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James H. MacMaster

James H. MacMaster

Jim MacMaster has acquired a broad general background in the law since his call to the Bar in 1977. Initially, he practised for three years with Shrum Liddle & Hebenton (now McCarthy Tetrault) primarily as a solicitor in general corporate, commercial, and real estate law. In 1980 he joined Russell & DuMoulin (now Fasken Martineau) where he focused on civil litigation and, in particular, litigation involving insurance liability defence and coverage, administrative issues, health law issues, and class actions. Jim was a partner at Russell & DuMoulin from 1984 to 1998.  In August 1998, Jim and Ward formed Branch MacMaster.

Jim has been recognized at various times by different lawyer rating services as a leading practitioner in insurance, class actions, product liability and personal injury.

Jim has represented clients before the B.C. Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada, the Workers' Compensation Board, the Hospital Appeal Board, the former Health Professions Council, and other administrative boards and tribunals.

Jim practises in all aspects of insurance litigation including liability defence and coverage issues. Jim has acted as legal counsel for insurers, manufacturers, hospitals, health professions, the national blood transfusion service, corporations, individual health practitioners, and individuals in a large variety of litigation including personal injury, products liability, medical malpractice professional discipline and hospital privileges.

Jim regularly presents papers at continuing legal education programs and to clients on insurance law, class action procedure, administrative law, or health law topics.

Jim was a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia for 10 years where he taught a Health Law course in the M.H.A. and M.H.Sc. programs of the Department of Health Care and Epidemiology.

Contact Jim MacMaster at or (604) 654-2955.

Areas of Practice

  • General Litigation with an emphasis on Insurance Law, Health Law, Class Actions, Products Liability, Professional Liability, Professional Discipline, Administrative Law, and Personal Injury


  • B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1973
  • LL.B., The University of British Columbia, 1976
  • Admitted to the British Columbia Bar, 1977

Professional Activities

  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Administrative Civil Litigation, Health and Insurance Law Sections
    of the Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch
  • Member, Canadian Defence Lawyers Assocation
  • Member, Defense Research Institute (U.S.A.)
  • Member, Medical Legal Society of B.C.
  • Member, National Association of Chiropractic Attorneys (U.S.A.)
  • Clinical Assistant Professor, HCEP 537 Health Law, Department of Health Care and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, The University of British Columbia, 1989-1999

Representative Counsel Work

  • General liability defence involving automobiles, trucking, premises, operations, construction
  • Product liability defence work involving aircraft parts, automobiles and automotive parts, barbecues, microwaves, scuba equipment, sporting goods, swimming pools and urea formaldehyde
  • Multiple cases involving fire causation and liability issues
  • Counsel in class actions involving premium offset issues, tainted blood, unconstitutional probate fees, telephone rental charges, polybutylene plumbing, foreign exchange rates, ticketing fees,
    hair product, skin product, pacemakers
  • Professional liability defence
  • First party coverage questions including the defence of claims involving arson, bad faith, fraud
  • Insurance coverage questions relating to builder's risk, environmental insurance, professional errors and omissions, directors and officers
  • Third party liability coverage issues relating to the interpretation of the commercial general liability policy
  • General counsel for regional hospital on all medical/legal issues including medical staff affairs, patient care, and nursing issues
  • General counsel for health professions including representations to the government, scope of practice reviews, and professional disciplinary actions
  • Defence counsel for national blood transfusion service in B.C. AIDS and hepatitis litigation
  • Defence counsel in British Columbia for health profession malpractice claims
  • Representation of general practitioners, ophthalmologists, urologists, orthopaedic, general, and oral surgeons on various hospital privileges issues before hospital boards and the Hospital Appeal Board
  • Representation of health practitioners before Medical Services Plan Audit Committee
  • Representation of medical doctors in residency training program appeals
  • Assisting corporate counsel in risk analysis and management including development of releases and warnings
  • Advising on insurance licensing and regulation issues
  • Plaintiff personal injury counsel in select cases including quadriplegic injured in swimming pool accident, brain injured victims of motor vehicle accidents, breast surgery malpractice, dental malpractice, and motor vehicle accident claims involving ICBC