Stephen is a lawyer who specializes in charities law and estate planning. His strategic and practical advice helps charitable organizations achieve their missions. His estate plans help families successfully pass on their life's work and legacy to the next generation.
Stephen provides advice and services to all clients – charities, not-for-profit organizations, foundations, boards, schools, social entrepreneurs, individuals, families, and business owners – in the following areas:
- Charities Law: Incorporation, Charitable Registration, Board Governance, Compliance and Tax, and Gift Planning.
- Estate Planning: Wills, Incapacity Planning, Trusts, Business Succession, Estate Administration, and Marriage Agreements.
Best Lawyers in Canada named Stephen as a “One to Watch” in Tax law. Stephen is a frequent speaker, contributor, and writer in the areas of charities, governance, and estate planning. Stephen was the co-editor of the Annotated British Columbia Societies Act and has presented to the Canadian Bar Association, to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation Legacy Circle, and to various advisors, organizations, and private clients.
Stephen has served as a director on the boards of several national, provincial, and local charities and societies. A community servant at heart, Stephen is committed to using his skills and expertise to build up strong organizations, families, and enterprises in British Columbia and across Canada.
Professional achievements & leadership
- Best Lawyers in Canada: Ones to Watch – Tax Law, 2022-2023; Corporate Law, 2023
- The Legal and Literary Society Leadership Award, Osgoode Hall Law School, 2013
- 2nd Place Factum, US-Canada Niagara International Moot Court Competition, 2013
- McCarthy Tétrault First-Year Academic Achievement Prize, 2011
- Princeton Class of 1924 Leadership Prize, 2008
- Co-Author (with M. Elena Hoffstein), “The laws governing gifts by will – and the pressures they put on executors”, The Philanthropist (October 24, 2022).
- Co-Author (with Amanda J. Stacey), “Charitable Giving Strategies for Owner-Managers”, presented to the Canadian Tax Foundation’s 2022 Ontario Tax Conference (October 23-24, 2022).
- Co-Editor (with Dierk Ullrich), Annotated British Columbia Societies Act, loose-leaf (Toronto: Thomson Reuters, 2021)
- Co-Author (with Dierk Ullrich), “Chapter 18 – Societies” in British Columbia Company Law Practice Manual (Vancouver: Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, 2021).
- Legal Reviewer, People’s Law School’s “Preparing Your Will” and “Being An Executor” guides, 2019
- Co-author, “Private Clients in Canada”, Lexology Navigator, March 12, 2018
Refer to Insights for complete list of articles.
- “Qualifying Disbursements: A New Way for Charities to Give”, Virtual Presentation to Canadian Bar Association (BC) Charities and Not-for-Profits Section, October 20, 2022
- “Estate Planning Bootcamp for Investment Advisors”, Virtual Presentation to Investment Advisors in BC, Alberta, and Ontario, June 29, 2022
- “Estate Planning: 5 Common Questions”, Presentation to the Impact North Shore Society (in Mandarin Chinese), January 18, 2022
- “Corporate Shares on Death, Disability, and Divorce”, Virtual Presentation to Private Clients, November 2021
- “Your Will: Experts Answer Your Top Questions”, Virtual Presentation to the British Columbia Children’s Hospital Foundation Legacy Circle, March 3, 2021
- “Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste: Planning Opportunities for Business Owners During COVID-19”, Virtual Presentation to Private Clients, November 18, 2020
- “The Pitfalls of Joint Tenancy”, Presentation to the Canadian Bar Association BC Elder Law Subsection, September 12, 2019
- Executive Committee Member, Canadian Bar Association (BC) Charities and Not-for-Profits Section, 2022-
- Legal Reviewer, People’s Law School, 2018-21
- Director, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Multi-Level Care Society, 2019-21
- Director, Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, 2016-18
- Director, Christian Respite Family Services, 2015-17
- Sunday School Teacher and Volunteer, Westside Church
- Law Society of British Columbia
- Canadian Bar Association
Bar admissions & education
- Ontario Bar, 2022
- British Columbia Bar, 2014
- Chartered Professional Accountants In-Depth Income Tax Course, Parts I, II, and III, 2020
- Judicial Law Clerk, Court of Appeal for Ontario, 2013-14
- J.D. (Top 3% of Graduating Class), Osgoode Hall Law School, 2013
- A.B. cum laude, Princeton University, 2008