Photo of James D. Fraser

James D. Fraser

Partner
  • Parveen Bunwait
  • Legal Assistant
  • P: 604.408.5302

Practices

Jim is a leading British Columbia practitioner in property tax and expropriation law with extensive experience since 1993 providing strategic advice and litigating appeals for a wide range of clients before tribunals and courts relating to:

  • imposition and management of property taxes, property transfer taxes, mineral taxes and other commodity taxes on Crown, municipal, private and First Nations lands;
  • imposition and management of payments of grants in lieu of property taxes;
  • expropriation of property by municipalities, government agencies and utilities corporations for highway widenings, LNG pipelines, hydroelectric generation facilities, transmission lines, parks and seawalls, libraries and other municipal purposes;
  • negotiation and arbitration of commercial lease renewals and reviews; and
  • resolution of municipal and other governmental land-use issues relating to zonings and development permits.

Jim’s clients have included mines, smelters, sawmills, pulp and paper mills, forestry companies, shopping mall landlords and tenants, large and small-scale golf courses, residential tower and other land developers, oil and gas companies, telecommunications companies, electrical power companies, pension trusts, industry associations, independent schools, charities and non-profits, an assessment appeal tribunal, a municipality and individual home, and small business owners and tax consultants.

Jim has many years of practical experience engaging and instructing professional appraisers, engineers and other expert witnesses in property valuation and litigation matters.

Jim routinely appears before many levels of tribunal, agency and court including the B.C. Property Assessment Review Panel, B.C. Property Assessment Appeal Board, Federal Payment in Lieu of Tax Dispute Advisory Panel, arbitration tribunals, Canadian Transportation Agency, Yellowknife Development Appeal Board, B.C. Supreme Court, B.C. Court of Appeal and Federal Court.

Recognition and Ranking

  • Benchmark Canada: The Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys 2016: recognized as a Litigation Star for General Commercial and Tax litigation in British Columbia
  • 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)
  • Nunavut (2015)

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