Areas Of Practice

Buying or Selling a Business
If you are buying or selling a business, I can walk you through the process, and advise you of the scope of the transaction and its likely cost. The value I bring to this process is twofold. The first is the expertise I have in helping Aboriginal clients through the negotiation process, be it at the term sheet/letter of intent stage, or in the later stages of the transaction. The second is my expertise in assisting Aboriginal clients avoid the many danger areas which take different forms during the negotiation process and the papering of the transaction owing to the fact that every transaction is unique.

Business Start-Ups
If you are in the process of starting up a business, I can help you through the various stages involved from inception (including incorporation) to operating business. Because I have worked with many businesspeople from different industries, I have an understanding of many of the challenges that will arise in the course of your business dealings, and can assist with legal solutions to these where and when appropriate.

Commercial Contracts
I regularly assist Aboriginal clients with the drafting, review, and negotiation of commercial contracts including asset/share purchase agreements, shareholders’ agreements, limited partnership agreements, limited partnerships, joint venture agreements, impact and benefit agreements, participation agreements, executive employment agreements, commercial leases, agreements of purchase and sale (real property), development of band and CP lands, licensing agreements, distribution agreements, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, collaboration and development agreements, outsourcing agreements, and financing agreements (letters of credit, loan agreements, mortgages, general security agreements, and guarantees).

Wealth Management Through Trusts
I am experienced in the development and drafting of trusts for Aboriginal clients. Well contemplated trust structuring and planning is crucial to meeting Aboriginal clients’ goals, including preserving wealth arising from settlements with the Canadian government and wealth generated from profitable business enterprises. I have a network of highly skilled non-lawyer trust and administration experts, who work in banks and other institutions, with whom I work with as required to ensure my Aboriginal clients receive well rounded, high quality advice respecting the creation of their trusts and administration of same.

Natural Resources
British Columbia and Canada as a whole, for the most part, is largely dependent on primary resource extraction to sustain its economy. This fact naturally leads to interaction on various levels between government, proponents, and the Aboriginal communities in which resource extraction takes place (or is slated to). I have experience engaging proponents and government in dialogue leading to economic development agreements arising from various industries including forestry, mining, aquaculture, and energy (including oil and gas). At the end of the day, when all the pros and cons of a project are reviewed, from my perspective, the two principal questions that need to be answered in the affirmative are:
●   Will this project/development have a significant, sustained positive effect on the prosperity and quality
     of life of the Aboriginal community on whose traditional territory the project/development will (or is
     slated to) take place?
●   Is the environmental footprint which will be left by the project/development light enough to justify the
     economic and other benefits arising from the project/development?

Aboriginal and Treaty Rights
The Aboriginal and treaty rights affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, are key to ensuring Aboriginal culture and traditions live on through historical and future connection to the natural environment delineated by traditional territories and lands. These rights were pivotal in bringing about present day Aboriginal rights and entitlements respecting ownership, access to, and management of lands and resources in Aboriginal traditional territories. Further, it is these rights which brought about the government’s duty to consult and accommodate with Aboriginal communities impacted by development on their traditional territories and lands. I am committed to helping my Aboriginal clients use these rights, and recent court holdings expanding same, to achieve greater control of and economic and other benefits arising from their traditional territories and lands.

* Denotes a Professional Law Corporation