David G. Coles, Q.C.

(902) 460-3422 (902) 463-7500 dcoles@boyneclarke.ca
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Assistant
Francine Cusack-MacKenzie
fcusack@boyneclarke.ca
"My practice is litigation and I handle trial and appellant work throughout the Atlantic Provinces. I have also been involved in a number of Supreme Court of Canada cases. I handle contract litigation of all kinds including business, property, securities, employment and estates. As well, I carry on a media law practice that involves all manner of defamation claims."

About David

David is a Partner and the Team Leader of the Business Litigation team. His practice areas include Defamation, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Estate Litigation, Media Law, and Construction Law.

David represents a number of institutional clients including Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CTV, Community Newspapers Association, Royal Bank of Canada, The Coast and Grant Thornton. He has appeared on appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada on four separate occasions and participated in over 250 reported decisions. David appears regularly in the Supreme Courts and Courts of Appeal of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

In November 2011 David was named as a Representative of Nova Scotia on the Atlantic Regional Committee for the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute. David is Chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation section. He was named Best Lawyers’ 2012, 2016 and 2018 Halifax Defamation and Media Law “Lawyer of the Year” and has been included in the Best Lawyers in Canada every year since 2006. In 2014 and again in 2016, David was a finalist in the Benchmark Canada awards for “Litigator of the Year” in the Atlantic Provinces. David continues to appear in the Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross Border Litigation Lawyers.

Recently, through a series of Court hearings, David obtained the release of the search warrant information in respect to the Oland homicide investigation in New Brunswick and as well obtained release of the video and other exhibits in the sentencing hearing of Mr. Bourque who killed three RCMP officers in New Brunswick.

Areas of Practice

David 's Background

Education
  • 1984: LL.B., Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • 1981: Bachelor of Arts, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Employment
  • 1991 - Present: Litigation Partner (Commercial Law/Media Law), BOYNECLARKE LLP, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
  • 1985 - 1991: Articling Clerk/ Associate, BOYNECLARKE LLP, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
  • 1975 - 1985: Correctional Services - Department of Attorney General (Summer Employment/Part-time/Full-time); Research Officer/Probation Officer, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Professional Memberships
  • Member - Nova Scotia Barristers' Society
  • Representative of Nova Scotia - Atlantic Regional Committee for the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute
  • Member - Construction Law Subsection Canadian Bar Association
  • Past Member - Nova Scotia Barristers' Society Media Relations Committee
Community Activities
  • Lecturer/pro bono counsel - King's College School of Journalism
  • Former President - Dartmouth Players Community Theater Company
  • Former Board Member - Ad IDEM (Canadian Media Lawyers Association)
Publications
  • Numerous articles on freedom of expression and media law related topics in national legal publications
  • The Public Inebriate in Provincial Correctional Institutions - 1973 - 1975 - Department of Attorney General
  • A History of the Administration of Jails in the Province of Nova Scotia - Nova Scotia Criminal Justice Communications Project
Appearances
  • Mr. Coles has appeared in all levels of Courts in the Province and in four separate cases (involving numerous hearings) before the Supreme Court of Canada
Awards & Honours
  • Appointed Queen's Counsel (2005)
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in Canada published by Best Lawyers® for Media, Defamation and Transportation Law (2006-2018)
  • Named Local Litigation Star by Benchmark Canada, The Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys 4th Edition (2016)
  • Recommended Litigation Star in Benchmark Canada, The Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys 2015 Atlantic, (Nova Scotia) Canada
  • Selected to appear in the Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross Border Litigation Lawyers (2015)
  • Dalhousie Entrance Scholarship
  • ​Soroptimist Youth Citizenship Award for the Maritimes and New England
  • Named the Halifax Best Lawyers Defamation and Media Law Lawyer of the Year for 2012 & 2016
  • Listed in the 2014 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory for Litigation (Defamation)