David Crerar

Practice Point


DAVID CRERAR is a partner with the Vancouver office of Borden Ladner Gervais. He practices civil and commercial litigation with a focus on media law and defamation, shareholder disputes, protection of trade secrets, Internet litigation, banking and pension litigation.

David is an outstanding CLEBC volunteer, contributing his expertise and skills to both our Programs and Publications departments. He has presented and written for many CLEBC courses covering a variety of important litigation topics; he will be chairing Defamation and Media Law in the fall of 2014. CLEBC publications collection boasts a number of works from David as well: his many course material submissions, writing and editing British Columbia Business Disputes, and his annual contribution to the Annual Review of Law & Practice.

How and why did you get involved with CLEBC?

When I was very junior lawyer I was drafted by a colleague as an emergency substitute speaker for a CLEBC course. It was such a great experience that I offered my services for other courses. Soon CLEBC approached me about resurrecting the semi-annual civil procedure course, A Litigator’s Arsenal, the fourth edition of which I have just chaired. Chairing a CLEBC course allows me to meet and work with so many brilliant and talented colleagues in the legal profession whom I would not necessarily have met otherwise.

What has been your most memorable CLEBC experience?

I have chaired and/or presented at 14 CLEBC courses, and all have been great and memorable experiences. Serving as the co-editor of CLEBC’s British Columbia Business Disputes, along with James MacInnis and Ludmila Herbst, has been another highlight: not only is it a uniquely practical legal resource, but also it is the winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award from the international Association of Continuing Legal Education.

What has been the most rewarding part of your career?

As lawyers, we are paid to help people, and to carry projects to completion. Both of those objectives are inherently satisfying. Further, we are paid to become experts on subject matters that, for the most part, become more interesting the deeper one digs. We are so fortunate to be practicing in this profession.

You have presented a number of times before an audience; is there any part of it that makes you nervous? Any tips for someone who has never presented in front of a large group before?

As a litigator, I am fortunate in being able to convert any nervous energy into words and enthusiasm. At CLEBC courses, the audiences are generally friendly: they are your colleagues in law, and by choice they are there to learn. If you convey to the audience that you yourself are enthused and interested in your subject matter, a similar enthusiasm and interest will usually be kindled in the audience members.

What’s the most valuable piece of advice you have received?

It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and only a few seconds to destroy it.

Other than law, what is your passion?

My ancestors were sea captains and I retain a zeal for exploration. This is usually manifested through running and power-hiking in our local mountains and other places of beautiful natural scenery. I go on an outdoors adventure with my children almost every week: watching them joyously explore and discover the beauty of nature is the finest reward in life.

What are some of your favourite legal resources? (blogs, websites, etc.)

Bullen & Leake. Vice-Chancellor Megarry’s Miscellany-At-Law. The Advocate. Goff & Jones: The Law of Restitution. Seckel & MacInnis, British Columbia Supreme Court Rules Annotated. I am also fond of CLEBC’s Annual Review of Law and Practice, which provides an enormously useful overview of cutting-edge developments in various practice areas, and for which I am proud to be providing the Torts chapter for the 13th year.

Is there anything that you’d like to shamelessly plug here (favourite charity, book, social cause, etc.)

North Shore Rescue is my favourite charity. And I would be very grateful if readers of this page would come to the next CLE course where I am speaking or chairing.