260 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 2 MARCH 2018
ate). Their romance survived a joint pursuit of law degrees at the University
of Toronto law school, following which they moved to Vancouver to get married
and start their careers. Ward left behind a fairly respectable trail of
advocacy and academic awards, including Dean’s Key for achievement in
all areas of school life.
Ward went on to work at Russell & DuMoulin, where he articled and then
worked as an associate for six years and had the good fortune of working
under the mentorship of Bill Berardino, Q.C., Lauri Ann Fenlon (now Fenlon
J.A.), Geoff Cowper, Q.C., and his eventual partner, Jim MacMaster.
From early on, it was clear Ward had the necessary drive, work ethic, common
sense and desire to succeed and to do justice to his mentors. History
only confirms that, and by the time Ward was appointed to the bench, he
had been appointed Q.C. and acted as lead counsel in more than 130 class
actions, for both plaintiffs and defendants, while also becoming a permanent
fixture and sought-after speaker at class action conferences across
Although Ward is probably more generally known for his class action
work, he is also highly respected in the insurance circles for the coverage
and liability work that he did originally and continued to do throughout his
career for very loyal clients. When the leaky condo crisis and associated litigation
erupted in Vancouver, Ward put his undergraduate degree in economics
and his lifelong love of math (the man is a math genius) to good use,
and singlehandedly developed a formula to settle the multi-party actions.
The formula became “industry standard” and allowed for the relatively
straightforward resolution of those claims.
In this process, Ward attended more than 100 mediations and acquired a
deep understanding of what it takes to settle a case. Ward can often predict,
with an annoyingly accurate degree of certainty, when and how a case will
settle. Like everything else he does, his predictions are no accident, but
rather the intersection of hard work, solid analytical skills and thorough
preparation, more often than not translated into a carefully planned Excel
spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation. Whether to show colleagues the
right path or to show them that he is right (and, more frequently, both),
Ward develops complex, multi-page spreadsheets for everything. To prove
this point, while why he did so can no longer be recalled, Ward once produced
a spreadsheet at a firm meeting to demonstrate how much pizza his
family had ordered over the past year. Although it is difficult to imagine the
need for a spreadsheet in his new judicial role, it would not be surprising to
learn Ward has a spreadsheet to track his decisions, average length of his
reserves or even times of peak civil chambers activity.