Solicitors, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart


Solicitors, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart

I hear it all the time: “CBABC is more geared toward litigators.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. As Elton and Kiki put it, “Nobody told us. ‘Cause nobody showed us,” so here we go.

Solicitors are integral within CBABC. No less than 22 of our Sections provide opportunities for solicitors to build referral sources and keep current with law and practice. Plus, their leaders have emerged to guide CBABC policy and practice reform and build two key conferences. 

Last summer, CBABC formed the Residential Conveyance Working Group on the recommendation of past National Real Property Section Chair, and current Real Property–Vancouver Section Co-Chair, Brett Horton. Chaired by Brett, the Working Group includes Edward Wilson, Inder Biring, Vyvyan Tsui, Tony Spagnoulo, Ron Usher, Stewart Carstairs, Marty Wales, Erin Crocker, and Peter DeMeo. The diversity of business models, experiences, and geography among that group have made them extremely effective.

Since September, the Working Group successfully advocated for the deadline extension to file transparency reports under the Land Owner Transparency Act, and consulted with the BC Financial Services Authority about the government’s proposed “cooling off period” policy. In particular, they called into question the necessity and efficacy of such a policy, since the government has yet to articulate the actual problem it is trying to solve or the magnitude of it.

But they haven’t stopped there. The Working Group’s current projects include reviewing the Standard Form Contracts of Purchase and Sale, particularly the applicability of GST on purchase prices and inclusion of The Land Owner Transparency Registry advisories, and revisions to the Standard Form Undertakings with respect to transactions involving Indigenous lands. Some of you may not know that Edward Wilson of Lawson Lundell was instrumental in drafting and developing those documents for over 25 years. He continues to serve as CBABC’s representative on the BC Real Estate Standard Forms Committee and the Land Title Survey Authority’s Business Transformation Advisory Committee. CBABC members owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his extensive contributions.  

The annual Solicitors’ Central Vancouver Island Conference returns on April 22 in Parksville after a COVID hiatus. For years, Chuck Blanaru of Heath Law in Nanaimo has been the anchoring organizer of the event. Generously sponsored by Stewart Title, all solicitors and general practitioners from Duncan to Port Hardy to Uclulet will want to reconnect with colleagues and hear from keynote speaker, Master Sandra Dick.

From June 10-12, CBABC hosts the Wills & Estates Conference in Kelowna with keynote David Freedman of Queen’s Law. With thanks to Wills & Trusts Section executives Amy Mortimore, Tara Britnell, Jaimie Kidston, and Jacy Wingson, QC, this three-day program is focussed on advanced-level estate law. You won’t want to miss it.

Returning to policy and advocacy, the Cullen Commission reports in May. Recommendations may impact all areas of the lawyer-client relationship. Our Professional Issues Committee, together with the Real Estate and Criminal Justice Sections, will consider CBABC’s next steps in education and advocacy for our members. 

With so much happening at CBABC for and by solicitors, I hope you’ll consider getting more involved. CBABC’s Provincial Council will meet for their last meeting in June, and following that, we’ll welcome new Council members for the 2022-23 membership year. April 12 is the deadline for County Representative and Section Representative nominations, with elections following shortly after.

If governance isn’t your thing, there are many opportunities for solicitors to volunteer and shape the positions of CBABC on law and policy issues through our Committees. Or, make sure next year’s Section meetings are timely, relevant and fun to attend by joining a Section Executive. Recruitment begins in May, so watch your Section notices for those opportunities.

The influence of solicitors is vibrant at CBABC, and your engagement completes CBABC’s voice of the legal profession in BC.