STEVEN WALLACE is a partner of the firm and has been practicing insurance defence litigation exclusively since 1990.
Mr. Wallace’s practice focuses on fraud and arson, bodily injury and property damage claims, and coverage questions. He is a member of the Canadian Bar Association Subsections in both civil litigation and insurance law. He is also a member of the International Association of Arson Investigators.
Property Damage, Fraud and Arson
Mr. Wallace works with many insurers and adjusters from the onset of the investigation of property damage, fraud and arson claims. He liases with SIU representatives, fire and electrical experts and forensic accountants to assist in building a defence on suspicious claims. He has successfully defended at trial and negotiated claims involving arson, robbery and break and enter. Mr. Wallace has lectured on the applicability of polygraph evidence in Canadian courts.
Mr. Wallace has prosecuted subrogated losses for numerous claims involving electrical failures, chimney fires, spontaneous combustion, candle fires, lighting, and arson. The losses involved severe property damage and business interruption.
Mr. Wallace advises insurers on complex coverage issues on first party losses (causation of loss and concurrent causes) including sprinkler line failures, freezing and failed pressure regulation. He has successfully litigated coverage disputes in favour of insurers.
Mr. Wallace has defended to trial and negotiated hundreds and hundreds of bodily injury claims, involving motor vehicle accidents, occupiers liability, products liability, assaults, social and commercial host liability and sports related injuries. He has been involved in as many mediations, and has completed training to work as a mediator. Mr. Wallace has handled all types of personal injury claims, from head injuries and whiplash injuries to spinal cord injuries. Mr. Wallace has defended numerous department stores, restaurants, pubs and other commercial premises.
Since 1990 Mr. Wallace has been defending claims involving highway maintenance. He has acted for many of the contractors in BC and the ministry of highways. He has defended many claims and has litigated three at trial, winning all three.
Mr. Wallace has conducted many trials, including jury trials and has succeeded with many. He has experience in the court of appeal and has often undertaken settlement conferences with the judiciary.
Mr. Wallace has provided numerous different coverage opinions for a variety of claims. He works with claims and underwriting from the onset of a claim on issues involving material change in risk, misrepresentation, warranty breaches and exclusions. He has assisted insurers in negotiating resolutions with insureds in situations involving complex coverage challenges. Mr. Wallace has also assisted insurers in negotiating ACV payments to mortgagees as per standard mortgage clause.
Mr. Wallace’s recent matters include:
- A coverage dispute over the flooding of a construction site;
- A multi-million dollar subrogated fire loss claim in a Calgary condominium building;
- A brain injured Plaintiff in a social host setting;
- Several large fire losses, subrogated and denied for arson;
Publications and Presentations
Mr. Wallace has written and presented various papers on insurance issues, including Standard Mortgage Clauses, Additional Insureds, Polygraph Evidence, Spoliation of Evidence, Waivers, Reservation of Rights and Non-Waiver Agreements, Cost Effective Litigation Management, Broker Liability and the Duty to Defend under Non Profit Directors and Officers liability policies.
He is the former editor of Dolden Wallace Folick’s newsletter, “The Insurance Report” and the current editor of the firm’s Social Media program.
Mr. Wallace has guest lectured to the BCIT Insurance Risk Program on the CGL Policy.