Stuart Wells*

Partner - Retired

Before hosting the World Expo in 1986, Vancouver was a quieter city than it is today in terms of employment, economy and community. Jump-starting the lower mainland into the global destination it is today, however, the world’s fair gave rise to the Coquihalla Highway, the Skytrain, Science World, Canada Place and the international cruise ship terminal, a music scene, widespread hotel developments, outdoor community spaces along with a social buzz worthy of the world stage.

All of this turned Vancouver into a sought destination for business and investment capital. Much of this growth, development and reputation focused on real estate. Being a commercial real estate lawyer during and since this time, Stuart is proud to have been a part of helping our clients contribute to this vital and successful sector.

With a straightforward approach, Stuart’s priority has always been to help clients move forward in their business and contribute to a healthy and growing Vancouver. This integrity is part of everything he does.

Commercial real estate development and related corporate matters for shopping centres, recreation and resort properties, office buildings, hotels and large scale mixed-use projects Site acquisition and assembly
Consolidation and subdivision Zoning and land use reclassification
Development agreements Commercial leasing
Construction and related contracts Project financing
Corporate finance and organization Real estate investment vehicles
Joint ventures Partnerships and ground leases
The purchase and sale of income producing properties and portfolios.

With Vancouver’s geographical constraints, developers had to become more innovative—moving east or building up, recycling or repurposing land. Stuart’s practice blazed this path of innovation, as he helped clients to develop numerous enclosed malls, office buildings, some of Canada’s earliest strip shopping centres anchored by food and department stores and numerous power centres, bringing large retail shopping districts to suburban environments.

Each of these innovations helped change the landscape of the retail business.

The main asset that Stuart provides clients is experience. He has participated in solving every challenge imaginable in commercial real estate. This experience positions him to grasp the big picture—it gives him perspective and enables him to focus on core problems and find workable solutions.

The enduring benefit of Stuart practicing for more than 40 years is that clients trust his judgement, know-how, experience and integrity.

Stuart finds it personally satisfying to see things get built—he feels privileged to participate in the making of a product that people can work in, live in, socialize in and enjoy.

Stuart began transitioning his practice in 2011 with a view to retiring. He has been blessed throughout his career with loyal, knowledgeable and capable clients. Since the transition of his practice began, he has been limiting his client base to a select few, which he is in the process of transitioning as well. He remains fully available to our lawyers and students for consultation, mentoring and training, passing along his knowledge and experience to the next generation.

Stuart has been an integral part of our firm’s growth. He finds it extremely rewarding to have been with us for his entire career, helping to evolve us into a successful firm with a terrific collection of talent, energy and strong clients.

*RSW Law Corporation Services Inc.
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Education & Call to Bar
  • Call to Bar: British Columbia, 1974
  • Bachelor of Laws, University of British Columbia, 1973