Alexander Holburn was founded 50 years ago on May 1, 1973 through the merger of Robson, Alexander + Guest and McLachlan, Holburn + Beaudin. This formed Alexander, Guest, Wolfe, Holburn & Beaudin.
A lot has changed in 50 years.
Today, our firm has grown to include 3 offices with nearly 100 lawyers and 150 staff. And, while historically known for our strength in insurance defense, we continue to build on that reputation while also expanding our breadth of experience to serve all our clients’ needs.
We remain focused on ensuring we get the fundamentals right, and on continuing to build on a team of best-in-class lawyers and support staff focused on the goal of delivering outstanding legal and client service now, and into the future.
1973Alexander Holburn is Founded
The firm was founded with the merger of Robson, Alexander & Guest and McLachlan, Holburn + Beaudin to form Alexander, Guest, Wolfe, Holburn & Beaudin on May 1, 1973. The firm had 13 partners, 3 associates and 1 counsel.1973
1982New Canadian Constitution
Receiving approval from Britain for the last time, Queen Elizabeth II signed the Canada Act on April 17, 1982 in Ottawa. This action gave Canada control over its Constitution and guaranteed the rights and freedoms in the Charter as the supreme law of the nation.1980
Expo ’86 opens in Vancouver. The world’s fair drastically altered Vancouver’s international status. Expo ’86 put Vancouver on the map as a global destination: over 22 million people attended the event, and a boom in tourism and trade followed.
The firm outgrows the 18th floor and moves to our current offices on the 27th and 28th floor of the TD Tower at 700 West Georgia. The firm has been at this location since its inception in 1973 although we later expanded and added space on the 29th floor as well.
1989Our First Female Partner
In 1989, Jo Ann Carmichael, K.C. became the first woman to join the partnership. Ms. Carmichael has practiced at the firm for nearly 34 years.
1990Here we grow again...
By 1990, Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang had doubled in size to 50 lawyers.1990
199825 Year Anniversary
On May 1, 1998 the firm celebrated its 25th Anniversary.
At the beginning of January 2000, lawyers Stuart Lang and Mike Roche were involved in the purchase of Money’s Mushrooms Ltd. by Vlasic Foods International Inc. At the time this was significant as the largest acquisition in firm history.2000
2000Douglas, Symes & Brissenden Lawyers Join
On November 1, 2000 the firm hired several well-known Vancouver lawyers following the dissolution of Douglas, Symes & Brissenden Barristers & Solicitors. The group included John Elwick, John Goundrey, Robert Pakrul, Alan Ross & Michael Watt. Several of these lawyers are still practicing at the firm today while others have retired or sit on the BC Supreme Court.
2005McEwen Schmitt & Co.
McEwen Schmitt & Co., a well-known, boutique maritime law firm, joined us in 2005. The firm is still well-known for its maritime practice which is now led by Jason Kostyniuk.
2005Our Strategic Alliance Expands
The firm joins the Law Firm Alliance, broadening our reach and bolstering our expertise by giving us access to colleagues, knowledge and resources in various other jurisdictions. The new relationship also enables us to offer a trusted network of lawyers that can provide advice to our clients for their international needs.
2006Uplifting Women in Legal
Alexander Holburn is conscious of the need to provide mentoring and support opportunities to our female lawyers and clients. This ethos inspired us to set up the Alexander Holburn Women’s Forum in 2006. Our goal is simple, but important: to facilitate our female lawyers’ and clients’ business development through enjoyable social activities and information sharing.
2008Remembering Kenneth Crook
When late Partner Kenneth Crook was an associate at the firm, he and his friends would sneak away for breakfast to fortify themselves for the annual holiday party that evening. Since his passing, the firm has continued this tradition by meeting at the A & W and having breakfast together. This tradition has continued every year for the past 15 years and has become a unique firm culture builder and a special way to honor Ken’s name and memory. Read Ken’s story here.
2010Vancouver Winter Olympics
Vancouver Hosts the Winter Olympics, an exciting time for everyone in the city.2010
2012The Evolution of our Brand
In 2012 the firm went through a brand refresh. A slightly updated version of this brand is still in use today.
In 2012, Partner Doug Schmitt from our Maritime Practice Group, was selected to present to a sold-out audience of more than 2,300 at TEDxVancouver. At the time, this was the best attended event in TED event in history!
2016William M. Holburn, Q.C., Retires
In 2016 William M. Holburn, Q.C., retired from Alexander Holburn. Mr. Holburn had been with the firm since its founding in 1973. He was integral to the firm’s success and led some of the most significant cases the firm has handled.
2019First Female COO
In 2019, Janine Kroser joined the firm as the first female Chief Operating Officer. Janine leads the administrative management team at the firm. 70% of those positions are held by women.
2019Supreme Court Appointment
In January of 2019, Partner Alan M. Ross was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Mr. Justice Ross replaces Mr. Justice R. Sewell. Read More.
2019Our Expansion Continues
Alexander Holburn opens an office in Toronto to support our clients’ growing business.
2020Stuart Lang Retires
In 2020, one of our founding partners, Stuart F. Lang, retired from full time practice after more than 50 years at the bar. Mr. Lang’s dedication, vision, and leadership in the development and growth of the firm will be remembered for years to come.2020
2021Expanding Our Network
Alexander Holburn joins Legalign Global, an alliance of best-in-region law firms working as one for multinational insurers, brokers and businesses in addressing cross-border risks and claims.
2022Provincial Court Judge Appointment
In March of 2022, Susan Sangha was appointed a Provincial Court Judge. Susan started her career in the firm’s mailroom before leaving to obtain her law degree. She returned to the firm after law school and was a civil litigator practicing in insurance defence, focusing on personal injury, occupier’s liability and product liability, as well as employment and human rights.
2023Another Major Milestone
Alexander Holburn Celebrates 50 Years.