McEwen, David F. Q.C.

Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP
2700 – 700 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC  V7Y 1B8


Direct Tel: (604) 484-1748
Direct Fax: (604) 484-9748



David F. McEwen, Q.C. has over 40 years’ experience in all areas of maritime, admiralty and marine insurance disputes. He has had extensive experience at all levels of Canadian courts, including the British Columbia Court of Appeal, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. Mr. McEwen’s preferred areas of practice include marine insurance coverage disputes, tug and tow issues, marine insurance subrogation, recoveries for cargo damage or loss, marine casualties (including collisions and personal injuries) and yacht construction disputes.


Mr. McEwen has been the Honorary Solicitor of the Company of Master Mariners of Canada from 1972 to date. He is the author of a number of articles on marine insurance and carriage of goods published in international maritime publications including “Per Package Limitation – A Diverging Approach in Canadian Courts” (Lloyds Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly, 1976) and “International Case Comment – Bamcell II” (L.M.C.L.Q., 1984).  Mr. McEwen has been an Associate Editor of American Maritime Cases since 1978.


Mr. McEwen has been a speaker at numerous maritime law seminars held in Quebec City, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Halifax, Chicago, New Orleans and Honolulu, as well as the marine insurance seminars and workshops sponsored by the Association of Marine Underwriters of British Columbia (now the British Columbia Marine Insurance Association). He was the chairperson of the Second International Maritime Law Conference at Vancouver (1981) and of seminars on Federal Court Practice and Procedure in Vancouver in 1984, 1994, 1999, 2003, 2009 and 2012, serving also as a speaker at the 1994 and 2003 seminars.



Mr. McEwen has also been selected by his peers for inclusion in the publication, The Best Lawyers in Canada, since its commencement in 2006 and in 2012 is Best Lawyers’ 2012 Vancouver Maritime Law Lawyer of the Year. He has also been recognized by LEXPERT as a leading Canadian lawyer in maritime law. Martindale-Hubbell rates him as AV (the highest rating).



  • North King Lodge Ltd. v. Gowlland Towing Ltd., 2005 BCCA 557. Recent Court of Appeal decision that restates the limited duty of care that an owner or occupier of maritime property owes to a trespassing vessel;
  • J.A. Johnston Company Ltd. v. The Ship Tindefjell, (1973) 2 F.C. 1003. The first decision outside the United States to hold that a shipping container was not a “package” within the Hague Rules;
  • Norsk Pacific Steamship Co. Ltd. v. Canadian National Railway Company (Jervis Crown), [1992] 1 S.C.R. 1201. A decision of the Supreme Court of Canada that broadened the ambit of recovery for pure economic loss; and
  • Bayside Towing Ltd. v. Canadian Pacific Railway Co., [2001] 2 F.C. 258. The first decision in Canada on the new limitation of liability regime.



  • Canadian Bar Association, Member;
  • Canadian Bar Association Maritime Law Section, Past Chair for B.C. and Canada;
  • Canadian Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Court Rules, Past Member and Chairperson; and
  • Statutory Federal Court Rules Committee, Member from inception to 1998.