On May 1st, Alexander Holburn celebrated its 50th anniversary with specialty coffee booths, a champagne toast, and remarks from Managing Partner, Chris Hirst. A momentous occasion for the firm and a testament to its success over the past five decades.
Chris spoke to ‘Business in Vancouver’ about the secret of their success over the last fifty years in an article published on Monday.
‘Looking back with grace and gratitude, while looking forward with optimism and determination’.
It’s with this spirit that law firm Alexander Holburn proudly celebrates its 50th anniversary by highlighting the very people who’ve brought this landmark occasion to fruition.
“It is pretty incredible to reflect on, and I think the reason for our longevity is because of our strong culture of support, mentorship, empathy and independence,” says managing partner Chris Hirst.
Hirst attributes some of the firm’s longevity to founding partners William (Bill) Holburn, K.C. and Stuart Lang, who, along with Hirst’s predecessor Bruno De Vita, K.C., helped set a standard of professionalism and excellence that continues to permeate across the firm today. The partnership also has a voice in shaping the firm, and there is an atmosphere of collaboration and leadership that makes people feel appreciated and encouraged to do their best.
Those hallmark qualities are brought to bear when looking at the firm’s retention and recruitment numbers: 20 per cent of Alexander Holburn’s employees have been with the company for 25-plus years, while a further 40 per cent of the team has spent the majority of their careers – at least 10 years – with the firm.
“It has always been about our people, our shared experience, and our commitment to one another. I hope that is why others wish to join us and why I expect we have a culture of ‘lifers,’” says partner and director of associate and student programs Christine York, who’s been with the firm for 27 years.
With longevity comes growth. The firm opened a Toronto office in 2019 and now has a small footprint in Kelowna as well. This growth includes a breadth of services and areas of expertise: insurance law, business law, real estate, construction law, mergers and acquisitions, class actions, wills and estates, defamation, aviation, strata and police law, to name just a few.
This is a firm that has quite literally overseen tens of thousands of cases over its storied history and whose clients range from large multinational organizations with complex legal issues to small and medium sized businesses at all stages. Clients have come to expect legal advice on par with large international firms while retaining the attention to client care and commitment that comes with a smaller firm.
So, what’s next?
“We’re always looking for ways to improve our service delivery and stay on top of trends and innovations,” Hirst says when looking ahead to the next 50 years.
“But some things are going to stay the same. We are always focused on getting the fundamentals right, continuing to build on a team of best-in-class lawyers and support staff and bringing them together with the goal of delivering outstanding legal and client service.” To learn more about Alexander Holburn and its suite of legal services, visit ahbl.ca. ‘