We understand that it is not easy to get the lay of the law firm landscape in downtown and Metro Vancouver. Firms come in all sizes, from micro to massive. They may have one office or many – across BC, the West, Canada, or the globe. They may focus on one area of law, or many. And while they may seem similar before you cross their doorstep, each firm has its own personality and approach.
To help get the conversation started, here are eight things to know about Clark Wilson.
- We are big. Our single office in downtown Vancouver houses 92 lawyers, 150 staff, and is one of the largest in the city—as big as or bigger than many Vancouver offices of the national and international firms.
- We have a long and storied history. Clark Wilson began in 1911 when General John Clark opened his firm Clark & Clark. In 1952, General John Clark and Alexander Wilson merged their neighbouring firms to create Clark Wilson. Three years later, they hired the firm’s first female articling student, Norma Bell Christie, a fellow WWII vet and academic star of the UBC Law Class of 1955, who practiced here for many years. To learn more about our firm’s distinct history and roots dating back to World War I and World War II, visit our About Us page.
- We stand tall in the heart of the city. Our office is located in the centre of downtown Vancouver’s business district in the HSBC building, situated on the traditional and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sə̓lílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh).
- We work to make a difference. Our clients are entrepreneurs, multinationals, family-owned enterprises, publicly traded companies, First Nations, and public institutions. Tangible evidence of our work is all around us – Vancouver’s skyline, transit line and airport, and many of the companies and brands we encounter every day. We are proud to be involved with core sectors of the business community, from tech to infrastructure, universities to consumer goods and services, real estate to natural resources, our lawyers are regularly called upon by top local, national and international companies and highly sought-after by media for their expertise.
- We have fun together. We team up at charity and pro-bono events, host holiday and summer parties, and provide our students with plenty of team building opportunities with lawyers and staff. Our most frequent touchpoint is our weekly Friday Social for the whole firm. During COVID, we have been finding new ways to connect online through events like virtual celebrations, talent shows, and yes – even laugh yoga.
- We believe in equality, diversity and inclusion. We have created a culture where everyone can bring their whole selves to work—regardless of their background, generation, or identity—and thrive. Our lawyers and staff are from diverse communities and a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds and life experiences. 25% identify as BIPOC, with more than half of those being Partners. About 5% identify at work as LGBTQ2+, and we have alumni from all Canadian law schools except for Lakehead, as well as schools in the US, the UK, and elsewhere in the Commonwealth. Twenty-one of our 54 Partners are women. One-third of those 21 Partners have taken parental leave in the last three years. One was appointed during parental leave. Our CW Connect program offers in-house learning on topics as diverse as implicit biases, LGBTQ2+ inclusiveness, Indigenous perspectives on legal practice, and recognizing and managing mental health issues.
- We are passionate about our Pro Bono Program. At Clark Wilson, we believe in giving back to our community. We have always supported our lawyers’ pro bono work, and encourage more people to get involved. We are currently on the rosters for Access Pro Bono and the BC Court of Appeal.
- We have strong values. Four of them, to be exact: caring, quality, teamwork and trust. These values inform the way we recruit, make decisions and work with our clients. They have been the subject of much discussion and celebration as we have faced the challenges created by COVID-19. Now more than ever, Clark Wilson stands strong in upholding them.