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Canada Guide 2024

Ranked in 1 Practice Areas


Provided by Robert Janes KC


Practice Areas

Robert Janes, KC practices civil litigation in the Victoria, Vancouver and Toronto offices, focusing on constitutional, aboriginal and commercial litigation.

He has been a litigator for over twenty years and has extensive experience in assisting First Nations, Aboriginal people and others with difficult problems needing sound strategic and legal advice. Robert’s approach is to find practical solutions where possible, while preparing to vigorously advance his client’s interests in court where necessary.

Practice Focus Areas:

Civil and constitutional litigation

Treaty negotiation and implementation

Crown consultation and accommodation

First Nation-Industry negotiations

First Nation governance matters

Interpretation of the Indian Act


Robert’s focus is serving the needs of First Nations, Aboriginal organizations and individuals and assisting others who have difficult constitutional or public law issues. His work in these areas builds on a broad portfolio of litigation experience in the courts across Canada, including cases in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, Yukon and in the Federal Courts system. Robert has appeared for appellants and interveners in the Supreme Court of Canada.

Robert assists his clients in a wide diversity of cases including those respecting Aboriginal title and rights, consultation and accommodation, environmental law and the interpretation and application of the Indian Act to bands and individuals. Robert has also appeared in cases that have clarified the operation of British Columbia’s land title system, changed the way that prisoners are subjected to solitary confinement in Canada’s prison system and defended the rights of people and companies charged with various criminal and regulatory offences.

Robert advises clients involved in the British Columbia Treaty Process as well as in large regulatory processes (such as the LNG and oil sands environmental assessments and approval processes).

Professional Memberships

Kings Counsel

Law Society of British Columbia

Law Society of Ontario

Canadian Bar Association


Originally from Newfoundland, Robert came to British Columbia first in the early 1980’s to study at Pearson College. From there he studied across Canada until he obtained his law degree from the University of Toronto in 1991. Robert joined the bar of Ontario in 1992 and then practiced litigation with a major national law firm until he came to British Columbia in 1998. In 2009 Robert was part of the original group of owners who founded JFK Law Corporation and is based in JFK’s Toronto office.

Work Highlights

Representing First Nations at the Supreme Court of Canada fourteen times in cases at the heart of the developing law of Aboriginal and Treaty rights and the duty to consult.

Lead counsel for the Mikisew Cree First Nation in challenging the federal government’s refusal to consult about its plans to dramatically change and limit the federal government’s environmental protection role. This case established for the first time that governments do have a duty to consult about proposed legislation.

Acting for the Te’mexw Treaty Association and its member First Nations in their ongoing modern land claims negotiations under the BC Treaty process. This includes advancing the nations’ claims for recognition of their Douglas Treaty Rights. The nations recently signed their Agreement in Principle.

Lead counsel for the Dene Tha’ First Nation in its successful challenge of the federal environmental assessment process for the Mackenzie Gas Project, which fundamentally altered the way in which governments approached consultation on environmental assessments.

Represented individuals, including Reynold Dickie, challenging CRA’s application of the Indian Act tax exemption. The Dickie case, in particular, significantly expanded the room for aboriginal business people to take advantage of the tax exemption.

Worked with Grassy Narrows First Nations from 1999 to 2014 to fight industrial logging on their traditional territory. This work led to changes in the relationship between Ontario, First Nations and the forestry sector and a major Supreme Court of Canada decision strengthening the role of the duty to consult and clarifying that both federal and provincial governments must honour and implement Treaties.


Band 1



Best Lawyer in Canada

Best Lawyers


Lexpert Ranked Lawyer



Litigation Star

Benchmark Litigation



University of Toronto



University of Toronto



Memorial University of Newfoundland



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