Neo J. Tuytel Associate Counsel
Neo practices civil commercial litigation with an emphasis on insurance coverage and environmental matters. Neo’s insurance practice includes representation of policyholders and insurers regarding defence of liability claims and coverage for property damage and bodily injury under commercial and personal lines liability and property policies, including disputes between insurers and with brokers. His environmental law practice focuses on contaminated sites litigation. The balance of Neo’s commercial practice includes employment and other breach of contract claims, appellate advocacy, mediation, arbitration and negotiatiing settlements outside of court.
Neo’s practice has involved handling disputes at a high level, against respected opposing counsel, including litigation at all levels of court in British Columbia, judicial reviews in the Federal Court, and successful appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also appeared before administrative tribunals, and acts as a mediator.
Neo is a recognized authority on insurance coverage, and – as described below – a prolific author and speaker, the editor of a national insurance law publication, and a coverage committee executive member of the leading national insurance and defence lawyer’s organization.
Shafron v. KRG Insurance Brokers (Western) Inc., 2009 SCC 6: Successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, as lead counsel for a prominent Vancouver-area insurance broker in the now leading case in Canada regarding the enforceability of restrictive covenants, severance of clauses in employment contracts and rectification of contracts generally.
Family Insurance Corp. v. Lombard Canada Ltd., 2002 SCC 48: Successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada as lead counsel for a personal lines insurer, and setting a precedent in Canada and the Commonwealth with respect to overlapping coverage (in this case, between residential insurance and a recreational group liability policy for an equestrian accident causing catastrophic personal injury).
Kruger Products Limited v. First Choice Logistics Inc., 2013 BCCA 3 and North Newton Warehouses Ltd. v. Alliance Woodcraft Manufacturing Inc., 2005 BCCA 309: Successful appeals to the B.C. Court of Appeal (Kruger being worth more than $16 million), in the two leading cases regarding insurance covenants in contracts, 'tort immunity' and the resulting bar to subrogation for loss or damage to premises or contents.
Britannia Mine remediation order (Waste Management Act) process and settlement of all claims, 2001 (see bar association newsletter and government powerpoint backgrounder): As lead counsel for a potentially responsible party (former Anaconda Canadian subsidiary), orchestrating a precedent-setting, multi-party agreement for the approximately $99 million clean-up of acid rock drainage into Howe Sound from the historic Britannia Mine, thereby avoiding any court proceedings and even the pre-empting issuance of remediation order.
Arbitration of product handling rate at marine terminal, 2010: As lead counsel for a shipper of specialized products for overseas markets, arbitrating the rate for handling products at a multi-purpose bulk cargo terminal during an optional contract extension period, obtaining an award of less than half of the ‘costs plus profit’ rate sought by the terminal, and recovering the vast majority of the client’s actual legal costs.
Professional and Other Affiliations
- Called to the Bar of British Columbia, 1985
- Law Society of British Columbia, Member
- Canadian Bar Association and B.C. Branch (Civil Litigation, Insurance, Environmental, and ADR subsections), member
- Canadian Defence Lawyers, Insurance Coverage Committee, Vice-Chair (2012)
- Canadian Journal of Insurance Law, General Editor (2008)
- Lawyer’s Weekly, regular contributor (“Insurance Focus”)
- B.C. Lawyers Assistance Program, volunteer (2006) and Director (2011)
- Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Parish Council (former member)
- Western Canada Wilderness Committee, supporter
- David Suzuki Foundation, supporter
Author and Speaker
- “Restrictive Covenants In Employment Contracts: The Latest Developments You Need to Know to Protect Your Interests”, 2009 - with Gary Luftspring and Sam Sasso of Ricketts Harris LLP, Toronto
- “Who’s on the Risk (and for How Much?): Allocating and Apportioning Indemnity and Defence Costs Among Insurers in Canada”, updated 2008
- “Environmental Liability and Insurance Coverage in British Columbia”, updated 2006 - with Jon Hodes of Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver
- “Fraudulent Property Insurance Claims”, updated 2006 - with Krista Prockiw of Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP, Vancouver
- “Design Professionals' Errors and Omissions Coverage”, updated 2004
- “Sexual Misconduct Claims and Insurance Coverage”, 1997
- “Relief From Forfeiture Under Insurance Policies”, 1995
- “When a Denial is Not a Denial: Waiver, Estoppel and Confirmation of Causes of Action Under Insurance Policies”, updated 1995
- “Agents' and Brokers' Liability”, updated 1994
- “Environmental Liability and Insurance Coverage in British Columbia”, updated 2006 - with Jon Hodes of Clark Wilson LLP
- “The Prospects for Asbestos and Other Toxic Tort Litigation in Canada”, 1990
- “Awards of Costs for Exaggerated Claims”,1994
- Neo is also a regular contributor of “Insurance Focus” articles to the Lawyer’s Weekly newspaper.
- He has also presented on the above and other topics to hundreds of other lawyers, insurance and environmental professionals and executives, at dozens of conferences and seminars under the auspices of the Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C., Canadian Bar Association, Canadian Risk and Insurance Managers Society, B.C. and Northern Alberta Risk and Insurance Managers Associations, Insurance Institutes of B.C., Alberta and Ontario, Insurance Brokers Association of B.C. and Credit Union Insurance Services Association, as well as Osgoode Professional Development, Canadian Institute, Insight Educational Services and the Pacific Business and Law Institute.
Mr. Tuytel’s personal interests include hiking, mountain biking, reading, travel and spending time with his wife and university-aged children.