Mr Joel Nitikman > Dentons > Vancouver, Canada > Lawyer Profile


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Joel Nitikman is a partner in the Tax group at Dentons. For almost four decades, Joel’s practice has focused on resolving tax disputes between taxpayers and federal and provincial tax authorities. He has extensive experience in federal and provincial income/commodity tax litigation. Joel has acted as counsel in numerous tax cases at all levels of court, both provincially and federally. He has also settled many cases out of court.

Joel’s skills include organizing a complex set of data, analyzing and structuring the data to determine the relevant tax issues, preparing witnesses for court, drafting legal pleadings and substantive arguments, excellent oral advocacy skills, excellent legal research, the ability to persuade and reason in a complex environment and the ability to assimilate a large number of facts quickly. He is known for his creativeness and the ability to think “outside the box” in creating new structures to achieve maximum tax efficiency.

Based in Vancouver, Joel is listed as one of Canada’s leading tax litigation lawyers by Lexpert. Joel also practices corporate and individual business tax, focusing on offshore tax planning, corporate reorganizations and other business-related tax matters. He advises on GST and provincial commodity taxes. He is listed as one of Canada’s leading corporate tax lawyers by Lexpert. Joel has been involved in extensive provincial, federal and international income and commodity tax planning, including cross-border tax planning for the entertainment industry, offshore trusts, Canada-US corporate reorganizations, Canadian investment in the US, US investment in Canada, and cross-border estate planning. He has obtained Advance Rulings from the Canada Revenue Agency and provincial tax authorities.

Joel has advised on non-profit and other tax exempt entities, including Crown corporations and trusts. He has had extensive involvement with structuring and opening on public offerings of tax-related securities. He has acted as an expert tax witness in civil litigation for plaintiffs and defendants. In doing so, Joel has developed the ability to simplify and explain complex technical tax issues.

Joel has been involved extensively in writing and presenting tax-related articles on international, federal and provincial income tax, GST and retail sales tax issues. Joel is a former Governor of the Canadian Tax Foundation and is currently a member of a number of different tax committees, including a joint CRA/CBA committee in the Pacific Region of the CRA, the CBA/CICA Joint Committee on Taxation, and the Federal Bench and Bar Committee.




  • Board of Governors, Canadian Tax Foundation
  • Member, Canadian Tax Foundation
  • Member, International Fiscal Association
  • Past Chair of the Tax Section, B.C. Branch, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Editorial Board of International Tax Planning (Federated Press)
  • Member, Senior Tax Practitioners’ Institute, Insight
  • Founding member, “Irritants Committee”, a joint CRA/CBA Committee in the Pacific Region which attempts to resolve ongoing structural issues in dealing with the CRA
  • Appointed in 2012 to the Federal Court Bench and Bar Committee, composed of judges from the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal and lawyers, to determine rules of practice for the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal
  • Adjunct professor, Tax Litigation and International Tax, UBC Faculty of Law
  • Annual presenter at the CBA Business Law Subsection (“Top Ten Tax Tips for Solicitors”), 2003-present


New York University, School of Law, 1994, LL.M., Tax

University of Manitoba, 1985, LLB, Gold Medal

University of British Columbia, 1982, BSc

Lawyer Rankings

Canada > Tax

Working from six Canadian offices, the 46-strong tax group at international firm Dentons is regularly instructed by Canadian and foreign multinationals, private equity funds and financial institutions for its tax structuring and litigation expertise. Toronto-based practice head Mark Jadd focuses on the income tax aspects of M&A, restructurings and financings, and has niche expertise providing tax counsel to film and television industry clients. Also in Toronto, partner Larry Nevsky handles a range of transactional, advisory and contentious tax matters. Vancouver-based litigator Joel Nitikman is an additional key figure.