Scott Dawson is a senior litigator with extensive experience resolving business disputes. His cases cover a wide variety of commercial issues including those related to:

  • supply contracts
  • insurance/reinsurance disputes
  • international and domestic agency agreements
  • directors’ duties
  • shareholder obligations, and
  • real estate matters.

He also provides crisis management advice to organizations in high-risk situations and advice to lawyers experiencing difficulties with their regulator.

For decades, Scott has advised regional, national and international news media organizations on disputes ranging from court openness to intellectual property issues and defamation claims.

A regular provider of pro bono legal services to facilitate access to justice, Scott is also an adjunct professor in the School of Journalism, Writing and Media at the University of British Columbia and a contributor to continuing legal education programs.

He is recognized by Lexpert® as a leading litigation lawyer, cross-border lawyer and repeatedly recommended litigation lawyer (defamation and media law).  Benchmark Litigation lists Scott as a litigation star (commercial litigation). The Best Lawyers in Canada™ directory has regularly recognized Scott in various categories relating to litigation, alternate dispute resolution, insurance and media law, and named him BC “Law of the Year” (defamation and media law) in the 2015, 2018 and 2023 editions.


  • The Best Lawyers in Canada™ (2024)
  • The Best Lawyers™ “Lawyer of the Year” in Defamation and Media Law (2015, 2018 and 2023)
  • Benchmark Litigation “Litigation Star” (2023)
  • Lexpert® Leading Lawyers in Canada (2023)
  • Lexpert® Leading Litigation Lawyers (2023)
  • Lexpert® Leading Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers (Litigation – Defamation & Media, 2018)
  • Martindale-Hubble Peer Review Rating (BV)

ProBono and Community Work

  • A regular provider of pro bono legal services at community walk-in legal clinics


  • LL.B., Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia, 1994
  • B.A., Carleton University, 1991


  • Member, Law Society of British Columbia
  • Served as a Director of the Canadian Media Lawyers Association (2009-2011)

Bar Admissions

  • British Columbia, 1995

Notable Cases


Eghtesad v. British Columbia (Director of Civil Forfeiture), 2024 BCCA 32 (media case concerning court openness)

Postmedia v. Named Persons, 2022 BCCA 431 (media case concerning court openness)

Neural Capital GP, LLC. v. 1156062 B.C. Ltd., 2022 BCSC 1228 and 2021 BCSC 192 (commercial dispute raising issues related to solicitors’ liens and charging orders)

Mercantile Office Systems Private Limited v. Worldwide Warranty Life Services Inc., 2021 BCCA 362 (commercial dispute raising matters of civil procedure)

M. McIsaac Family Holdings v. Tolam Holdings Ltd., 2020 BCCA 371 (commercial dispute related to the duties of directors and shareholders)

Ching v. South China Morning Post, 2020 BCSC 1284 (defamation claim raising issues related to the identity of a reporter’s confidential sources)

R. v. Darling, 2018 BCSC 1327 (media case concerning court openness)

Brenner v. Birch, 2017 BCCA 22 (real estate case concerning easements)

Representative Work

  • Aon entities including Aon Reed Stenhouse in respect of insurance / reinsurance matters.
  • HSBC Capital, Shoppers Drug Mart, Yellow Pages, Verizon, FortisBC, Teck, CHC Helicopter and TELUS, among others, in various proceedings involving commercial disputes, corporate arrangements, capital alterations and related matters.
  • Shareholders and partners involved in disputes concerning ownership and management of businesses, including software companies, logging partnerships, real estate developments, law partnerships, golf course and real estate operations.
  • Hub International, Great Canadian Casinos, the University of British Columbia, Klohn Crippen Berger, Cactus Club Cafe, Dynamex and others in employment litigation.
  • National and regional property owners in real estate development and commercial tenancy disputes.
  • Publishers and governmental entities in respect of certain criminal and regulatory offences.
  • Extensive experience acting as counsel for traditional media outlets including The Vancouver Sun newspaper and The National Post newspaper, the C.B.C., the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, the South China Morning Post and various Glacier Media newspapers published in communities across the province.
  • Traditional and emerging media outlets in pre-publication advice, open court issues, defamation claims and crisis response.
View all Scott's cases