Ben Flanagan (He/Him)
Ben is a barrister practicing insurance defence litigation. He has defended insurers and self-insured organizations his entire career. Ben is experienced trial and appellate counsel. He is called to the bar in Ontario (2013), Alberta (2017) and British Columbia (2020).
Ben has been appointed lead counsel in a vast array of subject areas including construction cases, privacy and freedom of information disputes, commercial host/occupier’s liability, professional negligence, fraud and complex bodily injury cases. He has particular expertise in the following areas:
Privacy and Cyber Liability
Ben is member of the firm’s Cyber and Privacy Liability Practice Group. He has represented clients in disputes involving privacy commissioners at the judicial review stage in Superior Court. Ben also acts as legal counsel and breach coach for insureds in the event of privacy breaches, and advises them on privacy and freedom of information issues. Ben also holds a certificate in cybersecurity from York University.
Ben is a member of the firm’s COVID-19 coverage group. He also provides coverage opinions on commercial, homeowners’, D&O and E&O policies. He has provided advice on a range of issues including material change in risk, misrepresentation, warranty breaches and exclusions, among others.
Ben acts for insurers on all manner of first-party property claims, including arson and fraud cases. He works with experts to investigate, assess and defend suspicious claims, and those which raise complex causation issues.
Ben has experience defending contractors and developers. He identifies and works with the appropriate experts to defend cases of all sizes and complexity levels, from large condominium and commercial buildings to single family homes.
Ben is experienced in defending both large and small environmental contamination claims brought against all manner of insureds, including private corporations, individuals and government entities. Ben understands the unique defences that should be raised in these cases and works with qualified experts to bring these claims to efficient resolution.
Ben has defended hundreds of occupier’s liability cases across Canada. He prepares every file as if it is going to trial, but his goal is to resolve each dispute early and economically.
Administrative Law Disputes (Judicial Review)
Ben has been appointed lead counsel in an array of administrative and regulatory disputes. When a government actor makes a decision or purports to exercise public authority, the decision may be challenged in Superior Court through judicial review. Ben has argued numerous applications for judicial review on matters ranging from freedom of information and privacy to gaming licensing.
Ben prefers to be on his feet and is passionate about effective courtroom advocacy. He has been an invited guest lecturer at his alma mater, the University of Alberta, and he frequently presents to industry on civil litigation topics. He has also served as a judge for law school moots.
Highlights from recent years include:
Cox v. Swartz Estate, 2022 BCSC 1494
Trial Judge’s decision on the plaintiff’s application to re-open his case, made on the day for closing arguments.
Northbridge Insurance Corporation v Trinidad Drilling Ltd., 2021 BCSC 836
Summary trial of an insurance coverage and priority dispute.
Anglin v Resler, 2020 ABCA 184
This appeal dealt with the Crown’s vicarious liability for its officers and agents.
De Vos v Alberta (Transportation), 2020 ABQB 234
Successful striking application on the basis that the defendant, Alberta Transportation, did not owe a duty of care. Furthermore, that plaintiff’s “complaints” did not rise to the level of compensable “personal injury” at law.
Edmonton Police Service v Alberta (Privacy Commissioner), 2020 ABQB 10
Privacy case dealing with Alberta’s FOIP Act, and solicitor-client privilege.
Trach v Alberta (Transportation Safety Board), 2020 ABQB 21
Operator’s licence suspension case.
Wang v Alberta (Justice), 2019 ABCA 507
Appointed appellate counsel after trial counsel failed to plead Limitations Act.
Alberta v Mohamed, 2018 ABQB 897
Property case that involved proceeds of crime.
Prystay v Alberta, 2018 ABQB 197
Defended a challenge to the placement of a provincial inmate in segregation for over one year.
Elmi v State Farm, 2016 ONFSCDRS 95
Motor vehicle claim that considered the meaning of the word “accident” for Ontario auto claims.
Qasimi v State Farm,  O.F.S.C.D. No. 303
Arbitration decision on a first-party benefits claim under the Ontario auto policy.
Dervisholli v Cervenak, 2015 ONSC 2286.
Case on the obligation of insurers to maintain “firewalls” between first- and third-party claims.