Manulife tried to quash lawyer’s website, and lost.

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

– David Allsebrook, CIRA panelist, September 16, 2016

After losing a protracted court application to disqualify me from acting against them on behalf of one of my clients, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (“Manulife”) then tried unsuccessfully to limit my ability to advertise the fact that I am able to represent people with claims againts Manulife.

Following Manulife’s failed application in McMyn v. Manufacturer’s Life Insurance Company, 2015 BCSC 2205, I registered the domain name “”. Manulife then retained both a high-priced American internet agent and an European-based organization to strip me of the domain name. Among other things, they filed a complaint with the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (“CIRA”).

On September 16, 2016, the CIRA panel dismissed the complaint. In Reasons for Judgment the panel wrote:

40. 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. He is prima facie within his rights to use Manulife’s name to make this point. Manulife has not in this complaint named any specific illicit harm it has suffered by Mr. Fishman’s current use of or any specific harm Mr. Fishman has threatened to inflict outside of the legitimate boundaries of a law practice.

41. It is clear that the Complainant does not approve of Mr. Fishman’s career helping Manulife customers sue Manulife, which is understandable, e.g., “The Respondent is not using the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.” This is simply not the case. Mr. Fishman is operating a legal and licensed business. Being sued by policy holders is a standard part of the insurance business of Manulife and other insurance companies. There is no depreciation of the value of the goodwill of the trade mark as contemplated by section 22 of the Trade-Marks Act, and none is alleged.

42. Mr. Fishman is accurately describing his business pursuing denied claims against Manulife by means which include a reference to the name of Manulife. He is not, on the evidence filed, deceiving clients into believing that he operates with the authority of Manulife.

Hopefully this well-reasoned decision will convince Manulife that people with claims against them have a right to retain the lawyer of their choice. If you have a claim against Manulife, or any other insurance company, contact Jan Fishman, a former in-house Manulife lawyer, and put his experience to work for you.