Featured Contributor—Stephen Hamilton

Practice Point

Featured Contributor—Stephen Hamilton

This year’s featured publications contributor is Stephen Hamilton of Hamilton & Company. Stephen practises in the areas of strata property and civil litigation. He is a longtime contributing author and editorial board member of CLEBC’s recently updated BC Strata Property Practice Manual.

Stephen began working on strata property files when the BC Condominium Act was in still force. Over time, strata property became an increasingly significant part of his practice as the late 1990s arrived and BC’s multi-family condominium market steadily grew.

With CLEBC, Stephen first started contributing after a colleague reached out to him for his strata property law expertise. Since then, Stephen has been a presenter and materials author for CLEBC’s strata property law courses, and continues to be actively involved with the BC Strata Property Practice Manual.

In his work, Stephen uses the BC Strata Property Practice Manual on a regular basis as a helpful resource for refreshing himself on strata governance matters or for quick access to leading cases. In addition, Stephen values the manual for “not only being an academic exercise”, but also uniquely providing practical advice for routine issues that arise on strata property files.

For lawyers new to strata property law, Stephen suggests reading the manual from cover to cover, in order to gain a full picture of strata property practice and strata governance issues in BC.

In the most recent update of BC Strata Property Practice Manual, Stephen highlights the brand new chapter on the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT). He alerts readers to pay more attention to the strata property decisions coming out of the CRT, as they will be persuasive in other CRT hearings.

When asked for his thoughts on the impact of the CRT on strata property law, Stephen explained that the CRT has now created an environment in which many previously unresolved disputes now have a forum for resolution.

Before the CRT, Stephen regularly got inquiries from prospective clients with matters that wouldn’t make sense cost-wise for the client to hire a lawyer. These people were often left without any avenues for resolution, as the Provincial Court sometimes had no jurisdiction and BC Supreme Court or mediation were too expensive. With the CRT, people now have an option to resolve minor disputes that may not have high monetary stakes, but are nonetheless important to the quality of living of those involved.

On the benefits of contributing to BC Strata Property Practice Manual, Stephen believes that contributing has helped make him a better lawyer by allowing him opportunity to regularly work, share stories, and discuss experiences with colleagues in his practice area. Being part of the editorial board has also kept Stephen more cognizant of legislative and case developments in the strata property field.

To young lawyers thinking about authoring for CLEBC publications, Stephen has these words of encouragement: “There’s no need to be shy about contributing to CLEBC. It’s a wonderful learning experience, and your colleagues can also benefit from your comments and thoughts. The senior lawyers on the editorial boards are there to support new authors, so you won’t be flying solo. Take the opportunity and contribute to CLEBC if you are interested. It will help you grow your confidence, network, and skills.”