Firm Profile > Hakemi & Ridgedale LLP > Vancouver, Canada

Hakemi & Ridgedale LLP

Dispute resolution

Hakemi & Ridgedale LLP’s ‘cohesive and very thorough’ team stands out for its ‘genuinely personal commitment’. The Vancouver-based litigation boutique is adept in a wide range of contentious matters, with notable experience in corporate and commercial disputes, securities litigation and administrative law. Tom Hakemi focuses on business disputes, fraud cases, defamation and competition and co-heads the practice alongside Lisa Ridgedale.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Miaofei Pan

IG Image Group, Laura Hansen and Sherry-Lynne Fedorchuk

Dispute Resolution:

Hakemi & Ridgedale LLP’s reputation in dispute resolution stems from its lawyers’ capabilities in complex corporate, commercial, and securities litigation. Hakemi & Ridgedale lawyers are guided by a sensible approach to all cases, recognizing that resolution outside of traditional litigation can often be the most effective path forward.

Tom Hakemi brings his experience in representing clients in matters involving breaches of commercial contracts, shareholder and partnership agreements, oppression actions and derivative claims, allegations of fraud, defamation, and anti-competitive conduct, and violations of securities laws.

Lisa Ridgedale brings her experience in defending clients facing enforcement action by securities regulators, and representing clients in claims including fraud, misrepresentation, defamation, shareholder and partnership disputes, breaches of fiduciary duty, negligence, and professional misconduct. Lisa is also sought out for her experience acting for high net worth individuals in family law cases where complicated asset structures and securities are at issue.


Firm Profile:

Hakemi & Ridgedale LLP (“HRLLP”) is a Vancouver-based litigation boutique. Adept in a wide range of contentious civil litigation matters, the firm has notable experience in corporate and commercial disputes, securities litigation, administrative law, and defamation law. Headed by co-founders and partners Tom Hakemi and Lisa Ridgedale, the firm’s lawyers have experience advising clients in complex disputes across several industry sectors including private equity and investments, financial services and banking, mining, resources, energy and infrastructure, construction, real estate, and retail and consumer markets. The firm’s lawyers help their clients to resolve matters in all levels of court, in front of regulatory bodies, tribunals, and arbitrators and mediators.

Although located in downtown Vancouver, HRLLP often works with foreign counsel on matters involving jurisdictions outside of British Columbia including in other provinces in Canada, the United States, Central and South America, the Middle East and Europe.

Over the past year, the firm has received several prestigious awards and rankings. HRLLP was ranked by The Legal 500 as a 2021 Leading Firm in Dispute Resolution in British Columbia. HRLLP has been ranked by Benchmark Litigation 2021 as a recommended firm in British Columbia for litigation and dispute resolution. Partners Tom Hakemi and Lisa Ridgedale have also been personally recognized as Litigation Stars in the Benchmark Litigation 2021 guide. Lisa was recently recognized as an Excellence Recipient in the Female Trailblazer category by the Canadian Law Awards.

HRLLP was announced as an Excellence Award recipient for Western Canada Law Firm of the Year 2020, presented by Lexpert’s 2020 Canadian Law Awards and supported by Canadian Lawyer and InHouse magazines. In September 2020, associate Nerissa Yan was announced by Canadian Lawyer as a Top 25 Most Influential Lawyer in Canada 2020, in the Young Influencer category. In April 2021, associate Nathan Muirhead was named a Lexpert Lawyer to Watch, and achieved this status by virtue of being a finalist in the 2020 Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40.


Practice heads:

Tom Hakemi and Lisa Ridgedale


Practice Areas:

Corporate and Commercial Litigation

Corporate and commercial litigation is the primary practice area for all lawyers at HRLLP. The firm’s lawyers represent individuals and businesses in complex business disputes alleging breaches of commercial contracts including shareholder and partnership agreements, allegations of fraud, misrepresentation, defamation, anti-competitive conduct, breaches of non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, and in contests for corporate or partnership control including in oppression actions and derivative claims.

To read more about each lawyer’s experience, see our firm website at:


Securities Litigation

HRLLP has many experienced lawyers who regularly represent clients involved in corporate and securities litigation before the courts and before securities commissions. Our lawyers have represented both public and private clients of all sizes in matters involving shareholder disputes, oppression claims, fraud claims, negligent misrepresentation, claims against promoters and brokers, and statutory claims under the securities laws.

Tom is experienced in advising clients in investigations by the BC Securities Commission and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Tom has represented the owner and operator of a British Columbia-based investment business in the aftermath of its collapse due to its investments in a ponzi scheme in New York in relation to matters before the British Columbia Securities Commission, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the prosecution of civil claims in New York, and the defence of civil claims in British Columbia.

Lisa was formerly senior enforcement counsel at the BC Securities Commission and prior to that a prosecutor with the BC Ministry of the Attorney General in Vancouver. Lisa regularly defends clients facing enforcement action by securities regulators and advises market participants on all aspects of enforcement and compliance with regulations relating to the Securities Act, self-regulatory bodies, exchanges, quotation and trade-reporting systems, and clearing agencies. In particular, Lisa has advised financial advisors, investment banks, and individual market participants in investigations and enforcement proceedings involving the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, the British Columbia Securities Commission and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.


Commercial Arbitration and Mediation

Our lawyers have extensive experience in mediation and arbitration and have appeared before various such bodies including the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Institute of BC, the American Arbitration Association, and the Arbitrators Association of British Columbia.

Tom is experienced in representing clients in business disputes before the American Arbitration Association, Judicial Arbiter Group, and the International Chamber of Commerce. Tom represented a Portuguese software development company before the International Court of Arbitration (International Chamber of Commerce) in New York for the prosecution of claims relating to unpaid software license fees and other breaches of contract by a Korean manufacturer of mobile phones.

Scott Marescaux has represented commercial landlords in arbitration proceedings with tenants relating to lease renewals. John Forstrom has extensive experience with the system of mediation and arbitration established under the Forest Act.

Lisa Ridgedale has represented clients in a number of commercial arbitrations in BC and has also completed the first of three levels of the International Commercial Arbitration Training course for Arbitrators and Counsel.


Family Law

Our firm represents clients in family law cases where complex asset structures and securities are at stake. Lisa Ridgedale is sought out to represent high net worth individuals in family law proceedings involving the valuation of their assets and securities holdings as well as the restructuring of family businesses upon separation of the parties.


Real Estate Litigation

HRLLP’s real estate litigation group is experienced in assisting clients with litigious real estate related issues such as claims by buyers or sellers of real estate for breach of contract, claims by and against brokers for commissions, claims by and against developers, including for negligence and other breaches of duty, as well as regulatory and enforcement proceedings against professionals in the real estate industry.

Nathan Muirhead represented a client in an appeal of a foreclosure judgment on a multi-acre development property. Scott Marescaux has represented commercial and residential purchasers and sellers, and Kristyn Baim has represented residential purchasers and sellers, in collapsing and failed real estate transactions. Nerissa Yan represents clients involved in strata disputes and disputes relating to multi-million dollar property developments.


Administrative & Regulatory Law

HRLLP’s lawyers are experienced in representing clients before administrative tribunals and regulatory bodies in various jurisdictions. We advise our clients through investigations, enforcement action, and litigation.

Lisa Ridgedale and associate counsel John Forstrom have represented financial advisors, investment banks, and individual market participants in investigations and enforcement proceedings involving the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. Tom Hakemi has vast experience in this area, including representing a real estate property developer in regulatory proceedings before the British Columbia Superintendent of Real Estate. Brendan Brock advised a national bank in investigations before a regulatory body. Nathan Muirhead has appeared in proceedings before the Human Rights Tribunal, Residential Tenancy Branch, and Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal. Leah Shepherd has represented clients before the BC Human Rights Tribunal, BC Securities Commission, and the Insurance Council of BC. Nerissa Yan represents clients before the BC Human Rights Tribunal and the Employment Standards Branch.


Class Actions

Lisa Ridgedale, Tom Hakemi, Nerissa Yan, and Brendan Brock all represent clients in connection with claims brought on behalf of a class in a number of industry areas including private equity and investments, financial services and banking, and real estate. The firm’s lawyers are experienced in advising clients in the prosecution and defense of class actions in areas including competition and antitrust law, including price fixing, market allocation, and deceptive marketing, securities laws, including claims for misrepresentations or omissions in connection with the purchase or sale of securities, marketing and unfair business practices, and privacy breaches, data management and cyber security.


Competition Law

HRLLP’s lawyers have extensive experience in advising clients in matters of competition and antitrust law. The firm’s lawyers have represented individuals and organizations in competition law matters arising from proposed mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and other agreements between competitors in a broad range of industries. The firm prosecutes and defends claims based on allegations of breaches of the Competition Act, including price-fixing conspiracies, abuse of dominance claims, and misleading advertising. We defend against enforcement action where necessary and also guide clients through immunity and leniency programs, including before the Competition Bureau of Canada.

Tom Hakemi has represented businesses in British Columbia and in New York facing a broad range of competition and antitrust law matters, including responding to US grand jury subpoenas in connection with criminal investigations in matters involving allegations of price fixing, filings under the US Hart Scott Rodino Act, and second requests in merger investigations by the US Department of Justice and the US Federal Trade Commission.


Construction Law

HRLLP’s construction law group provides services in construction litigation including claims related to builders liens, cost over-runs, delays, acceleration and productivity claims, products liability, building envelope failures, municipal zoning, negligent design, construction defects, and warranty claims. The firm’s construction lawyers deliver focused, practical and cost-effective litigation services to owners, developers, general contractors, trade subcontractors, lenders, insurers, design professionals, architects, engineers and suppliers of products and construction materials.

Scott Marescaux and Brendan Brock have experience representing clients in disputes involving general contractors and sub-trades in claims including negligence, breaches of contract, collection matters, disputes under the Builders Lien Act, and multi-party ‘leaky condo’ disputes.


Defamation Law

Hakemi & Ridgedale’s defamation law group prosecutes and defends claims for damage to reputation as a result of defamatory comments or publications. The firm helps clients deal with claims based on damage to the reputation of a person, a business or organization, its managers or its owners. These include claims for defamation against publications like newspapers and online publishers, including anonymous publishers of statements in both local and foreign jurisdictions.

Lisa Ridgedale has represented clients dealing with online, social media and news publication defamation, and Tom Hakemi has represented a TSX-listed mining company, its affiliated service provider, and its president and CEO in the prosecution of claims for defamation against an internet publisher of defamatory statements that resulted in one of the largest awards of its kind in Canada. The firm has also represented defendants in defamation claims arising from election campaigns, including a Member of Parliament, and the leadership contests of Federal and Provincial political parties.


Estate Litigation

HRLLP’s estate litigation group regularly deals with disputes arising from trusts and estates. Our lawyers become involved after estate planning has occurred, when the need for negotiation or legal action emerges. The firm’s estate litigation group advises clients on claims under the Wills, Estates and Succession Act, contested wills, disinherited children or spouses, validity of a will, undue influence, estate administration and incapacity claims.

Brendan Brock represented a professional trust company involved in estates-related court proceedings, and beneficiaries and executors in estates and trusts litigation including challenges to the validity of wills, equitable trust claims, actions to vary wills, alleged breaches of executors’ duties, alleged improper use of powers of attorney, and application to rectify testamentary documents.


Employment Law

Our firm regularly represents employers and executive level employees in relation to claims arising from termination of employment, particularly where the executive also has an ownership interest in the business.

Examples include representing a terminated executive of a private company in the recovery of damages for severance and a buyout of his partnership interest and representing a national bank in litigation regarding its recruiting practices, financial dealers and individual investment advisors in relation to hiring, resignation or dismissal and the associated disputes which often arise with respect to competition for clients.

Department Name Email Telephone
Partner Lisa Ridgedale 6042597678
Partner Tom Hakemi
Lawyers : 12
Students : 4
English (fluent)
Chinese (Mandarin)