On August 1, 2013 Stewart McDannold Stuart celebrated its 25th anniversary as a law firm. There have been many changes over the past 25 years. The law has changed and evolved. Members of this firm have changed, some retiring, others moving on to new adventures, new lawyers and support staff joining us. Our clients have seen many changes in the local government landscape as well, with broader local government powers, an increasingly complex demand for services at the local level, downloading of responsibilities from senior levels of government, difficult fiscal challenges, and looming environmental issues that most of us gave little thought to 25 years ago. In the face of those changes, however, we like to think that one thing has remained constant, and that is our dedication to providing the highest quality in legal services to our clients. We look forward to facing the challenges ahead with you, our clients and colleagues.
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. (more…)