Robert J. Ellis Testimonials

Main content

I have known Rob Ellis for almost 10 years now. Rob has been a consummate professional for the entire length of what started as a lawyer/client relationship but has grown into a friendship. When I first met Rob, it was under desperate circumstances. My landlord was trying to evict me, and the lawyer I was using just threw in the towel and told me to leave my $1 million investment of the previous 2 years and walk away. I was in torment when a friend recommended me to Rob. Rob guided me through a legal process and that resulted in saving my company, my business, my hospital and my sanity. And he has been guiding me through further fallout successfully ever since. He is knowledgeable, perceptive and an excellent strategic thinker. He is a highly skilled lawyer. More than that though, he tempers his toughness as an attorney with empathy, kindness and a certain type of gentleness. He never dominates or talks down to clients, but is patient and understanding. He is always willing and able to explain complicated concepts in relatable terms, so I always wind up with a complete understanding of what my situation and options are.

Dr. Kevin P. Shura, DVM

My name is David George Downing, recently retired Owner and President of Imperial Sign Corporation. I have known and worked with Robert Ellis going on forty years during which he has been the primary provider of Legal Counsel both Corporately and Personally as required. These Legal Services have been stellar and Rob was always impeccably researched and prepared. With ISC as the Plaintiff, Rob’s Courtroom representation on our behalf was determined and well-structured as well as very much successful. Over the years Rob and myself developed a personal relationship as well and I consider it an honour to have him as a loyal and much valued friend.

David George Downing

I have known Rob for almost 30 years. He has acted for us in many occasions on various real estate litigation matters. Rob is not just proficient in law but he has a very strong business acumen. As a result he always provides very practical advice. I have also recommended Rob to many friends and clients. The feedback from them has always been very positive and they have been very happy with his service. I would not hesitate in giving Rob my highest recommendation.

Steven Yan: Five Mile: Real estate investment and management company

Prior to my retirement and for over thirty years, I was the head of commercial litigation at various major Canadian leasing companies. As I moved to a new company in my personal career development, I made sure Rob Ellis worked as my legal counsel for each company over that entire time. His knowledge, approach & professionalism made a significant contribution to our Companies’ profitability. What I found noteworthy is his direction to pursue a file intelligently, knowing the merit of the case. This was extremely helpful in not ‘throwing good money after bad.’ My recommendation of Rob is of the highest.

Shirley Kump

Rob successfully defended a real estate litigation matter on my behalf that was active for several years. This was a complex file with many challenges . I would describe Rob as a highly effective trial lawyer that was always very organized and well prepared at every stage as this matter proceeded thru the legal system . I have recommended Rob to other colleagues and would use him again should the need arise.

M.G. Chester

Sicon started using the services of Rob Ellis in about 1984. At that time Sicon was the second largest sign company in Canada. We had an in-house lawyer as well as a few other lawyers in the Vancouver area, and my dealings with Mr. Ellis started in about 1988. Our business across Canada required that we have lawyers in Ontario, Alberta, BC, and Washington State. With Mr. Ellis’ assistance we developed a standard contract. Mr. Ellis was responsible through the cases he won to provide us with new Case Law on the critical clauses within the contract. That Case Law was subsequently used by all of our other lawyers in order to achieve success in court. I personally handled the majority of our company claims with Mr. Ellis, and in dealing with many of these claims (in excess of 50) I found that Mr. Ellis was very methodical. Preparation time for each file was stream lined, and he ensured all issues were covered. The method in which Mr. Ellis structured our claim was very successful, and when interviewing lawyers in other cities we would have them adopt these methods from Mr. Ellis. In one of our dealings with Mr. Ellis, we were the defendant in a multi-million dollar case. This Case dealt with a number of expert witnesses from across North America. The trial required a tremendous amount of organizational skills. There were many days of examination for discovery and it was in these discoveries I came to appreciate Mr. Ellis’ skill to extract information from witnesses that would provide the details for a successful ruling. When it came to our trials, I found that Mr. Ellis could adapt on the fly to changes in witness testimony, and on how well he dealt with expert witnesses in order to overcome their testimony. I have never witnessed Mr. Ellis flustered in court, which I have experienced with some of our other lawyers. In personally dealing with lawyers in Ontario, Alberta, BC, and Washington State, I would rank Mr. Ellis as the top lawyer of the group with his meticulous preparation and organizational skills. In all of our court dealings I can only recall one or two court decisions in which we were not successful, and the reasons for the loss were never attributed to anything within the control of Mr. Ellis. In my 33 + years of dealing with Mr. Ellis, he has always exceeded our expectations.

Tim McLean: General Manager, Sicon Signs

As a real estate developer I have been involved with the law profession in a number of law suits in the course of my business career spanning 40 years . I have employed a number of different law firms here in BC and Ontario and south of the border . With all professionals they have their good and bad points . Comparing Rob with other litigators I have employed, and faced, I would say his integrity is in no doubt, he treated me as an equal, with precise advice after clearly reviewing all the available documents, unlike other lawyers I have dealt with . Rob does not rush but he is not slow. He is well prepared for our meetings , discoveries and trial . He and I have not lost a single case either before getting to court or in court . I have recommended Rob to all my friends when they unfortunately have become involved in a law suit. His advice has always been down to earth and how to proceed has been very helpful and stress relieving, as I knew he was on top of all the issues and pushing hard to win . As I said all professionals have their good and bad points. Rob’s bad point is he sends his invoice very quickly after we have won.

Victor G. S. Durman: Wardman Group of Companies

Over the course of six to seven years we had an unfortunate family medical issue. Our family had many issues that came up that are far from the norm that most people will experience in their life. Rob Ellis was well known by our family for many years. During this time, we turned to Rob for help and guidance in these situations that were very unfamiliar to us. Over the course of these years, Rob was instrumental in helping us make pivotal decisions that would make things safer and steer our ship back on course. We are incredibly grateful for everything Rob was able to do for us and how he guided us back to a very normal life.

The Peterson Family

I have known Rob for over twenty five years. He is a man of integrity, ability and courtesy. Over the many cases I have dealt with him over the years, I cannot recall a time when he was discourteous, was ill informed or anything other than a pleasure to deal with. Indeed he is invariably well prepared, intelligent, thoughtful, and respectful to the Court, officials, witnesses and clients. Rob is a formidable opponent. He advocates for his clients in a straightforward and commonsensical way. He is a real adornment to the profession. Others would do well to emulate how Rob has practiced the profession of Law.

Jack Webster, Q.C.

Letter to The Advocate
Dear Sir,
Re: A Lawyer
These days when criticism of our profession is far too prevalent, I believe it behooves us to point out those frequent occasions when our colleagues do good work.
Recently, a senior Vancouver counsel was collecting a modest amount on behalf of one of the local chartered banks from an elderly female Vancouver resident. He wrote demand letters, commenced proceedings, obtained judgment and registered the judgment against the defendant’s property. He then applied for a court order requiring that her essentially clear title Vancouver home be sold to satisfy the judgment.
The Defendant’s complete lack of response worried this gentleman. He began inquires and determined that the elderly resident was really no longer capable of managing her affairs. He inquired locally as to relatives and, finding none, pursued his research into the province of Ontario, where he located the defendant’s only child. He notified her of her mother’s issues, and she subsequently retained my services.
I immediately applied for an order for committeeship. Her Vancouver home had become overrun with vermin, and she was suffering from a badly infected leg. We were able to obtain medical treatment, and arrange for the transfer of the elderly lady to a care home near to her daughter’s residence, where she is now happily doing very well.
This senior Vancouver counsel played no small part in essentially saving the assets and perhaps even the life this elderly lady, all the while doing a good job for his client. I know he is too modest to welcome the attention this letter may provoke, so I will not mention his name, although he looks remarkably like Robert Ellis.
Yours truly,
John Campbell

I have known Rob for over 20 years through my role as Headmaster of St. George’s School where he served on countless committees and as a Director and Chair of the Board. He has distinguished himself with service to this School and the Independent school movement beyond any other individual I have known. He brings a wonderful skill set to these positions in that his alert mind and ability to articulate his point of view have made colleagues look to him for direction. On many occasions we needed to deal with situations that required sensitivity, charity, and a belief in human goodness. Rob never failed to appreciate all the nuances and arrived at outcomes that were in the best interest of both the family and the individuals. I have never ceased to be amazed by Rob’s grasp of the Law, his understanding of local and provincial issues and, delightfully, his sense of humour. I know he has given so much because he believes in young people, and their future in this country. He continues to serve and dedicates his time to these educational causes. Rob Ellis epitomizes all that is true and honest in a professional and a citizen.

Nigel R.L.Toy

Rob has worked in a volunteer capacity at Fraser Academy since 2001. During this time, Mr. Ellis contributed to the school community in a variety of ways including as a Board Member, and Board Chair. During his leadership tenure on our Board, Mr. Ellis tackled some extremely difficult situations including the abrupt departure of the previous Chair, the dismissal of the School’s Head and Business Manager under allegations of mis-conduct and embezzlement, and the suicide of a key staff member. Throughout this time, Rob guided the school with a steady hand and was instrumental in stabilizing the organization’s leadership both at the Board and Administrative levels. Rob’s willingness to take over as Chair in a very challenging time when the future of the school was threatened, is a brilliant example of the kind of leadership he offers. He is calm, deliberated, and thorough. He leads with integrity, and fights to maintain standards and decorum. He is impeccable in his commitment to sound governance and his drive to do the right thing. His efforts and guidance ensured that our school community moved through a set of complex challenges to enjoy its most stable decade of growth and prosperity. To honour Rob’s contribution and legacy, the School created an award in his honour, “the R J Ellis Award for Outstanding Achievement in Professional Leadership”, given annually to a faculty member who, when faced with significant professional challenge, demonstrates outstanding leadership, persistence and grit. As a school, we remain grateful for Rob’s ongoing contribution and legacy. We know he also continues to be a respected community and business leader in the wider Vancouver community.

Maureen Steltman, Head of Fraser Academy

I have known Rob over the past decade in my capacity as Executive Director of the Independent Schools Association BC (, a family of 26 outstanding independent schools. Rob has been the ISABC’s Ombudsman since the role’s inception in 2004. In all his interactions he has proved himself impartial, wise and he always acts with integrity. He is swift to respond to requests. He gives generously of his time. I have always appreciated Rob’s deep knowledge, his insights into situations, his integrity and his measured and calm approach. It is always a pleasure to spend time in his company and to work with him professionally. He will add great value to any organization with whom he works.

Dr. Elizabeth Moore / Executive Director / Independent Schools Association BC