John Forstrom

Associate Counsel | John Forstrom is a commercial litigation lawyer with over 30 years’ experience advising and representing a wide variety of clients, including individuals, small businesses, public and private corporations and their directors, financial institutions, industry associations and regulatory bodies. He has represented his clients in proceedings before all levels of court in British Columbia, as well as in mediations, arbitrations, and before the BC Securities Commission and other administrative tribunals.

He has extensive experience advising his clients in relation to a broad range of legal issues and disputes, including: commercial disputes; corporate governance and shareholder disputes; contract and negligence claims; related insolvency or collections matters; real property disputes; estates and trusts litigation; wrongful dismissal matters; and, disciplinary proceedings before various professional or regulatory bodies.

One particular area of focus in his practice is the conduct of investment advisors, and the many types of civil, regulatory and employment issues which arise in the investment industry. He also has extensive experience dealing with litigation in the contract logging industry, and the system of mediation and arbitration established under the Forest Act.

Before joining Hakemi & Ridgedale, he practiced in a boutique litigation firm he founded in 1999. Before that, he was a partner of a larger firm in Vancouver.


  • Cambridge University (Trinity Hall), Cambridge, England – LL.M.
  • University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada – LL.B
  • University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada – B.A. (English Lit.)

Professional Activities & Memberships

  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Occasional CLE lecturer (Securities Litigation; Forestry Litigation)
  • Volunteer Lecturer – Professional Legal Training Course (Civil Advocacy)
  • Volunteer Legal Advisor (Access Pro Bono, public legal advice clinic)

Representative Matters

He has advised or represented

  • Financial advisors, investment banks and individual market participants in investigations and enforcement proceedings involving the Mutual Find Dealers Association of Canada, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the British Columbia Securities Commission and related civil litigation
  • Financial Dealers and individual Investment Advisors in relation to hiring, resignation or dismissal and the associated disputes which often arise with respect to competition for clients
  • Owners of public and private companies in relation to exercise of shareholder rights and the interpretation and enforcement of Shareholders’ Agreements
  • A large Financial Institution in relation to defence of claims arising from its retail investment arm, as well as estates–related disputes arising from its banking and trust operations
  • Individual investors with claims against a professional advisors involving allegations of fraud, breach of contract, or negligence in the provision of investment related services
  • Land owners in disputes about the purchase and sale of real property
  • Employers and employees in relation to claims arising from termination of employment
  • A Municipality in a complex dispute regarding liability for and repair of a “leaky” condominium property
  • A Mine developer in relation to a large claim against an engineering firm arising from the design and construction of a mine
  • The Truck Loggers Association and many of its members in relation to disputes about interpretation and enforcement of replaceable contract rights under the Timber Harvesting Contract & Subcontract Regulation, and in investigation and enforcement proceedings under the Forest Practices Code
  • The Law Society of British Columbia in conducting investigations and providing advisory opinions about the professional conduct or discipline of other lawyers

Let's Get Started >