Blog

don_burrell_realestate_newsletterWhen I was called to the bar in 1982, career prospects for a new lawyer were not good. I took a series of short term contracts with the Attorney General’s Ministry. By 1985 I was entertaining thoughts of a career change and took someone’s advice and enrolled in the Diploma Program in Urban Land Economics and joined REIBC, as a student member. A year later, while working at Expo 86, I secured a junior lawyer’s position with a small firm in Langley. I also continued on with the Diploma Program, which I eventually completed in 1990.

Because of my growing interest in real estate, my early practice concentrated on residential conveyancing and mortgages. To this day, residential conveyancing remains a large part of my practice and the fundamentals learned in the Diploma Program provided a great foundation for my solicitor’s real estate practice. I enjoy my conveyancing practice because it allows me to meet and work with ordinary people in the Valley who are buying and selling their homes. Many of my friends I met originally as clients or real estate contacts.

People are surprised to learn that after practising for four years in Langley, I took a break from private practice and spent three and one-half years in a management position with the Real Estate Division.

Just over five years ago my partner, Steve Fruitman, and I formed Magellan Law Group LLP in Langley. Magellan is focussed on business law and my particular areas of practice include commercial lending, wills and estates and, of course, residential and commercial conveyancing. Steve concentrates on sophisticated corporate work (tax-based reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions), trusts and estate planning. Steve and I have been working diligently to create a “downtown firm in Langley” and we have been able to attract large corporate clients who have chosen to obtain their legal service in Langley rather than making the trek into downtown Vancouver. We started out with seven staff and are now twenty-three in number, including six lawyers and we’re looking to add three or four additional lawyers.

Building a growing and successful law firm has left little time for personal pursuits over the last five years; although I do enjoy a glass of good red wine and getting away once or twice a year to Palm Springs.

Visit the Real Estate Institute of BC’s newsletter HERE

KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – Sept. 4, 2014) – Federal Court win for award winning distillery in long running trademark dispute with City of Terrace and the Kitasoo Band Council over the use of the SPIRIT BEAR name.

Urban Distilleries - Spirit Bear

You can read more about Magellan Law Group’s latest win on our intellectual property blog at  theipshop.ca

To view recent new stories please visit the following links:

Magellan recognized by Municipality of Langley Profiles of Excellence.

Read more about Magellan Law’s “focus on law with a passion for customer service.”

Russell McRae a local House Portrait artist has created this beautiful painting of our new office. Russell creates these stunning paintings for Realtors, Lawyers and Mortgage Brokers. After a Real Estate transaction has completed the new home owner is given a gift of a painting of their new home. A truly memorable and highly personal gift.

To see more of Russell’s paintings, you can view his website here at www.russellmcrae.com

Thank you to Russell for this wonderful picture of our new home!

Magellan Offices in Langley BC

Best law firm of the year in the 16th annual Langley Advance Best of the Best Readers' Choice Awards.Magellan Law Group is pleased to announce that it has won best law firm of the year in the 16th annual Langley Advance Best of the Best Readers’ Choice Awards.

Since its inception in 2011, Magellan has been ranked as one of the best law firms in Langley by delivering first-rate service and advice to clients.

Founding partner Don Burrell said “Being voted the best law firm in Langley underscores and validates our commitment to providing Magellan clients with outstanding service and advice”.

Magellan Law Group is a full service law firm offering expert advice in the areas of corporate law, real estate transactions, wills, estates and litigation.

 

 

 

Steven Fruitman, a Director of the Centre For Child Development with Sophie Tweed-Simmons and Magellan Law Group LLP Partner Don Burrell

On the evening of June 11, 2012, my partner Don Burrell and I and our wives Jayne and Karen attended an event at the ULounge in Surrey in support of Sophie’s Place. This year I became a new Director of the Centre for Child Development which houses Sophie’s Place, a facility providing service to children of Greater Vancouver who are the victims of sexual, mental and physical abuse.

My decision to become a Board member for the Centre was largely driven by the fact that I am the father of a child with developmental disabilities and I could not be more proud to have the Centre associated with Sophie’s Place. The ability to support young victims of abuse in a child friendly facility using a multi-disciplinary approach is something that we can all be proud of. Thank you to Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts for leading this project which was constructed by volunteers and staff in only four weeks!

The patron of Sophie’s Place is Sophie Tweed-Simmons. Most of us know Sophie as the daughter of legendary KISS rocker Gene Simmons and Playboy Playmate Shannon Tweed. She stars alongside her family in the reality TV show “Gene Simmons Family Jewels”. There is so much more to this young lady than her lineage and her day job. Sophie attended the event last night and demonstrated that she is much more than simply the name behind “Sophie’s Place”. She graciously had her picture taken with anyone that asked, chatted with guests and spoke to the crowd on numerous occasions thanking them for their support. The results of growing up famous in Hollywood are constantly splashed across the headlines and adding a reality show into the mix is usually a recipe for disaster. Sophie, who is only 19-years-old, is a refreshing exception to her Hollywood peers and I am sure she has made her famous parents very proud. We are lucky that she has found a connection to her Mother’s birth country and that she is the patron of Sophie’s Place.

For more information on the work being done by The Centre for Child Development and Sophie’s Place, please go to http://www.centreforchilddevelopment.ca.

Today is the day!

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board for promoting and organizing such a well-run event.  It was our first appearance and we had a blast.  It was great meeting you all and, in many cases, putting faces to names.  We intend to return next year.

We would also like to thank all of you who took the time to drop by our booth for a chat and to enter our draw.

So, without further adieu, the winner of the Magellan Law Group wine basket is ………. Drum roll please ………………

Michele Cummins of Royal LePage Wolstencroft Realty.

Congratulations Michele!!!

Please contact us at your convenience so that we can arrange delivery or pick up of your basket.

As an aside, for those of you who didn’t have a chance to pick up our handouts on Completing a Home Purchase from both the Buyer’s and Seller’s perspective, those articles have been posted on our “Articles” page together with two new articles on the implications of a collapsing real estate deal (again, from both the Buyer’s and Seller’s perspectives).

Bike Trek for Life and Breath

Team Magellan

2011 marked my fifth consecutive year participating in the BC Lung Association Bicycle Trek for Life and Breath, a 200 km cycling adventure that supports research and cures for lung diseases. The Trek is the culmination of many months of fundraising and training (well – some people train, others just tough it out) that, year after year, continue to be an important way that I and the others at Magellan Law contribute to the betterment of our community. It’s definitely the highlight of the many community and non-profit initiatives that we like to support, and a cycling trip in the second weekend of every September is a great way to kick off the fall.

It was also Don’s fourth year participating in the Trek, but the milestone anniversaries were overshadowed by the fact that we had launched our new firm just one month prior to the Trek. We are especially proud of our efforts this year, as the Magellan Team came second in overall team fundraising despite the fact that we had less than a month to put the team together (and to train). Not only did we do well on the fundraising side, but our team came together so nicely that we were awarded the Team Spirit Award.

We would like to thank our clients, friends, contacts, family and colleagues who generously showed their support of this great cause and helped us raise over $10,000 in 2011. Including 2011, Don and I have now helped raise over $50,000 for the BC Lung Association!

In contrast to 2010, which featured a dreary, cold and wet second day of trekking, this year’s event took place over two, 30-plus degree sunny days. The start and finish lines are always the same, beginning at Hazelmere Campground in Surrey and ending the first day at Stillwood Campground in Cultus Lake where we are treated to an unlimited amount of delicious food and some lighthearted evening entertainment. It’s a nice treat after the last few kilometres of the first day, which are infamous because of the long and incredibly steep hill that climbs its way up to the campground, as well as an annual reminder of the difficult battle that people fighting lung disease must face.

The Trek is one way that we like to set an example for businesses in the Langley community and in the Lower Mainland. We believe strongly that organizations like ours have a duty to give back to the cities and neighbourhoods that support us and enable us to grow. In addition to the Trek, Magellan Law also supports The Centre for Child Development, the BC Epilepsy Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley and the Langley Child Development Centre.

On day two, our sore backsides are a small blemish on an otherwise perfect weekend. Instead of complaining we need only remember that we do this to help people who are, by necessity, much tougher than us.

Can’t wait until next September.

Warren Buffett said “[I]t takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.  If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”  Obviously Warren Buffett was talking about business and professional reputations, but I thought of this quote tonight after watching my current home town of Vancouver deal with the loss of its Stanley Cup aspirations.

In the late 1880s, the population of Greater Vancouver was approximately 400.  Over the next 130 years, the population has grown to approximately 2.4 million people.  Clearly, it has taken years to “put Vancouver on the map”.

Just as it took years for the population to grow, it took years for Vancouver to build its reputation as a world-class city.  We have much to be proud of.  Our magnificent Stanley Park, the North Shore mountains, Granville Island, Robson Street, Granville St., Gastown, Canada Place… the list goes on and on.  In my view, I live in the most beautiful city in the country, if not the world.

Vancouver’s popularity and world-awareness has also grown by leaps and bounds over the years.  Back in the ’80s, the world came to Vancouver for Expo ’86.  More recently we celebrated the 2010 Winter Olympics.  Not only did we take the world stage for just under three weeks, but we set a world record for most gold medals by a host country, with 14!

The opportunity was clearly there for our great city to further its reputation for greatness by winning the Stanley Cup and staying in the limelight.  The expectations were high as Vancouver had its best year ever and we all hoped to be the third Canadian city to win the Stanley Cup the year after hosting the Olympics.  While I’m a Leaf fan through and through, even I found it hard to resist “jumping on the bandwagon”.

But it wasn’t meant to be.  Vancouver lost a heartbreaker on home ice.  It was truly disappointing.  Worse than the loss however is the damage done to Vancouver’s reputation in the minutes and hours that followed by several thousand misguided “fans”.  I’m embarrassed for those people and I’m embarrassed for our city because, as we showed the world last year during the Olympics, we are better than that.

So what does a loss by a sports team have to do with business?  As I wrote earlier, the reaction to the Canuck’s loss reminded me of Warren Buffett’s quote and the importance of maintaining your reputation.

I’m in the service industry and, as such, my three greatest tools or resources are my knowledge, experience and, most importantly, reputation.  I’ve worked hard for many years to build that reputation and recognise that I must be cognizant of Warren Buffett’s advice every day.  You can work your fingers to the bones for years and years building a reputation of excellence but, in one short moment, you can also throw it all away.

You can’t however run a business or your life looking over your shoulder and worrying about what can go wrong.  You just have to deal with adversity professionally when things do go wrong because our response to a difficult situation is what defines our character.

In business, as in sport, we all experience both triumph and defeat.  It’s easy to keep our composure and professionalism when things are going well and business is booming.  The challenge, however, is to maintain that composure and professionalism when faced with adversity, such as a difficult file or the loss of business.

So my message in this blog is to heed the words of Warren Buffett in our day-to-day business dealings.  How we deal with and react to adversity, loss, defeat or setbacks will define our reputation as professionals and businesspersons, not how gracious or composed we may be when business is good.  The best way to do this is to heed the advice of T. Harv Eker and “be bigger than your problems.”

 

12