Local Government Law

Local Government Lawyers

  • Our Local Government Team:

  • Our Approach

    Our objective is simple: exceed your expectations. Effectively representing local governments requires matching skill and expertise with sensitivity and nuance. Our model for providing legal services to local governments is based on our commitment to three areas of focus:

    • Understanding Our Clients
      We believe that in order to provide the highest level of legal services to a local government, it is important to develop an understanding of the big picture, the culture and the expectations. Our job is to present the range of solutions to achieve the outcomes our clients desire.
    • Legal Skill
      At the heart of what we offer as lawyers – whether it be strategic advice, completing a transaction or conducting litigation – is our skill as legal counsel. Well rounded legal work requires sharp instincts, creativity and strategic-minded thinking, all with a view to advancing and protecting our clients’ interests.
    • Legal Knowledge
      The body of statutory, regulatory and common law impacting local governments is vast and complex. Effective counsel work must reflect the current state of the law and an awareness of what is on the horizon. Maintaining a current knowledge of the law is an ongoing priority for us.


    Retaining Us

    We are regularly retained by local governments, both large and small, and accept retainers ranging from single matters through to acting as general legal counsel for local governments. The highest compliment we are paid is when we are referenced in terms of being an “unofficial department” of a local government.

    We believe that a client’s trust in the judgment, skill and dedication of their legal counsel is fundamental to an effective working relationship. For this reason, we neither demand nor expect local government clients to retain us on an exclusive basis. Our standard approach is to serve at the pleasure of our clients, and we are confident that we can exceed expectations on each and every assignment entrusted to us. We offer competitive service rates and are open to alternate billing arrangements.

    Practice Areas

    From our offices in Kamloops and Vancouver, we act for local governments throughout British Columbia and pride ourselves on the accessibility, responsiveness, practicality and value in the legal services we offer, including:

Counsel Work & Advice

All Local Government lawyers

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

T. McNeil-Hay, D. Buchanan, K. Cumming

Drafting & Transactional Work

D. McCabe, R. Heney, S. Dabner

  • Council and board procedure
  • Corporate governance
  • Conflicts of interest
  • First Nations engagement and consultation
  • Labour and employment matters
  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy
  • Establishment and operation of municipal corporations
  • Loss prevention and risk management
  • Statutory Interpretation
  • Prosecution and defence of claims, including those relating to: property, construction, contracts, negligence, defamation, nuisance, injuries, bylaws and procedures tendering and regulatory disputes
  • Trials, tribunal hearings and appeals, including injunctions, mediations and arbitrations
  • Expropriation
  • Human rights matters and environmental claims
  • Employment Law
  • Local government bylaws, including interpretation, drafting and review
  • Procurement and tendering – preparing and reviewing procurement documents, as well as defending and prosecuting procurement-related claims
  • Property taxation and tax sale
  • Land use and development matters
  • Agreements
  • Real property transactions and land title matters
  • Partnering agreements
  • Inter-governmental servicing agreements


Recent Case Briefs

Cannabis Act to come into force on October 17, 2018

Case Update: Yukon Court of Appeal in Mega Reporting Inc. v Yukon

Case Update: Coffey v Fraser Valley (Regional District) – Private Property Entry Limitations

Case Update: Municipal Hazard Liability

The Province Releases Draft Cannabis Legislation

Municipal Legal Liability – MIABC Risk Management Conference, April 2018

Case Update: Adhering to Terms of an Invitation to Tender

Case Update: Local Zoning Regulation in Federal Waters

The Provinces Announces Plans for Cannabis Retail Sale & Use

City of Victoria Withstands Judicial Scrutiny in Denying a Rezoning Application for a Cannabis Dispensary – Green Dragon Medicinal Society v. Victoria (City) 2018 BCSC 116

Firing an Employee for Off-Duty Drinking and Driving: A Cautionary Tale – Klonteig v. West Kelowna (District), 2018 BCSC 124

Case Brief: Negligence of Public Officials – DP Applications

Legislative Update – New Cannabis Legislation

Law Update – Marihuana for Medical Purposes (MMPR)

Risk Management – Forestieri v. Urban Recreation Ltd. 2015 BCSC 249

Abbotsford v. Shantz: Update on Bylaw Regulation of Public Parks and dealing with homelessness

Todd Brothers Contracting Ltd. v. Algonquin Highlands (Township), 2015 ONCA 737

Legislative Update – Revision to the Local Government Act

Case Law Update – True Construction Ltd. v. Kamloops (City), 2016 BCCA 173

Case Law/Regulation Update – Conflicts of Interest Exceptions Regulation


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