We have certainly enjoyed being a part of Central City’s development into an economic and social hub. We look forward to watching this thriving community grow.
Welcome to McQuarrie
We are a Surrey-based, multi-practice law firm optimally sized to serve the needs of businesses, individuals and institutions in the Lower Mainland and throughout British Columbia.
The law firm of McQuarrie Hunter LLP goes back to 1936 when Colin D. McQuarrie was called to the Bar in British Columbia and opened a practice in New Westminster. In 1967, his law firm, McQuarrie and Company, joined three other long-established New Westminster law firms: Hunter and Pettenuzzo (established in 1960), Fisher and Gates (established in 1958) and MacKinnon and Pearce (established in 1954 in New Westminster and Surrey). The firm was originally known as McQuarrie Hunter Fisher MacKinnon Gates Pettenuzzo and Pearce, but shortened its name to McQuarrie Hunter in 1978.
All seven of the founding partners were appointed Queen’s Counsel during their respective careers. Both Colin D. McQuarrie and Thomas K. Fisher served as Treasurer of the Law Society of British Columbia. Thomas K. Fisher was appointed to the County Court of British Columbia in 1977 and Gordon MacKinnon to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1978. Watson Hunter died in 1972. Colin D. McQuarrie retired in 1986 after practicing law for fifty years. Glenn Gates and Jerry Pettenuzzo retired in 1992 and Ted Pearce in 1993.
Since 1993, the firm has continued without the founding partners but with their tradition of excellence and dedication to our clients and communities.
Almost from the beginning, McQuarrie Hunter LLP has had offices in both New Westminster and Surrey. In 2003, McQuarrie Hunter merged with the neighbouring law firm of Worthington, David & Company, adding a second Surrey office.
In December 2010, the firm consolidated its three branches into one new location, a state-of-the-art office in the modern Central City Tower in Surrey where it continues to serve clients today.
Since its inception in 1967, McQuarrie has grown to over 100 lawyers and staff today, with one shared goal, to deliver results for our clients throughout British Columbia.
Our community commitment includes taking an active role in many local foundations, associations and institutions. We are proud to have supported the following organizations over the years through donations and participation on boards.
- Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation
- Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation
- Hyack Festival Association
- Dress for Success
We enjoy being part of our community, and you’ll find that our lawyers are personally engaged in many worthy causes. We also encourage and support our staff in participating in worthwhile organizations and activities.
Our lawyers give back to the profession, too. Whether it’s the Law Foundation, Law Society, Canadian Bar Association, New Westminster Bar Association, Courthouse Libraries BC, Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, Mediate BC or the BC Human Resources Management Association, we endeavour to make a positive contribution to each of these organizations.
Doing Business In Surrey
McQuarrie Hunter is a downtown law firm for your downtown. As part of the Surrey community, we are fortunate to be part of this region’s phenomenal growth. Surrey offers a compelling business case, with a diverse population, modern infrastructure, business-friendly governance, and plenty of space. In Surrey, there is room to grow.
SURREY: THE INVESTMENT EPICENTER
Real Estate Investment Network has repeatedly named Surrey the best place in British Columbia to invest. Perhaps even more impressive, Surrey’s integrated approach to sustainability and energy conservation led to the city being named “Community of the Year” in2012 by the Clean Energy Association of BC.
It is easy to see why BC’s second largest city is receiving so much acclaim. Since 2010, Surrey has seen an increase of 4% in the number of home-based and commercial industrial based businesses. Surrey’s population is also growing significantly. Since 2005, the city’s population has increased by roughly 100,000 residents. Note that the total increase throughout the next 3 decades is expected to be well over 300,000. In addition to a staggering number of new residents, Surrey has observed seven consecutive years of record-breaking construction value (exceeding $7 billion in activity), boasts one of the healthiest balance sheets in the country with about $500 million in cash reserves, and is strategically located at the trading crossroads of Greater Vancouver.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: THE BUILD SURREY PROGRAM
It is not surprising that Surrey consistently ranks as one of the best places in British Columbia to invest when one considers the City’s commitment to creating stronger business infrastructure. A perfect representation of this commitment is The Build Surrey Program – a series of capital projects that aim to accelerate the transformation of Surrey’s downtown core, cultivate Surrey as BC’s next metropolitan centre and ensure the ongoing development of major areas within the city. Notably, the Build Surrey Project aims to achieve these goals in the most ecological way possible. Although the City is a centre of rapid development, Surrey is committed to moving forward without sacrificing our community health and environment.
SURREY: CANADA’S CLEAN ENERGY HUB
Working in cooperation with industry, government and academic partners, Surrey hopes to turn itself into a leader within the emergent sustainability sector. In pursuit of this goal, the city has established a municipally-owned District Energy utility to cut greenhouse gas emissions, implemented plans to develop light rail transit to ecologically shape growth to town centres, and partnered with Powertech Labs and SFU Surrey to develop several clean air initiatives.
The City’s focus on cultivating a domestic clean energy industry has already proven effective. Surrey is currently home to several clean energy companies including: Endurance Wind Power, a manufacturer of advanced wind turbines; Embedded Automation Designs, a company that designs items that allow consumers to monitor and control their energy consumption; and Wellons Canada, which specializes in the design, fabrication and installation of biomass-fired green thermal energy systems.
SURREY’S ECONOMY: DIVERSE AND HIGH TECH
It is important to note that Surrey’s economy is powered by a range of industries, including finance, insurance, real estate, technology, advanced manufacturing, education, health, agriculture and the arts. Key among these for city inhabitants is the advanced manufacturing sector. Nearly 24,000 members of Surrey’s labor force work in the manufacturing sector, which is nearly 3% higher than the provincial average. The manufacturing sector is incredibly important in providing the city’s population with well-paid jobs, which in turn affect the domestic economy. It has been noted that manufacturing wages are 15% higher than the overall average for all industries and tend to provide a multiplier effect to local economies. Generally speaking, every $1 of manufacturing generates $3 in total economic activity.
Importantly, Surrey’s position as a manufacturing hub is likely to be ongoing. The advanced manufacturing sector in Surrey benefits from a number of competitive advantages. The city offers the largest inventory of industrial lands in metro Vancouver, has well-developed transportation networks, and boasts a relatively young and well-educated labour force.
If your organization is interested in doing business in Surrey, please contact McQuarrie Hunter with regards to any of your legal needs.
In December 2010, McQuarrie Hunter LLP moved to our new office at Central City Tower, Surrey. Central City is located in the heart of BC’s fastest growing city and one of the province’s key transit hubs. We are a downtown law firm for your downtown.
CENTRAL CITY: SURREY’S DOWNTOWN
Central City is a mixed-use development that combines over 140 retail stores, restaurants and services with a 560,000 square foot AAA office tower, a 350,000 square foot campus belonging to Simon Fraser University, the Surrey Centre Library, and Surrey City Hall. Each building was designed by acclaimed architect Bing Thom, who focused on weaving together aesthetic beauty with ecological sensitivity. The new Surrey Centre Library is LEED gold certified, lit largely by massive skylights, and features a green roof that captures rainwater and CO2. The new City Hall building is also LEED gold certified and additionally features a community-based energy system that efficiently circulates cool and hot air throughout the building. Connecting these stunning buildings is City Hall Plaza, an outdoor civic square capable of hosting up to 5,000 people for various activities and events.
CENTRAL CITY: SURREY’S FUTURE
Most of the buildings that surround our office tower have been completed since 2010. This accelerated development underscores the tenacity with which private investors and the city of Surrey are attempting to turn Central City into the economic core of the second largest city in BC. In addition to the impressive buildings already on site, there are also a number of projects underway. These projects include new high-rises that are set to be constructed by famed developers Concord Pacific and Bosa as well as 3 Civic Plaza, an ambitious 160-Metre-Tall Sky Scraper, which upon construction will be the second tallest building in the province. Other exciting developments include a future Performing Arts Centre that will house a 1,600-seat theatre and a 30,000 square foot satellite campus of Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Simon Fraser also has been working with the municipal government to increase the number of students that attend their Central City Campus. Although over 5,000 students already frequent classes at SFU Surrey, the university plans on continuing to grow their Central City footprint.
CENTRAL CITY GROWS-UP: 3 CIVIC PLAZA
Out of all of the developments currently underway at Central City, the one that is most eye-catching is undoubtedly the planned 160-metre-tall 3 Civic Plaza. The skyscraper will house 353 condomimums, feature five floors of offices, and offer 144 hotel rooms. These hotel rooms will belong to the brand new Civic Hotel by Marriot – the first world-class hotel to be built in Surrey in more than two decades.