We have the skills.


Experience from the Inside,

Now on Your Side.

Life and Disability Insurance Lawyer


Training and Experience:


Jan A. Fishman is a life and disability insurance lawyer with very special training and experience. Unlike most insurance denial lawyers, Jan has actually worked in the “belly of the beast”.

Jan is a former in-house insurance lawyer. He knows how insurance companies work from the inside

An insurance lawyer since 1992, Jan knows the industry – he extensively acted for insurers for 17 years. From 1995 – 2002, he was often retained by 5 different insurers. From 2002 – 2012, Jan was in-house counsel for The Manufacturer’s Life Insurance Company (“Manulife”), one of the world’s largest life and disability insurers, defending hundreds of lawsuits brought against Manulife’s various companies.

In 2012 Jan founded a law firm dedicated to helping people who have been wrongly denied life and disability insurance benefits. He has recovered millions of dollars wrongfully denied widowed beneficiaries and disabled clients by their insurance companies.

In 2015  Manulife tried something that no Canadian life and disability insurer had tried before. Manulife actually asked the BC Supreme Court (“BCSC”) to prevent Jan from ever acting against it, even if he had no part in the claim before leaving Manulife. In McMyn v. Manufacturer’s Life Insurance Company, 2015 BCSC 2205, Manulife argued that Jan has special knowledge of their “business practices, litigation strategies, insurance policies and certain claims personnel” and it would be unfair to ever allow him to use this knowledge against them (they backed off this position somewhat, partway through the application). The BCSC disagreed with Manulife and Jan is now free to act for people with claims against Manulife, as well as every other life and disability insurer in Canada.

Manulife then tried to prevent Jan from advertising his business by filing a complaint with the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (“CIRA”). This was something Manulife had never before tried against a former in-house lawyer – again they lost. On September 16, 2016, the CIRA dismissed Manulife’s complaint saying:

With the Court having found that there is public benefit in having Mr. Fishman at liberty to act in litigation adverse to Manulife, there is presumably public benefit in Mr. Fishman having the ability to communicate to the public that this is the nature of his law practice. 

Jan’s direct phone number is: (604) 369-4233; his email is: jan@fishmanlawyers.ca.


Education and Recognition:


Jan received his B.A. from Simon Fraser University and his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He was awarded the Governor-General’s Silver Medal in 1983, and was called to the B.C. bar on August 28, 1992.


Since 2005, Jan has a “Distinguished” peer-review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and since 2013, a “Preeminent” client-review rating from that same organization.

Jan was named a Client Champion (Gold) in 2017 and a Client Champion (Platinum) every year since 2018.

During his first decade as a lawyer, Jan had a broad based litigation practice, appearing as counsel for both sides in personal injury, family and criminal matters. Jan has appeared in over 65 reported or indexed decisions before all levels of Court and two administrative tribunals and has argued a wide variety of issues involving insurance law.


Positions held:


A twice-elected member of the Provincial Council of the Canadian Bar Association (“CBA”), Jan is a former President of the Abbotsford Bar Association, and a former Chair of the CBA Court Services Committee. He was twice appointed to the Audit Committee of the CBA, and served 2 terms (the maximum permitted) as Chair of the CBA Resolutions and Bylaws Committee. He also served 7 years on the board of the Law Courts Inn, and is an active volunteer in the general community. Jan has judged UBC Law School Moots and the PLTC civil trial program, as well as writing for and presenting to professional organizations including the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, Insight Information, and the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association.

Since 2016 Jan has served on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Civil Jury Instructions (“CIVJI”), the publication used by judges in BC to instruct juries in civil trials. 


Martindale-Hubbell Ratings:

Best in Vancouver Review:


Top 10 Disability Lawyers in Vancouver: 


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We have the focus.

Experience from the Inside,

Now on Your Side.

Life and Disability Insurance Lawyer

If a life and disability insurer denies or terminates a valid claim for disability benefits, refuses to pay death benefits to a family that has suffered a loss, or denies a valid claim for critical illness benefits, the insured person or their loved ones face a monumental struggle – a struggle against an adversary of vast financial means and a mind-boggling internal bureaucracy.

Once an insurer has made a decision, even a wrong one, it takes an incredible effort to convince it to change that decision.

Is this your struggle? Stop struggling on your own.

We will fight the insurer to get the maximum settlement you deserve. If a fair settlement is not possible, we are fully prepared to go to trial for you.

We have successfully prosecuted denied insurance claims against Manulife, Great-West Life, Canada Life, London Life, Sun Life, RBC Life, Empire Life, SSQ Life, Desjardins, Industrial Alliance, and other insurance companies.

We understand that handling an insurance denial lawsuit means more than winning. It means taking care of what’s most important – you and your loved ones. Please contact us today if you, or a loved one, have been denied insurance benefits. Turn our experience to your advantage, and ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to – as quickly as possible.

Even in circumstances where the insurance company permits you to appeal the decision, it is still important to seek legal advice promptly to know which time limits apply in your particular circumstances. If an insurance company has wrongfully denied a life insurance claim there may have no alternative but to take legal action  before the time limits expire.

We offer contingency fees, whenever possible. Book a free initial consultation today.

Contact Jan by email at: jan@fishmanlawyers.ca, or call him at: (604) 369-4233.

Jan A. Fishman’s commitment to you:

If you retain me, I will be YOUR lawyer. You will have me on your side every step of the way.  I will personally handle every aspect of your case, from start to finish. You will not be passed off to a junior associate, paralegal or law clerk.  Your phone calls and emails will be promptly answered, as will your questions.  You will be kept well informed during every step of the process. I don’t run a mill and I don’t do this work to make a fast profit.  That means you will NEVER be pressured by me to accept an insurance company “low-ball” settlement of your claim.  I don’t spend a fortune on advertising, but I’ll put my success rate up against all the other lawyers out there who do.  There are bigger firms that you can use.  But you won’t find a better lawyer or one who will give your case the personal attention that I will.

This is my commitment to you.

Our Focus is Denied Insurance Claims. Period.


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We have the experience.

Experience from the Inside,

Now on Your Side.

Life and Disability Insurance Lawyer

Trials can be expensive and risky. Because of this, the majority of cases never go to court. Most insurance denial cases are settled through the careful collection of evidence and skillful negotiations. There are many benefits to settling a denied insurance claim without a trial.

It’s not always possible to settle, sometimes because the insurance company simply refuses to be reasonable. In those cases it’s important to have a lawyer who’s willing and able to go all the way for you. Your lawyer must be prepared and experienced enough to run a trial, and sometimes an appeal, to see justice done.

Jan A. Fishman is a very experienced courtroom lawyer. His cases include:

Supreme Court of Canada

Pekarek v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., [2006] SCCA No. 305, 2007 CanLII 1137

British Columbia Court of Appeal

Kong v. Manulife Financial Services Inc., 2009 BCCA 90
Pekarek v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., 2006 BCCA 250
Metcalfe v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., 2005 BCCA 473
Asselstine v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co. and UBC, 2005 BCCA 465
Ali v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., et al., 2005 BCCA 294
Asselstine v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co. and UBC, 2005 BCCA 292
Metcalfe v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., 2004 BCCA 669
Lind v. Canadian Northern Shield Ins. Co., 2001 BCCA 229
Duquette v. Leadley, 1999 BCCA 208

British Columbia Supreme Court

Liu v. The Canada Life Assurance Co., et al., 2022 BCSC 2379
Smith v. Nabi et al., 2018 BCSC 1492
McMyn v. The Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., et al., 2015 BCSC 2205
Kopet v. SFU, 2012 BCSC 425
Nayyar v. The Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., et al., 2012 BCSC 470
Nayyar v. The Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., et al., 2012 BCSC 28
Turpin v. Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, 2011 BCSC 1162
Turpin v. Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, 2011 BCSC 1159
Toor v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., 2011 BCSC 691
Nayyar v. The Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., et al., 2010 BCSC 1671
Nayyar v. The Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., et al., 2010 BCSC 1588
Colgur v. The Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., 2009 BCSC 1125
MacLean v. The Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., 2008 BCSC 926
Yeung and Yeung v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., 2008 BCSC 197
Falk v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., 2008 BCSC 173
Kong v. Manulife Financial Services Inc., 2008 BCSC 65
Hunter v. Aetna Life Insurance Company, et al., 2007 BCSC 1902
Kong v. Manulife Financial Services Inc., 2007 BCSC 1559
Kong v. Manulife Financial Services Inc., 2007 BCSC 1281
Ames v. Maritime Life Assurance Co., 2006 BCSC 2042
Cyr (Re), 2006 BCSC 1813
Milner v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., 2006 BCSC 1571
Cyr (Re), 2006 BCSC 1523
Larlee v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., 2006 BCSC 1497
Milner v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., 2005 BCSC 1661
Martin v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., 2005 BCSC 528
Ali v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., et al., 2004 BCSC 1815
Ali v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., et al., 2004 BCSC 781
Ali v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., et al., 2004 BCSC 717
Stuart v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., 2004 BCSC 501
Metcalfe v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., 2004 BCSC 1526
Chapman v. Bullock, 2002 BCSC 1805
R. v. Dosanjh, 2002 BCSC 25
R. v. V.L.T., 2001 BCSC 956
Lind v. Canadian Northern Shield Ins. Co., 2000 BCSC 1939
R. v. Thornton, 2000 BCSC 1430
Smith v. Atson Farms Ltd., 1997 CanLII 2828, 1997] B.C.J. No. 677
Dalrymple v. Briscoe, 1996 CanLII 8459, [1996] B.C.J. No. 3248
Evertt v. Grosvenor International Canada Ltd.,1995 CanLII 1720, [1995] B.C.J. No. 2419

British Columbia Provincial Court

Tsang v. Equinox Financial Group Inc., et al., 2008 BCPC 67
Rayburn v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., 2006 BCPC 136
Pelletier v. YMCA, [1999] B.C.J. No. 1868
Narayan v. Kwong, [1999] B.C.J. No. 1481
Whitmey v. Currie, [1999] B.C.J. No. 1160
P.W. v. D.C. and S.C., 1999 BCPC 40
Thomas and Olson v. Hunt and Simmonds, 1999 BCPC 35
Ramsey et al. v. Whittaker et al., 1998 BCPC 17
Campbell v. Funk, 1998 BCPC 16
R. v. C.O., 1997 BCPC 18
MSA Ford v. Halliday, 1996 BCPC 12
R. v. B.R.S., 1995 BCPC 6
M. and L.G. v. R.W., 1993 BCPC 4

Administrative Tribunals

Desjardins v. Gonelly, [2005] B.C.H.R.T.D. No. 190
Rivtow Marine Inc. v. International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 115, [2005] C.L.A.D. No. 17
Desjardins v. Gonelly, [2005] B.C.H.R.T.D. No. 58
Imperial Oil Ltd. v. B. C. (Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection), [2002] B.C.E.A. No. 5

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We have the reputation.

Experience from the Inside,

Now on Your Side.

Life and Disability Insurance Lawyer



“… there is public benefit in having Mr. Fishman at liberty to act in litigation adverse to Manulife…”

David Allsebrook, CIRA panelist, September 16, 2016


“Choosing Jan to represent us was one of the best decisions we have made. Jan truly is at the top of his game and from start to finish he was warm, professional and great to deal with. He inspired confidence throughout a very difficult and important process for our family, and delivered a top-notch result. His experience on both sides of the fence (representing major insurance companies, and now representing individuals against insurance companies) really helped him be empathetic and understand the challenges dealing with long term disability companies better than anyone else we had met. Most importantly he used this experience to get our family the outcome we deserved. Thanks to Jan, we are now looking forward to a new chapter in our life.”

Nate Jolley, a client, August 7, 2023

“I more than highly recommend Jan Fishman. I was feeling much distress when I contacted Jan about my Disability Insurance issue. During our initial conversation, he took the care and time in discussing my situation, helped me understand my rights, the process involved and what to expect. I learned that Jan has extensive experience in this field and I felt relief knowing I was in great hands. His follow-up with me throughout was always timely, and I felt never forgotten. Jan solved my matter and I’m very thankful for him!”

Candace Haidey, a client, May, 25, 2023

“Just so glad I picked up the phone and called Jan. So grateful he helped when I needed it the most. Everything worked out so well. I would recommend Jan if you require help/assistance with any issues with regards to disability claims against insurance companies.”

Ray Fitzpatrick, a client, October 26, 2022

“I hired Jan in 2020 just before the pandemic, and used google review to pick my choice of lawyers. I saw that he had direct dealings with the insurance company I was fighting and chose his services for representation, as I was dealing with a long term disability claim. Our initial visit he was pleasant and he is very knowledgeable, he explained the process which I could understand and process. All meetings etc. were done over the phone, as COVID-19 hit. Any time I had a question he wouldn’t hesitate to answer and explain in detail, via email or telephone. When we had the mediation he was very professional, personable and easy to talk to, this eased my anxiety and helped deal with the mediation and we settled. I highly recommend Jan!”

Jason Roscoe, a client, April 27, 2021

“Another lawyer (friend of mine) recommended Jan to me because of his expertise in Disability claims. When I contacted him I received a response within the hour. He was very professional and requested a detailed and thorough review of my situation. From that time forward he provided me with his recommendations and likely outcome of my case. His level of experience and expertise was very reassuring and reduced my stress. Following this meeting he immediately proceeded and turn around of any info/next steps was quick. I was quick to send complete info so he was able to act right away. My insurance company assigned a different lawyer to my case after they found out who they would sit across the table from. Only delays were on insurance company end. My case was settled within weeks (shorter than expected) and to my satisfaction.”

Lynn Breakwell, a client, April 19, 2021

“Jan Fishman is is a very confident lawyer. Jan is very professional, confident, and straight shooting lawyer I have ever met. Honestly he actually cares about his clients. Jan has worked both sides of the insurance industry. I highly recommend Jan to represent anyone who needs the best lawyer . Thanks for everything you have done for me. I appreciate you and your wonderful staff.”

Dwayne Anderson, a client, January 27, 2021

“Jan was very good with explaining each step and very good at explaining to me along the way of each step he took on dealing with my case.”

Ron Roach, a client, December 7, 2020

“I came to Jan feeling very uncertain about my options when my LTD insurance benefits were discontinued. With his representation I was successful in achieving an outcome in my best interest. With his knowledge and expertise, I felt supported through the entire process. Highly recommend!”

Lisa Adams, a client, October 30, 2020

“Jan Fishman recently helped me with a travel medical insurance claim that had been denied. He consistently followed up, and was always prompt, concise and friendly – and clearly knew exactly what to do. He’s a great guy and also a great lawyer! It was a pleasure dealing with him and I just got my cheque in the mail. Thank you Jan!”

Mara Shnay, a client, August 19, 2020

“Mr. Jan was so organized, very responsive, and extremely professional. He was a great help to me and my family, He accommodated me in a short notice as he was so considerate of my time constraints. I will be always grateful for his time and help.”

Amira Mohamed, a client, July 7, 2020

“Mr Jan Fishman went above and beyond providing me with excellent legal advice and services, answering all my questions and was happy to explain every step of the process. He was always prompt to respond and so helpful and kind.  It was absolutely a pleasure working with Mr Jan Fishman, and I would highly recommend him!”

Lyne Talbot, a client, June 14, 2020

“Jan was very easy to work with . He was very thorough, explained everything really well with great detail and clarity . He was really flexible and always accommodating as far as scheduling meetings. He was very professional but very personable at the same time. He is very driven and great at his work. He wants the best and most favourable outcome for his clients. I would like to thank you Jan for all your help with my case. I would definitely recommend you to my friends and family.”

Mohammed R. Khan, a client, April 9, 2020

“Jan is a truly skilled lawyer. He went above and beyond in all of our expectations. He is very kind and approachable, we would definitely recommend Jan.”

Malkit Basi, a client, February 24, 2020

“Mr. Jan is an amazing man, working with my case with him was very comfortable, less stress that you can rest assure that you have nothing to worry about. I will recommend Mr. Jan to everybody. He is excellent man.”

Rose Gabriel, a client, December 22, 2019

“I would highly recommend Jan Fishman if you are having problems with your disability claim with your insurance company. Very fast and didn’t waste any time after I had met him. My claim took only a couple of months to settle with my insurance company and he kept me in the loop every step of the way. Thank you so much Jan for helping me with my claim and now I am not stressed out everyday thinking about it.” 

Jason Padolina, a client, July 22, 2019

“Jan is skillful, courteous, attentive, personable and calm. He handled my ICBC case smoothly and kept my stress level very low. He was an excellent choice.”

Rev. K. H. Shin, a client, June 16, 2019

“Jan was at all times courteous, attentive, professional and respectful. Jan gave me peace of mind throughout my entire case. Thank you.”

Adrienne Herron, a client, November 22, 2018

“Jan Fishman is extremely thorough and from the first meeting very understanding and compassionate at a very difficult time in my life. Jan put me at ease as soon as he started working on my case. His skills as a lawyer are amazing. I have no hesitation in recommending Jan to anyone that requires legal assistance in his fields of expertise. Jan is excellent in his field and his services were very much appreciated.”

Randy Bigford, a client, November 19, 2018

“I highly recommend Jan, should you ever need a disability lawyer. He was polite, professional, very knowledgeable and compassionate throughout the entire process. He gave me peace of mind. I cannot thank him enough! Thank you Jan!”

Michelle Shepherd, a client, June 16, 2018

“I would highly recommend Jan to anyone who needs representation in an insurance disability case. I felt at ease the first time I met with him. He explained every detail and answered all my questions thoroughly. He is very prompt in replying back to your emails and phone calls, which gave me reassurance that I had made the right choice in proceeding with Jan. He is a very genuine person, who truly cares about you and your case.” 

Manjit Athwal, a client, March 16, 2018

“Jan was exceedingly professional, knowledgeable, thorough and compassionate throughout my recent dealings with him. I can state, in all honesty, that without his guidance and assistance respecting my insurance issue, I would not have fared as well as I did. Jan was very generous too with his time and fees. I would, wholeheartedly, recommend him.”

Sharon S., a client, November 9, 2017

“I hired Jan after I was cut off from my disability claim in October 2016 and we JUST settled only 10 month later. The outcome was great and turn around amazingly fast. Being a family physician myself I know how long patients often wait for claims to be settled. Jan was very prompt in his replies to any inquiry I had. He is very knowledgeable and I felt very confident in his approach. He is super personable and really a pleasure to work with! I highly recommend!”

Dr. Joan R., a client, August 21, 2017

“I am extremely grateful to Jan Fishman. He was very kind and knowledgeable. Without him I never would have been able to successfully negotiate a settlement and Jan was so prompt. He fought hard to get things happening quickly and he got a good settlement. Because of his knowledge and dedication he saved us years of stress. He’s an excellent lawyer and a very good person. He was intelligent and caring. Something you don’t often see or expect when dealing with matters such as these. Thank you Jan.”

Tasha Williamson, a client, June 8, 2017

“I have recommended Jan already to an acquaintance. I found him extremely knowledgeable, accommodating, and easy to understand. My settlement was much better than I anticipated, despite the inherent weaknesses in my case that Jan skillfully worked with. You can tell he enjoys doing what he does, and if anyone has anything bad to say about him it’s probably because they lost to him in court.”

Kathleen McElwain, a client, July 28, 2016

“I was very fortunate Jan Fishman personally represented me against the largest insurance company in Canada. His extensive knowledge & experience is current and relevant. His expertise and compassion made him an exceptional lawyer. Using his intimate knowledge & experience as a former in house counsel, Jan aggressively, skillfully and successfully negotiated my complicated case; and achieved a financial settlement that was well beyond my expectation. I am immensely grateful for his excellent work.”

Wendy W., a client, May 3, 2016

“Mr. Fishman … took his responsibilities as counsel seriously, including his responsibility to carefully prepare witnesses for discovery and trial. This was confirmed to me by individuals who had been represented by Mr. Fishman at an examination for discovery. For example, Ms. Marina Holl, who is now retired from Manulife, complimented Mr. Fishman for the thoroughness of his discovery preparation and post examination “de-brief”, and on more than one occasion suggested Manulife’s other litigators should take the same detailed approach to such matters.”                                                    

M. Blair Anderson, Assistant Vice President and Senior Counsel – Lead Counsel Complex Litigation, Manulife, in an affidavit sworn to be true on Oct. 8, 2015

“I contacted Mr. Fishman to represent me after an MVA that involved TransLink and another vehicle. This process was very new to me and Mr. Fishman kindly guided me through each step of my ordeal, helping me to better understand what to expect. He communicated with clarity and diligence, providing me with all of the information crucial for me to make informed decisions. I felt supported and able to focus on my recovery by having someone on my side who gave me great counsel and worked tirelessly for my interests. Mr. Fishman was thorough, professional, very caring and patient. I would highly recommend him to anyone who needs representation.”

Lily Crist, a client, May 5, 2015

“Jan is meticulous in law and concerned with the well-being of his clients. I could never have found a better fit for me than Jan Fishman. He knows disability (Long Term Disability) law well, communicates wonderfully and is by far a fabulous value for the money. My settlement came quicker and was for a larger amount than I’d hoped. Without him I could have been destitute, even homeless. If Jan is willing to represent you in your case, it would be best for you to say yes immediately.”

Sharon Crissman, a client, Sept. 23, 2013

“Right from our initial meeting with Jan A. Fishman I found him to be attentive, thorough in explaining the whole process of my law suit, including all of the fees involved, was very open to me asking any kind of question and made sure that I understood everything. Jan was also very compassionate to me about my brain cancer and understood my many questions I had. I have full faith in Jan’s knowledge and ability and know that I don’t have to worry about my law suit, Jan is working hard on my side.”

Mary-Lou Bird, a client, June 7, 2013

“Jan’s extensive experience in the insurance field and his excellent litigation skills will allow him to excel in any related employment. His many years as in-house counsel at Manulife has allowed him to develop strong team oriented and interpersonal skills which makes him a valuable asset to any potential employer. I have worked with Jan during my many years at Manulife and have always found him to be dedicated and a strong advocate. Jan has my full recommendation.”

Albert Suissa, mediator and arbitrator, March 20, 2013

“Jan is very experienced and knowledgeable in his field.”

Abigail Turner, lawyer and partner at Harper Grey LLP, Dec. 7, 2012

“Jan has a keen grasp of insurance law. He is always well prepared and is an excellent advocate.”

The Honourable Judge Laura Bakan, Provincial Court of British Columbia, Dec. 7, 2012

“I worked with Jan Fishman as an Associate at a Vancouver Law Firm practising litigation including insurance law, personal injury matters, and property loss. He is very experienced with all levels of court and handling matters for businesses and individuals. Following our time together, Jan worked as an in house counsel for a publicly traded company, responsible for their litigation in British Columbia, and where he demonstrated proficiency in civil litigation matters and a true command of evidentiary rules and cross-examination of expert witnesses. A great advocate for his client!”

Julie Fisher, lawyer and chair at Coquitlam Foundation, Nov. 6, 2012

“I have known and worked with Jan Fishman for over a decade. I would recommend him in the areas of life and disability insurance, commercial insurance, and civil litigation generally.”

Harmon Hayden, lawyer and former partner at Watson Goepel LLP, Nov. 5, 2012

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