About our Lawyers - Derek Creighton

Derek Creighton

(604) 801-6169

Derek Creighton has close to 30 years of trial experience.  He acted as senior counsel for the City of Vancouver between 1979 and 2000.  There he learned the art of advocacy through the sheer high volume of court appearances.  He has developed the ability of rapid accurate assessment and extemporaneous reasoning.  Since 2000 he has entered private practice, placing his skills at the disposal of individual and corporate litigants.

Derek has appeared at all court levels in British Columbia as well as in most administrative settings.  He has the experience and skill to evaluate complex factual disputes, analyze core legal issues and provide sound advice while recognizing and addressing the complex life and business issues that face each client. 

Areas of Practice

Major Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
Derek has recently represented the widow of the world-renowned laser eye surgeon, Dr. Donald Johnson, in a wrongful death claim against Shaw Cablesystems. He was able to secure a multimillion dollar award, the largest in Canadian history for a wrongful death.
Derek has successfully defended a large number of claims involving catastrophic injury such as quadriplegia, brain and balance injury. In handling claims against the Vancouver Police Department he successfully argued that the police departmentís ICBC vehicle policy covered injuries resulting from a police shooting which rendered a plaintiff quadriplegic.

Derek has also represented the injured in a wide variety of personal injury claims, obtaining large awards for minimal brain injury and representing those injured in motor vehicle accidents or through medical malpractice.

Municipal, Government and Police Litigation and Consultation
Derek has been retained both by municipalities and municipal citizens who have required representation in respect of license suspensions, encroachments, variance appeals and challenges to WCB determinations.

Derek has acted as counsel in a number of high profile court challenges, such as representing the former Board of Variance to argue the validity of its termination and representing the Hastings Park Conservancy to dispute the City of Vancouverís jurisdiction over Hastings Park.

During his time as senior counsel for the City of Vancouver, Derek defended large damage claims for the wrongful refusal of zoning approval, judicial review applications concerning by-law challenges, constitutional challenges of licence revocation and Board of Variance jurisdiction and obtained injunctive relief for the City.

Derek handled a wide variety of claims against members of the Vancouver Police Department as the City representative. Since entering private practice he has provided advice to a variety of organizations such as the Abbotsford Police department.

Commercial and Construction Litigation
Derek has represented a number of strata corporations, utilizing his team to economically handle and successfully advance building envelope claims.

He has brought issues before the B.C. Court of Appeal resulting in a decision defining the precise nature of a strata corporation and the ownership rights of members and has obtained injunctive relief in the connection with suspected civil fraud by a strata management corporation.

Derek has acted as counsel for Fairchild Developments in relation to leasehold and commercial matters and has represented clients seeking relief in contractual and other disputes in the context of the manufacturing and mining industries as well as those seeking to enforce patents in Federal Court.

Employment and Human Rights Litigation
Derek handled the majority of the City of Vancouverís labour arbitrations for the Police, fire department and health department from 1979 to 1998. He also represented the Vancouver School Board and related agencies. As such, he defended numerous civil wrongful dismissal claims, human rights complaints and legal challenges, providing advice on a wide range of human rights and labour issues.

In private practice Derek has obtained a record damage settlement of 42-months compensation for an employee having only four-years of employment tenure and he obtained a multimillion dollar award in the form of a pension for life as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in retroactive pension funds for a Workersí Compensation Board appeal.

Proven Track Record

Major Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
  • Johnson v. Carter 2007 BCSC 622
  • Campbell v. City of Vancouver et al 2001 BCSC 350
  • Insurance Corp. of British Columbia v. Vancouver (City) 38 BCLR (3d) 213
Municipal, Government and Police Litigation and Consultation
  • Shore Hospitality v. The Corporation of the City of North Vancouver; Unreported; Vancouver Registry L051964; August 19, 2005
  • The Hastings Park Conservancy v. City of Vancouver, 2006 BCSC 1261
  • Martin v. The City of Vancouver 2006 BCSC 1260
  • Sidiropoulos v. Sullivan 2002 BCSC 1271 and 2003 BCCA 505
Commercial and Construction Litigation
  • Hamilton v. Ball 2006 BCCA 243
  • Sunray Advanced Hotel Management Inc. v. Strata Corp. BCS226 2005 BCSC 417
  • McCordic v. Hidden Rock Drilling Lt.; 2006 BCSC 1428
  • Mini-Tankers Canada Ltd. v. 1195552 Ontario Inc. et al (December 2, 2005) Vancouver S051670 (B.C.S.C.)


  • University of British Columbia (1972-1975)
  • L.L.B., University of British Columbia Law School (1975-1978)
  • Called to the British Columbia Bar 1979

Professional & Other Associations

Involved in a number of aspects of legal education, including designing instructional programs for the Municipal Officer's Association, and a variety of Lower Mainland and City inspection and enforcement staff. Instructed for the Continuing Legal Education Society, Lawyers Professional Training Program, Law School Moot Court Program, BC Justice Institute, Capilano College Municipal Training Program, and the Canadian Institute.


Derek was born in Dublin, Ireland and educated at the University of British Columbia. He has been involved as a director in a variety of arts and charitable organizations, and founded his neighbourhood community association. He has also coached baseball and soccer, and acted as a trustee for a youth camping association. Derek also has a love for carpentry and has rebuilt a 1906 home and has constructed a timber and log cabin on a local island. Derek has eighteen year-old twin boys and a twenty year-old daughter. Derek's wife is a teacher and they have been involved in providing pre- and post-marital counselling for a number of years.



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