Skip Navigation

About David

David's litigation practice involves all aspects of corporate/commercial litigation with an emphasis on construction law, securities law, insurance law, environmental law, and oil and gas law. He regularly appears before all levels of courts in Alberta as well as in the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal. In securities matters, he frequently appears before the Securities Commission of Alberta.

David also maintains a considerable advisory practice in connection with environmental issues, property and liability policies, and reinsurance losses.

David is a member of the Blakes Executive Committee.

David has served as an elected bencher of the Law Society of Alberta since February 2024.

Select Experience
  • Acted for Pembina Pipeline Corporation before the Securities Commission to defend its break fee and challenge the use of a total return swap by Brookfield Infrastructure Corporation Exchange Limited in the context of a hostile bid made by Brookfield for Inter Pipeline Ltd. and a white knight bid by Pembina (recognized as one of the "Top 10 Business Decisions of 2021/2022" by Lexpert Special Edition on Litigation – Re Bison Acquisition Corp., 2021 ABASC 188)

  • Acted for Waterous Energy Fund before the Securities Commission to defend its use of exemptions in the context of a hostile takeover bid made by Waterous for Osum Oil Sands Corp.

  • Assisted a dissident group in successfully winning a proxy contest for control of the board of a significant energy company

  • Acted as litigation counsel to the independent chair in a proxy contest involving a widely held private company

  • Acted on a number of occasions for management in proxy contests over the board election of dissident directors of prominent Calgary companies

  • Acted as litigation counsel to Suncor in its hostile take-over of Canadian Oil Sands

  • Acted in a number of arbitrations related to claims of cost overruns and delays in construction of a large oil sands facility

  • Acted in a large matter involving product liability issues related to oil sands construction

  • Acted in an arbitration involving oil pipeline financial guarantees

  • Successfully representing a Canadian municipality in a four-week, C$125-million commercial arbitration regarding allegations of unlawful termination, delay and disruption, and bad faith in the context of a significant public transportation project

  • Acted in an arbitration with respect to pipeline cost-of-service arrangements

  • Acted in arbitrations related to energy cost accounting and operatorship issues

  • Acted in an arbitration involving the entitlement to co-generation revenue streams

  • Represented AMEC Foster Wheeler in a long litigation involving construction of a magnesium oxide plant in Jordan

  • Acted in the New Brunswick courts in a significant insurance coverage dispute involving a nuclear power facility

  • Represented EPCOR Utilities Inc. and Capital Power Corporation in defence of an action to enjoin a C$3-billion transaction on the basis of deficient approval by the shareholder and the City of Edmonton

  • Acted in a significant pipeline spill matter in Manitoba

  • Acted in an international commercial arbitration (valued at over C$800-million) involving construction and insurance issues in the oil sands

  • Acted for a multinational construction company in defence of allegations of negligent design and gross negligence in project management relating to an international construction project

  • Acted in an arbitration involving reinsurance treaty obligations

  • Led the defence of Agrium in an action involving, among other things, allegations that Agrium breached a change of control agreement relating to the grant and valuation of options

  • Appeared before the Alberta Energy Regulator in a significant dispute over enhanced recovery in an oil pool

  • Acted for Dominion Exploration Canada Ltd. in a trial over gas well ownership

  • Represented a large multinational energy company in a dispute over contamination arising from refinery lands

  • Acted in a significant coverage dispute involving construction of an oil sands tailings pond

  • Acted in a construction arbitration involving a number of parties related to construction of a terminaling facility

  • Acted in a number of matters involving advice about Covid coverage issues

  • Coverage counsel in a significant matter involving transmission line failure

  • Acted as an umpire pursuant to the Insurance Act in valuation disputes

  • Regularly provides advice about insurance coverage issues and acts in related litigation

  • Defended a number of class actions involving banking issues, consumer credit issues, competition issues, transportation issues, and pharmaceuticals

Awards & Recognition
  • Lexpert Special Edition on Litigation (2013–2023: Ranked Lawyer; 2022: Counsel to Pembina Pipeline Corporation in Re Bison Acquisition Corp., 2021 ABASC 188, named one of the "Top 10 Business Cases of 2021/2022")

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business (2016–2024: Litigation: General Commercial – Alberta, Insurance: Dispute Resolution; 2024: Construction) "David Tupper maintains a strong position in the market and is regarded by clients as a bet the company litigation lawyer that we would go to on very serious litigation matters." One interviewee added: "He is a litigator who knocks it out of the park." Another said: "He is fantastic – very practical and knowledgeable. He understands that it is not always just about law, but that other things come into play."

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business – 2009–2023 (Dispute Resolution: "David Tupper 'is a prominent name' in litigation in Alberta and is praised by clients for his wide-ranging skill set...." Other comments include: "very well-reasoned, very persuasive, and a very calm court presence," "has a tremendous ability to listen to clients, understand the issues and convert that to a successful strategy" and "smart, effective, no nonsense and moves very quickly.")

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (2014–2024: Most Frequently Recommended: Litigation – Corporate Commercial; Consistently Recommended: 2018–2024: Commercial Arbitration; 2017–2024: Construction Law; 2020–2024: Litigation – Securities; 2020–2024: Class Actions; 2018–2024: Repeatedly Recommended: Directors and Officers Liability; 2018–2024: Litigation – Product Liability; 2024: Energy (Oil & Gas)

  • The Legal 500 Canada – 2015–2024 (Listed in the elite "Leading Lawyers in Canada" list for Dispute Resolution and Insurance)

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada – 2018–2024 (Corporate Commercial Litigation)

  • Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyers – Independently Rated Lawyers – 2019–2024 (As nominated by senior in-house counsel)

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys – 2013–2024 (Top 50 Trial Lawyers in Canada; Litigation Star – Construction, Energy, Insurance, Commercial). "David has an ability to anticipate and in certain instances defuse situations before they become major issues. With that said, I did get the opportunity to see him in the court room and I was very glad he was on my side!"

  • Best Lawyers' 2023 and 2019 Calgary Director and Officer Liability Practice "Lawyer of the Year"

  • Best Lawyers' 2022 International Arbitration "Lawyer of the Year"

  • Best Lawyers' 2020 and 2018 Calgary Product Liability Law "Lawyer of the Year"

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada – 2011–2024 (Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Securities Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration, Construction Law, Class Action Litigation, Insurance Law, Product Liability Law, Appellate Practice, Director and Officer Liability Practice, Bet-the-Company Litigation)

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada (2020–2024: Arbitration – "David Tupper garners plaudits from market sources as 'really the top leader in Alberta for energy and construction arbitration'"; 2017–2024: Commercial Litigation – "David stands out as an excellent trial lawyer"; 2015–2024: Insurance & Reinsurance; 2021–2024: Construction)

  • Benchmark Canada Awards – Alberta Litigator of the Year 2024, 2018 and 2017

  • Best Lawyers' 2017 Calgary Class Action Litigation "Lawyer of the Year"

  • Lexpert Special Edition on Canada's Leading Energy Lawyers – 2022–2023

  • Lexpert Special Edition on Canada's Leading Infrastructure Lawyers – 2022–2024

Professional Activities

David regularly speaks at conferences throughout Canada on topics that impact the areas of law in which he practises. He is also active in many volunteer organizations and is a board member of The Advocates' Society.

Media Activities
  • Quoted : Lexpert's Top 10 Business Decisions of 2021/2022
    Counsel in Re Bison Acquisition Corp., 2021 ABASC 188 (one of the top 10 business decisions), Interviewed by Aidan Macnab, Lexpert Special Edition on Litigation 2022, November 23, 2022.

Admitted to the Alberta Bar – 1996
LLB, University of Toronto – 1995
BA, University of Alberta – 1991

More insights

Save Profile

Select sections to customize your PDF