Marko Vesely is an experienced commercial litigator who represents clients in contentious proceedings involving pensions, insurance and securities law, among others. His dispute resolution practice also includes class actions and arbitration.

- Chambers Canada, 2021 Guide

Marko practices civil and commercial litigation with a focus on class actions, defamation, cross-border disputes, shareholder disputes, pension litigation, and commercial arbitrations. He has appeared as lead counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, and at all levels of court in British Columbia and Alberta. He has also served as an arbitrator.            

Marko is a regular commentator on legal affairs on CBC television, CBC radio, CKNW radio, News 1130, the Vancouver Sun, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, BC Business magazine, Lexpert magazine, and Canadian Corporate Counsel magazine.

Marko is also a regular contributor to Lawson Lundell’s Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Blog, a resource that examines current trends and interesting issues emerging in the legal and business communities. 

Professional Activities

  • Guest lecturer at the UBC Faculty of Law (trial advocacy, media law), University of Victoria Faculty of Law (class actions), and the UBC Graduate School of Journalism (media law)
  • Canadian Bar Association, Member
  • Vancouver Bar Association, Member
  • The Advocates' Society, Member

Recognitions & Rankings

Recognitions & Rankings

  • Benchmark Canada: The Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, 2018-2024: recognised as a Litigation Star
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: recommended as a leading practitioner for Litigation - Corporate Commercial (2024) and Litigation - Defamation & Media (2023-2024)
  • Chambers Canada 2024: ranked for Litigation: General Commercial - British Columbia (Band 4) 
  • Best Lawyers in Canada 2014-2024: recognised for Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Defamation and Media Law, and Director and Officer Liability Practice 
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2021: recommended as a leading practitioner for Litigation - Corporate Commercial
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
  • Chambers Global 2015: recognised for Dispute Resolution (British Columbia)
  • Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada (2011): recognised as a “Litigation Lawyer to Watch"
  • Lexpert Rising Star Award (2010): recognised as one of Canada’s Leading Lawyers under 40
  • Legal 500 Canada:
    • recommended for the Dispute Resolution category (2017, 2018)
    • recommended for the editorial for Dispute Resolution and Technology, Media and Telecoms (2016)
  • Martindale-Hubbell International Law Directory: AV Peer Review rated 4.4 out of 5



Representative matters include the following:

  • Represented a pharmaceutical distributor in an intended national class action commenced by the Province of B.C. to recover the costs of the opioid epidemic, resulting in a discontinuance of all claims without payment
  • Successfully challenged the jurisdiction of the BC courts to hear claims against parties based in Korea and had other defences struck as disclosing no cause of action (Bang v. Kim, 2022 BCSC 1893)
  • Obtained summary dismissal of a defamation claim against Canada’s national broadcaster (Indigenous Tourism Assn. of Canada v. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 2022 BCSC 2030)
  • Successfully defended the University of Victoria in an intended class action alleging frustration of contract due to the Covid-19 pandemic; the action was dismissed on its merits by summary judgment (Elsser v. University of Victoria, 2022 BCSC 580)
  • Successfully challenged the jurisdiction of the BC courts to hear an action in defamation and abuse of process against individuals and companies resident in the United States (Genex Strategies Inc. v. Keefer, 2021 BCSC 2223)
  • Appeared on behalf of defendants in the Alberta Court of Appeal in upholding a claim of settlement privilege over key documents, leading to the subsequent discontinuance of the action (Phoa v Ley, 2020 ABCA 195)
  • Obtained an order on judicial review to set aside a decision of the Office of the Information Privacy Commissioner that would have permitted the release of sensitive financial information of numerous pension plans (2018 BCSC 1080)
  • Successfully defended the Canada Energy Regulator (formerly National Energy Board) at the Alberta Court of Appeal in a case alleging the NEB's disclosure to the public of seismic data collected in Canada's north and offshore was a violation of the Copyright Act (Geophysical Service Incorporated v EnCana Corporation, 2017 ABCA 125)
  • Represented BC Hydro in successfully opposing an application for leave to appeal certain aspects of the BC Utilities Commission’s decision setting rates for the utility’s customers. (BCOAPO v. BC Utilities Commission, 2017 BCCA 400)
  • Obtained dismissal of a far-ranging conspiracy claim arising from a real estate transaction (Nederland Holdings Inc. v. British Columbia, 2017 BCSC 2138, affirmed 2018 BCCA 373)
  • Served as the sole arbitrator in an arbitration under a First Nation Custom Election Bylaw involving a petition to remove a Chief and Counsellor (Arbitration Decision)
  • Represented BC Hydro in the successful defence of a proposed class action concerning the alleged impacts of exposure to emissions generated from smart meters on BC Hydro’s 1.9 million residential and commercial customers (Davis v. British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, 2016 BCSC 1287)
  • Represented a national newspaper in successfully opposing a subpoena seeking to reveal information given to one of its reporters (Pakenham v. Maley, 2016 BCSC 1744)
  • Represented a forest company in the successful settlement of a class action concerning reductions to post-retirement health benefits (Dyer v. Weyerhaeuser Co. Ltd., BCSC, Sept 12, 2014)
  • Successfully defended a $53-million defamation action involving an international mining project (Monument Mining Ltd. v. Balendran Chong & Bodi, 2012 BCSC 1769)
  • Represented the BC Civil Liberties Assn. before the Supreme Court of Canada in opposing a publication ban over allegedly defamatory speech (A.B. v. Bragg Communications Inc., 2012 SCC 46)
  • Represented dissident shareholders in successfully setting aside the results of a proxy contest at a corporate Annual General Meeting (International Energy and Minerals Resources v. Mosquito Consolidated Gold Mines Limited, 2012 BCSC 1191)
  • Represented a website owner in the first case in Canada and the Commonwealth to enforce passive (or “browse wrap”) online terms of use and related copyright claims (Century 21 Canada LP v. Rogers Communications Inc., 2011 BCSC 1196)
  • Represented the Government of Canada in tobacco class action and health care cost recovery actions (B.C. v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., 2009 BCCA 540; Knight v. Imperial Tobacco Ltd., 2007 BCSC 964)
  • Successfully defended an international publishing company and its author in a copyright infringement action (Thumbnail Creative Group Inc. v. Blu Concept, 2009 BCSC 1833)
  • Enforced letters of request from a foreign court to obtain evidence in BC (Maverick LNG Holdings Ltd. v. Teekay Shipping (Canada) Ltd., 2009 BCSC 1538)
  • Successfully defended a civil fraud and conspiracy action concerning the transfer of commercial real estate (Clock Holdings Ltd. v. Braich, 2008 BCSC 1697, appeal dismissed 2009 BCCA 269, 2009 BCCA 437)
  • Successfully defended a major telecommunications company in an action concerning the administration of its pension plan (Patrick v. Telus Communications Inc. 2008 BCCA 246, 2007 BCCA 200, and 2006 BCSC 854)
  • Defended various financial services companies and their licensed financial advisors in civil actions and in prosecutions before the B.C. Securities Commission
  • Successfully represented the purchaser of a private post secondary school in a commercial arbitration to resolve disputes arising from the purchase
  • Represented a major BC utility in striking out a class action brought against it (Strata Plan LMS 1816 v. BC Hydro, 2002 BCSC 485)

News & Publications

News & Publications

Blog Posts

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagements

  • "Injunctions in Defamation Law", Toronto, January 18, 2016
  • "Affirmative Defenses to a Defamation Action", November 21, 2014
  • Online Defamation: Practical Tips on Managing the File and Advising Your Client”, Professional Development Webinar, Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch, April 3, 2014, Speaker
  • Federated Press: 10th Pension Law & Litigation Course, March 2014, Course Leader and Speaker
  • "Fiduciary Duties", 8th Pension Law & Litigation Course, Federated Press, Vancouver, BC, March 5-6, 2013, Conference Chair and Speaker
  • "Communication Risk Management: Managing Social Media Risks", Inaugural Mini LLB-MBA for Communications, Federated Press, October 11-12, 2012, Co-lecturer
  • “Social Media and the Law”, The Canadian Public Relations Society, May 26, 2011, Presenter
  • “Social Media and Online Defamation: Keeping out of Court”, Northern Voice Conference, May 13, 2011, Panelist
  • "Liability and the Trustee", 5th Pension Law & Litigation Course: Protecting the organization in an era of increased pension liabilities, shortfalls and litigation, March 17-18, 2010, Co-lecturer
  • “The Implied Undertaking Rule”, Advocates Club in Vancouver, December 5, 2007, Paper
  • “Legal Research”, Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C. Conference, 2004, Co-Chair
Marko Vesely, KC, Lawson Lundell Photo
t 604.631.9260
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Assistant Contact

Bar Admissions

  • British Columbia (2000)
  • Saskatchewan (2005)
  • Alberta (2015)


Simon Fraser University (B.A. (Hon.), 1994)

University of Toronto (LL.B., 1998)

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