Donna L. Kydd has been practicing law for over 40 years. Before joining Ramsay Lampman Rhodes, Donna ran a successful boutique practice for over 31 years, involving a mix of Aboriginal law, general civil litigation and solicitor’s work.
Donna understands that for non-lawyers legal issues can be overwhelming. She realizes the importance of being a good listener and assists in demystifying the legalese. She has well-rounded experience in many areas of the law due to her many years of practice as a sole practitioner and she keeps herself well-informed of the law, constantly updating herself on judicial decisions within and beyond her areas of practice
Donna enjoys working with a diverse clientele: Indigenous and non-Indigenous people: throughout Vancouver Island and other regions of B.C. from first-time home buyers to complex commercial real estate transactions; from incorporating a company to reorganizing its shareholdings; to purchasing or selling an existing business, wills and estates.
Often Donna’s clients will present legal issues which are outside of a typical legal practice, giving rise to novel legal arguments, negotiations and settlements. This requires a special level of attentiveness that she can provide to clients, which rises above the norm. With many years of practice, she works efficiently and cost effectively to solve legal problems that her clients face.
Donna is thoughtful in her approach to problem-solving. She listens carefully to her clients and is very mindful of the legal costs to the client. She invests time mentoring young lawyers who assist her with client files to provide timely and cost-effective support in resolving client file matters.
Many of Donna’s clients come to her by word-of-mouth from past and current clients, through references from other lawyers, past legal associates and colleagues.
Before starting her own boutique law practice in 1981, Donna:
- Worked with the Justice Development Commission and the Legal Services Commission in Vancouver, British Columbia, developing legal information and education programs as well as setting up community law offices throughout British Columbia between 1975 and 1977
- Worked with a First Nations organization in Vancouver and its member First Nations throughout British Columbia (the Union of BC Indian Chiefs) between 1977 and 1978
- Provided legal and archival research with a focus on novel arguments and gathered historical and oral evidence for First Nations involved in litigation, including the settlement of various long-outstanding claims of various First Nations in British Columbia (Ratcliff & Company) between 1978 and 1981
Donna’s expertise includes litigation and solicitors work for bands, Tribes and First Nation organizations, as well as for individual members of bands in British Columbia. Her work includes:
- Drafting Land Codes, Bylaws, Custom Election practices and procedures and other governance issues
- Assisting in economic and natural resource development, resort development, and forestry
- Acting as general counsel for a unique band and municipal not-for-profit corporation
- Assisting in new reserve acquisitions and additions to reserves
- Preparing and acting as counsel on specific claims
- Negotiating settlements over forestry roads and railway rights of way
- Negotiating ownership issues over foreshore and water rights
She also has considerable practice experience dealing with general civil litigation. Her solicitor’s practice includes a broad mix of:
- corporate and business law
- estate administration
- intellectual property
- real estate law – residential and commercial purchases and sales
- wills, power of attorney, health representative agreements and living wills
Cases of Note
- Kwicksutaineuk/Ah-Kwa-Mish First Nation v. British Columbia (Agriculture and Lands) and Attorney General of Canada, 2012 BCCA 193
“Watching brief” for a Tribe/First Nation caught within the certification of a class action application over fish-farming
- Charlie et al. v. Sliammon Indian Band et al.
Litigation and mediation counsel for an individual
- Band member – issue involving a trespass over land held by Certificate of Possession
- Harry et al. v. HMQ-BC and Attorney General of Canada
Co-counsel for the Plaintiff in pre-trial litigation – issue involving a forestry access road through an Indian reserve
- Mathias v. CPR
Part of a pre-trial counsel team for the Plaintiffs – issue involving railway rights of way over reserve land
- Mathias v. The Queen
Part of a pre-trial counsel team for the Plaintiff – issue involving surrender of reserve land
Disclaimer: The outcome of every legal proceeding varies according to the facts in individual cases. References to successful case results where the lawyers at RLR have acted for clients are not a guarantee or indicative of future results.
- SoloLink, CBA-BC – while a member and as Chair of the Solicitors’ Practice Issues Committee, I worked on establishing the SoloLink Project, which is a real-time online resource for solicitors throughout British Columbia: 2010-2014. SoloLink (operating online through Baseline CBABC) continues to be widely used by solicitors from all over British Columbia.
- Canadian Bar Association – BC Branch
- Member, Judicial Advisory Committee, 2014-2015
- Member, Government Relations Committee, 2014-2015
- Past Chair, Solicitors’ Practice Issues Committee: 2010-2014
- Member of Solicitors’ Practice Issues Committee for 1 term: 2009-2010
- Member, Business of Law Committee: 2009-2013
- Membership since 1981
- Bachelor of Laws, Dalhousie, 1973
- B.A., University of New Brunswick (Fredericton), 1970
Year of Call + Jurisdiction
- 1981, British Columbia
- 1974, Nova Scotia
Publications + Presentations
- “Aboriginal Law On & Off Reserve for Small Business,” presentation for the Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation, October 2013
- “Copyright, Trademarks & Internet Agreements,” paper provided to Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation (B.E.S.T.) program, October 2013.
- Submission to the Ministry of Justice, Strategic Planning and Legislation Office, on The Proposed Changes to the Scope of Notarial Services in BC, as Chair of the Solicitors’ Practice Issues Committee, CBA-BC Branch, February 2012
- Co-editor, Aboriginal Law Practice Checklist, Law Society of British Columbia, 2008
- Co-authoring a paper in 2007 entitled “Commodity Tax Overview for First Nations” with David P. Owen
- Author, Legal Information Booklets Numbers 1-6, Native Programs, Legal Services Society, Vancouver, BC, 1987-1993: Indian Land Holdings on Reserve; Land Use on Reserves; Surrenders & Designated Lands; Funds for Housing on Reserve; Labour Law on Reserve; Debtor-Creditor Law on Reserve; Indian Estates
- Author, Towards a Native Legal Education and Information Program: A Review of the Literature and Annotated Bibliography, Native Law Centre, Saskatoon, Sask., 1979
- Co-author, The Law Game, Public Legal Education Project, Legal Services Commission, BC, 1978
- “Informed Consent: The Need for Repose Post-Wewaykum (Roberts), April 17, 2005
- “Ownership to Waters within Indian Reserves in B.C.,” October 6, 2004
- “Equitable Fraud & Unconscionable Transaction”, January 31, 2004
- Founding 500 Donor of the Minerva Foundation for B.C. Women (a non-profit society that focuses on the advancement of young and adult women in BC)
- Longstanding Foster Parent, Plan International Canada Inc.
- Sponsor, Welcome Wagon Ltd., on Gabriola Island since 2012