Joven Narwal is a leading trial and appellate lawyer with unrivalled experience in complex and serious cases where liberty and reputation are at stake, particularly in the areas of criminal litigation, securities litigation, professional regulation, and specialty civil litigation involving criminal overtones. He has made significant contributions to the legal community through his leadership in the profession, academic engagement, and through his proven track record of success in high-stakes litigation.
His skills have been recognized through accolades which include his recognition as a “Litigation Star” and shortlisting for “White Collar Crime / Enforcement Lawyer of the Year” by Benchmark Litigation Canada, his inclusion in Best Lawyers Canada, his being named a “Leading Lawyer to Watch” by Lexpert in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, and his induction as a life member of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, a global honorary society. Some examples of his recent cases and reported decisions include: in criminal litigation, an acquittal following several months of trial in what was billed as one of BC’s largest drug prosecutions, an acquittal for a regulated professional charged with sexual assault, a landmark ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada on the treatment of suspended declarations of invalidty, among many others; in criminal tax litigation, his successful defence of a senior Canada Revenue Agency employee charged with tax evasion; in securities litigation, successful appeal of a $7.3 million disgorgement order made by the BC Securities Commission, a groundbreaking ruling on the statutory interpretation of feeze order powers and the successful defence which resulted in a dismissal of fraud allegations brought by the enforcement division on a motion for non-suit; in professional discipline, the dismissal of a citation after a full hearing before the Law Society of BC for a lawyer who was alleged to have offered false testimony and the dismissal of public allegations brought by a variety of other regulators; in international criminal law, his unprecented ongoing constitutional attack to the forfeiture provisions of the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.
Mr. Narwal has appeared at all levels of court including the Supreme Court of Canada and has been counsel before regulators in the health professions, legal profession and financial industry, in addition to having acted for clergy, athletes and academics before their respective governing bodies. He has extensive practice involving cross-border investigations and enforcement actions, such as US grand jury investigations, Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty Requests and other foreign subpoenas and demands for production as well as extradition and issues relating to economic sanctions. In addition to his busy advocacy practice, he is frequently consulted for ethical advice and for preventative advice regarding the design and implementation of compliance procedures to reduce exposure to prosecution.
As a complement to his practice, Mr. Narwal is an adjunct professor at the UBC Allard School of Law, where he created and teaches two upper-level seminars on complex criminal litigation, “White Collar Crime” and “Criminal Organizations”. He also serves as a member of the judicial council of the Tsawwassen First Nation, where he is responsible for resolving disputes, hearing appeals, and adjudicating the validity of Tsawwassen Laws.
Mr. Narwal has held several leadership positions in the legal profession. He served as the first visible minority president of the Vancouver Bar Association in its 126+ year history and currently holds several other leadership positions including Chair of the Canadian Bar Association – Criminal Subsection; director, governor and executive of the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia and director of the South Asian Bar Association of British Columbia. He also served the profession through his appointment to the Advisory Committee to the Judicial Council of British Columbia, which is the primary source of information for assessing the suitability of lawyers who seek appointment as Judges of the Provincial Court of British Columbia.
Mr. Narwal obtained his first law degree from UBC where he earned many awards for academic achievement and later earned a Master of Laws from Columbia University in New York City, a leading ivy league university. He continues to maintain a strong relationship with the Allard School of Law at UBC where he serves as an Adjunct Professor and, as a previous winner of awards at trial advocacy competitions at the regional and national levels while in law school, Mr. Narwal coaches law students in the competitions and is the Sponsor of the Peter Burns Trial Competition. Alongside his active involvement in academia, he remains committed to providing practical continuing legal education to lawyers, frequently being invited to speak at seminars and at conferences. He is a co-editor of a forthcoming textbook on Canadian criminal law to be published by the Canadian Legal Information Institute.
Upon his call to the bar of British Columbia, he started his career as a Crown prosecutor in Vancouver and is honoured to also be admitted to practice as defence counsel before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.