British Columbia is home to 25 public post-secondary institutions, 19 private and out-of-province degree-granting institutions and over 310 registered private career training institutions. These higher learning organizations require a range of customized legal services that allow them to operate practically, efficiently and while serving the needs of their students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders.
We help our clients capitalize on the opportunities available in their business operations, advising them on structure, governance, funding, equity, real estate development, land use, policies and more. This includes:
- Establishing trusts to facilitate the conduct of businesses to grow endowment wealth for universities and other institutions
- Advising on and drafting of construction and procurement documents and templates for institutions throughout British Columbia, as well as in other Canadian provinces
- Drafting commercial contracts and leases between institutions and private businesses and tenants and advising on issues relating to the enforcement thereof
Whether it is providing business or governance advice or litigation support, our deep experience allows us to contextualize and customize solutions for all levels of the education system, granting our clients access to the wide range of legal services they require to achieve their goals.
- Compliance with the University Act and the College and Institute Act and other legislation affecting universities, colleges and institutes and their respective foundations
- Not-for-profit corporations to represent institutions in their dealings with governments, industry and other stakeholders
- Tax-efficient structures for commercial enterprises undertaken by institutions, including trust structures
- Public-private partnership arrangements involving institutions and the development of communities on campus lands, including community plans and approvals.
- All aspects of development, from site acquisition and financing to enabling legislation, municipal zoning, construction contracting, bidding and tendering, architects agreements, property tax exemptions and long term leases
- “Agent of the Crown” exemption status relative to use and development of properties owned by institutions
- Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
- Employment issues, student discipline and conflicts of interest
- Charitable donations and issues relating to the charitable status of institutions
- Litigation support on a broad range of issues, including employment and construction matters
- Industry liaison and technology transfer and licensing and investments in start-up ventures using technology developed by the institution
- Development of university policy on ownership of intellectual property, trademarks and licensing of technology and development and implementation of e-learning and on-line programs, including copyright and licensing of knowledge elements
We understand the legal issues, policy objectives and practical considerations that operate in the unique and dynamic environment in which institutions of higher learning operate. We also have a deep respect and appreciation for the institutions we represent and the critical roles they play in driving the economy of British Columbia and enhancing the future for all British Columbians.