Jean Sorensen|Apr 12, 2011
Real estate lawyers in British Columbia who usually holiday in winter on a down buyer’s market found themselves busier than ever this past winter as offshore buyers, mostly from mainland China, were shopping for high-end B.C. properties in the seven-digit range.
Lawyer Florence T. Wong, who also hosts a Chinese language talk show on CHMB (1320 Mainstream Broadcasting Corp.), says in the past 10 years, she has seen the buyer profile shift from Hong Kong to mainland China. The emergence of a middle class and commercialism in China has placed capital in the hands of many mainland Chinese but recent restrictions at home on the number of properties that local residents can buy has many looking offshore. B.C. (and Canada) is seen as a safe place to invest. “China is still a communist country,” she says. “While there is a commercial side to China, the political aspect still remains.”
Lawyer James Lin, who also handles Asian clients with a majority coming from mainland China, says: “My experience with my clients is that the first part of 2011 and the later part of 2010 is the busiest it has been than in previous years. There was no lull such as we experience in January and February. It is contrary to what people are predicting with the new and more stringent mortgage rules.”
Andi Balla|Apr 12, 2011
Canada will play host to one of the largest international events organized by a global legal alliance, as up to 400 lawyers from 173 firms across the world are scheduled to attend the Meritas annual meeting in Montreal starting May 11.
Meritas, a global alliance of pre-qualified, independent, full-service law firms, organizes this type of event every year to facilitate member networking and the sharing of expertise. It has member firms with about 7,000 lawyers in total, working in 73 countries.
The Montreal conference also marks the first time the event has been held in a French-speaking environment.