Robert J. Lesperance

robert J lesperancePartner

Location:       Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Phone:            604-685-8737
Email:             rjl@lmlaw.ca

Prior to forming Lesperance Mendes, Robert was a partner in a large Vancouver law firm and the chairperson of its environmental and intellectual property practice groups.

Robert is a co-chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section. His environmental practice emphasizes contaminated sites litigation, particularly leaking underground fuel storage tanks and related environmental claims and issues. His clients in this area are diverse and include international oil companies, property owners and private corporations.

Robert has practiced in the area of employment law since he was called to the Bar in 1984. His services include advising employers and employees on employment contracts, severance packages and wrongful dismissal disputes. In 2001 he commenced one of the first “mass dismissal” class actions in Canada, on behalf of a large group of employees residing throughout the country.

Robert’s intellectual property experience commenced with litigation to enforce the trade-marks of the Expo 86 Corporation during the World Fair. Robert has represented clients in intellectual property cases involving patents, trade-marks and copyright infringement before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the Court of Appeal of British Columbia and the Federal Court of Canada. He has also appeared before the United Nation’s World Intellectual Property Organization.

Robert’s practice also features complex commercial disputes such as construction defect claims and class actions.  Robert actively advises client on incorporations, corporate records and related transactions.

Robert was appointed as an adjunct professor of the University of British Columbia’s Law Faculty in 2004, and had taught a course on the Law of Armed Conflict. In 2004 he received the UBC Law Faculty Adam Albright Outstanding Adjunct Professor Award and in 2008 the UBC Law Faculty Adjunct Service Award. From 2009 to 2011, Robert was an academic/course instructor for the Department of Defence Studies, Royal Military College at Canadian Forces College (Joint Command Staff Course (DL) (Leadership and Ethics).

Robert’s military service began as a Black Watch Cadet in 1969. He served briefly with the Grenadiers Guards doing the changing of the guard ceremony on Parliament Hill in 1974. He also served in the Canadian Forces, Primary Reserves as a legal officer with the Office of the Judge Advocate General from 1986 until 2014, when he retired from the Canadian Forces. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel in June 2009 and his last positon held was Deputy Judge Advocate General, Reserves. He received the Canadian Decoration in 1998 and the Canadian Forces General Campaign Star in 2009 for his deployment and service in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Robert volunteers at the employment law pro bono legal aid clinic organized by the Access to Justice at the Vancouver Supreme Court Courthouse.
Robert is a past president of the Vancouver East Cultural Center and the McGill Society of Vancouver. He was raised in Montreal, Quebec and is fluent in French.

Bar Admissions

  • British Columbia, 1984

Education

  • Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    • Master of Defence Studies – 2013
  • McGill University, Faculty of Law, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    • Civil Law and Common Law Degrees – 1983
  • McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    • B.A. – 1978

Classes/Seminars

  • Presenter, “The Importance of Written Employment Agreements Between Employers and Employees”, Lorman Education Services Conference on Employee Discharge and Documentation, 2007
  • Presenter, “Managing Contaminated Sites”, The Canadian Corporate Counsel Association Annual Meeting, 2005
  • Presenter, “A Practitioner’s Guide to Defending a Cost Recovery Action”, The Environmental Law Conference, 2001
  • Presenter, “Advising the E-Commerce Business”, Pacific Business & Law Institute, 1999
  • Presenter, “The Rights of a Sales Agent”, British Columbia Sporting Goods Association, 1999
  • Presenter, Keynote Luncheon Address “Legal Officers Deployment to Afghanistan”, Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch Annual Convention 2012
  • Presenter, “Contaminated Site Litigation: Cost Recovery and Common Law Claims”, Trial Lawyers Association of BC Seminar April 2012 “Throwing Dirt Around”

Honours and Awards

  • UBC Law Faculty Adam Albright Outstanding Adjunct Professor Award 2004
  • UBC Law Faculty Adjunct Service Award 2008

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Canadian Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section, Co-Chair

Past Employment Positions

  • Canadian Armed Forces Reserves: Office of the Judge Advocate General, Legal Officer

Pro Bono Activities

  • Employment Law Pro Bono Legal Aid Clinic, Volunteer
  • Vancouver East Cultural Center, Past President
  • McGill Society of Vancouver, Past President

Languages

  • French