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British Columbia (Hydro and Power Authority) v. N.D. Lea & Associates Ltd.,
1997 CanLII 2321 (B.C.C.A.). Similar to many of the matters Neil handled
later in his career, this was a complex engineering dispute. The case, however,
turned on the interpretation of a single principle of law. Neil’s legal
interpretation was accepted by the trial court and then again by the Court
of Appeal, with the Supreme Court of Canada denying leave to appeal. The
case continues to be a leading decision on the scope of an engineer’s duty
of care to third parties.
In 2008, Neil received the honorary title of Queen’s Counsel, recognizing
his exceptional legal skills and contributions to the legal profession.
The ancient Greek statesman Pericles is quoted as saying: “What you
leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is
woven into the lives of others.” Neil has left a legacy of professional excellence,
compassion and respect for others that remains woven into the lives
of those who work at Harper Grey.
Neil is survived by his wife Susan, his daughters Catherine and Gillian,
and his six grandchildren.
Thomas Allan Davies
Tom Davies died on May 3, 2020. He was 77 years of
age. Tom was a loved and respected member of the
Fraser Valley bar. He practised in Surrey for most of
his 40 years as a lawyer. He was modest and humble.
His preferred mode of dress was cowboy boots, jeans
and, when appropriate, an open-neck shirt. He
shunned pretense. He spoke in plain English. He
possessed a dry sense of humour, often at his own expense.
Tom was a lawyer’s lawyer. He had a brilliant legal mind. He possessed
an uncanny ability to cut through the flak and get to the heart of an issue.
He loved to fight for the underdog. Adversaries from bigger firms would
often look at him, see this friendly country dude in jeans and cowboy boots,
and underestimate his legal genius—to their detriment.