Lawson Lundell LLP is a leading business law firm in Western and Northern Canada known for our practical, strategic approach to legal and business problems. Our lawyers are widely recognized by respected legal and business publications. Our clients are leaders in the jurisdictions where we are located and around the world. Our practice areas and some of the industries we serve are listed here.
Our offices are in Vancouver, Calgary, Yellowknife and Kelowna. Our diverse client base requires that we also focus on activities in other parts of the world, which offers us ever increasing opportunities to stay aware of changes and developments worldwide.
Lawson Lundell is perfectly suited and prepared to provide the advice and commitment required to assist in our clients’ success. We are here to make a difference as we have for over 130 years.
Lawson Lundell LLP’s history spans over 130 years. Throughout that time, and continuing to today, Lawson Lundell has been consistently recognized as one of the leading law firms in Western and Northern Canada.
Lawson Lundell (formerly known as Lawson, Lundell, Lawson & McIntosh) was founded in Victoria in 1886 by E.V. Bodwell. In the 1890s, E.V. Bodwell was joined by two Lawson brothers, Jimmy and Harry. In 1910, the firm decided to establish a branch of the Bodwell and Lawson firm in Vancouver. Jimmy opened the office and remained in Vancouver for the rest of his life. In the 1920s, several of Jimmy Lawson's important Vancouver clients included the Powell River Company and the Vancouver Province. During the 1930s, the firm acted for the only two pulp and paper mills in British Columbia, which were responsible for approximately 75 percent of all the logging business and about 40 percent of the lumber business in B.C. In 1936, we acted for John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who sold a large block of timber on Vancouver Island to H.R. MacMillan, who was going into the lumber business.
The decades since the Second World War have seen a continuous growth of the firm in terms of size, client development and diversification. During this time, the firm expanded to include a broad range of practices and industries and serving clients in jurisdictions across the globe.
In 1997, Lawson Lundell opened its Calgary office. Over the years, the office has emerged from a group largely focused on Indigenous, environmental and regulatory law, to a full service office that provides pensions and employee benefits, corporate commercial, commercial litigation, real estate, banking and corporate finance and securities advice.
In 2002, the Yellowknife firm of Gullberg, Weist, MacPherson & Kay merged with Lawson Lundell. Its predecessors had an established presence in the Northwest Territories since 1976. The Yellowknife office is a leader in the North, offering legal services across virtually all areas of business law.
In 2017 Lawson Lundell launched its China Initiative and opened an office in Kelowna, British Columbia. The China Initiative was founded to help serve both Canadian clients looking to do business in China and Chinese investors looking to do business in Canada. The Group is comprised of team members who understand both the legal and cultural environments of doing business in China, and many are fluent in Mandarin or Cantonese as well as written Chinese. More information can be located on our China Initiative page. The Kelowna office opened in the spring of 2017. This office currently focuses on serving the growing technology sector in the Okanagan region.
Commitment to Diversity and Inclusiveness
Lawson Lundell celebrates diversity and respects a broad spectrum of lifestyles regardless of a person’s age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social, and/or political views. True diversity and inclusiveness means understanding how our differences impact our views and the way we act and interact with one another. We do not expect uniformity of views on important issues of the day, nor do we shy away from rigorous debate, but instead expect those interactions to be respectful and to appreciate diverse views.
Vision for the Future
We understand that we must do more than recognize the importance of diversity and inclusiveness —we must also create tangible and concrete changes at the policy level and to our firm composition. To that end, our Chief Inclusiveness Officer and Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee monitor our progress and implement programs to improve understanding amongst our diverse workforce and clients. Their work includes initiating training for our lawyers and staff, participating in provincial and national diversity and inclusiveness groups within the legal community, and monitoring and encouraging firm progress towards a more diverse and inclusive environment. We also recognize that we will not achieve our goals without dedicating the appropriate resources and spending the time to foster a diverse and inclusive workforce. Described below are some of our efforts. We are proud of our achievements to date but are committed and determined to do more.
As part of our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, Lawson Lundell participates in the Justicia Project, a voluntary initiative facilitated by various Law societies including the Law Society of British Columbia and the Law Society of Alberta, that is designed to support the retention and advancement of women lawyers in private practice.
Diversity by the Numbers
Lawson Lundell participated in Diversity by the Numbers, an initiative led by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) in partnership with the CBA that seeks to better understand the demographic makeup of the Legal Profession in Canada.
Partners Rita Andreone, QC, Tamela Coates and Valerie Mann are on the Diversity 50 list, which solicits applications from the business community who seek directorships on Canadian boards, and from these applications each year creates a database of 50 highly qualified, non-traditional candidates for such positions.
Support in our communities
We are official sponsors of the Calgary Pride Parade and the NWT Pride. We are also partnered with Pride at Work Canada which empowers employers to foster workplace cultures that recognize LGBTQ+ employees as an important part of a diverse and effective workforce.
We are actively involved in a number of community organizations, including the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL), South Asian Bar Association of British Columbia, and the North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA).
We support a variety of charitable and community organizations focused on improving our local communities through our LawsonGives initiative.
Lawson Lundell lawyers separately give of their time within and outside of the firm to mentor, advise and assist women in the practice of law and in business, more generally. For example, we have been involved with the Women Lawyers Forum, Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Tech, Women in Private Equity, Business in Vancouver's Women in Business event and other Women-focused panels.