Karey Brooks

Principal

  • kbrooks@jfklaw.ca
  • P 604-687-0549 EXT 102
  • C 778-990-8129
  • 340 - 1122 Mainland Street Vancouver, BC V6B 5L1

Karey’s practice focuses primarily on aboriginal and constitutional litigation.

Karey practices civil litigation with a focus on aboriginal, constitutional and administrative law. She has appeared in all levels of court, including in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

Karey primarily acts for First Nations and First Nations organizations in court and negotiations with government and industry on matters relating to Aboriginal rights and title, consultation, regulatory matters, including environmental assessments, and general governance matters, including status and membership issues. Karey also has experience in other public law related work, including with respect to Charter rights litigation and public inquiries.

Karey has a special concern for ending violence against women and gender discrimination. She acted as Associate Commission Counsel for the BC Missing Women’s Commission of Inquiry. She is counsel for Mandy Lewis with respect to her class proceeding against Westjet for its ongoing breach of its employment contracts with female flight attendants to create and maintain a workplace free from harassment.  For more information on this proceeding click here. She is also a past board member of Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW), an organization that provides support services to women survivors of sexualized violence.

In 2019, Karey was recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in the 2020 Edition of Best Lawyers in Canada in the field of Aboriginal Law. In 2016, Karey was awarded the UBC Law School Outstanding Young Alumnus Award and in 2015, Karey Brooks was recognized as one of Canada’s Legal Rising Stars by Lexpert. Karey has been Lexpert® ranked as a Leading Lawyer in Aboriginal Law since 2016.

Practice Focus

  • Aboriginal rights litigation
  • Duty to consult and accommodate
  • Regulatory hearings
  • Land use planning
  • Band governance
  • Charter rights
  • Commissions of inquiry

Education

  • Osgoode Hall Law School, LL.M. (2005)
  • University of British Columbia, LL.B. (2002)
  • University of British Columbia, B.A. (1998)

Highlights

  • Counsel to Mandy Lewis with respect to a class action proceeding against Westjet for breach of its Anti-Harassment Promise. Successfully defended an application by Westjet to strike the claim. Lewis v. Westjet (BC Supreme Court, 2017 and BCCA 2019)

  • Co-counsel with Robert Janes for Mikisew Cree First Nation to challenge changes to federal environmental laws on the basis of a failure of adequately consult. Mikisew v. Canada (SCC, 2018)

  • Counsel for Mikisew Cree First Nation on the hearing of an approval for an oil sands mine in Alberta (October-December 2018). Teck Resources Ltd (Alberta Energy Regulator)

  • Counsel for three individuals seeking to judicial review decisions of band council to deny them membership under a custom membership code. Peters v Peters First Nation Band (FC, 2018)

  • Counsel for Kwikwetlem First Nation in their Aboriginal title litigation. Brought an application to strike certain defences of the Province relating to extinguishment. Giesbrecht v British Columbia et al (BCSC, 2018)

  • Counsel to the BC-LGBTQ Coalition intervening at the BC Supreme Court, BC Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada with respect to whether the Law Society of BC struck the appropriate balance between equality rights and religious freedom in deciding to refuse accreditation to Trinity Western University’s proposed school of law. Trinity Western University v. Law Society of British Columbia (SCC, 2017)

  • Counsel for the intervener Aseniwuche Wineak Nation at the Supreme Court of Canada case about whether non-status Indians and Metis are “Indians” for the purpose of s.91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867Daniels v. Canada (Indian Affairs and Northern Development) (SCC, 2016)

  • Co-counsel for WAVAW intervening in the Canadian Judicial Council’s Inquiry into whether Federal Court Justice Robin Camp should be removed from the bench for misconduct while presiding over a sexual assault trial.

  • Acted for the Te’mexw Treaty Association intervening in the Supreme Court of Canada concerning proper interpretation of Treaty 3 hunting rights and ability of governments to limit those rights. (Keewatin v. Ontario (Minister of Natural Resources) (SCC, 2014))

  • Acted for Grassy Narrows First Nation in the 70 day trial on the proper interpretation of Treaty 3 taking up clause and in the Ontario Court of Appeal. (Keewatin v. Ontario (Minister of Natural Resources)

  • Acted for the Te’mexw Treaty Association intervening at the Supreme Court of Canada with respect to whether the trial judge erred in finding Aboriginal title was established, whether the Crown breached its duty to consult and accommodation, and whether provincial laws of general application apply to Aboriginal title land. Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia (SCC, 2014)

  • Acted for White River First Nation with respect to whether the Director of Mineral Resources breached his duty to consult and accommodation White River in allowing a mining project to be considered for regulatory approval. (White River First Nation v. Yukon Government (YKSC, 2013)

  • Acted as Associate Counsel to the Oppal Commission with respect to an inquiry into the police investigations into the missing and murdered women of the downtown eastside between 1997-2002 and Crown counsel’s decision to stay charges against Robert Pickton in 1997. (Missing Women Commission of Inquiry (September 29, 2010 – November 30, 2012)