Areas of Practice
- Directors and officers
- Environmental claims
- Employment Practices Liability
- Errors & Omissions
- Financial advisor liability
- Health law
- Liquor Liability
- Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Occupiers liability
- Products Liability
- Professional liability
- Property & casualty
- Public authorities liability
- Self insured program
- Sports & recreation
When you handle technically complex claims it is essential that you take early action, roll up your sleeves and research every detail in the file. With that knowledge in place, Neil Carfra can take a step back and consider the broad context of the claim and identify the principal issues that matter. In consultation with his client, he then develops the strategy needed to solve the dispute in a practical manner.
Neil’s practice includes professional negligence, building envelope failure and other construction liabilities, defense of property and casualty, claims for municipalities, schools and hospitals. He also litigates coverage and subrogation claims. He works hard to build productive and open relationships with his clients and they in turn have come to value the care and attention he gives every file the moment it lands on his desk.
Neil’s Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designation provides him with an understanding and appreciation for the pressures, issues and motivating factors impacting his clients. In addition to his defense work, Neil provides proactive risk management advice to insurers and insureds that helps them avoid future legal troubles.
Most memorable moment in discoveries?
When I was a very junior lawyer, I was examining a young male plaintiff who told me that his injuries had diminished his reputation 'among the ladies' for sexual prowess. I thought it was a ridiculous assertion in the circumstances. So too, evidently, did his lawyer whose reaction was to slap his client's face and instruct him not to be an ass. The court reporter and I agreed a break was urgently needed.
What is your favorite location to travel to in BC for work?
Fort St. John, because in almost every way it is different than Victoria.
What is your dream car?
Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, in Black Amethyst Metallic. It would have these exterior options: carbon ceramic brakes and 20” Storm wheels, panoramic glass roof, Black Pack and powered tailgate. Inside would be all-black, mostly leather. It would have the “R” type, flat bottomed steering wheel with Ignis Paddles, performance seats and 12-speaker stereo. No idea what it would cost in Canada but speced like this in the UK, it would be £101,833.20 before taxes. Or…I’d take two Tesla Model S P85s (and probably have change left over!).
What are your most satisfying moments as an insurance defence lawyer?
Litigators are trained and inclined to fight, so my most satisfying moments are those when my clients and I receive a judgment in our favour. A court decision usually comes after much careful preparation and, more often than not, excellent advocacy from opposing counsel, making the end result all the more rewarding.
Stats & Facts
Called to the Bar of British Columbia - 1994
Global Risk Management Institute, Inc. and Simon Fraser University: Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designation - 2006
University of British Columbia: LL.B. - 1993
Law Society of British Columbia
Canadian Defence Lawyers
Victoria Bar Association
Insurance Brokers Association of BC
President of Victoria Bar Association
Board member and risk manager of Prospect Lake Soccer Club (2008 to 2012)
Partner, Carfra Lawton LLP - 2002 to present
Associate, Carfra Lawton LLP - 1997 to 2001
Associate, Pearlman & Lindholm - 1994 to 1997