Photo of James D. Fraser

James D. Fraser

Partner
  • Parveen Bunwait
  • Legal Assistant
  • P: 604.408.5302

Practices

Jim has extensive experience in civil litigation of commercial disputes, and particular expertise in administrative litigation of property tax, grants in lieu of property tax, commodity tax, expropriation and commercial lease disputes.

As a leading British Columbia practitioner in property tax law, Jim has advised clients since 1993 on tax planning, negotiations and appeals before tribunals including the Property Assessment Appeal Board and Federal Dispute Advisory Panel and in the B.C. Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. He has represented a wide variety of B.C. industrial clients (mines, smelters, hydroelectric generation facilities, sawmills, pulp and paper mills, forestry companies, bulk terminals, railways, pipelines), commercial clients (property development companies, telecommunications companies, shopping mall anchor tenants, small businesses), municipal governments (grants in lieu of property tax), and individuals in property tax appeals on all manner of property classification, valuation and taxation issues.

Jim’s administrative litigation expertise also includes conducting appeals before tribunals and in the B.C. Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal on matters ranging from commercial rent review and renewal arbitrations and expropriation disputes to property transfer tax, mineral tax and social service tax appeals, for a broad range of commercial and industrial clients from mines and forestry companies to shopping centres. Jim has appeared as counsel for an intervener before the Canadian Transportation Agency in a "running rights" hearing.

Recognition and Ranking

  • Martindale-Hubbell International Law Directory: BV Peer Review rated

Professional Activities

  • Canadian Property Tax Association, Past President
  • Canadian Property Tax Association (British Columbia Branch), Member of Tax Policy Committee
  • British Columbia Real Property Assessment Manual, Editor
  • British Columbia Expropriation Association, Member
  • British Columbia Continuing Legal Education Society, frequent Lecturer (property tax assessment, administrative law, expropriation)

Bar Admissions

  • British Columbia (1992)
  • Northwest Territories (2008)

Education

  • University of Victoria (B.Sc. Physics Co-op, 1985)
  • University of Victoria (LL.B., 1992)

Jim’s experience includes:

  • Favourable property tax valuation of use-restricted Crown lease railway properties
  • Favourable property tax assessment (classification and valuation) of Port of Vancouver bulk terminal facility and Vancouver Island barge terminal facilities
  • Favourable property tax classification and valuation of hydroelectric pulp and paper mill dams
  • Securing of standing for shopping centre anchor tenant to appeal landlord’s property tax assessment
  • Securing of equitable exemptions from property taxation for extensive non-profit youth summer camp
  • Favourable expropriation compensation for major gas station along a public transit route
  • Favourable arbitration award for lease rent renewal of port property
  • Resolution of yacht construction contract dispute