Civil and Commercial Litigation
Year of Call
New York 2010
Queen’s University, 2007
McGill University, 2004
University of Manitoba, 1999
James joined Fernandes Hearn LLP in 2014. He has represented clients in Canada and the United States in and before the superior courts of British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Ontario, as well as the Federal Court of Canada.
James’s practice is devoted to civil, commercial and insurance-related litigation, with a focus on all aspects of transportation law, including maritime law.
Prior to his arrival at Fernandes Hearn, he spent five years at another boutique Toronto litigation firm where he maintained a general commercial and civil litigation practice and gained a wealth of experience in complex product liability matters as well as numerous insurance coverage and defence matters.
James also spent his first year in practice at a well-known litigation boutique in Vancouver, British Columbia, after completing his articles at the Ottawa offices of a major national firm.
Originally from Winnipeg, James has lived and worked in several cities throughout Canada and around the world. He attended law school at Queen’s University, where he was placed on the Dean’s Honour List and was the recipient of the Reuben Wells Leonard Prize in International Trade and Investment Law, and the Carswell Prize in Property Law. He also obtained a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, majoring in political science and Mandarin language studies, and a Bachelor of Music (Performance) from the University of Manitoba.
He is conversant in both French and Mandarin.
In his spare time, James is an aspiring home chef, and an avid curler, sailor and SCUBA diver. An accomplished classical musician, James is also Principal Oboe of Orchestra Toronto, a well-known community-based symphony orchestra.
James is a member of several industry associations, including the Canadian Maritime Law Association, the Maritime Law Association of the United States, the Canadian Board of Marine Underwriters.
James is also proud to be a newly-appointed director of Water’s Edge Festivals and Events, a non-profit organization that organizes large-scale events on the Toronto waterfront and in other ports throughout the Great Lakes.
- Cargo Claims – Five Common Mistakes You Should Avoid, The Transportation Lawyer Magazine (July 2017)
- Cargo Claim Limitation Periods in the Common Law Provinces: An Overview, The Transportation Lawyer Magazine (December 2016)
- Soline Trading et al. v. MSC et al. – FC appeal judge affirms lower court ruling; reconfirms lack of maritime jurisdiction over land carriers, Fernandes Hearn LLP Newsletter (November 2017)
- A Very Interest-ing Case: Platypus Marine, Inc. v. Tatu (Ship), Fernandes Hearn LLP (October 2017)
- Soline Trading v. MSC et al. – Federal Court Declines Maritime Jurisdiction Over Negligence Claim by Ocean Carrier Against Land Carrier, Fernandes Hearn LLP (September 2017)
- Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal Corp.: SCC Upholds Termination of Employee in Drug Addiction Case; Finds no Prima Facie Discrimination, Fernandes Hearn LLP Newsletter (June 2017)
- ING Bank v. Canpotex Shipping: The Parol Evidence Rule is Alive and Well in Canada, Fernandes Hearn LLP Newsletter (March 2017)
- Verreault Navigation Inc. v. 662901 N.B. Ltd.: Federal Court performs (another) ranking exercise in connection with creditors’ claims to proceeds of vessel sale, Fernandes Hearn LLP Newsletter (December 2016)
- Electronic Logging Devices: Coming Soon to a Federally-Regulated Truck Near You! Fernandes Hearn LLP Newsletter (November 2016)
- Ballantrae Holdings Inc. v. The “Phoenix Sun”: Federal Court Performs Ranking Exercise In Connection With Creditors’ Claims To Proceeds Of Vessel Sale, Fernandes Hearn LLP Newsletter (October 2016)
- New Marine Liability and Information Regulations to Take Effect in 2017, Fernandes Hearn LLP Newsletter (July 2016)
- CN v. Richardson Int’l Ltd.: FCA Upholds Another Interswitching Order, Fernandes Hearn LLP Newsletter (August 2015)
- Suhaag Jewellers Ltd. v. Alarm Factory Inc.: Court applies Tercon analysis in jewel theft case, upholds defendant’s contractual exclusion of liability, Fernandes Hearn LLP Newsletter (July 2015)
- ‘That sinking feeling’: Federal Court dismisses judicial review application, allows former naval vessel to be sunk in British Columbia to create artificial reef, Fernandes Hearn LLP Newsletter (May 2015)
- A slap “on the face”: Ontario Superior Court awards shipper $263,520, refuses to allow carrier to limit liability despite value of shipment not being indicated on bill of lading, Fernandes Hearn LLP Newsletter (April 2015)
- “Simply inadmissible”: Ontario Court of Appeal reverses jury verdict and lower court ruling in MVA case due to evidentiary errors, Fernandes Hearn LLP Newsletter (February 2015)
- “Right on Track”: Federal Court of Appeal Uphold CTA’s Inter-switching Order, Fernandes Hearn LLP Newsletter (January 2015)
- Good faith and fair dealing in tendering process reaffirmed: Topsail Shipping Co. Ltd. v. Marine Atlantic Inc., Fernandes Hearn LLP Newsletter (December 2014)
- “A ‘Bankrupt’ Defence”: Douglas v. Stan Ferguson Fuels Ltd., Fernandes Hearn LLP Newsletter (November 2014)
- “One Claim, Two Arrests? No Dice: Westshore Terminals Limited Partnership v. Leo Ocean S.A.”, Fernandes Hearn LLP Newsletter (October 2014)
- “Great West Life held liable for acts of fraud committed by agent: Mignault v. Palmer”, Covered: The Quarterly Newsletter for Policyholders and Brokers (Summer 2014)
- “Great American Insurance ordered to pay over $239,000 in denial of coverage case: Precidio Design Inc. v. Great American Insurance Co.”, Covered: The Quarterly Newsletter for Policyholders and Brokers (Spring 2014)
- “Contra Preferentem v. Reasonable Expectations: Onex Corp. v. American Home Assurance Co.”, Covered: The Quarterly Newsletter for Policyholders and Brokers (Fall 2013)
- “Muscutt Revisited: Van Breda v. Village Resorts Ltd.”, Canadian International Lawyer 8:2 (2010)
- “Benefit Programs – Wynberg v. Ontario: Targeting Health Care”, The Federated Press Charter and Human Rights Litigation Journal 13:2 (2006)
- Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s and Soline Trading Ltd. v. Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A., 2017 FC 460
- St. Clair Boating v. Michigan Electric Supply, 2017 ONSC 3864
- St. Clair Boating v. Michigan Electric Supply, 2017 ONSC 23
- McKeil Marine Limited v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 FC 1063
- Precidio Design Inc. v. Great American Insurance Co., 2013 ONSC 7148
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Fernandes Hearn LLP
155 University Avenue, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 3B7
Telephone: 416-203-9500 | Fax: 416-203-9444 | E-mail:
A proud Canadian law firm specializing in Transportation, Insurance, Trade, Technology and Commercial Law.