James practises in the areas of commercial litigation, property tax and expropriation law.
James Mercury’s practice is focused on property tax, expropriation law as well as construction litigation and alternative dispute resolution. He has extensive experience providing advice in connection with property valuation, classification and liability to taxation matters, and advising both landowners and authorities as to their rights and obligations under The Expropriation Act.
James has represented clients before a broad range of tribunals and courts including the Board of Revision, the Manitoba Municipal Board, the Land Value Appraisal Commission, and all levels of Court in Manitoba and Ontario, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada.
James has represented numerous clients including commercial and residential landowners, construction companies, manufacturers, insurers, personal care homes, school divisions, municipalities, the Manitoba Hydro Electric Board, industry associations, charities and non-profit corporations, as well as appraisers, tax consultants and legal professionals.
James also has many years of practical experience engaging appraisers, land use planners, engineers, architects, and other expert witnesses in property valuation and litigation matters. He is a regular speaker for the Canadian Property Tax Association.
- McDiarmid Lumber Ltd. v. God’s Lake First Nation, 2006 SCC 58. Successfully represented a judgment creditor before the Supreme Court of Canada in a precedent setting case involving protection from seizure provisions under the Indian Act.
- Madison Holdings Ltd v. City of Winnipeg 2021 MBCA 94. Counsel for expropriated landowner who was required to relocate a car wash and rust proofing business. Successfully obtained an award of approximately $3.1 million for value of expropriated property and costs to relocate to new facility.
- Bibeau et al v Chartier et al, 2022 MBCA 2. Counsel for an investor in Winnipeg’s IKEA development. Successfully defended an action for alleged breach of investment agreement.
- ImagineAbility Inc. v. City of Winnipeg 2019 MBQB 8. Successfully obtained a mandamus order on behalf of charitable organization, compelling the City of Winnipeg to issue retroactive school tax refunds under The City of Winnipeg Charter.
- IKEA Properties Ltd. v. Board of Revision (Jan 11, 2019, MBCA). Counsel for IKEA in connection with its City of Winnipeg realty and business assessment appeals. Successfully obtained an order quashing a Board of Revision Order denying the right to a fair hearing.
- Maple Leaf Foods Inc. v. Winnipeg (City) Assessor, 2008 MBCA 96. Counsel for Maple Leaf Foods in a property tax dispute involving the assessment of food processing machinery and equipment.
- Kleysen v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Manitoba, 2015 MBCA 54. Successfully obtained an award of approximately $2 million for land expropriated in connection with the CentrePort Canada Way Project.
- Boeing Canada Operations Ltd. v. Winnipeg (City) Assessor, 2016 MBQB 175. Successfully obtained a judgment quashing a penalty order issued by the City Assessor on the grounds of procedural fairness and natural justice.
- Rebel Holdings Ltd. et al. v. Division Scolaire Franco-Manitobaine, 2008 MBCA 65. Counsel for Division Scolaire Franco-Manitobaine in a landmark case involving the range of disturbance damages payable under The Expropriation Act.
- Winnipeg City Assessor v. Law Society of Manitoba, 2011 MBCA 35. Successfully obtained a school tax exemption for the Law Society of Manitoba’s property as an educational seminary of learning.
- Winnipeg School Division v. Winnipeg (Assessor), 2013 MBQB 91, affd 2014 MBCA 50. Successfully obtained a school tax exemption for the Winnipeg School Division in a leading decision on the meaning of “public school” property under The Municipal Assessment Act.
- Public Inquiries into the City of Winnipeg Southwest Rapid Transitway Project and St. Matthews Avenue Extension Projects. Represented commercial and residential landowners who were facing expropriation proceedings and who had objected to the proposed takings of their properties.
- Bojkovic v. Rentz Bros. Inc. et al., 2010 MBCA 17. Successfully represented an unpaid vendor in a leading case involving the Court’s jurisdiction to order substitute security under The Real Property Act.
- Munday (E.C.) Ltd. v. Canada Safeway Ltd., 2004 MBCA 143. Successfully represented Canada Safeway in a leading decision involving the running of limitation periods, the impact of dissolution under The Corporations Act, and general principles of statutory interpretation.
- Chair, MLT Aikins Student Committee (2015-2020)
- Volunteer, The Legal Help Centre – a joint initiative of the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba, students and volunteer professionals, which is designed to help people who cannot afford a lawyer navigate the legal system and access fundamental public services and benefits
- Volunteer, Winnipeg Harvest and the Christmas Cheer Board
- Member, The Law Society of Manitoba
- Member, The Law Society of Ontario
- Member, Manitoba Bar Association
- Member, Canadian Bar Association
- Member, Canadian Property Tax Association
- Member, Appraisal Institute of Canada
- Course instructor, CPLED
- Presenter for the Manitoba Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Society of Manitoba, the Winnipeg Construction Association and the Canadian Property Tax Association on various topics including municipal assessment law and litigation practice issues
- Contributor to the Canadian Property Tax Association’s Communication Update on municipal assessment law developments in Manitoba
- Presentation papers for the Manitoba Bar Association and Canadian Bar Association
- Contributor to Build Manitoba, a publication of the Winnipeg Construction Association
- Recognized in Best Lawyers, Municipal Law (since 2019) and Construction Law (since 2021)
- A leading practitioner, Corporate Commercial Litigation, Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory