Our staff share our dedication to client care. They bring years of experience in the profession to our work and stand by our clients as their cases proceed.
Melanie Magnusson focusses on advising and representing clients with Family, Estate and Tax concerns and disputes. She works strategically with her clients to not only resolve conflict, but also to avoid it where possible. Melanie is experienced and qualified to represent clients in all out-of-court alternative dispute processes, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration and collaborative family practice. When conflict escalates, Melanie is experienced and prepared to vigilantly advocate for her clients in court applications, trials and appeals.
Melanie works with clients to resolve all types of issues that can arise during times of significant change in family and estate situations, including but not limited to:
- agreements protecting property, businesses, trusts & income when couples move in together;
- dividing property and finances fairly after a separation or divorce;
- spousal support;
- the care, financial support & guardianship of children or elders;
- where children will live when one parent decides to move;
- drafting separation agreements when parties settle out-of-court or at mediation;
- dealing with issues relating to business and trust interests owned by spouses or estates;
- issues and disputes relating to inheritances, wills and trusts.
Melanie’s early years of legal practice were focused on tax litigation and she continues to assist clients on select civil and criminal tax disputes against both the Canada Revenue Agency and the Provincial Ministry. Her tax knowledge also benefits her family and estate clients as she is always conscious of considering potential tax benefits and risks when negotiating settlements.
Melanie is drawn to the human aspect of law. Beginning with the first consultation, Melanie will learn about your individual interests and works with you to put together a strategy and choose a process that always keeps your big picture in mind. She believes that each client has a story, a unique set of goals. Melanie understands that family and estate disputes are deeply integrated with day to day life and are not necessarily limited to legal issues. Where appropriate, she collaborates with other professionals, including financial specialists, accountants and business lawyers, counsellors, divorce coaches, child specialists and others. Melanie will seek to give you her undivided attention when working vigilantly with you to resolve your legal issues so that you can overcome the challenge of your family and estate dispute and feel empowered to move forward.
Melanie believes in living life fully. She sees every day an opportunity to improve oneself, learn something new, meet new people, indulge in new experiences and make a difference in the world. Melanie is passionate about travelling and exploring above and below the sea (she is a certified advanced level PADI scuba diver) in the countries she visits.A personal trainer before attending law school, Melanie lives an active lifestyle in Vancouver and particularly enjoys dancing and participating in a variety of outdoor adventures and activities.
Areas of practice
- Family Law
- Collaborative Family Law
- Estate Litigation
British Columbia, 2011
University of New Brunswick Faculty of Law, LL.B. – 2011
(University of Victoria Faculty of Law, Exchange, 2010-2011)
University of British Columbia, Bachelor of Human Kinetics, Exercise Science, 2001
(University of Sydney, NSW, Australia, Exchange, 2000)
Seminars and Presentations
- Personal Empowerment in Separation and Divorce, Magnificent You Woman’s Conference, New Westminster (upcoming – September 2016)
- Protecting Your Business Through Separation and Divorce, Seminar for the Chartered Professional Accountants (“CPA”), Surrey/Langley (January 2016)
- Income Tax Act, Section 160, Seminar for the Chartered Professional Accountants (“CPA”), Surrey/Langley (January 2016)
Professional Associations and Memberships
Canadian Bar Association, Member
- CBABC Conference Committee, 2015-current
- Women’s Lawyer’s Forum, Executive Member at Large, 2015-current
- Young Lawyers Executive, Past Chair, 2015-current (Chair and CBABC Provincial Counsel Representative, 2011-2015)
- CBABC Wellness Committee, 2013
- Family Law Section, Member
- Estate Law Section, Member
- Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Member
Trial Lawyer Association of British Columbia, Member
- New Lawyer’s Committee Executive, 2015-2016
Vancouver Bar Association, Member