In the late 1970’s I was a 23 year old law school graduate looking to start my legal career. I had just spent three years learning that most of the law was all about money and property; how to help people acquire more of it; secure it for them; and keep others from getting any of it. So I knew what I did not want to do – spend my legal career doing the usual type of law with banks, businesses and insurance companies as my clients. I was fortunate to become partners with a group of lawyers who wanted to act for local government; a perfect match with the municipal law course and graduating paper on municipal expropriation that I had completed in law school. Together we set out on a course for the next 30 years to build something very special – a law firm with a legal practise restricted to clients who were working to make a real difference in our local communities throughout British Columbia. Being able to work with the dedicated professional staff in local government, assessment authority and health authorities provided all of the lawyers in our firm the opportunity to assist clients in carrying out their important statutory duties. What better clients could a lawyer choose to work for than those whose objectives are to act in the public and community interest; for the protection of people and the environment; while seeking to create safe healthy sustainable communities for everyone to enjoy the benefits of. I have been blessed to have been asked to work on a wide range of exceptionally interesting and challenging court cases during my legal career. It has been an honour and a privilege to have clients ask me to assist them in the important work that they do; and if over the last 31 years I have in any way been able to assist them to achieve their duties then the dreams and aspirations of that young 23 year old law school graduate so many years ago have been more than amply fulfilled. I thank all of the firms clients for giving me the opportunity to work with them and I wish all of you the very best for the future.
The law firm which I have had the pleasure of building with so many other talented people will still carry on; and while the name has changed 4 or 5 times over the years; and while some of the partners and lawyers have come and gone over the decades; the philosophy behind Stewart McDannold Stuart remains unchanged. “Quality Service and Price” has been the foundation upon which the firm was built and this will not change after I retire. Our primary objective has always been to provide our clients with all of the legal services that they may need within a single law firm; legal work of exceptional quality; delivered in an efficient and timely manner; and at a fair and reasonable cost to the taxpaying public. Those goals remain unchanged for all of the partners lawyers and staff at Stewart McDannold Stuart. On top of that foundation of course are the people who make all the difference; the knowledgeable; experienced and hard working lawyers and staff who devote themselves full time to achieving the goals and objectives of our clients. I am honoured that the firm will retain my name after I retire; and I know that the partners – Colin, Bob, Kathryn and Peter – are committed to ensuring that clients will continue to receive the same exceptional level of service that they have come to expect from this law firm. I wish the partners, associate lawyers and staff of Stewart McDannold Stuart all the best in the years ahead as they continue to write new chapters in the on going history of the firm; building on the traditions and past achievements of the firm in order to meet the changing needs of our clients in the future; something that each of them have already demonstrated in so many different ways that they have the ability to accomplish.