Lawyers, planners often team up
Contributed - Sep 06, 2022 - Columnists

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For most of the files that come into FH&P Lawyers, the team works with other professional services.  Whether that is an accountant, Realtor or other lawyers, it usually is a joint effort to give clients the best possible outcome and service.

Another professional service that is often involved is a financial planner, who can help with estate planning matters. This week Clay Williams hosts the podcast alone but welcomes Rocky Taetz, a financial planner at De Thomas Wealth Management. It has a Western Canadian office in Kelowna, and Taetz assists clients in tax and estate planning, retirement and education planning.

Williams and Taetz discuss the ways in which lawyers and financial planners interact on behalf of a client.

Send any legal questions you might have to [email protected].

Trademarks key part of business
Contributed - Aug 23, 2022 - Columnists

If you own a business, you are going to likely need something trademarked. That could be a logo, a name or even a taste. Yes, a taste can be trademarked. In this episode of the Law Talk podcast, hosts and lawyers Clay Williams and Tanvir Gill welcome Lisa Hutchinson from 20-20 Law Group. Hutchinson is not only a managing lawyer at the law firm but is also a registered trademark agent.

She tells our hosts the steps needed to be taken in having a trademark accepted in B.C., Canada and around the globe. She also discusses the very strange fact that a taste and even shape of a bottle can have its own trademark.

If you have any legal questions or topic suggestions for Law Talk, email the hosts at [email protected].

Interest rates have legal impact
Contributed - Aug 09, 2022 - Columnists

It is an interesting time in B.C., with rising interest rates on homes and the market potentially shifting from a seller’s market to a buyer’s.

There have also been changes within ICBC and how the law deals with motor vehicle crashes and specifically injuries that are caused by one.

In this episode of the Law Talk podcast, hosts Clay Williams and Tanvir Gill welcome associate Kevin Cheung, who is a litigator at FH&P Lawyers, to discuss the ICBC changes. They also talk about and share their experiences with some of the files that have come to light due to the increasing interest rates.

If you have legal questions or topic suggestions for Law Talk email our hosts at [email protected].

Shareholder system can work
Contributed - Aug 02, 2022 - Columnists

In this episode of the Law Talk podcast, partner Clay Williams and associate Tanvir Gill discuss shareholder agreements, and how the directors and shareholders work the day-to-day duties of a business.

Whether you are a startup or a larger business that has been around for years, this is extremely important information.

As always, email [email protected] with your questions for Williams and Gill.

Crucial to know about negligence
Contributed - Jul 12, 2022 - Columnists

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Lawyers Clay Williams and Tanvir Gill practise in business law and have a wealth of experience. In this episode of the Law Talk podcast they discuss negligence and where the precedence has been set. They turn back the clock and investigate a case from 1932, the birth of negligence and a very famous Canadian case that took place in 2008.

As always, send your questions for any business law topics for Williams and Gill to [email protected].

Kelowna becoming commercial hub
Kirk Penton - Jun 30, 2022 - Columnists

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By Terese Cairns

Canada’s real estate market is sustaining continued momentum following more than two years of a global crisis. The economy has staged a strong recovery, and real GDP returned to pre-pandemic levels earlier than anticipated. Commercial activity, in particular, has revived with Canadians keen to return to restaurants, retail spaces and, gradually, offices.

Photo: LinkedIn
Terese Cairns

A surge in commercial real estate activity has been seen in Kelowna as businesses and individuals relocate to the city. This trend has been evident for years. Statistics Canada census data released earlier this year zeroed in on the fact. Kelowna, the largest municipality in the B.C. Interior, emerged as the fastest-growing metropolitan area in Canada—its population increasing to 222,162 in 2021, up from 194,892 in 2016.

Kelowna’s rapid growth, affordability over other markets and lifestyle factors have helped it secure its position as one of Canada’s primary commercial real estate markets.

The industrial landscape and supply 

Kelowna’s industrial marketplace remained strong during the pandemic. Its industrial vacancy rate in April 2021 was among the lowest in Canada at 0.5%, weighing in at the same level as the Greater Toronto Area at the time. In terms of leasing in Kelowna versus other Canadian cities, rates are connected to the year the building was constructed.

Comparing last year’s vacancy rates with those of the first quarter of this year reinforces Kelowna’s position as a popular choice for industrial real estate. In the Greater Vancouver Area, the office vacancy rate sat at 5.9%, while industrial vacancy reached a record low of 0.4%, according to a National Market Snapshot. Toronto’s industrial vacancy rate emerged at 0.4% and its office vacancy rate higher at 9.2%.

One of the largest industrial transactions in Kelowna’s history recently made headlines with the acquisition of 2050 Pier Mac Way by notable Vancouver developer Beedie Group. Formerly a gravel pit, the site covers 14.7 acres and is strategically located directly across Highway 97 from Kelowna International Airport.

Geographical limitations and a plethora of ALR-zoned properties in the Okanagan pose physical constraints on the amount of land that can be used for industrial sites. For that reason, space will always remain in short supply—a factor leading some businesses to move to markets outside the city.

A hot spot for hotels in the Okanagan

A decade ago, Kelowna was considered a secondary market, dwarfed by the primary markets of Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary. The city’s new thrust for development in the downtown core is promoting more high-rise and multifamily projects. That said, we are seeing a lot of interest from larger hotel chains wanting to enter the city due to a resurgence in activity.

In 2021, approximately 30 hotels in Canada were acquired for conversion to alternate uses, equating to more than 2,400 rooms, as stated in a recent 2022 Canadian Hotel Investment Report. A trend we are seeing is that businesses are buying smaller hotels with great locations for land use purposes. A popular range for hotel sites is under $5 million. Buyers will either repurpose the hotel or tear it down if it is functionally obsolete.

At faithwilson Christie’s International Real Estate, the commercial market is mirroring the residential market in terms of demand. As Kelowna is still more affordable than other primary markets, smaller commercial investors who self-manage their portfolios are taking advantage of the lifestyle opportunity offered here to relocate to be closer to their investments.

Commerce and office space use 

The Okanagan’s thriving tech sector is making a significant impact; it has contributed $1.67 billion to the economy, per Accelerate Okanagan. Although there is not a substantial amount of office inventory in Kelowna, the demand for space is high. There is also a greater interest in flexible spaces, adaptable for hybrid working environments—something we expect to see more of moving forward.

In terms of commercial trends in the Okanagan, numerous new cannabis businesses are popping up in the market. Additionally, the food and beverage landscape is growing rapidly with the opening of King Taps Lakeside on Water Street, Hooligans Ales and Eats on Bernard Avenue, and notable winery proprietor Jason Parkes of the Hatch opening The Hatching Post smokehouse on Boucherie Road and also the new rooftop dining lounge, Angel Share, above Crown and Thieves Winery. Previously, it was most commonly companies from Vancouver and Alberta entering the B.C. Interior market, but we are now seeing more investment from locals who believe in the area and entrepreneurs from across Canada.

Kelowna has already carved out its rightful place as a primary commercial real estate market in Canada; with the city projected for future growth, we anticipate more significant updates and listings for industrial, office and retail.

Terese Cairns is a hotel division commercial and investment broker at faithwilson Christie’s International Real Estate

Latest on immigrant workers
Contributed - Jun 28, 2022 - Columnists

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The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the flow of foreign workers, which has impacted business in our communities as well as across the country and still is. At FH&P Lawyers the immigration department has been working diligently with businesses and workers across the world trying to assist where possible to speed up a potential worker’s application.

Canada has recently announced that, as of July 1, most of the immigration programs will reopen that had closed because of the pandemic. These programs will help bring foreign workers back into the country and into the Okanagan, hopefully in time for the fall harvest.

In this episode of the Law Talk podcast, hosts Clay Williams and Tanvir Gill welcome Carly Perryman, who is a paralegal in the FH&P immigration department. Together the three of them discuss the immigration issues and how they are affecting business in the Okanagan.

How to lease for business
Contributed - Jun 14, 2022 - Columnists

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In this episode of the FH&P Lawyers Law Talk podcast, partner Clay Williams and associate Tanvir Gill discuss leasing a space or building for your business. Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for a while, knowing about how a lease works, the obligations of a landlord, the offer to lease and/or renewal of a lease is important.

There are several new buildings popping up across Kelowna with plenty of spaces to open your business. Listen to this podcast and get some helpful information on leasing a space.

Send your questions in for Clay Williams and Tanvir Gill as [email protected].

Know marketing ins, outs
Contributed - May 31, 2022 - Columnists

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In today’s business world having a good marketing plan is critical. Whether that plan develops campaigns to run on a digital platform or a more traditional avenue, having a focused message is important.

The ability to track your return or investment is just as important as the campaign itself. Tracking your findings can help tailor future campaigns and give you a clear message of what is working and what isn’t.

In this week’s Law Talk podcast lawyers Clay Williams and Tanvir Gill welcome James Shaw the owner of Twin Creek Media Inc., a local company that is also the marketing team for FH&P Lawyers. Our hosts talk with Shaw about good practices, but also what a company can and cannot do legally when it comes to marketing its business.

Send your legal questions to [email protected].

Make your partnership work
Contributed - May 17, 2022 - Columnists

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FH&P business lawyers Clay Williams and Tanvir Gill have explored several ways in which people run their businesses within the Okanagan through the Law Talk podcast. One of the most common and oldest structures to run a business is through a partnership, which is typically unincorporated.

Today the hosts dissect the pros and cons of running a partnership, and offer their knowledge and experience.

Send your legal questions to Clay and Tanvir at [email protected].

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