City of Nanaimo hires four firms for legal services

NANAIMO – City council approved contract awards to put four law firms on retainer for the next three years.

The City of Nanaimo added four firms to its legal team.

At its meeting Monday at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, city council approved contract awards to put four law firms on retainer for the next three years.

Harris and Company and Roper Greyell were chosen for labour law services and Stewart McDannold Stuart and Valkyrie Law Group were added for municipal law services.

“We ran the open competition RFP to have a roster of firms available to staff to use for legal advice and to have the range of law firms available,” said Tracy Samra, the city’s chief administrative officer, adding that the city also has other firms including Young Anderson on retainer “because they’ve had files with the city for years.”

Mayor Bill McKay was the only council member to oppose any of the votes, supporting the two labour law contracts but voting against the two municipal law contracts.

He said he wanted the city to set a budget limit for law services in the neighbourhood of $500,000 per year.

“I would feel a lot more comfortable if we had a number attached to this award…” he said. “All I’m asking [is] if we’re approaching the limit of $500,000 that staff comes back and advises us.”

Victor Mema, the city’s director of finance, suggested such a process is already place, as city council receives quarterly financial reports highlighting where budget dollars need to move around.

“We’ll still come back and say, ‘here is where we are; we think we need more and this is why we think we need more,’” Mema said.

The city’s law services budget for 2016 is $450,000. Samra said the figure is set out in the financial plan year to year and can’t be predicted beyond looking historical spending trends.

“Recommendations are made from staff when we need to add additional monies to the legal fund,” she said. “And it’s likely this year we will add to it because we’ve had considerable draw on the legal resources for the city dealing with governance issues.”

Just Posted

Indoor Busking Festival to be held this week in Nanaimo

Fundraiser concert to feature singers recruited from the Harbourfront Walkway

Mount Benson park users now have 100 more parking spaces

Regional District of Nanaimo opens new parking lot on Benson View Road

Nanaimo masters win track and field titles

Nanaimo Track and Field Club athletes take gold at provincials

Nanaimo council grants development permit for 170 apartments near Long Lake

Concerns raised over traffic around Rutherford Road

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

POLL: How often do you see motorists throw cigarette butts out the window?

How often do you see motorists throw lit cigarette butts out the… Continue reading

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

Editorial: Make it out to the night market this summer

First Commercial Street Night Market of the summer is this Thursday, June 20

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

Most Read