Michael Stephens is senior litigation counsel at Hunter Litigation Chambers practising in the area of commercial law and public law litigation. He has law degrees from Dalhousie University and Harvard University, and is a former law clerk of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Michael maintains a general litigation practice and acts as legal counsel before courts and administrative tribunals, and in arbitration proceedings, in respect of a wide variety of commercial and administrative law matters. He has experience before the British Columbia, Alberta, and Federal Courts, and at the Supreme Court of Canada. Michael has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada for his work in the areas of Administrative and Public Law and Corporate and Commercial Litigation, and was featured in the 2020 Chambers and Partners Canada Rankings Spotlight Table in the area of “Litigation: Administrative & Public Law in British Columbia”. Michael is also ranked as a “Litigation Star” by Benchmark Canada.
Michael has experience dealing with litigious land use matters (including in the forestry and mining contexts), corporate commercial disputes, and other private disputes. For example, he was lead counsel for TimberWest in a successful challenge to a 2009 municipal bylaw increasing the tax rate to TimberWest's private forest lands on Vancouver Island. He was co-counsel for Teal Cedar Products in a leading case on commercial arbitration appeals in the taking and compensation context (Teal Cedar Products Ltd. v. British Columbia, 2017 SCC 32). Michael has acted as litigation counsel for the British Columbia Lottery Corporation in matters including, for example, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation v. British Columbia Lottery Corporation, 2017 BCSC 574, Ross v. British Columbia Lottery Corporation, 2014 BCSC 320, and Atlantic Lottery Corp. Inc. v. Babstock, 2020 SCC 19. Michael's practice also includes constitutional and other public law litigation. Michael appeared as counsel in one of the leading cases on section 7 of the Charter, Blencoe v. British Columbia (Human Rights Commission),  2 S.C.R. 307.
Michael has appeared as a speaker at legal education seminars, and has been an instructor at the UBC Trial Advocacy Course and the CLEBC Winning Advocacy Skills Workshop. He has published in the areas of administrative law, constitutional law, expert evidence, and litigation practice and procedure.
Michael is a member of the executive of the Canadian Bar Association's (BC) Civil Litigation - Vancouver Subsection, past Chair of the Administrative Law (BC) Subsection (2011-2013), and past member of the executive of the Canadian Bar Association National Administrative Law Section. Michael served as a member of the Law Society of British Columbia's Working Group to develop Model Anton Piller and Mareva Injunction Orders for use in British Columbia courts. In 2020 he was appointed to the Ethics Committee of the Law Society of British Columbia.