Details

Admitted in 2008, British Columbia

Law School Attended

University of British Columbia
Class of 2007

University Attended

University of Regina
Class of 2003
Philosophy, with Distinction

Contact Information






Send email to Matthew G. Swanson

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (Vancouver, British Columbia)

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