Andrew Bury, QC—In the Spotlight

Practice Point

Andrew Bury, QC—In the Spotlight
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Mar

March 2021

This month’s first of two spotlights shines on Andrew Bury, QC of Gowling WLG.

How did you first get involved with CLEBC?

I’ve forgotten by who, but I was asked to write a paper (or speak at a CLEBC event?) on mortgage enforcement back in the mid-80s.

What are you currently working on (or have most recently worked on) with CLEBC? 

I will be co-chairing Foreclosure Practice 2021 on Friday, March 5 with Lindsay Goldberg.

What inspired you to become a lawyer?

When I was in 8th grade, the principal of my elementary school told me it would be a good idea.

What are some of the rewards and challenges of your practice? 

The rewards are many and far outweigh the challenges.

After 40 years, there are always files with problems that I have no clear answer to, and problems I’ve not run into before, and wrestle with – unlike every job I had before practicing law (and I had many, from piling lumber on green chains in sawmills, to spinning chain on drill rigs, and more). I am never bored, at all, not for five minutes.

It would surprise most, but property owners thank me far more than they curse me – while I can’t advise those whose properties I am foreclosing, of course, I spend a great deal of my working hours communicating with many of them – explaining the process in plain English, listening to their fact patterns for possible solutions, pointing them toward legal and business advice, and more.

In addition, I always try to have a pro bono file on my desk, usually for someone in debt. The thanks that I’ve received from folks like that, over the years, and the knowledge I’ve made some of their lives a little bit better, is fantastic.

The only real challenge is time – there never seems to be enough of it to do all the work I want to do, and as thoroughly as I’d like to do it.

What is the most valuable piece of advice that you have received in your career?

Here are three great little keepers, one from a Judge, another from a top litigator and another from a top solicitor; two now gone, the other long retired. I had the privilege to work with all three of them at different times.

The secret to being a good lawyer? Two words: hard work.

The secret to winning in court? Simple: sweat the details.

The secret to making a good living practicing law? There are two kinds of people: those that pay their bills, and those that don’t; avoid the latter.

So, you like to go on long treks?

The mountains and wilderness are my favorite places – and hiking and scrambling are things I’ve done far too little of (see above re: time being a challenge for me). When I finished law school I went for a five month hike, which was fantastic – and when I finish practicing law, I hope to do the same, and a lot more, if my legs and lungs will still let me

In the last 40 years, on my brief vacations (never more than two weeks) I’ve hiked and walked up mountains in BC, Alberta, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, California, Chile, Argentina, Uganda, the DRC, La Reunion, Corsica, Switzerland, Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, and likely more places – but never enough!

Other than law, what are you passionate about?

Family and good friends.