Significant changes to the Wills, Estates and Succession Act and the Supreme Court Civil Rules will now allow the BC Courts to accept a will that is created, recorded, transmitted or stored on an electronic device (such as a computer, tablet or phone) and signed electronically, and for which there is no printed copy provided the will can be reproduced in a visible form.

The amendments also permanently adopt changes brought on by Covid-19 which allow for the remote witnessing of wills through the use of video technology.

This is a significant change in the law around Will making and…

Categories: Announcements

Owen Bird Welcomes John Kim

Owen Bird is pleased to announce that John Kim has joined our firm as the newest member of our Litigation Group.

John represents clients in complex commercial, insurance, construction, design professional, subrogated and product liability disputes. John has developed specialized expertise in fire related claims and litigation. He has represented clients in landmark cases in this area and teaches fire and arson investigators at accredited courses in British Columbia.

In his litigation practice, John acts as BC counsel for several industrial product manufacturers. John is often retained in construction disputes and acts for design professionals and other professionals including accountants…

Categories: Announcements

Estate Dispute Awards $1.4 million to BC SPCA

A recent decision of the British Columbia Supreme Court is a good reminder that Wills should be regularly reviewed by their makers to be sure they reflect his or her current wishes; and if not, a new Will or codicil should be prepared and executed as quickly as possible.

In a decision handed down last week, Justice MacNaughton held that a Vancouver woman’s estate had to be distributed pursuant to her 2013 Will, and not according to a handwritten note she made at some later date and left with the Will in a lockbox in her home.

The 2013 Will…

OBLC Participating in Access Pro Bono’s 2021 Advice-A-Thon

The Diversity, Inclusion and Community Involvement Committee at Owen Bird is pleased to announce entry of our team in the 2021 virtual advice-a-thon hosted by Access Pro Bono!

Pro Bono Going Public 2021 with Access Pro Bono (September 13 – 24, 2021) provides one-hour free summary legal advice appointments to low and modest-income British Columbians to support access to justice across the province.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit our communities back in 2020, the need for access to legal support and services has never been greater.   Access Pro Bono reports a 30% increase in use of their free legal services…

Categories: Announcements

Owen Bird Welcomes Michelle Karby

Owen Bird is delighted to announce that Michelle Karby has joined our firm as the newest member of our Wills, Trusts and Estate Group.

Michelle is an experienced wills, estates and trusts lawyer. She works with families to navigate the often sensitive field of trust and estate planning, estate administration, and family business succession planning.  She works with families to ensure their affairs are in order and that appropriate tax planning is in place to ease both the emotional and financial burden when a loved one passes. When that person does pass, she provides legal support and advice throughout the…

Categories: Announcements

Jocelyn Bellerud – Appointment to Interlaw Board of Directors and Global Chair of Interlaw Next Gen

Owen Bird is pleased to announce that Jocelyn Bellerud has accepted an invitation to join the Interlaw Board of Directors and to serve as Global Chair of the Next Gen Special Business Team effective immediately.  Jocelyn will also continue to serve as Co-Chair for the Interlaw North America of the M&A Special Business Team.

Owen Bird is extremely proud of its relationship with Interlaw and the international connections it offers to our clients.  Interlaw is a long-established elite global network of pre-eminent independent law firms comprising 7,500+ lawyers based in over 150 cities around the world.

Categories: Announcements

Heather Frydenlund Appointed Chair for Interlaw Bankruptcy and Insolvency SBT

Owen Bird is pleased to announce that firm lawyer Heather Frydenlund has been appointed North America Chair for the Interlaw Bankruptcy and Insolvency SBT.

Owen Bird is extremely proud of its relationship with Interlaw and the international connections it offers to our clients.  Interlaw is an international network of corporate and commercial independent law firms, active in 140 different cities worldwide.

Categories: Announcements

Pride 2021

As one of our Pride 2021 initiatives at Owen Bird, the associates decided to go on a LGBTQ2+ walking tour. The Really Gay History Tour tells the (previously) hidden queer history of our city. Head storyteller Glenn Tkach did all the research for the tour, and his passion for the subject was evident! Stops included Jim Deva Plaza, the Vancouver Art Gallery, St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church, and St. Paul’s Hospital. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Delivered with nuance and humour, we all went away feeling we now know more about our city and its LGBTQ2+ history.

Categories: Announcements

Language Rights and Divorce in British Columbia

Did you know that you could divorce in French in British Columbia?

As of March 1, 2021, litigants may use either official language in divorce proceedings. This includes filing pleadings or other documents, giving evidence, or making submissions. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided by the court on request, as will translations of judgments or orders. The litigants also have a right to a judge who speaks the same official language as that party (or both official languages, as the case may be).

According to the 2016 census, there are roughly 55,000 people in British Columbia who speak French as their…

Categories: Family Law