Matt McCarthy

Matt McCarthy is an Associate with Stewart McDannold Stuart, and practices with the firm’s litigation group. Prior to joining the firm and relocating to Vancouver Island, Matt completed his articles and practiced as a civil litigator with a leading regional firm in its Calgary office. Matt earned his Juris Doctor degree in 2020 from the University of Alberta before being admitted to the Alberta bar in 2021 and then later transferring to the B.C. bar.

Matt maintains a general civil litigation practice with experience representing clients in matters involving issues of labour, employment, environmental contamination, property damage, construction, and personal injury. He has appeared before multiple levels of courts in Alberta and Saskatchewan as well as numerous administrative tribunals and arbitration panels. Matt brings these experiences to bear on his current practice in British Columbia.

In all his work, Matt is a devoted advocate who constantly works to achieve the best possible results for his clients. He relishes the opportunity to offer his expertise to assist local governments across British Columbia.

Beyond the office, Matt enjoys getting active and can be found anywhere from the golf course, to the hockey rink, to the many mountains and hiking trails in British Columbia and on Vancouver Island.

Kyle Falk-Varcoe

Kyle Falk-Varcoe is an associate with our firm and is a member of our solicitor’s group. Kyle was called to the Bar in British Columbia in 2022 and began his legal career at the Vancouver office of a leading national law firm. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Victoria in 2021. He also has a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Simon Fraser University.

Before his legal career, Kyle worked for the Government of British Columbia, including roles in the Ministry of Public Safety and the Ministry of Jobs, Trade, and Technology. During his time in law school, Kyle completed the legal co-op program and gained practical legal skills in public sector roles, including working for a Provincial Crown corporation in Victoria.

In his free time, Kyle enjoys cycling, spending time with family, and exploring British Columbia.

Kaitlyn Cumming

Kaitlyn Cumming is a member of our litigation group. She was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2016 and started her legal career in Kamloops before relocating to Vancouver Island in 2022. Kaitlyn represents and advises clients on a diverse range of municipal matters, including with respect to land use, regulatory, governance, contractual and liability issues.

Kaitlyn earned her Master of Laws from the University of British Columbia in 2020, where she conducted research on access to civil justice in British Columbia. Alongside her legal practice, she is currently continuing that research through the University of British Columbia’s PhD in Law program. Through this research, she is involved in several access to justice initiatives, and regularly presents on civil litigation topics such as on the role of legal assistance, court practices and procedural reform.

Outside of law, Kaitlyn enjoys spending time with friends and family and exploring the many biking and hiking trails Vancouver Island has to offer.

Thomas Haughian

Thomas Haughian is an associate with our firm, involved in both the solicitors’ and litigation departments. Thomas obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Victoria in 2022 before articling with SMS and being called to the bar in British Columbia in 2023. Before his legal studies, Thomas was granted a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Capilano University in North Vancouver.

During his time in law school, Thomas completed the co-op program and worked for University of Victoria Purchasing Services as a Supply Contracts Facilitator. Thomas also developed practical legal skills through clinical terms at both The Law Centre and the Business Law Clinic.  At The Law Centre, Thomas provided legal assistance in a wide variety of practice areas and appeared in the British Columbia Provincial Court on civil matters.

In his free time, Thomas enjoys exploring the outdoors, riding motorcycles, golfing, and digital photography.

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.

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.

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.