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Biography

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.

Professional Activities

  • Canadian Property Tax Association, Past President
  • Urban Development Institute (Pacific Region), 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)

Recognitions & Rankings

Recognitions & Rankings

  • Benchmark Canada: The Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys: recognized as a Litigation Star for Estate, General Commercial and Tax litigation in British Columbia
  • Martindale-Hubbell International Law Directory: BV Peer Review rated

Experience

Experience

Jim’s experience includes:

  • General property tax advice to, and favourable property tax valuation through negotiation of long-term property tax arrangements for, international LNG plant developers
  • General property tax advice to, and favourable property tax valuation of, lower mainland shopping centres
  • Favourable defence of development permit for demolition of Yellowknife mining headframe
  • 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

News & Publications

News & Publications

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagements

  • “Cross Canada Legal Panel: Legal Update and British Columbia Perspective on Municipal Expansion and Preservation of Property Tax Base”, Canadian Property Tax Association National Workshop, Winnipeg, MB (October 7, 2014), Speaker
  • “Cross Canada Legal Panel: British Columbia Legal Update”, Canadian Property Tax Association National Workshop, Ottawa, ON (September 24-27, 2017), Speaker
  • “Practice Issues before the Property Assessment Appeal Board – Taxpayer’s Perspective”, CLE, (May 5, 2017), Speaker
  • “British Columbia Legal Update”, Western Chapter 2017 Education Seminar, Calgary, AB (March 6-7, 2017), Speaker
  • "Cross Canada Legal Panel: British Columbia Legal Update”, Ontario Chapter Property Tax Open Forum, Toronto, ON (February 13-14, 2017), Speaker
  • “Western Canada Legal Updates – British Columbia”, Western Chapter 2016 Education Seminar, Calgary, AB (March 7-8, 2016), Speaker
  • “Cross Canada Legal Panel: British Columbia Legal Update”, Ontario Chapter Property Tax Open Forum, Toronto, ON (February 1-2, 2016), Speaker
  • “Cross Canada Legal Panel: Legal Update and British Columbia Perspective on Special Use Property Valuation and Expert Witness Issues”, Canadian Property Tax Association National Workshop, Halifax, NS (September 27-30, 2015), Speaker
  • “Western Canada Legal Updates – British Columbia”, Canadian Property Tax Association Education Seminar, Calgary, AB, (March 9, 2015), March 9, 2015, Speaker
  • “Cross Canada Legal Panel: British Columbia Legal Update”, Ontario Chapter Property Tax Open Forum, Toronto, ON, (February 9-10, 2015)
  • “Cross Canada Legal Panel: British Columbia Legal Update”, National Valuation and Legal Symposium, (February 3, 2014),
  • "Western Canada Legal Updates - British Columbia", 2013 Education Seminar, Canadian Property Tax Association Western Chapter, Calgary, AB, March 18-19, 2013, Speaker
  • "Cross Canada Legal Panel", National Valuation & Legal Symposium, Canadian Property Tax Association Ontario Chapter, Toronto, ON, (February 11-12, 2013), Speaker
  • "Cross Canada Legal Panel: Legal Update and British Columbia Perspective on Equity", 46th Annual Canadian Property Tax Association National Workshop, Banff, AB, October 2, 2012, Speaker
  • "Cross Canada Legal Review Panel: British Columbia", Canadian Property Tax Association National Valuation and Legal Symposium, Toronto, ON, (February 6-7, 2012), Speaker
  • "Western Canada Legal Updates: British Columbia Legislative Changes and a Review of Case Law", 2011 Western Chapter Education Seminar, Canadian Property Tax Association, Calgary, AB, March 8, 2011, Speaker
  • "Cross Canada Legal Panel: Appeal Rights - What do they Really Mean?", 44th Annual Canadian Property Tax Association National Workshop, Quebec City, September 26-29, 2010, Chair and Speaker
  • "Self Storage Property Tax Issues in British Columbia", March 25-26, 2010, Speaker
  • "Western Canada Legal Updates: British Columbia", March 22-23, 2010, Speaker
  • "Cross Canada Legal Update Panel: Is the tax system becoming more or less equitable and transparent?", February 8-9, 2010, Speaker
  • “Legal Challenges of Valuing Property in Falling (or Otherwise Turbulent) Market - British Columbia Perspective”, October 4, 2009, Speaker
  • "Western Canada Legal Updates British Columbia", March 24, 2009, Speaker
  • "Property Tax Issues for Commercial Real Estate Developers", February 26, 2009, Speaker
  • "Cross-Canada Legal Update", February 18, 2009, Speaker
  • “Disclosure and Access to Information British Columbia Taxpayer Perspective”, August 9, 2008, Speaker
  • “Expropriation from the Property Owner’s Perspective”, June 20, 2008, Speaker
  • “Equitable Classification and Exemption”, May 1, 2008, Speaker
  • “British Columbia Update”, January 15, 2008, Speaker
  • “Observations on Manualized Assessment”, June 2007, Speaker
  • “British Columbia Legal Update”, Canadian Property Tax Association Western Chapter 2006 Education Seminar Legal Panel, March 20–21, 2006, Speaker
  • “British Columbia Legal Update”, September 28, 2005, Speaker
  • “Real Property Assessment 2005: Equity and Consistency in Assessments”, May 17, 2005, Speaker
  • “Real Property Assessment 2005: Major Industry Use and Classification Issues", May 17, 2005, Speaker
  • “Class 4 Major Industry MIPS EPG Manuals Current Issues”, Canadian Property Tax Association BC Western Chapter Utility Industrial Group Meeting, May 6, 2003, Speaker
  • “Identifying and Proving Excess and Intangible Costs: British Columbia Experience”, Canadian Property Tax Association BC Western Chapter Conference, March 10, 2003, Speaker
  • “Property Tax Assessment of Oil and Gas Facilities in British Columbia – Current Issues and Emerging Trends”, Canadian Property Tax Association Conference, March 20, 2000, Speaker
James Fraser, Lawson Lundell Photo
Vancouver
t 604.631.9202
f 604.669.1620

Assistant Contact

  • Parveen Bunwait
  • Legal Assistant
  • T: 604.408.5302

Bar Admissions

  • British Columbia (1993)
  • Northwest Territories (2008)
  • Nunavut (2015)

Education

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

University of Victoria (LL.B., 1992)

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