Born and raised in Vancouver, Catherine Gibson is a partner in the Vancouver office of Davis LLP. Her business law practice includes advising on a wide range of commercial transactions with an emphasis on real estate, commercial lending, and general corporate matters. She assists clients from various industries, including national retail tenants, regional health authorities and societies, owners of private timberlands, municipalities, and developers.
Catherine has participated in numerous commercial leasing courses for CLEBC over the years. She is a repeat author and editorial board member for the award winning CLEBC practice manual, Commercial Leasing—Annotated Precedents.
How and why did you get involved with CLEBC?
I first got involved with CLEBC almost 20 years ago as a student at Davis, noting up cases referred to in a CLEBC publication one of our lawyers was updating. Since then, I have been involved in editorial boards, authoring and editing checklists and chapters, writing papers, presenting at CLEBC courses, and being a course coordinator. This is a great way to interact with a wide variety of knowledgeable lawyers who practice in related areas, and I have learned a lot over the years from my involvement with CLEBC.
What are you are currently working on (or have most recently worked on) with CLEBC?
I am currently gearing up for another round of reviews as part of the editorial board of the book Commercial Leasing—Annotated Precedents—we will begin our reviews this summer.
What has been your most memorable CLEBC experience?
I think that the most memorable experiences have been a couple of CLEBC presentations where we tried to do something different and role played in a ‘live’ negotiation of certain lease provisions. The most recent was playing the part of a tenant’s lawyer negotiating for ‘Arbitration Idol’—wig, sunglasses, and all!
What’s the most valuable piece of advice you have received?
That is a hard question to answer. I’ve had the benefit of many wise mentors over the years, but one piece of advice that sticks out is that everyone makes mistakes at some point—it is how you react and what you learn from them that is most important.
What advice would you give newcomers who are interested in working in the legal profession?
One piece of advice I’d give to young lawyers is to know when to pick up the phone and give someone a call or arrange a meeting to talk through an issue. E-mail is great and allows us to deal with many things in an efficient manner, but sometimes you just need to make that person to person contact—a lot can be lost or misconstrued from a computer screen.
What has been the most rewarding part of your career?
Definitively the relationships—with clients, colleagues, other lawyers, etc. It is also very rewarding to be able to help someone through a legal problem, whether big or small.
Other than law, what are you passionate about?
I love to travel and learn about different places. I am also a big fan of NFL football.
What are some of your favourite legal resources? (blogs, websites, etc.)
CLEBC’s Commercial Leasing—Annotated Precedents is a great resource, as are the various practice manuals and the Annual Review of Law & Practice. Of course the Internet has changed the playing field of legal resources—there is also an almost overwhelming amount of materials out there!
Anything you’d like to shamelessly promote? (favourite charity, social cause, etc.).
I encourage everyone to sign up for organ donation—transplant.bc.ca.