Fiona Hunter

Practice Point


FIONA HUNTER, a partner at Horne Coupar, in Victoria, BC, practices in the area of estate planning, encompassing trusts, estate mediation and litigation. She has played an essential part, along with other contributors, to assist CLEBC to develop resources supporting the new Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA), coming into force on March 31, 2014.

How and why did you get involved with CLEBC?

I was asked to participate and felt that it was a great opportunity to do three things: bring myself up to “best practices”; attend a CLEBC course without charge; and meet more colleagues in my area of practice.

What has been your most memorable CLEBC experience?

That is a difficult question to answer, as I have enjoyed all my involvement with CLEBC. Two highlights have been the recent co-chairing of the WESA program, and my ongoing involvement with the editorial board on the BC Estate Planning & Wealth Preservation Practice Manual. Again, these activities allow me to keep up to date on so many aspects of my practice and to interact with some really great legal minds in my area of practice.

What has been the most rewarding part of your career?

This is a difficult question to answer as I find almost all of it rewarding. I love the endless challenges in the practice of law: almost every client has unique (and interesting) circumstances requiring careful consideration and discussion to reach the best legal solution. After 32 years of practice, I still really enjoy my clients and the drafting process. And my partners and colleagues at Horne Coupar make coming to work a pleasure.

You have presented a number of times before an audience; is there any part of it that makes you nervous? Any tips for someone who has never presented in front of a large group before?

As a litigator, I have become accustomed to presenting before an audience, and a roomful of colleagues is much less stressful than appearing before a Supreme Court judge.

These are the “tips” I would give a colleague presenting for the first time. Remember:

  • the audience is friendly: it is made up of your colleagues and they want to hear what you have to say
  • the task is to gather new information on the topic at hand and share it with the audience
  • the experience is a two way street: not everything you say will be new to the audience, and some may know as much if not more than you do—enjoy the learning before and during.

And I would add: be yourself.

What are some of your favourite legal resources? (blogs, websites, etc.)

Donovan Waters’ Law of Trusts in Canada and CLEBC materials (really!)

Other than law, what is your passion?

Learning: If I ever retire, I would audit art and history courses at university. And read so much more than I have time to read now! I also love to cycle and garden and have a love/hate relationship with golf.

What are some of your favourite legal resources? (blogs, websites, etc.)

I still like a lot of raw materials—case law and statutes. I also value CLEBC and other conference materials. The JP Boyd on Family Law wikibook is terrific.

Is there anything that you’d like to shamelessly plug here (favourite charity, book, social cause, etc.)

I am proud of my book on drafting trusts in Canada. I also want to encourage all lawyers to make charitable giving part of their lives.