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Callum Kelly, Associate Counsel

Callum Kelly practices in the areas of personal injury, insurance defence and products liability litigation, with a particular emphasis on claims involving traumatic brain injuries and psychological dysfunction. He has also acted regularly for both disability insurers in disputes over entitlement to long-term disability benefits.  Cal has conducted numerous trials both in the Provincial Court of British Columbia and the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and has successfully defended clients in jury trials. He also has experience in the Federal Court of Canada (Trial Division).

Prior to being called to the bar, Cal clerked for the Supreme Court of British Columbia from 1995 to 1996.

Cal has a formidable body of work under his belt, a sampling of which is listed below:

  • Counsel for defendants in a trust claim arising from a joint bank account. Plaintiffs’ action was dismissed, and defendants were subsequently able to obtain an Order that their costs be paid by the personal representative of the impecunious estate. Hall Estate v . Marshall (2002), 46 ETR (2d) 80 (BCSC).
  • Counsel for Sun Life Assurance Company on the leading case clarifying a disability insurer’s subrogation rights where the insured receives a global settlement from a third-party tortfeasor. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada v. Solypa (2001), 96 BCLR (3d) 178 (SC).
  • Counsel for Sun Life on a subsequent case involving the disclosure of the settlement documents in similar circumstances. Dos Santos (Committee of) v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (2003), 3 CCLI (4th) 200 (BCSC-M).
  • Junior counsel on appeals to Supreme Court (2003 BCSC 1378) and Court of Appeal (2005 BCCA 4).
  • Junior counsel for Sun Life on the two leading authorities re appropriate limitation period in Insurance Act to disability claims. Balzer v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (2003), 15 BCLR (4th) 6 (CA); and Watterson v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (2003), 14 BCLR (4th) 58 (CA).
  • Junior counsel for Sun Life in case involving the severance of the breach of the disability insurance contract claim from claims for aggravated and punitive damages.
  • Counsel for product manufacturers involved in personal injury actions based on allegations of negligent design or manufacture. Clients have included major automobile and sporting goods manufacturers, along with pharmaceutical and electronics companies.
  • Counsel on first decision in British Columbia to consider social host liability following the decision from the Supreme Court of Canada in Childs v. Desormeaux: Sidhu v. Hiebert, 2011 BCSC 1364.
  • Junior counsel for the defendant at trial in a psychological injury case: Chowdhry v. Burnaby (City of), 2008 BCSC 207.
  • Counsel for the defendants in an action involving costs following trial with respect to expert witnesses: Henri v. Seo 2009 BCSC 845.

Cal is a life-long learner and actively participates in continuing education seminars. Notably, he was a Speaker at the Canadian Defence Lawyers Seminar in September 2011; he also was a speaker at the Fourth Annual Disability Claims Management and Litigation Conference held by Insight Information in October 2011.

This year, Cal presented at the Continuing Legal Education Society’s Seminar on the new Limitation Act in May and then did a one hour CLE-TV presentation on the same topic in September, namely how the new Act applies to personal injury matters.   Cal also presented on the subrogation rights of disability insurers at the Continuing Legal Education Society’s June Personal Injury Conference.   Finally, Cal presented at the Sixth Annual Disability Claims Management and Litigation Conference put on by Insight at the end of September, this time on what it means to be disabled.

Prior to joining Stevens Virgin, Cal practiced at a national law firm for over a decade, where he spoke at or led a number of Insurance and Tort Liability Group seminars for ICBC’s Head Office Claims, Head Injury, and Special Counsel Departments, from 2002 to 2013.

Cal is the author of a chapter on interpretation of insurance policies, published in the journal Business Interruption Insurance, 2nd Edition (editors: John S. Siegel, Sean L. Gosnell, Bruce J. Webster). Canada Law Book Inc., 2006.

Outside of his legal practice, he is an accomplished dragon boat paddler and an avid golfer.

Call to the Bar

British Columbia, 1997

Areas of Practice

Education and Professional Affiliations

LLM, University of Cambridge, 1999

LLB (Hons), University of Saskatchewan, 1995

BA, Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia), 1990

Member, Trial Lawyers’ Association of British Columbia

Member, Canadian Bar Association, Insurance Law and Product Liability sections

Member, American Bar Association, Product Liability subsection


Reasonable Doubt: I’ll see you in (online) court
Reasonable Doubt: Any fruits or vegetables…or phones or tablets to declare?
Reasonable Doubt: When courtroom swearing is encouraged