William E. J. Skelly


Vancouver / Services provided by William E. J. Skelly Law Corporation

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Education & Qualifications

  • British Columbia Bar (1988)
  • Manitoba Bar (1980)
  • LLB (Manitoba, 1979)

William Skelly focuses on restructuring and insolvency law, commercial lending and real estate. He is widely recognized for his experience with restructuring national and international companies by several legal publications.

  • Acted for The Bank of Nova Scotia in connection with a bison ranch in Northern BC and dealt with applications and appeals under the Farm Debt Mediation Act.
  • Acted for Willmington Trust ($400 million) in Catalyst Forest Products’ Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act filling.
  • Acted for an unsecured creditor ($123 million) in connection with Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act filling.
  • Acted for Royal Bank of Canada ($35 million) in receivership of large commercial real estate development on Vancouver Island.
  • Acted for Ernst & Young in a receivership of a multi-unit residential development in British Columbia interior.
  • Acted for California receiver in Ponzi scheme (US$80 million) to locate fraudster and assets.
  • Acted for Alvarez & Marsal in respect of a receivership of a sawmill in northern British Columbia.
  • Acted for Callidus in CCAA proceeding of a large tungsten mine in NWT.
  • Acted for Ernst and Young in receivership of five-star hotel and residences.

An accomplished corporate and commercial lawyer, Bill has worked with many of Canada’s largest financial institutions and court officers in the insolvency and restructuring area. He is a leading practitioner in ABL and CMBS financing. His experience also extends to railway law, especially with respect to short-line acquisitions and financing.

Bill served as a Provincial Council member of the Canadian Bar Association for a number of years and remains a member of the business law, banking law, real estate and insolvency subsections of the CBA’s British Columbia branch.

Currently Past Chairman of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), Bill has been actively involved with the association for almost two decades. He has the distinction of being first Canadian to hold the Chairman position in TMA’s history. His past roles with the organization have also included International Vice President.

He is a member of the Insolvency Institute of Canada (IIC), the country’s premier private sector insolvency organization. Membership in the IIC is by invitation only and limited to 135 practitioners.

William is consistently rated as “repeatedly recommended” in the annual Lexpert survey. He has been recognized in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory in the category of road and rail transportation, and was named one of Canada’s leading lawyers in the area of asset-based financing in The Best Lawyers in Canada publication.

  • Past Chairman (present), Chairman (2008), International Vice President (2007), Turnaround Management Association
  • Fundraiser, Kidney Foundation of Canada
  • Fundraiser, United Way
  • Fundraiser, Ducks Unlimited Canada


  • Canadian Bar Association
  • INSOL International
  • Insolvency Institute of Canada
  • Law Society of British Columbia
  • Law Society of Manitoba
  • Turnaround Management Association
  • Author, “A New and Bold Decision of the Ontario Supreme Court: Who Made Off with the Money,” Insolvency Insider, Journal of Corporate Recovery (2017)
  • Contributor, Lexis Practice Advisor on Insolvency and Restructuring, regarding Forbearance Agreements
  • Co-author, “To Forbear (or Not) – The Inevitable Question,” Annual Review of Insolvency Law (February 2013)
  • Presenter, “Real Estate Woes,” Annual Review of Insolvency Law (February 8, 2013)
  • Presenter, “Partnership Agreements,” Insight Information – Major Business Agreements Conference (September 2011)
  • Author, “Traditional turnarounds severely hampered by credit clampdown,” Financier Worldwide magazine, Issue 73 (January 2009)
  • Co-Author, “Turnarounds – what’s next?” Special Report, Turnaround & Corporate Renewal, Financial Worldwide magazine (September 2008)
  • Presenter, “Perfection of Personal Property Security Interests from a Canadian Perspective and Cross-Border Insolvency Issues,” The Continuing Legal Education Committee, Washington State Bar Association (2001)
  • Presenter, “Rights and Remedies of the Debtor and Other Parties: A Comparison of Canadian PPSA Legislation,” Canadian Bar Association (1995)
  • A leading practitioner, Asset-Based Lending, Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (since 2020)
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in Canada – Asset-Based Lending (since 2015) Banking and Finance Law (since 2021)
  • Recognized in Legal 500 Canada – Restructuring & Insolvency (2015, 2017)
  • Recognized in Lexpert Leading Canadian Lawyers in Global Mining (2013)
  • A leading practitioner, Transportation, Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021)
  • Recognized in Who’s Who Legal – Insolvency & Restructuring (2012)
  • TMA Hall of Fame inductee (2013)