Paige Gibson

Paige Gibson is a member of our litigation group.  Paige represents clients in a range of areas involving land use, municipal issues, governance, liability and insurance.

Paige was called to the British Columbia bar in 2009.  She earned her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Victoria and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia.  After articling with a major national firm in Vancouver, Paige practiced at a litigation boutique in Calgary before relocating to Vancouver Island in 2014.  She has appeared at the B.C. Supreme Court, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeal.

Andrew Buckley

Andrew Buckley is a member of our litigation group. He was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2016 and began his legal career at a reputable civil litigation firm in Vancouver before returning to his hometown of Victoria. Andrew has appeared before all levels of court in British Columbia as well as multiple administrative tribunals. He has acted on behalf of a wide range of clients including municipalities, health authorities, educational institutions, and professionals. Andrew’s experience includes defending personal injury, property damage, contract, professional liability and construction disputes. He has provided advice to his clients on environmental, employment, and insurance coverage matters.

Prior to obtaining his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Victoria, Andrew earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction in the field of Canadian history and a Bachelor of Music degree with distinction in classical singing. Andrew trained as an operatic singer and enjoyed his time performing on the stage. He brings the dedication and attention to detail required of a classical musician to his practice of law.

Outside of the office, Andrew enjoys working in his garden, spending time with his family, entertaining friends, and taking his dog on local hikes.

Jessica Eastwood

Jessica Eastwood is an associate with our firm, involved in both the solicitors and litigation departments. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Victoria and also received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Victoria in 2018. She joined SMS as an articling student shortly after receiving her Juris Doctor degree and was called to the bar in May 2019.

During her law degree, Jessica completed the co-op program and worked for the Ministry of Finance, Risk Management Branch and the Office of the BC Ombudsperson. Jessica also completed a term at the University of Victoria’s Law Centre, where she appeared in the BC Provincial Court on criminal matters. Through these positions, Jessica gained experience in areas including administrative law, privacy law and litigation.

Outside of law, Jessica enjoys being outdoors, spending time with family and playing baseball.

Josh Krusell

Josh Krusell is a partner with Stewart McDannold Stuart and is a member of our litigation group. Josh has conducted trials, appeals and judicial reviews at all levels of courts in B.C., and has appeared before administrative tribunals and private arbitrators in a broad range of disputes, including with respect to municipal, contractual, land use, tort, insurance and construction issues. He also provides strategic advice to clients with respect to tendering, procurement and regulatory and internal investigations.

Josh was called to the Ontario bar in 2012 and practised as a civil litigator with a leading national business law firm in Toronto prior to transferring to the British Columbia bar in 2018 to serve and represent local governments in B.C.

Josh is currently an Executive Officer of the Municipal Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association (B.C. Branch). He earned his Master of Public Administration and Juris Doctor degrees in 2011 from the University of Victoria and, prior to practising as a lawyer, Josh held positions within the B.C. public service.

Jeff Locke

Jeff was called to the Bar in 1997 and has established a solid reputation as litigation counsel for local governments.  Jeff regularly represents local governments in liability claims, contractual and regulatory disputes, and in crisis management and injunction-related circumstances.  Jeff has extensive experience representing local governments in hearings, trials and appeals.  He regularly assists local governments facing urgent, complex and evolving problems which require strategic advice, effective communications and focused solution management.  Jeff is a sought after presenter and contributor at local government conferences and is a board member of the BC Courthouse Libraries Society.

Jeff enjoys music, cooking, spending time with his family and keeping up with his garden.

*Providing services through a law corporation.

Ryan Bortolin

Ryan Bortolin is a partner with Stewart McDannold Stuart.  He is a member of the Firm’s solicitor’s group.  He advises clients on the full range of legal matters that confront local governments, including bylaw drafting, procurement and tendering, development matters, privacy, real estate transactions, and governance issues.  He has represented local governments at all levels of court in BC on matters ranging from bylaw enforcement to contractual disputes.

Ryan has presented on several different topics related to local governments.  He is currently the Co-Chair of the Municipal Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association (BC Branch).

Ryan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Masters of Education from the University of Calgary.  He received his LL.B. from the University of Victoria in 2009.  Before going to law school, Ryan taught English in Asia, the Middle East and South America.  After completing his articles, Ryan completed a one year clerkship with the B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria.

Michael Hargraves

Michael Hargraves is a lawyer with our solicitor’s group. His experience handling local government legal matters is both broad and deep, encompassing a diverse range of subject matters. Of note, Michael has extensive experience in real estate, procurement, land use planning and development, risk management, contracts, bylaws, environmental matters, expropriation, conflicts of interest, freedom of information and privacy, and governance.

Michael earned his law degree at the University of British Columbia in 2004 and was called to the BC bar in 2005 after completing articles with a national law firm in Vancouver. Later in 2005, Michael made the move to Victoria, where he gained experience in a civil litigation practice before joining our firm’s solicitor’s group in 2007. Michael worked his way through the firm’s ranks to become a partner in 2014, and continued in that role until 2017, when he took the position of city solicitor at a large Vancouver Island municipality. In 2022, having gained invaluable experience during his time in-house, Michael has returned to private practice with the firm.

Michael is a past chair of the Municipal Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association (BC Branch), an engaging public speaker who has presented numerous times at local government conferences, and a seasoned writer who has penned many articles on legal subjects for the firm’s website and elsewhere.

Outside of law practice, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, long distance running, playing guitar, and getting absorbed in a good book.

Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson is a partner and member of our solicitor’s group. Peter graduated with his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of British Columbia in 1988. He was a Law Clerk with the County Court of Vancouver, and then completed his articles in Vancouver. He was called to the Bar in 1990. Peter practiced civil litigation for a number of years with a major Vancouver firm, appearing before all levels of court in British Columbia. In 1997 he became the Assistant City Solicitor with a large and growing municipality in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver.

In 2001 Peter joined the firm and continues to practice as a partner with our solicitors group.  Peter provides legal advice and assistance to local governments throughout the province on a wide variety of matters, including interpretation of local government legislation, planning and development law, real estate and other commercial transactions, contract tendering issues, bylaw drafting, expropriation, environmental law issues, freedom of information and privacy issues, and conflicts of interest.

Peter is a frequent contributor to the firm newsletter “LoGo Notebook”. He has made numerous presentations on a variety of local government law topics.   He is the past Chair of the Municipal Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association (BC Branch), and is the contributing author of Canada Law Book’s Annotated British Columbia Local Government Act and Community Charter.