Samien is an experienced lawyer in both the public and private sectors, specializing in real estate and municipal law. Prior to joining Stirling, Samien served 13 years as in-house legal counsel and lands solicitor for a lower mainland municipality where she provided legal advice and support for the Mayor and City Council, working directly with the City Manager and senior management from all departments. Prior to her time with the municipality, Samien completed her articles and worked as an associate for several years in the Vancouver office of a leading national law firm, specializing in real estate law.
As in-house counsel, Samien regularly negotiated with various levels of the public and private sectors, including the federal and provincial governments, other municipalities, regional districts, utility providers, regulatory authorities, corporations, not-for-profit organizations, community groups, developers, farmers and the individual taxpayer. Samien also managed a portfolio of over 100 leases and licences, acting for her client as both landlord and tenant.
Samien attends to complex acquisitions and dispositions of interests in land, subdivisions, consolidations, road dedications, road closures, waterlot tenures, development agreements, the granting and obtaining of covenants, easements and rights-of-way and agreements between multiple parties.
Samien’s experience of sitting on both sides of the table has developed her ability to understand and effectively communicate the respective needs of opposing entities and assist her clients to reach a mutually-beneficial and satisfactory agreement. Samien particularly enjoys working with junior associates and strongly believes in mentorship and collaboration.
- Lead counsel for a municipality in the transfer of ½ interest of nearly 800 acres of land to a regional district to cooperatively maintain and conserve as part of the Burns Bog Ecological Conservancy Area (BBECA), including a multiple-party conservation covenant involving the respective ministries of environment at both the federal and provincial government level.
- Lead counsel for a municipality in the application and negotiation of dozens of waterlot tenures directly with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operation & Rural Development (FLNRORD) and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. Negotiated related upland owner consent agreements with third parties.
- Negotiating agreements relating to land, water and airspace lots, including commercial, agricultural, industrial, residential, airport, waterways, dedicated parkland and dedicated highway.
- Working in-house with municipality’s Community Planning & Development senior and junior planners to draft and negotiate all development documents, including for single/multiple lots, mixed-use and phased subdivisions and consolidations for residential, commercial and strata developments.
- Drafting template municipal agreements for Engineering, Parks, Recreation & Culture and Community Planning & Development departments in direct collaboration with respective directors and senior management.
- Drafting and reviewing of bylaws for a municipality and providing legal advice on prescribed requirements, particularly pursuant to the Community Charter, Local Government Act and Land Title Act.
- Acting on behalf of developer to oversee administrative and paralegal group with mass strata development conveyances in 36-floor high rise building (365 strata lots).
Education & Industry Involvement
Samien obtained her dual Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) and Bachelor of Common Law (LLB) degrees from McGill University and was called to the Bar in British Columbia in 2007. She also has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology from Simon Fraser University.
Samien is a member of good standing with The Law Society of British Columbia and is a member of the Canadian Bar Association.