Mike’s practice consists of complex cases. From class actions, to shareholder litigation, to commercial arbitrations, Mike has spent over 20 years helping his clients arrive at solutions to high value and high stakes cases. Mike’s cases have involved substantive law issues in contract, negligence, shareholder, partnership, intellectual property, technology, confidentiality, trade secrets, mining, real property, fraud, estates, and local government matters.
Mike acts for national media on court applications involving the freedom of the press to report on major cases. Mike has also represented private individuals and businesses who find themselves drawn into public legal proceedings, and who need an advocate capable of protecting their private and commercially sensitive information.
Awards & Recognition:
Mike is the 2021 winner of Benchmark Canada’s “Emerging Talent Litigator of the Year” Award. Benchmark described Mike’s practice portfolio as follows:
“…an extraordinarily diverse portfolio of practices ranging from estate litigation to arbitration to a class action practice that straddles both defense and plaintiff positions.”
In 2022, Benchmark described Mike as follows:
“Michael Wagner has risen to become noted as “the entrepreneurial litigation magnet of that firm,” by a peer, who goes on to marvel, “I think he’ll be doing this for the next 25 years, he’s just at that sweet spot. The amount of work that comes in for him is just staggering, and it’s all really interesting work! All of his cases seem to have a story behind them.””
Other professional and peer rankings:
2017-2023: Best Lawyers in Canada, Corporate Commercial Litigation and Privacy and Data Security Law.
(2023, 2022 and prior) Benchmark Canada Litigation Star.
2021: Benchmark Canada’s “Emerging Talent Litigator of the Year”.
2018: admitted to Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only fellowship of highly experienced trial lawyers and attorneys with members throughout North America.
2013: named by Lexpert as a “Cross-Border Litigation Lawyer to Watch”
2012: named one of Canada’s 40 Leading Lawyers under 40.
- The Best Lawyers in Canada (2024)
- Benchmark Canada Litigation Star (2023)
- 2021 national winner – Benchmark Canada “Emerging Talent Litigator of the Year”
- Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (member since 2018)
- Lexpert ‘Litigation Lawyer to Watch’ (2015)
- Lexpert Leading Lawyer Under 40 (2012)
- Lexpert Rising Stars Winner (2012)
- Flair Airlines Ltd. – acting for the airline, defending a shareholder oppression claim.
- Class Proceedings – numerous mandates, some defence side and some plaintiff side.
- Acting for the National Post, CBC, and Global TV on open court matters.
- Acting for Solus Trust Company Limited and their co-administrator in the administration of a complex intestacy, including related litigation.
- Acting for a 50% shareholder of a $70 million multigenerational family business. Obtained a liquidation order covering the business and its real estate holdings. Successfully defended a $30 million damages claim by a family member, which was ultimately dismissed at trial. The subsequent appeal was likewise dismissed.
- Litigation, arbitration and mediation – acting for numerous businesses and government entities in the resolution of complex contract and tort claims, valued in the seven-figure to nine-figure range.
- Shareholder Disputes – litigation and arbitration of disputes among shareholders, directors and management involving substantial publicly and privately held corporations.
- Complex eight-figure estate proceeding – lead counsel for two Estate Administrators, in an intestacy involving nine lawsuits and ongoing claims by multiple would-be beneficiaries.
- Mareva Injunctions and Anton Piller Orders.
- Norwich Order applications involving domestic and foreign entities.
- Advising companies on key employee (mass departure) and related fiduciary / non-competition and non-solicitation obligations.
- Member, Law Society of British Columbia
- Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (2018 to present), an invitation-only fellowship of experienced trial lawyers in Canada and the United States.
- Member, Canadian Media Lawyers Association – the CMLA is dedicated to the protection and enhancement of free expression in Canada and abroad. It intervenes in important Supreme Court of Canada cases, and it promotes improved laws and policies for free expression and openness of courts.
- Member, Advocates Club (2008 – 2012) – this group meets monthly with invited guest judges. Members present papers on topics of interest to the legal profession.
- Contributor to The Advocate, with highly regarded articles on internet privacy (particularly as it pertains to children) and defamation.
- Inns of Court program, guest instructor (2018-present), re: “Lawyers Talking: Dealing with the Media; Contempt of Court; Freedom of Expression; Defamation; Marketing; Corresponding with the Court”.
- Guest lecturer, Langara College journalism school, re: the open court principle.
- Presenter at numerous conferences including on Class Actions, Injunctions, and Cyber Security.