A formidable advocate with outstanding courtroom credibility and prowess, Michael skillfully handles the most complex, high-stakes disputes.
Michael Feder, Q.C. is a partner in the Litigation Group. A gifted and highly versatile litigator, he acts in both commercial and public law disputes and practices nationally in the product liability and class action fields.
Michael is widely recognized as one of the top litigators in the country across multiple specialties. Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business has described Michael as a “go-to for complex commercial litigation” with “an enviable list of clients”, “frequently engaged in shareholder disputes”, having “impressive experience in product liability and class actions” and “noted for his constitutional law capabilities”. In the 2021 edition of Chambers Canada, Michael is ranked as a leading lawyer in no fewer than three separate fields: general commercial litigation, product liability litigation and class action defence.
Michael is also recognized in the 2021 edition of The Legal 500 Guide in the area of dispute resolution; listed in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada in the areas of corporate and commercial litigation, product liability law and appellate practice; ranked in the 2020 edition of Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a “Litigation Star” for commercial litigation and product liability and recall cases; ranked in the 2020 edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory in the areas of corporate commercial litigation, public law litigation and product liability litigation; and listed in the 2020 editions of Who’s Who Legal: Litigation and Who’s Who Legal: Canada. Martindale-Hubbell has given Michael its highest rating: “AV Preeminent”.
Michael is also recognized in Lexpert Special Edition: Litigation 2020, Lexpert Special Edition: Energy 2020 and Lexpert Special Edition: Agribusiness and Cannabis 2020.
Experienced across industries
Michael works with major international and Canadian companies operating in diverse industries, such as consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, automotive, technology, mining, energy, financial services and aerospace. He has handled significant litigation mandates for Philip Morris International, ING Bank, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Facebook, JUUL Labs, Navistar, Bosch, Takata, Uber, Huawei, Glencore, Rio Tinto, Masco, Enbridge, LifeLabs, Pan American Silver, KF Aerospace, Vantage Airport Group, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Rothmans, Benson & Hedges.
Clients give Michael superb reviews. According to Chambers Canada, clients “commend his ingenuity” and regard him as “the full package”: “a very strong advocate” with “a great presence in the courtroom”; “whip-smart and great on his feet”; “exceedingly bright”; “innovative, eager and efficient”; “proactive and on top of his team”; “responsive, professional and creative”; “great to deal with”; “a delightful person, but with all the edge”; and “very insightful and very creative”. Benchmark Canada has stated that Michael is “unanimously revered” by clients and peers and described him as “the lawyer that everyone in BC is talking about”. The Legal 500 describes Michael as “a force in the BC market”. Benchmark Canada has also stated that Michael gets “some of McCarthy’s best work across the country”.
Accomplished in the courtroom
At the trial level, Michael’s work has included complex class action and other aggregated litigation, mass tort and product liability cases, shareholders’ disputes, securities litigation, contractual disputes, and constitutional claims. He defended clients in two of the longest trials in Canadian history, including a rare trial of common issues in two consumer class actions. Benchmark Canada includes Michael on its Top 50 Trial Lawyers in Canada list.
Michael also has extensive experience in appellate litigation. He has acted in 28 Supreme Court of Canada appeals, including as amicus curiae appointed by the Chief Justice of Canada to assist the court. These appeals cut across myriad subjects, including torts, class actions, privacy, civil procedure, health, freedom of expression, tax, privilege, freedom of information, standing, freedom of religion, access to information and administrative law. Michael represented the successful appellants in the leading Canadian cases on contractual interpretation and discretionary trusts.
Respected in the legal community
Michael received Benchmark Canada’s award for British Columbia Litigator of the Year in 2017. Canadian Lawyer magazine has also recognized Michael on its list of the Top 25 Most Influential people in the justice system and legal profession nationally.
Michael sits on the National Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute, which provides advocacy advice to lawyers arguing Supreme Court of Canada appeals. He is a past Executive Director of the Institute and, since 2011, has served also as an advocacy advisor to the Institute. He previously served for several years on the Law Society of British Columbia's Discipline Committee.
Michael is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.
Michael has acted pro bono in significant litigation for an array of local, national and international public interest organizations, including the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, Council for Canadians with Disabilities, British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario, CACTUS Montréal, Pivot Legal Society, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Community Legal Assistance Society and Harm Reduction International. He has also represented the Secretariat of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS before the Supreme Court of Canada.
After graduating from law school, Michael clerked for Justice Jack Major of the Supreme Court of Canada and for Justices Carol Huddart and Wally Oppal of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia.
While still in his 30s, Michael was appointed Queen’s Counsel by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General for British Columbia. This honorary title recognizes exceptional professional merit, contribution, integrity and character. Michael is one of the youngest Queen’s Counsel appointees in British Columbia’s history.
Dispute Resolution: Class Action (Defence); Litigation: General Commercial - British Columbia; Litigation: Products Liability
The Legal 500 - Canada
Next Generation Lawyer: Dispute Resolution
Benchmark Litigation - Canada
Top 50 Trial Lawyers in Canada
Benchmark Litigation - Canada
Litigation Star: Dispute resolution, product liability and recall, commercial litigation
The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
Litigation - Corporate Commercial; Litigation - Product Liability; Litigation - Regulatory & Public Law
Lexpert Special Edition: Agribusiness and Cannabis
Lexpert Special Edition: Energy
Lexpert Special Edition: Litigation
Who's Who Legal: Litigation
Ranked for Canada
Best Lawyers in Canada – Product Liability Lawyer of the Year
Best Lawyers in Canada
Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Product Liability Law, Appellate Practice
Canadian Lawyer Magazine's Top 25 Most Influential
Benchmark Canada – British Columbia Litigator of the Year
British Columbia Civil Liberties Association’s Liberty Award
The firm received the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association’s Liberty Award in recognition of exceptional contributions made by Michael and other members of the firm to human rights and civil liberties in Canada.