Michael Silva

British Columbia Managing Partner

Michael Silva Law Corporation


Michael Silva joined Whitelaw Twining in June 2003 and became a Partner at the Firm in 2009. He practices in the area of general litigation, with a focus on transportation matters. Mike is one of two partners in charge of our Firm’s Marine & Transportation, Road Maintenance and Subrogation practice groups.

Michael has appeared on behalf of clients in British Columbia Provincial and Supreme Courts, the British Columbia Court of Appeal, in Federal Court, and in a variety of administrative tribunals. He has effectively resolved matters involving vessel and motor carrier collisions, marina fires, cargo claims, helicopter crashes, ship and aviation repair and construction disputes, and derailments.

In addition to his litigation practice, Michael has performed a number of corporate/solicitor related tasks for his marine and trucking clients. This solicitor-based work has focused on risk management and contract drafting, and has included:

  • negotiation and drafting of complex, client specific carriage and towage agreements;
  • negotiation and drafting of multimodal transportation contracts to ship aircraft fuselages from Asia to British Columbia by sea, and the subsequent transport by truck to manufacturing and assembly facilities in Quebec;
  • drafting of sales, warehousing and shipping contracts for both the perishable and non-perishable food and beverage industry;
  • risk management and regulatory work for motor truck transport of hazardous cargo;
  • preparation of standard term contracts and Bills of Lading for towboat operators, motor truck carriers and freight forwarders, and advice respecting the proper and effective use of same;
  • negotiation and drafting of complex dock and terminal use agreements, and related carriage agreements;
  • purchase and sale, escrow, offshore delivery and related Pleasurecraft and Yacht purchase contracts;
  • advising on insurance issues and drafting of specific endorsements;
  • drafting marine related insurance policy wordings;
  • preparation of Independent Contractor & Employee Protection Agreements for the shipbuilding industry.
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34th Maritime Law Short Course, University of Southampton, 2007

LL.B., Queen’s University, 2002

B.A. (History/Psychology double major), University of British Columbia, 1999

Professional Memberships & Affiliations

Called to the British Columbia Bar in 2003

Past Chair of the British Columbia Maritime Subsection of the Canadian Bar Association

Member of the Canadian Bar Association Maritime Law and Insurance Law Sections

Canadian Maritime Law Association

Canadian Transport Lawyers Association

Marine Insurance Association of British Columbia

Past Legislative Liaison of the Marine Insurance Association of British Columbia

British Columbia Trucking Association

Chamber of Shipping

BC Road Builders and Heavy Trucking Association


Freight Forwarders: Agent vs. Principal

Application of Standard Tow Terms: Notice, Actual Knowledge & Intent

Towboat Companies: Uninsured Exposures for Standard Practices

Cross-Border Transportation – The Carmack Amendment

Narrowing the Scope of Canadian Maritime Law

Small Vessel Monitoring & Inspection Program

Inherent Vice & Fortuitous Events in Marine “All Risks” Policies

Expanding the Scope of the Athens Convention

Canadian Liability Issues in Motor Truck Transport Claims: Significant Differences across Canada


Listed in the Best Lawyers in Canada from 2016 – 2024 (Maritime Law, Transportation Law & Insurance Law)