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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: