James W Zaitsoff


Direct 604-691-7563

Fax 604-632-4472

James Zaitsoff is a shareholder with Owen Bird. He is a civil litigator, specializing in wills and estates litigation and commercial litigation. James regularly appears before all levels of court in British Columbia.

James is a firm believer in applying a practical results focused approach to his clients’ needs. James will do what is required to obtain the best result for his clients: he is an experienced trial lawyer, and will strongly advocate for his clients in the courtroom, but he is also skilled at resolving matters through negotiation and mediation when it best serves his clients’ interests.

James graduated from UBC Law School in 2008. While attending law school, James received several prizes for his academic achievements including the Harvey T. Strosberg Essay Prize for an academic article which he authored in the area of class action law, which was published in Canadian Class Action Review.

James joined Owen Bird as a summer articled student in 2007 and returned in 2008 to complete his articles.  Prior to joining Owen Bird, James gained experience at a small firm specializing in plaintiff’s personal injury and class action litigation.

In his free time, James enjoys spending time with his wife, sons and dog, and developing his handyman skills building furniture and (slowly) renovating his 1970’s chic house.

James specializes in wills and estates litigation and general commercial litigation.

In the wills and estates litigation context, James’ practice includes the following:

  • Wills variation claims – assisting clients seeking to vary wills or seeking to defend against such claims;
  • Breach of fiduciary duty claims against executors and trustees – acting for beneficiaries or co-executors/co-trustees who have concerns regarding the administration of an estate or trust, as well as defending executors and trustees;
  • Claims regarding the validity, construction and administration of wills and other estate planning tools, including inter vivos trusts;
  • Advising executors and trustees with respect to their rights, obligations, and potential liability in administering estate and trusts; and
  • Assisting beneficiaries in resolving issues relating to the administration of estates and trusts.

James co-authors www.BCEstateLitigation.ca, a blog to inform readers of the latest developments in estate litigation.

James also has a broad commercial litigation practice. James assists clients, from large corporations, to small businesses, to individuals, in a variety of matters, including:

  • breach of contract and fiduciary duty claims;
  • breach of trust claims;
  • real property disputes;
  • insurance litigation (defence);
  • construction and builders lien claims;
  • professional negligence claims;
  • shareholder disputes; and
  • debtor/creditor claims and foreclosure matters

James also assists clients with family law matters.