David Claassen
Jana Angela Neria


An experienced litigation and dispute resolution lawyer, David Claassen provides advice on every aspect of the construction process, including tender and contract issues, liens, and delay claims. He focuses on achieving the best result for his clients, whether through negotiation or trial, by taking a detail-oriented approach. Ranging from simple home renovations to multimillion-dollar commercial developments, his experience drafting construction contracts for projects is extensive.

David also serves as a mediator for disputes of all sizes and complexity. In mediation, he brings an innate understanding of the costs and risks of litigation, pressures that come along with those risks, and legal issues standing in the way of resolution. He is enthusiastic and dedicated in helping parties come to an agreement that works for everyone.

Prior to joining JML in 2014, David clerked for six justices of the British Columbia Supreme Court and worked as an associate at a national law firm where he gained experience in a variety of practice areas. He frequently lectures on construction topics and contributes to the British Columbia Builders Lien Practice Manual. He is also a former chair of the Construction Section of the Canadian Bar Association – British Columbia.

Experience Highlights

  • Lead counsel in successfully recovering the full quantum of damages on behalf of a contractor from a Strata that refused to make payment of amounts owed for work performed, as well as double costs on the basis of an offer to settle: Remdal Painting and Restoration Inc. v. The Owners, Strata Plan, 2019
  • Co-counsel for a general contractor in a dispute with a subcontractor over payments for work completed and an alleged repudiation of the subcontract: Limen Forming West Ltd. v. Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd., 2017
  • Co-counsel in a dispute over the existence of a lease and right of first refusal on behalf of a developer. We were successful in obtaining a declaration that the lease had expired and the tenant did not have a right of first refusal, as well as damages against the tenant corporation and the principal of the corporation of $2,200,000: International Sausage House Ltd. v. Hammer, 2015
  • Co-counsel for a general contractor, successful in obtaining judgment of over $8,500,000 against an insurer who refused to provide coverage for damage to the construction of a hospital: Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc. v. Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Co., 2014
  • Lead counsel for a financial institution, successful in obtaining personal judgment of over $500,000 in fraudulent misrepresentation against corporate officers in fraudulent lending transaction: WS Leasing Ltd. v. Platinum Equipment Ltd., 2012
  • Lead counsel for a general contractor, successful in defending a breach of contract claim brought by a sub-sub-contractor: Clemas Contracting Ltd. v. Envoy Construction Services Ltd., 2012
  • Co-counsel for a post-secondary institution, successful in obtaining a Mareva injunction against an employee on the basis of alleged fraud against the employer: University of British Columbia v. Moscipan, 2012
  • Co-counsel on a contested liability trial in relation to a motor vehicle accident, largely successful in defending liability and costs: Currie v. Taylor, 2012, 2013

Education & Bar Admissions

  • B.A., University of British Columbia, 2006
  • LL.B., University of Victoria, 2009
  • Called to the Bar of British Columbia, 2011