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John R. Rich


John R. Rich

Senior Counsel

Assistant: Alexandra Harriman


  • B.Sc., University of British Columbia
  • LL.B., University of British Columbia


  • Law Society of British Columbia, 1986
  • Canadian Bar Association

John has been with Ratcliff LLP for over 25 years. He represents First Nation Governments as general counsel and in litigation. He has conducted several major trials respecting Aboriginal rights and historic claims and has appeared at all levels of Provincial and Federal Courts and the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as numerous administrative tribunals.

John has conducted independent investigations into allegations of breach of fiduciary duty for First Nations.

Major Trials:

  • Mathias v. The Queen2001 FCT 480; Kitsilano Reserve Litigation; 200-day trial in Federal Court
  • Lax Kw’alaams Indian Band v. Canada2008 BCSC 447; Commercial Fishing Rights; 125-day trial in BC Supreme Court
  • Ahousaht, et al v. Canada2009 BCSC 1494; Commercial Fishing Rights; 120-day trial in BC Supreme Court

Community Involvement:

John has been a long-term active supporter of many environmental and legal organizations, including:

  • Ecojustice: Honorary Director; President 1992-1997; Director 1990-1997, 1998-2004
  • Georgia Strait Alliance: Director 2000-2004
  • West Coast Environmental Law Association: Director 1986-1996; President 1998-1990
  • Islands Trust: Trustee 1976-1984; Chair 1978-1982

B.C. First Nations’ lawyers say Ottawa failed to consult on Trans Mountain expansion