Areas of Practice

Our legal team has worked on almost every type of case imaginable, we offer the complete range of legal services you’d expect from a full-service firm.

Our team of seven lawyers, backed by highly trained and specially skilled support staff, are experienced in matters that include:

Personal Injury

A lot of injured people seem to think that ICBC represents them. This is not true.

If you are injured in an accident that is not your fault or only partially your fault, you should be properly compensated for your injuries and damages by the person that hit you (the defendant). Luckily insurance is mandatory in BC and usually ICBC is the insurance company defending the claim against you. ICBC represent the defendant. Not you. You have probably heard the term “third party liability insurance”. You are the third party. This is why personal injury lawyers always tell you to call them first. Giving a statement and authorizations to ICBC instead of through a personal injury lawyer gives ICBC the opportunity to get information they may not be entitled to under the law and use it against you.

ICBC often speaks about its own policies as if those policies are law. They are not. You need to speak to a personal injury lawyer about what your rights and obligations are. We are happy to meet with you and discuss your case in a free initial consultation. In that meeting we will explain the law including ICBC’s obligations to you; your obligations to ICBC; and what damages you may be entitled to under Part 7 benefits (no fault) and tort. Think of those as what you can get now and what you can get on settlement or judgment. We will also discuss the heads of damages you can claim including non-pecuniary damages (pain, suffering and interference with your life); past wage loss; future capacity loss; loss of housekeeping/maintenance; future care and special damages. ICBC is not known to discuss all heads of damages with self-represented claimants. It is important that you know what you are entitled to.

If you want to retain us, we usually take your case on a contingency fee basis which allows you to be represented by us and not pay fees until settlement or judgment. You can also choose to have us pay the disbursements in the interim (litigation costs) so you aren’t financially burdened while trying to recover from a car accident.

It is important that you feel good about choosing us and comfortable asking questions. If you have a personal injury matter (car accident or slip and fall) please make an appointment to see one of our personal injury lawyers. We are committed to assisting you with your claims in a cost effective, professional and caring manner. We represent you.

Civil Litigation

Civil litigation includes all disputes that are not criminal in nature. They may arise out of a business deal that doesn’t work out, estate discrepancies or real estate disputes. We represent clients in all forms of civil disputes, taking any reasonable case.

We appreciate that civil litigation is often an intimidating and new experience for clients. We will explain all steps in the process and make sure you understand what to expect in terms of timeline and costs. We will work with you to design a cost-effective and realistic approach to represent you in your case.

Example of civil litigation cases we have worked on in the past include:

  • Commercial disputes
  • Builder’s Liens
  • Foreclosures
  • Estate disputes

Business Law - Corporate / Commercial

Our business law group provides a full range of legal services to small business and not-for-profit clients, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, incorporated societies and co-operatives. Corporate services include:

  • Incorporation, formation and governance of business organizations
  • Incorporation of companies, societies and co-operatives
  • Corporate compliance and governance, including annual reports, shareholder meetings, corporate resolutions, etc.
  • Shareholder and Partnership Agreements
  • Joint Venture Agreements
  • Corporate finance
  • Mergers, acquisitions, dissolutions
  • Corporate re-organizations

Our commercial law group advises and represents individuals, businesses, financial institutions and non-profit organizations on a complete range of commercial matters including:

  • Lending, borrowing, and security
  • Negotiation and drafting of commercial agreements and contracts including:
    • Franchise Agreements, Asset Purchase and Share Purchase Agreements, equipment leases, real estate leases, employment and service contracts, etc.

We also offer a full range of corporate and commercial litigation services including:

  • Litigation, arbitration and mediation
  • Shareholder disputes and partnership disputes
  • Contract disputes
  • Employment disputes

Our business law group will work in conjunction with your other professional advisors, including your accountants, financers, and insurers to provide you with sound, strategic support.

Real Estate Law

Our real estate law group provides legal services for all areas of real estate law. We act on behalf of individuals, corporations, lending institutions and government organizations. Whether you are a first time home buyer and want guidance through the process or a sophisticated developer who wants documents prepared we can help. Our experienced conveyancing staff works quickly and efficiently to make sure your deal completes with a minimum of hang ups. Services we provide include:

  • Home purchases, sales and mortgages
  • Refinancing
  • Purchase and Right to Purchase contract preparation
  • Private lending
  • Subdivision and property development
  • Lease preparation and review
  • Easement and right of way preparation
  • Strata advice
  • Foreclosure

Wills, Trusts and Personal Care Planning

When planning for end of life care and what should happen afterwards there are a number of considerations any person should make.  Their family, financial, and legal status as well as personal beliefs will dictate what an appropriate end of life plan will look like.  Our estate planning lawyers have considerable expertise in working with clients to review circumstances and develop a plan that will best meet their needs.  When we sit down with a client it is to discuss their ultimate goals.  Once that is determined, we create a plan, with the client that will best accomplish their needs.  This may include any combination of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, representation agreements and advance directives.  Throughout the consultation and drafting process we provide clients with time and cost estimates to create their plan and we modify these as necessary.

Probate and Estate Administration

Following the death of a loved one most individuals have a lot of questions and uncertainty.  It is a highly emotional time and everyone reacts differently when faced with the reality of death.  We are experienced in dealing with the various emotions and issues that can arise and how to help resolve them.

Probate is the process that is followed when the deceased had a will whereas Estate Administration is the process that is followed when there is no will.  In both cases there are very specific rules and procedures to be followed to wrap up the affairs of the deceased.  Some assets can be dealt with prior to finalizing the estate while others will be frozen pending the appointment of a Personal Representative.  Regardless of the process that needs to be followed our experienced estate advisors can walk you through the process and provide legal and practical advice about how to proceed.

As we know that the assets of the deceased are typically frozen and they are the funds to be used to pay legal fees we typically do not require a retainer for estate matters.

Fisheries, Forestry and First Nations

Our firm offers a wide range of legal services to First Nations including:

  • Economic development
  • Incorporation and corporate governance
  • Limited partnerships
  • Litigation services

Our firm offers a full range of legal services to fishers, including:

  • Licence transfers
  • Vessel transfers
  • Fisheries offence support
  • Incorporation
  • Financing

Our firm offers a wide range of legal services to companies and individuals involved in forestry and other natural resource operations including:

  • Incorporation
  • Drafting contracts
  • Acquisitions and sales
  • Collections and Liens
  • Forestry disputes (litigation, arbitration and mediation)
  • Bill 13 disputes
  • Regulatory compliance

Collections

If someone owes you money, you are now in the position of being the creditor. As a creditor, you must act on and take steps to collect your money from the debtor. It is often a challenging and time consuming process to navigate through the legal system (whether you are in BC Small Claims or BC Supreme Court) in order to collect your money. We can assist you in collecting your debt through a variety of means, including obtaining a court ordered judgment, pre-judgment and post-judgment garnishing orders, or enforcing your judgment against property owned by the debtor.

Family Law

Family law encompasses all aspects of the family relationship from the formation of a new relationship to the breakdown of a long term one. We regularly advise clients on their rights.

We have represented hundreds of clients through difficult and challenging times. We will work with you in order to design an effective strategy to resolve your case.

If you require strong advocacy in the courtroom we have the experience to help you. If you want to mediate or negotiate a fair settlement, we can help you.

We will work hard to represent you and assist you with the following:

  • Divorces
  • Child guardianship
  • Asset division
  • Spousal support
  • Child support
  • Adoptions
  • Cohabitation Agreements
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Grandparents’ rights

Worker's Compensation

Worker’s Compensation is an insurance program. It provides benefits to workers who are injured while at work or who contract an illness as a result of workplace activities or workplace environment. It is a no-fault system. That means that a worker cannot sue the employer and the employer cannot sue the worker.

Worker’s Compensation has its own rules and procedures. From the worker’s perspective, in a WCB claim there are a number of particularly important points to pay attention to.

  • The wage rate determined by WorkSafe is of critical importance in determining the amount of benefits that an injured worker receives. That wage rate will determine the amount of bi-weekly wage loss benefits a worker is to receive while totally disabled as well as the amount of pension benefits.
  • The maximum amount of financial benefits that can be paid on a claim is determined by the maximum wage rate determined by WorkSafe. This is currently in the range of $74,000 per annum.
  • The injuries the case manager accepts on the claim are critical to determining the amount to be received. Sometimes the case manager does not consider all the injuries or illnesses or the possible consequences of them.
  • The vocational rehabilitation proposed by WorkSafe is often unsuitable or inadequate to restore earning capacity.
  • A Disability Awards Officer will not consider a worker’s eligibility for loss of earnings pension without specific directions to do so from the case manager. All WCB pensions are considered initially on a permanent functional impairment (PFI) basis. For example, a worker may lose the tip of an index finger and the thumb on her dominant hand. The consequences of that injury will likely be significant. However, the PFI pension to be awarded is rather modest. Unless a loss of earnings pension is considered, the full benefits to which a worker might be entitled will not be addressed.

We regularly advise employees and employers on their rights and obligations in WorkSafe matters including occupational health and safety issues, assessment issues, claims issues and enforcement matters.

Lawyers in this firm have skill and expertise in assessing WCB claims and representing clients with the Board, the Review Division and the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT) which holds oral hearings in Courtenay.

We charge a modest initial fee to see if we can help you.

Notary Services

Every member of the firm is a notary, as well as a lawyer. We provide a complete range of notarial services including:

  • Real estate services (buying, selling, borrowing, lending)
  • Wills and Estate planning
  • Notarization of documents, including travel consent forms, certified copies, statutory declarations, etc.

These services are provided at a price you would expect to pay a local Notary Public. When you receive notarial services from this firm, you also have the confidence that comes from having a trained and experienced legal professional on your team.