Jennifer M Williams
Jennifer is a practical, solution oriented lawyer providing client centred, responsive and results focused legal advice. Her business acumen was honed working shoulder to shoulder with business, real estate and other professionals as In House Counsel with a major real estate developer. She knows firsthand what business people need from their legal counsel. Jennifer communicates complex legal advice effectively in business language and delivers solution based advice to get the deal done.
After practicing commercial real estate law for ten years at Blakes and McCarthy, Jennifer transitioned to an in house counsel role with Larco Investments. For five years she developed and led the In House legal department within a highly diverse portfolio, primarily focused on commercial leasing, development, lending and general counsel work including the complex leasing program for the redevelopment of Park Royal Shopping Centre.
Practising primarily in the area of Commercial Real Estate, Jennifer’s experience spans a wide range of complex transactions pertaining to commercial real estate including:
Development: Development of all types of real estate projects including:
- ownership structures including REIT’s, Limited Partnerships and Trusts;
- acquisition and disposition of development sites including land assemblies and disposition of partially completed projects;
- conventional and air space subdivisions for residential, industrial and commercial projects, as well as leasehold stratas and developments on first nations lands;
- strata/condominium matters, including mixed-use structures and challenges such as common facility uses, cost-sharing and phasing;
- municipal matters including advising on approvals and permits, drafting and negotiating a wide range of covenants, easements and land title encumbrances;
- industrial, residential and mixed-use developments with both commercial and residential components, inclusive of market and non-market rental housing;
- uniquely challenging development transactions including strata conversions, collapse of stratas and co-ownership properties, fractional interests and distressed properties;
- preparing disclosure statements for phased, fractional, timeshare and conventional/bare-land strata sales;
- construction and general financing for borrowers and a diverse range of lenders from major institutional lenders to mortgage investment corporations and private lenders; and
- conveyance of completed development lots or interests;
Real Estate Transactions: Acquisitions and dispositions of real estate assets including:
- sale/ leasebacks of large scale assets such as office buildings, hotels and resort properties;
- complex titles such as consolidating time shares, strata conversions, collapsing stratas and land assemblies;
- unique dispositions such as acting for receivers and trustees in bankruptcy to manage, develop and sell distressed properties and projects and those under order for sale.
Commercial Leasing: Acting for both landlords and tenants with respect to:
- leases of retail, commercial and industrial properties and the negotiation and drafting of commercial lease documents including modifications, renewals and non-disturbance agreements; and
- day to day advice regarding lease administration, lease interpretation and day to leasing advice and enforcement matters.
Lending: Acting for borrowers, institutional and private lenders on real estate backed financing, including CMHC backed loans such as the MLI Flex program for market rental projects.
Construction: Acting primarily for developers, builders and owners in negotiating construction management, general contracting and subcontract agreements.
Jennifer served as Chair and Legislative Liaison of the CBA Real Estate Subsection, and on a committee basis for CREW (Commercial Women in Real Estate – Vancouver chapter). She is the author of numerous legal articles and publications including for The Continuing Legal Education Society of BC and speaker/presenter at legal and real estate industry events including the ICSC Law Conference.
Jennifer is the Chair of the Diversity, Inclusion and Community Involvement Committee at Owen Bird. She is also active in her community, volunteering for various non‑profit and charitable organizations including 7 years serving as a Trustee of the Vancouver Waldorf School, and managing teams for the West Vancouver Minor Hockey Association, North West Vancouver Ringette Association, and North Shore Baseball Association. She also volunteers for the Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia.
- Called to the British Columbia Bar, 2003
- LLB., University of British Columbia, 2002
- Undergraduate Studies: University of British Columbia, University of Glasgow
- Member, Law Society of British Columbia
- Chair, Owen Bird Law Corporation Diversity, Inclusion and Community Involvement Committee