Ryan Dalziel

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Ryan Dalziel

Ryan Dalziel




Ryan Dalziel's general litigation practice focusses on appeals and judicial reviews. He has argued cases at all levels of court in British Columbia, in the Federal Court and Court of Appeal, in the Court of Appeal for Ontario and Alberta Court of Appeal, and 11 cases in the Supreme Court of Canada.

Mr. Dalziel’s work cuts across practice areas and has engaged a diverse array of clients dealing with a wide variety of subjects. He has argued cases on behalf of private industry, the Government of British Columbia, First Nations, individuals, and non-profit advocacy groups. The subjects he has dealt with include tobacco litigation, First Nations consultation, criminal law and procedure, energy regulation, workers’ compensation, municipal law, freedom of expression, commercial arbitration, human rights, and tax, among others.

After law school Mr. Dalziel clerked for Justices William Esson and Mary Newbury of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. He took a leave of absence from us in 2005 and 2006 to clerk for Justice Rosalie Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada. 


Professional experience

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LL.B., University of British Columbia, 2003
B.A., University of British Columbia, 2000

  • British Columbia 2004

Mr. Dalziel has acted in the following matters:

  • R. v. Summers / R. v. Carvery, 2014 SCC 26 and 27 – the appeals clarifying how the Truth in Sentencing Act allows sentencing judges to give offenders enhanced credit for time spent in custody prior to sentencing
  • R. v. J.F., 2013 SCC 12 (Supreme Court of Canada) – counsel in a conspiracy to murder appeal, in which the court recognized for the first time the offence of aiding or abetting the formation of a criminal conspiracy
  • Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott, 2013 SCC 11 (Supreme Court of Canada) – a decision clarifying and upholding civil laws sanctioning hate speech
  • British Columbia (Workers’ Compensation Board) v. Figliola, 2011 SCC 52 (Supreme Court of Canada) – established that human rights issues resolved by a government decision-maker can only be revisited by the Human Rights Tribunal in narrow circumstances
  • Canada (Attorney General) v. PHS Community Services Society, 2011 SCC 44 (Supreme Court of Canada, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of British Columbia) – counsel for the BC Civil Liberties Association in the successful defence of Insite, the safe injection site in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver
  • R. v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., 2011 SCC 42 (Supreme Court of Canada, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of British Columbia) – successfully argued on behalf of British Columbia that tobacco health care costs recovery legislation is not intended to impose liability on the federal government
  • Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. v. Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, 2010 SCC 43 (Supreme Court of Canada and Court of Appeal) – successfully argued that the duty to consult aboriginal peoples is only engaged where there is the potential for adverse effects on an aboriginal claim, and that the power sale contract between Alcan and BC Hydro did not require consultation
  • R. v. Cornell, 2010 SCC 31 (Supreme Court of Canada) – counsel for the BC Civil Liberties Association. The case considered the circumstances in which it is constitutional for an armed and masked police "tactical team" to carry out an unannounced, forced entry of a private home, to search for evidence of drug trafficking by organized crime
  • Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority v. Canadian Federation of Students - British Columbia Component, 2009 SCC 31 (Supreme Court of Canada) – counsel for a media advocacy organization appearing as an intervener. The case declared unconstitutional the public transit authorities' policy precluding political and advocacy advertising on the sides of buses
  • R. v. Kapp, 2008 SCC 41 (Supreme Court of Canada) – counsel for a First Nation intervener. Successfully argued that s. 15(2) of the Charter permits the government to create a commercial fishery exclusively for certain aboriginal bands


  • Chambers Canada, British Columbia: Litigation - General Commercial, Chambers and Partners, 2020
  • The Legal 500 Canada: Dispute Resolution - British Columbia (Next Generation Lawyer), 2019
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2018-2019: recommended in Litigation - Corporate Commercial; 2019: recommended in Litigation - Public Law
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Recognized as a leading lawyer in the areas of Aboriginal Law, Appellate Practice, Corporate + Commercial Litigation and Administrative + Public Law (2017, 2016)
  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized as a leading lawyer in the area of Dispute Resolution (2015)
  • Lexpert magazine: “Leading Canadian Litigation Lawyer to Watch”
  • Business In Vancouver Top 40 Under 40 (2011)
  • Lexpert Rising Stars - Leading Lawyers Under 40 (2011)
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Vancouver Bar Association