John’s practice focuses on general civil litigation—resolving disputes through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, trials, or appeals. Spanning more than 30 years, his law practice includes advancing or defending litigation or arbitration in the following areas:

• Wrongful dismissal & employee competition law

• Shareholders’ rights and oppression claims

• Directors’ and Officers’ liability

• Professional negligence

• Real estate and development

• Securities

• Creditor’s rights

• Estates

• Insurance coverage

John also has significant experience representing parties before regulatory tribunals such as the Alberta Securities Commission.  When required, he helps clients select the appropriate arbitrator, mediator, trial court jurisdiction, or expert witness. John also assists his clients in resolving a broad variety of commercial contract claims arising in various industries.

John has built his practice on advancing his clients’ claims at a reasonable cost; quickly, skillfully and effectively. He believes in responding to clients and opposing counsel promptly and courteously.  He also maintains a good working relationship with opposing counsel, avoiding, where possible, unhelpful and costly disputes about insignificant practice issues.

As the most senior member of Wilson Laycraft, John has acted as lead counsel on more than 100 civil trails and appeals.  Some of John’s significant reported decisions in the areas of insurance coverage, professional negligence, petroleum leasing, real estate contracts, and other issues include the following:

• Aetna Insurance Co. v. Canadian Surety Co. (Alta. C.A.), 149 A.R. 321

• Bucci Xenex Project Ltd. v. Ramasiuk, 2010 ABQB 389

• Community Credit Union Ltd. v. Transamerica Life Canada, 2009, ABQB 704

• Community Credit Union Ltd. v. Ast, 413 A.R. 248

• Northey-Taylor v. Casey, 2008, ABCA 149

• Chipewyan Prairie First Nation No. 470 v. Kent, 2008, ABQB 157

• Point on the Bow Developments Ltd. v. William Kelly & Sons Plumbing Contractors Ltd., 2007 ABCA 204

• Foff v. Transamerica Life Canada, 2006, ABQB 221

• Highwood Distillers Ltd. v. Panorama Public & Industrial Communications Ltd., 2005, ABCA 107

• Seidel v. Kerr, 2003, ABCA 267

• Ockey v. World Job & Food Bank Inc., 2002, ABQB 937

• Durish v. White Resource Management Ltd., 82 A.R. 66



Ontario – 1977 / Alberta – 1979

Appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2010

BV distinguished rating with The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™



Bachelor of Arts – Queen’s University, 1972

Bachelor of Laws – Queen’s University, 1975



On a professional level, John is a member of the:

• Law Society of Alberta

• Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association

• Law Society of Upper Canada,

• Canadian Bar Association

• Calgary Bar Association

He is also a past subsection Chair, Canadian Bar Association, Alberta Branch. As a long time Calgary resident and art lover, John is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Art Gallery of Calgary.

Although John’s practice requires a great deal of reading, he also reads for pleasure, and enjoys exploring European cities, long road trips through the U.S., cycling, golfing, and skiing.