Matthew G. Swanson

Matthew G. Swanson (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Matthew G. Swanson

Attorney in Vancouver, BC
Matthew Swanson is a litigation partner in our Vancouver office. Matthew's practice covers all aspects of corporate, commercial and civil litigation, including contract litigation, real estate litigation, construction litigation and franchise litigation. He also practices in the areas of creditors' remedies and banking litigation.

Matthew has appeared as lead counsel in trials, summary trials, commercial arbitrations and mediations. He has acted for some of British Columbia's and Canada's leading companies, including real estate developers, real estate brokerages, landlords, franchisors and financial institutions, as well as companies involved in all levels of the construction industry.

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


General Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Issues

•Co-Author, Legal Matters: Deadline for claims approaching, Journal of Commerce, May 2015.
•Co-Author, Legal Matters: Good faith and duty of honest performance, Journal of Commerce, May 2015.
•Co-Author, Entire agreement clauses: You get what you bargain for, On-Site Magazine, December 2014.
• Quoted in Hybrid of mediation and arbitration can help with disputes, Journal of Commerce article by Peter Caulfield, November 2014.
•Co-Author, Is the sky the limit? A look at limitation of liability clauses, On-Site Magazine, October 2014.
•Author, Understanding Arbitration Agreements, On-Site Magazine, September 2014.
•Speaker, Contract Clauses: They Don't Always Mean What You Think They Mean, BLG U, May 2014.
•Co-Author, Discretionary Clauses: Unfettered Discretion, Reasonableness and Good Faith, On-Site Magazine, February 2014.
•Speaker, Boilerplate in Contracts, BLG U, April 2013.
•Author, Pick your Battles: Is ADR Right for You?, On-Site Magazine, March 2013.
•Quoted in Time Limit Change to Civil Suits Adds Certainty for Industry, Journal of Commerce article by Peter Caulfield, November 2012.
•Author, A New Limitation Act for British Columbia, Journal of Commerce, August 2012.
•Co-Author, Taking a Closer Look at Standard Form Contracts, Journal of Commerce, June 2012.

Real Estate Litigation

•Co-Author, British Columbia Real Estate Development Practice Manual, CLE of BC, February 2015.
•Speaker, Revisiting Specific Performance After Southcott, BLG U, November 2014.
•Co-Author, Know When To Hold 'Em, Know When To Fold 'Em: The Choice Between Alternative Remedies in a Collapsing Deal,, March 2014.
•Co-Author, A Deal's a Deal, Until it Collapses, BC Business, July 2013.
•Contributed to Real Estate Development Marketing, chapter, Real Estate Development Practice Manual, CLE BC, 2013.
•Speaker, Real Estate Development Marketing Act: Where Are We Now?, BLG Real Estate Client Seminar, 2012.
•Speaker, The Collapsing Real Estate Deal, BLG Real Estate Seminar, 2011.
•Co-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.
•Contributed to Renewal Clauses in Commercial Leases: No Formula for Renewal Rent, No Problem, ICSC Shopping Center Legal Update, 2009.
•Author, Development Projects in Tough Times - Pre-Sale Contracts, BLG Construction Seminar, 2009.
•Contributed to Are Continuous Operation Clauses in Leases Enforceable?, ICSC Shopping Center Legal Update 2008.
•Contributed to Have Canadian Courts Adopted the Theory of Efficient Breach in the Context of Lease Law?, ICSC Shopping Center Legal Update 2007.

Construction Litigation

•Co-Author, Builders' lien claims can become an abuse of process, Journal of Commerce, March 2015.
•Quoted in What will be the biggest challenge for the industry in 2015?, Journal of Commerce article.
•Quoted in What can the construction industry learn from 2014?, Journal of Commerce article.
•Quoted in Limitation of liability clauses in contracts must be carefully drafted, Journal of Commerce, article by Peter Caulfield, November 2014.
•Co-Author, Beware of What You Warrant, On-Site Magazine, April 2014.
•Quoted in New Design-Build Contracts Released, Journal of Commerce article by Jessica Krippendorf, December 2013.
•Co-Author, To Terminate, or Not to Terminate? On-Site Magazine, December 2013.
•Co-Author, The Difference Between Pay-When-Paid and Pay-If-Paid, Journal of Commerce, November 2013.
•Co-Author, Change Order Matters, On-Site Magazine, October 2013.
•Co-Author, Extensions of Time Matter: A Primer on Time Being at Large and Acceleration, On-Site Magazine, June 2013.
•Speaker, What You Need to Know About Claims of Builders' Lien, BLG Client Seminar, April 2013.
•Co-Author, Tender with Care, On-Site Magazine, February 2013.
•Co-Author, It's Worth Noticing Notice Provisions, Journal of Commerce, November 2012.
•Co-Author, Preparing for Delays, On-Site Magazine, October 2012.
•Co-Author, Builders' Lien Update: An Extraordinary Remedy Requires Expeditious Enforcement, VRCA Newsletter, June 2012.

Franchise Litigation

•Speaker, The Most Important Franchise Decisions in 2012/2013, BLG Client Seminar, May 2013.
•Speaker, An Introduction to the Competition Act for Franchisors, BLG Client Seminar, May 2013.
•Speaker, The Most Important Franchise Decisions in 2011/2012, BLG Client Seminar, May 2012.
•Speaker, The Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, BLG Franchise Law Client Seminar, May 2011.

Creditors' Remedies

•Co-Author, Getting Paid, On-Site Magazine, December 2012.
•Guest Lecturer, Creditors' Remedies, UBC Faculty of Law, 2011.

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Client Rating N/A
Peer Rating N/A

Areas of Law

Areas of Law
  • Litigation and Arbitration
  • Corporate Commercial Litigation and Arbitration
  • Domestic Commercial Arbitration
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Franchise Licensing and Distribution
  • Construction and Engineering
  • Construction and Engineering Dispute Resolution
  • Banking Litigation and Arbitration

Experience & Credentials

Firm Details
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
Associations & Memberships

Professional Involvement

•Member, Law Society of British Columbia
•Member, Canadian Bar Association, Civil Litigation, Real Estate and Construction Sections

Community Involvement

•Member, Greater Vancouver Home Builders' Association
•Member, Vancouver Regional Construction Association
•Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Commerce
•Member, Canadian Franchise Association
•Member, BLG's Young Professionals Committee
•(Past) Member, BLG's United Way Campaign
•(Past) Mentor, Canadian Bar Association

Representative Cases
Representative Work: General Corporate, Commercial and Civil Litigation: Act for companies and individuals with respect to the enforcement and termination of contracts including asset and share purchase agreements, partnership agreements, contracts of purchase and sale, leases, construction contracts, franchise and distribution agreements, loan agreements, bank and credit union account operating agreements, indemnity agreements and trust agreements.; Act for companies and individuals to advance and defend claims for fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, interference with contractual and economic relations and negligence.; Real Estate Litigation: Act for vendors and purchasers of commercial and residential real estate in collapsing and collapsed deals.; Advance and defend claims for specific performance and injunctions.; Act for developers in defence of claims under the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (REDMA).; Act for co-owners in partition and sale proceedings.; Act for owners in respect of disputes relating to easements, restrictive covenants and other charges.; Act for commercial landlords and tenants in lease disputes, including the termination and enforcement of leases as well as rent reviews to determine market rent for renewal terms.; Construction Litigation: Act for owners and contractors on contractual disputes involving issues of default, termination and set-off.; Act for owners, contractors and construction managers in pursuing and defending construction defect and deficiency claims.; Act for owners and contractors in construction delay and productivity claims.; Regularly clear, defend and enforce Claims of Builders' Lien.; Franchise and Distribution Litigation: Act for franchisors, franchisees and master franchisees with respect to the enforcement and termination of franchise agreements.; Act for franchisors and distributors to recover monies due under franchise and distribution agreements.; Banking Litigation: Act for financial institutions in disputes relating to account operating agreements, breach of fiduciary duty and the Bills of Exchange Act claims.; Creditors Remedies: Act for companies and individuals to collect overdue accounts and to enforce promissory notes, credit agreements and indemnity agreements.; Enforce domestic judgments and foreign judgments.; Regularly provide advice to garnishees with respect to their obligations under garnishing orders.; Prosecute claims for fraudulent preferences and conveyances.; Recent Cases: Lead counsel for a Canadian communications company in an arbitration to set licence fees (2014).; Lead counsel for a tenant in defence of an application under the Commercial Tenancy Act for eviction (2014).; Lead counsel for a construction company in a case to recover amounts owing under contract and the defence of a counterclaim for delay (2014).; Lead counsel for a developer in a case regarding the validity and enforceability of a restrictive covenant (2013).; Lead counsel for a developer in a case regarding the validity of claims for an interest in land and the validity of a certificate of pending litigation (2013).; Lead counsel for a lender in respect of amounts owing to it, obtaining an order approving the sale of commercial property to satisfy the debt (2013).; Co-counsel for a master franchisee in relation to claims for rescission and damages (2013).; Lead counsel for an accounting professional in a commercial arbitration in respect of the termination of a partnership (2012).; Lead counsel for a real estate brokerage in an ongoing partnership dispute relating to the purchase and sale of real estate (2012).; Co-counsel for a developer in defence of an application to dismiss a claim for an alleged breach of contract and for alleged breaches of the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (REDMA), obtaining an order allowing the case to proceed to trial so that credibility issued could be tested (2012).; Lead counsel for a deposit bond provider in a case relating to breaches of an indemnity agreement, obtaining full indemnity for the plaintiff's losses, including legal costs (2012).; Lead counsel for a financial institution in respect of a claim for the distribution of funds, where ownership was disputed (2011).; Lead counsel for an international environmental solutions provider in a commercial arbitration regarding a contractual dispute with its subcontractor (2011).; Lead counsel for a corporate vendor in defence of a case concerning the alleged breach of a contract of purchase and sale of land, obtaining dismissal of the plaintiff's claim at summary trial (2011).; Lead counsel for a commercial tenant in a lease dispute, obtaining an interlocutory injunction restraining the landlord from breaching the lease (2010).; Lead counsel for a commercial landlord in an arbitration to set renewal rent (2010).; Lead counsel for a construction company in a case concerning an alleged loss of profit arising from an alleged repudiation of a contract (2010).; Lead counsel for a plaintiff financial institution in a case for damages for breach of an account operating agreement and the defence of a counterclaim in respect of allegations of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, all in relation to the negotiation of counterfeit cheques (2010).

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Contact Information

Contact Information
Firm Address
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
1200 Waterfront Centre, 200 Burrard Street, P.O. Box 48600,
Vancouver, BC V7X 1T2
604.632.3474 Call now
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Office Information
Office Information
Matthew G. Swanson
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
1200 Waterfront Centre, 200 Burrard Street, P.O. Box 48600,
Vancouver, BC V7X 1T2

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (Vancouver, British Columbia)