Colin A. Millar, Q. ARB

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Biography

Colin Millar is a partner in the Litigation Group.  His preferred areas of practice are Estate and Family Litigation.  Colin is accredited by the Law Society of British Columbia as a Family Law Mediator and Arbitrator.  He holds the Q. Arb. certification with the BC Arbitration and Mediation Institute.  While most disputes he deals with are resolved through negotiation or mediation, he has conducted numerous trials in the Provincial and Supreme Courts of BC together with appeals to the BC Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada.

A widely respected practitioner, Colin was appointed as amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2006 to provide the Court with an independent review of the issues in a complex family law case. He considers this appointment both a great honour and one of the highlights of his career.

Colin is recognized as one of the most prolific contributors to the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC. He has authored the annual updates to portions of the Annotated Family Practice and the BC Family Practice Manual.

Colin is renowned for his practicality and level-headed approach in advising his clients. “When you first meet with a client,” he explains, “they’re lost in a sea of confusion. They are people whose life experiences you share as you’re helping them through a very difficult time. I always advise my clients that the law can only effectively deal with the financial aspects of their case, not the emotional wounds. I explain to them what the law is, how the process works, how it applies to their specific situation, and what the likely outcome will be. Hopefully, by the end of the first or second meeting, they feel they’re standing on solid ground.”

His practical approach is complimented by his sensitivity to the plight of his clients. “I appreciate that it’s a very difficult time for clients. If everyone acts reasonably then you can resolve the issues expeditiously. If one party is unreasonable, then it requires judicial intervention to settle the matter and that’s expensive. I assure them that I will get them through the process relatively unscathed and I arm them with realistic expectations of what results can be achieved.”

The new Family Law Act now encourages parties to resolve their disputes through family dispute resolution processes including mediation and arbitration. Colin and a group of other senior family law practitioners are working to advance the use of mediation and arbitration in resolving family law disputes. Colin is confident the advantages of arbitration including reduced cost, flexibility in the process, accessibility and confidentiality will promote the rapid growth of arbitration as a means of resolving family disputes. This will be especially true in the outlying regions of the Province where limited access to the Courts and the inherent delays cause great frustration to the parties involved in a family law dispute. As an arbitrator, Colin is willing to do everything necessary to allow the parties to use the arbitration process to find a speedy and fair resolution to their differences.

The great respect and goodwill Colin has built during his many years of practice and his volunteerism at pro bono legal clinics has resulted in many thank you cards and letters from clients and their relatives. He has many referrals from his former clients, fellow firm members and other lawyers.

Background

Colin was a Charter student at Simon Fraser University where he obtained an Honors degree in Economics. He received his LL.B. from The University of BC in 1975 before being called to the Bar in 1976. He is married with three grown children. He coached them through baseball and soccer while they were growing up. He continued his involvement with the West Vancouver Soccer Club both as a coach and administrator. He recently retired as Vice-President of the West Vancouver Soccer Club.