In the Spotlight—Hunter Parsons

Practice Point

In the Spotlight—Hunter Parsons

This month’s spotlight shines on Hunter Parsons of Borden Ladner Gervais

How did you first get involved with CLEBC? 

During my summer articling term at BLG in 2012, David Crerar (now, The Honourable Justice Crerar) asked me to help research and draft a paper for a presentation that he was going to give that Fall at CLEBC’s Civil Litigation Basics course. Our topic was trial and case management under the (then new) Supreme Court Civil Rules. When I returned for my articling year in 2013, David asked me to help research and draft his chapter on tort law in the CLEBC Annual Review of Law and Practice.  We made a good team: David has a creative mind and inherent curiosity about the law; I am organized and process-oriented. We put together a good chapter that year. After I was called to the bar in 2014, he transitioned the Annual Review chapter and Civil Litigation Basics seminar to me, and I have been involved with CLEBC ever since.

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

I will be a co-chair (together with my partner at BLG, Matthew Swanson) of the Collections Practice Basics course that will be held on June 6, 2023 (and re-broadcast on July 19 and July 26). I will present on strategic considerations for debt collection litigation and Matthew will moderate a discussion with The Honourable Justice Gomery on running a summary trial.

What drew you to become a lawyer?

During my undergraduate studies at Thompson Rivers University, I was lucky enough to work part-time for a family friend named Peter Jensen. Pete was a well-known criminal defence lawyer in Kamloops. He was very passionate about his clients and he loved the practice of law – it became obvious to me that his practice was much more than a job to him. His enthusiasm for the profession rubbed off on me, and at some point, I figured that I would like to follow Pete’s footsteps. It has been a long road, and my commercial litigation practice is very different from Pete’s criminal practice, but I feel the same sense of passion for the profession that he had.

You are very active in the legal community including being a prolific speaker and the author of numerous publications. What motivates you to give back to the profession?

I recognize that I am privileged to work at a big law firm with every imaginable resource available for the practice of law. I feel that I have a duty to use those resources to give back to the profession from time to time. I enjoy the process of legal research, writing, and teaching. Contributing to CLEBC publications and courses has been a great way for me to fulfil, in part, my duty to the profession, and to indulge in my academic interests at the same time.

What advice would you pass on to a newly-called lawyer?

Budget and plan for your own happiness, because no one else will do it for you. The practice of law involves long hours and a lot of hard work. While the intellectual challenge is deeply rewarding, the demands of this profession can quickly monopolize most of your free time – unless you have a plan.  Learn to be organized and efficient during your work day, and carve out time for the other things in your life that are important: family, hobbies, travel, or anything else that brings happiness.

What’s the best thing since sliced bread?

Artificial intelligence technology will revolutionize our profession very soon. Large language models such as ChatGPT and other similar programs will have a disruptive effect on our profession. We have an opportunity to re-evaluate the delivery of legal services and identify ways that we can leverage AI technology to become more efficient and better serve our clients. The law firm of the near future will be equal parts technology company and professional services firm.

Other than law, what are you passionate about?

I love to go powder skiing at Whistler, Sun Peaks, or (if I am lucky) Revelstoke. During the winter months, I am constantly tracking the next storm and trying to arrange my work schedule to hit the next big powder day. It can be a challenge to pursue such a time-consuming sport while carrying on a busy litigation practice, but with a little bit of planning and organization, I have been able to make both passions work.