Melanie Harmer Photo
Melanie Harmer Photo
Melanie Harmer Photo

Melanie Harmer focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation, class actions, administrative law, public law, and employment law litigation. Her substantial litigation experience includes appearances as counsel before all levels of court in British Columbia, on leaves to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, numerous administrative tribunals, domestic and international arbitrations, and a provincial commission of inquiry.

She acts for a diverse range of private and public sector clients, including mining and forestry companies, technology companies, international automotive manufacturers, real estate developers, dissident shareholders, an independent officer of the legislature, and a securities regulator. Melanie also frequently acts as litigation counsel on merger and acquisition deals.

Between 2019 and 2022, Melanie represented Canada’s largest gaming service provider before a public inquiry into money laundering in British Columbia.

Melanie is an expert annotator for the Quickscribe legislation service in administrative law and a contributing author for the CanLII Manual to British Columbia Civil Litigation. Prior to joining McMillan, Melanie served as a judicial law clerk to six judges of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Representative Matters

The following is a selection of recent cases where Melanie has appeared as counsel:

Commercial Litigation

  • AMS Homecare Inc. v. TSX Venture Exchange Inc., 2014 BCCA 204
  • Watson Island Development Corporation v. City of Prince Rupert, 2014 BCSC 2160 and 2015 BCSC 614
  • McKersie v. Macala, 2014 BCCA 394
  • 0861695 B.C. Ltd. v. Meola, 2013 BCSC 121
  • Certain Shareholders of Crew Gold Corporation v. Crew Gold Corporation, 2012 YKCA 9

Administrative Law

  • Jaguar Financial Corporation, Galway Metals Inc. and TSX Venture Exchange Inc., 2014 BCSECCOM 440
  • British Columbia (Public Safety and Solicitor General) v. Stelmack, 2011 BCSC 1244
  • Emergency Health Services Commission v. Cassidy, 2011 BCSC 1003

Employment and Privacy Law

  • BC Pavilion Corporation, 2014 BCIPC 17 and 2015 BCIPC 10
  • Whiting v. Boys and Girls Club Services of Greater Victoria, 2011 BCSC 681
  • Sifton v. Wheaton Pontiac Buick GMC (Nanaimo) Ltd., 2010 BCCA 541

Public and Government Law

  • British Columbia (Auditor General) v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2013 BCSC 98
  • British Columbia (Auditor General) v. Butler, 2011 BCSC 1064

Aboriginal Law

  • Taseko Mines Limited v. Phillips, 2011 BCSC 1675


Rankings & Recognition

  • Recognized in the 2024 Benchmark Litigation: Canada Guide
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada (2024) as a leading lawyer in the area of Corporate and Commercial Litigation
  • Recognized in the 2023 Benchmark Litigation: Canada Guide as a Future Star
  • Recipient of the Lawson Lundell Prize in Corporations I
  • Recipient of the Walter H. Gage and Elsie M. Harvey Education Abroad Scholarship
  • First Place Factum, Wilson Moot Competition
  • Recipient of the David Roberts Prize in Legal Writing
  • Recipient of the Edwards, Kenny & Bray Founders Scholarship

Community Involvement

  • Former Board Member, Mt. Seymour Preschool
  • Former Mentor, CBA-UBC Student Mentorship Program
  • Former Executive Officer, CBA BC Civil Litigation (Vancouver) Subsection
  • Former Volunteer with Pacific Assistance Dog Society

Directorships & Affiliations

  • Canadian Bar Association (British Columbia Branch)
  • Vancouver Bar Association

Education & Admissions

Called to the British Columbia bar
LLBUniversity of British Columbia
Exchange StudentUniversity of Auckland
BA, Political Science and Family StudiesUniversity of British Columbia

Insights (9 Posts)View More

Featured Insight

Current Litigation and Dispute Resolution Trends in British Columbia

McMillan Vancouver's Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group comments on current disputes trends.

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Mar 28, 2024
Featured Insight

Retail Closure Lay-Offs: Frustrating but Not Frustration of Contract

The BC Court of Appeal reinforces that frustration of contract, particularly in the employment context, is a stringent threshold.

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Feb 6, 2024
Featured Insight

BC Court of Appeal Confirms Dishonesty Constitutes Cause for Dismissal – Key Takeaways from Mechalchuk v. Galaxy Motors (1990) Ltd.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal confirms that submitting personal meals as business expenses can constitute cause for dismissal.

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Jan 12, 2024
Featured Insight

Secret Recordings Won’t Fly: BC Court of Appeal Rules on Surreptitious Recordings by Employees in the Workplace

This bulletin discusses a recent BC Court of Appeal decision where an employee was dismissed for cause for secretly recording workplace conversations.

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Nov 1, 2023
Featured Insight

Banks Beware of Fraud: BC Court of Appeal Considers Whether Financial Institutions Have a Duty to Warn Customers about Scams

A decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal suggests that financial institutions may have a duty to warn customers about financial scams.

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Apr 4, 2023
Featured Insight

BC’s Court of Appeal Wades into Fairy Creek

A discussion of the recent British Columbia Court of Appeal decision relating to the extension of an interlocutory injunction.

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Feb 1, 2022
Featured Insight

Secondary Market Liability Securities Claims: Evidence Needed For Leave

This case comment discusses a recent British Columbian decision about secondary market claims for misrepresentation and when leave will be granted

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Dec 13, 2021
Featured Insight

BC Court of Appeal Rules Absolute Privilege Precludes Claim for Breach of Privacy

The British Columbia Court of Appeal rules that absolute privilege precludes claim for breach of privacy.

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Mar 8, 2018
Featured Insight

No Free Accidents: Supreme Court of Canada Upholds Termination of Drug Dependent Employee

No Free Accidents: Supreme Court of Canada Upholds Termination of Drug Dependent Employee

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Jun 22, 2017

Deals & Cases (3 Posts)

Featured Insight

Avcorp Industries Completes Plan of Arrangement with Latécoère S.A.

On November 7, 2022, Avcorp Industries Inc. (TSX:AVP) (“Avcorp”) closed its CAD$139 million acquisition by Latécoère S.A. (“Latécoère”). The acquisition was affected by way of a court-approved plan of arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act, pursuant to which Latécoère acquired all the issued and outstanding common shares of Avcorp for considerations of $0.11 in cash per share.

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Nov 7, 2022
Featured Insight

Emblem Corp. Completes Qualifying Transaction

Emblem Corp. was represented by a McMillan team led by Desmond Balakrishnan and included Barbara Collins, Arman Farahani, Mark Neighbor and Sasa Pudar (Capital Markets and M&A), Melanie Harmer (Litigation) assisting with court materials, and Michael Reid and Lindsay Dykstra (Business Law) assisting with due diligence.

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Dec 21, 2016
Featured Insight

Lawsuit against Tahoe Resources Inc. stayed by Supreme Court of British Columbia

Lawsuit against Tahoe Resources Inc. stayed by Supreme Court of British Columbia

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Nov 25, 2015