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Adam H. Howden-Duke


Adam practices commercial and general insurance defence litigation, with an emphasis on errors and omissions, products liability and coverage disputes. Adam also acts as a mediator, where his practice includes personal injury, product liability, coverage & construction defects disputes.

First called to the Bar in New Zealand, Adam practised there for approximately 3 years, before spending 2 years travelling through parts of Africa, Canada and Europe on a working holiday. After his travels, Adam returned to practice in London, England for just under 5 years before immigrating to Vancouver with his wife and joining Guild Yule in late 2004. He was admitted to the partnership on January 1, 2008.

Adam is a qualified mediator and registered on the Mediate BC associate roster. He is an active member of the Board of Directors of Mediate BC where he chairs the Practice Committee.

He is recognized in Best Lawyers Canada for Insurance Law, as a “Litigation Star” in Benchmark Canada, and is client-rated as “pre-eminent” on Martindale-Hubbell. Since 2015, Adam has been a contributing author to the CLEBC’s “Annual Review of Law & Practice” and “British Columbia Civil Trial Handbook”, and he is the current President of the Lawyers Inn Society.

Recent decisions | Representative Work
  • Acted as coverage counsel for Lloyds Market excess layer insurers in cases involving big 4 accounting firms in respect of litigation domiciled in Europe for several claims worth between US$3 million and US$140 million.
  •  Ralph Hume Garry v. Gwillim [2003] 1 WLR 510; [2003] 1 All ER 1038 (Eng. CA) and Sutton v. Mishcon De Reya and Gawor & Co [2003] EWHC 3166 (Ch) – defence of solicitors in claims alleging professional negligence.
  •  Acted for stockbrokers, investment managers (and their insurers), in relation to claims totaling approximately £4 million arising out of allegedly mis-sold investments.
  •  Acted as coverage counsel for London reinsurers in several D&O claims. Seconded to Chubb Insurance Company of Europe Ltd for 3 months as a D&O and E&O claims counsel.
  • Lotocky v. Markle et al [2005] BCJ No. 3079, Lyon v. Ridge Meadows Hospital and Health Care Centre et al [2007] BCJ No. 1516 Cojocaru (Guardian ad litem of) v. British Columbia Women’s Hospital [2009] B.C.J. No. 731; 2011 BCCA 192; [2013] SCR 357 (SCC), Basil v Interior Health Authority 2012 BCSC 1158 – defence of hospitals in claims alleging medical malpractice.  Acted as counsel and advisory counsel to Health Authorities and School Districts involved with Coroner Inquests.
  • Nason v. Nunes et al & Santos v. Nunes et al [2007] BCJ No. 444; 2008 BCCA 203, defence of Highways Maintenance Contractor in personal injury negligence action.  Defended several manufacturers in claims arising out of alleged faulty manufacture or design. Rendered coverage opinions under property, CGL, E&O and wrap-up liability policies.  Defended claims against surveryors, engineers and varied trade contractors in construction defect related litigation.
  • Represented clients at many forms of ADR, including New Zealand and English jurisdictions.
Education | Professional Affiliations


  • 2016: Called to the NWT Bar
  • 2005: Called to the British Columbia Bar
  • 2003: Federation of Law Societies of Canada, Certificate of Canadian Accreditation
  • 2001: Admitted as a Solicitor in England and Wales
  • 2000: Qualified Lawyers Transfer Certificate of Eligibility, The Law Society (England and Wales)
  • 1994: Called to the New Zealand Bar
  • 1993: LLB (Hons) and B.Comm., University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Professional Affiliations:

  • Member, Law Society of British Columbia
  • Member, Law Society of the Northwest Territories
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch (Health Law, Products Liability Law, Insurance Law, Civil Litigation – Vancouver, Construction Law and Environmental Law sections)
  • Past Director; Canadian, New Zealand and Australian Business Association
  • President of the Board of Directors of the Lawyers Inn Society
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Mediate BC
  • Member, Defence Research Institute, Commonwealth Law Association, and Canadian Defence Lawyers
Publications | Seminars


  • March 2015:  Cyber Liability (GY Mid-winter Briefing, Toronto)
  • September 2014:  Coverage for cyber liability under the CGL (Continuing Legal Education Society of BC Insurance Law Conference, Vancouver)
  • September 2013:  Flagging Pitfalls & Potholes in Incident Reporting & Record Keeping (BC Road-builders Fall Conference, Kelowna)
  • February 2013:  Litigation Finance (GY Mid-winter Briefing, Toronto)
  • September 2009:  An Overview of the new Supreme Court Rules
  • June 2006:  Liabilities and pitfalls of a director or officer. (BC CGA Summer Conference)


  • Guild Yule Briefing Note, July 2015:  Coverage for cyber-liability under the CGL policy
  • Guild Yule Briefing Note, March 2015:  CRTC hands down $1.1 million penalty for breach of CASL
  • January 2015 – Co-author Costs Chapter:  BC Annual Review of Law & Practice
  • Guild Yule Briefing Note, May2014:  Important change announced to discount rates in the Law and Equity Act
  • Guild Yule Briefing Note, April 2014:  Silver Fox v. Chief Coroner, 2013 YKCA 11, a missed opportunity?
  • Guild Yule Issue Note, Fall 2009 & Summer 2013:  The Defence of Highway Maintenance Claims in British Columbia
  • Guild Yule Briefing Note, May 2012:  BCCA uphold waiver of liability for negligence (Loychuk v Cougar Mountain Adventures Ltd)
  • The Advocate, September & November 2011:  Litigation Finance: Access to Justice at what cost?
  • Guild Yule Briefing Note, November 2009:  The new Supreme Court Civil Rules–a new role for Judiciary in British Columbia