Michael Libby, K.C. (He/Him)
Michael Libby is the former national managing partner of Dolden Wallace Folick LLP. Mike has extensive experience as a litigator, and represents insurers in the defence of liability claims, the prosecution of subrogated actions, and in addressing complex coverage issues. His practice focuses on the defence of liability claims against all manner of professionals, commercial hosts, and the construction industry, as well as the defence of large property loss claims, catastrophic injury, and employment law matters.
He has appeared before all levels of Court in British Columbia as well as the Alberta and Saskatchewan Courts of Queen’s Bench, and numerous administrative tribunals. Michael is a regular guest instructor for the litigation component of B.C.’s Professional Legal Training Course, is a past member of the executive committee of the Vancouver Bar Association, and also serves as Program Coordinator for the British Columbia Inns of Court Program (an educational program for young litigators).
Michael has been peer-reviewed and recognized by Lexpert as one of Canada’s Leading Practitioners in the area of commercial insurance litigation.
In 2023 Mike was appointed King’s Counsel – a designation which recognizes exceptional merit and contribution to the legal profession.
Mr. Libby’s representative work includes:
Defence of professionals including architects, engineers, contractors, building inspectors, dentists, physiotherapists, naturopaths, mortgage brokers, financial planners, trustees in bankruptcy, and operators of care facilities, with a particular interest in handling insurance brokers’ errors & omissions claims.
Liquor / Commercial Host Liability
Representing commercial hosts and other providers of alcohol in claims for claims arising in bars, pubs, nightclubs, restaurants, and special event settings. Michael also has significant experience in defending licensed security firms and personnel who are engaged to provide security services to commercial hosts or for special events.
He is also a regular contributor to the Serving it Right Program Manual, which is utilized by BC’s Responsible Beverage Service Program to train and certify all persons in British Columbia who will be involved in the sale or service of alcohol.
Acting for construction professionals including architects, engineers, contractors, subtrades, construction managers, as well as building inspectors and municipalities in claims involving allegations of substandard design, inspection, or construction of residential and commercial buildings.
Michael is the co-chair of our national coverage group and regularly advises insurers on complex coverage issues arising under all types of insurance policies including CGL, Directors and Officers, Errors and Omissions, Cyber Liability, Employment Practices Liability, Builders’ Risk/Course of Construction, Wrap-Up, Personal Lines, Motor Vehicle, and specialized Property policies.He has successfully litigated coverage disputes in favour of insurers.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Mike has completed an intensive mediation and dispute resolution training program at the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law School – which has been repeatedly recognized as the top dispute resolution program in the U.S. He has also completed training on implementing virtual mediations for conflict resolution. In addition, he is intimately familiar with dispute resolution processes under provincial insurance legislation, having guided numerous clients through the process, and having addressed dispute resolution/appraisal issues (including jurisdiction of an umpire and other related procedural and substantive questions) before the B.C. Supreme Court and the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. He is available to assist on select cases as either mediator or umpire.
Employment Practices Liability & Cyber Liability
Michael is one of the lawyers at Dolden Wallace Folick LLP who serves as national monitoring and coverage counsel for several insurers’ Employment Practices Liability and Cyber Liability programs. He also has experience in defending employers against claims of wrongful dismissal and violations of human rights and employment standards legislation.
Acting for both domestic and international insurers in the prosecution of all manner of subrogated claims including fire, flood, construction, and other property losses, as well as business interruption claims and the recovery of insurance proceeds paid as a result of dishonest acts of employees of an insured.
Complex Personal Injury / Occupiers’ Liability
Defence of a large array of complex personal injury claims including brain injury, spinal cord injury, chronic pain, and wrongful death claims.
Large Property Loss
Advising and representing insurers on first-party property losses, including the defence of “bad faith” claims.
Sports and Recreation Liability
Representing amateur sports leagues (such as hockey, soccer, and softball leagues) as well as operators of sporting facilities and arenas in all manner of claims, including personal injury, property damage, and facility maintenance and operations losses.
Acting for suppliers or manufacturers of products and materials alleged to be the wrongful cause of damage to property or personal injury, including consumer electronic goods, industrial equipment, food and beverage, plumbing products, construction components, storage materials, and chemical products.
Defending commercial transport businesses and operators against catastrophic injury and death claims, as well as claims related to third party property damage and loss or damage to cargo.
Michael has experience with contaminated sites litigation, claims involving infiltration of hydrocarbons from adjacent properties, fuel and oil leakage, and proceedings before the Environmental Appeal Board.
Michael has successfully defended Strata Corporations against all manner of claims including actions arising under the Strata Property Act and the Occupiers Liability Act.
Gaming Industry Risks
Michael heads the firm’s Gaming Industry Liability and Risk Group, he has represented casinos and gaming organizations in B.C. and Alberta for all manner of claims arising in the gaming sector, including forcible ejection, commercial host, and occupiers’ liability. In addition, Dolden Wallace Folick LLP was successful in defending the first litigated claim involving B.C. casinos’ voluntary self exclusion program.
Michael is is the co-author of three legal textbooks: Sports and Recreation Liability Law in Canada, The Annotated British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act, and Liquor and Host Liability Law in Canada, all published by Thomson Reuters Carswell. For more information please follow this link to the publisher’s website.
Sports and Recreation Liability Law in Canada, published by Canada Law Book, March, 2017.
Liquor and Host Liability Law in Canada, , published by Canada Law Book, December, 2010.
The Annotated British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act, published on an ongoing basis by Canada Law Book
Other select publications include:
- “Insurance Broker Liability Claims: How to Avoid Getting Caught in the Middle” (For the Insurance Institute of British Columbia)
- “Two Files or One: When Do You Have a Conflict With Your Insured?” (co-author with Tom Newnham) (September 2012)
- “When a Material Change in Risk is not ‘Material’”
- Appeal Court Upholds Denial of Coverage to General Contractor: Progressive Homes Ltd. v. Lombard General Ins. Co., 2009 BCCA 439
- “New Alberta and British Columbia Insurance Acts” (Contributing Author)
- The Supreme Court of Canada Rules on Liability Coverage for Loss “Arising Directly or Indirectly from the use or Operation of a Motor Vehicle”
- “The ‘Bad Faith’ Doctrine As Applied to First Party and Third Party Claims”
- “The Canadian Approach to Contributory Negligence”
- “D&O Policies – Coverage Issues Arising out of Shareholder Claims“, Claims Canada Magazine, December 2008/January 2009 issue 3
- “Who is to blame:The Apportionment of Fault”(April 2014, The CBA National Insurance Law Section Newsletter)