Michael G. Thomas

“When someone you love suffers a critical injury he or she needs medical, financial and emotional support. Assisting people overcoming adversity is the most motivating, rewarding and inspirational activity that I have ever done.”

Michael G. Thomas

Michael G. Thomas

Partner, Harper Grey LLP mthomas@harpergrey.com 604.895.2873 Michael G. Thomas Law Corporation Download VCard LinkedIn Download PDF

Rheannon McMullen

Assistant rmcmullen@harpergrey.com 604.687.0411 (Ext. 2209)

Biography

Michael is the chair of Harper Grey’s Critical Injury Group. His practice is focused on people that have suffered an injury that has had a significant effect on their life. “The stakes are high for my clients – it’s someone’s future that I am responsible for – which really brings home the personal aspect of practicing law.”

To help clients get their lives back on track, Mike consults not only on their legal action but also on access to physicians and other health care providers, education, financial and vocational consultants. Mike wants his clients to be able to say they took every possible step to help themselves.

“When I represent someone who has suffered a critical injury we embark on a journey together and share a spectrum of experiences. When I initially meet clients they are injured, often uncertain and sometimes desperate. While the path ahead can be long and hard what makes it all worthwhile is creating an environment that enables my client to succeed with his or her life. Knowing that his or her financial future is secure is a key part of this process.”

Michael is regularly asked to lecture and provide continuing education in personal injury and related areas of the law such as brain injuries, cross examination, insurance and causation. And while he is also an active member in a number of professional associations he is thoroughly grounded in the real-life application of the law. “Legal issues are fascinating, but only in light of how they can be incorporated into individual circumstances. This can have a real impact on a client’s life. It’s important to join abstract views of law and justice with the practical realities of what clients need.”

In addition to representing people who have suffered critical injuries Michael defends doctors and lawyers who have been sued for malpractice, provides advice to insurance companies on interjurisdictional, excess limits and ethical issues, and is frequently called upon to act as counsel for cases that are about to go to trial. He enjoys both trials where the jury decides the outcome and trials by judge alone. Michael has appeared before all levels of court in British Columbia, various tribunals, the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Michael grew up in White Rock, BC and played rugby at Semiahmoo Senior Secondary. He attended Queen’s University where he received his B.A. (Hons.) and his M.A. in Economics before going on to become a commerce officer at the Competition Bureau of Canada. His primary duties there were to enforce the civil provisions of the Competition Act. He received training from the RCMP in interview and interrogation techniques and is certified as an expert witness in the search and seizure of electronic information. Michael returned to Queen’s University to obtain his LL.B. and joined Harper Grey upon completion of his articles.

Michael is a multi-engine instruments rated pilot. He now lives in North Vancouver and enjoys trail running and biking. He has participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, a cycle trip from Vancouver to Seattle that raises funds for cancer research.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Recognized as a “Leading Lawyer” in the area of Personal Injury Litigation by Best Lawyers® in Canada, 2016 – 2019
  • Recognized as a “Leading Lawyer” in the area of Insurance Law by Best Lawyers® in Canada, 2018 – 2019
  • Recognized as a “Local Litigation Star” in British Columbia in the areas of Health Law and Personal Injury by Benchmark Canada®, 2016 – 2018
  • Recognized as a “Leading Lawyer” in the area of Medical Negligence  by Best Lawyers® in Canada, 2019

Leadership

  • Editor, Contemporary Canadian Insurance Law Casebook, 2015 Published by LexisNexis Canada. A comprehensive casebook providing access to the case law and legal principles relevant to virtually all areas of insurance law in Canada.
  • Creator and Editor, Canadian Insurance Law Blog – the preeminent database and index for leading substantive cases involving insurance laws in Canada.
  • President, The Medical Legal Society of British Columbia (2014/2015)
  • Member, Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia
  • Member, American Association of Justic
  • Member, Canadian Defence Lawyers
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association – British Columbia Branch – Civil Litigation, Health Law, and Insurance Law subsections.
  • Instructor, Advocacy, at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law

Education

  • Queen’s University, LL.B., 1998
  • Queen’s University, M.A. (Economics), 1991
  • Queen’s University, B.A. (Hons.), 1990

Bar Admission

  • British Columbia, 1999

Recent Cases/Results

  • Assisting a man with a young family recover $4.9 million dollars in compensation for an injury to his spinal cord suffered in a sporting accident which left him paralyzed.
  • Helping a young man recover over $4.2 million in compensation for a brain injury suffered in a motor vehicle accident.
  • Counsel on the latest case in Canada dealing with the application of the Power of Attorney Undertakings on a person injured in British Columbia but entitled to coverage under an Ontario automobile policy.
  • Helping a family recover over $2 million in compensation for a brain injury suffered by a husband who was a passenger in a car driven by his wife.
  • Counsel on a jury trial involving a determination of the definition of a catastrophic injury and the upper limit of non-pecuniary damages that could be awarded by a jury
  • Helping a young man recover over $1.7 million in compensation for a brain injury suffered when his friend crashed into a construction site after drinking at a local pub
  • Counsel on the first case in British Columbia where debilitating alcoholism was found to be a foreseeable consequence of a broken wrist suffered in a motor vehicle accident.
  • Assisting a young man who was beaten and suffered a brain injury in a lacrosse game in an attempt to bring an action in negligence against the assailant’s coaches and the lacrosse league.
  • Filing a class action against all of the police forces in British Columbia for alleged negligent investigation and enforcement of B.C.’s new impaired driving legislation.
  • Defending a neurosurgeon from allegations of professional negligence in the treatment of a lesion in the patient’s cervical cord which resulted in quadriplegia.

Past results are not a guarantee of results in future matters. The amounts recovered and outcome of any litigation will vary according to the unique facts and circumstances in each individual case. References to recent cases and successful results on our website are intended only to provide information about the activities and experience of our lawyers and are not necessarily indicative of future results.

Testimonials

From the very first meeting, our family felt that Mike was the right person to represent our son. He was very supportive and patient with us while we described his accident and the nature of the injuries sustained. We appreciated the fact that he always made himself available and that we were always free to ask questions (and we had many!).

Donna, client

The doctors may have saved our son’s life after he suffered a catastrophic brain injury, but Harper Grey is responsible for the quality of life he lives today.

… From the very first meeting, our family felt that the lawyers at Harper Grey were the right people to represent our son. They were very supportive and patient with all of us while we described his accident and the nature of the injuries he sustained. We appreciated the fact that they always made themselves available to us.

Paul, father of client

The whole process could have been devastating, but it was made straightforward. We survived it because of Harper Grey – no question.

Janie, client

You are about to go through one of the toughest times in your life and it’s nice to have people around you who care, lawyers included.

… Harper Grey said that if I needed financial help along the way that they would loan me money when I needed it and were willing to lend a hand in what was the worst time in my entire life. Add to that it was an interest free loan that was paid at the time of settlement. They weren’t interested in making money off of me it was pure help and very much needed and extremely appreciated.

Wayne, client

We are extremely grateful to Harper Grey for their assistance by advancing the much needed funds to pay for our brother’s lengthy rehabilitation. Harper Grey ensured that he was cared for by the best medical team and because of this, he was able to make an exceptional recovery.

Rebecca, sister of client

We were able to put our trust in the Harper Grey team to take care of our matters – so that we could take care of our son.

… Harper Grey always made our son’s rehabilitation needs a priority. No matter what the complicated circumstances, Harper Grey always found a way to overcome the obstacle and ensure that our son received the best care possible. Without their immeasurable knowledge and dedication, we do not believe our son would have made as successful of a recovery as he did.”

… A brain injury court case can be lengthy – therefore it’s very important to have a comfort level with your lawyer where you never feel intimidated or talked down to – no matter how many questions you have or how often you have them. Harper Grey took the time to come to the hospital, meet with our family educate us on brain injury and provide us with a level of respect and understanding that established a positive relationship.

Donna, mother of client

I was involved in an automobile accident a few years ago and retained counsel at Harper Grey. Looking back on my experience, I am very grateful that I was able to focus on my rehabilitation and physiotherapy rather than worry about dealing with the insurance company.

…The people at Harper Grey were very diligent and kept me informed every step of the way. I could trust that they always had my best interests in mind.

Zameer, client

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