Expropriation

Jeff working

All levels of government, public utility companies, and, in some cases, private individuals have the ability to take property (usually, land) from private owners for some specific purpose, like a road. In British Columbia, this is called “expropriation.” Other jurisdictions refer to it as either “condemnation” or “eminent domain". In almost every instance, the owner of the property is entitled to full compensation for what has or will be taken.

Like most things in life, it sounds straightforward, but it is not. There are different laws that apply to different types of expropriations. There are peculiar laws and legal principles that apply specifically and only to expropriation. The zoning laws are different, the tax laws are different, the owners’ entitlement to court costs is different, the limitation period for seeking compensation is different, the list goes on and on.

In addition, the government or the public utility seeking to take the owner’s property is often well versed in the expropriation process and has at its disposal: negotiators, lawyers, appraisers, planners, business valuators, engineers, and whatever other experts or consultants they need to successfully navigate through the expropriation process. For owners, on the other hand, this is often their first and last experience with an expropriation. Consequently, owners rarely have at their disposal any expert to assist them. That is where we come in.

We have twenty years of experience helping property owners negotiate, mediate, arbitrate, and litigate claims for compensation resulting from an expropriation. Using that experience, we can help an owner establish a more even playing field for dealing with an expropriating authority. We will identify the types of losses incurred, such as: the value of the land taken, the reduction in the value of the land left to the owner, any business losses resulting from the taking, and other costs and damages suffered as a result of the taking. We will find and instruct the right experts to quantify the compensation owing for the various losses suffered. We will help the owner decide when to settle and when to fight.

Additional Information

Legislation Related to Expropriation

 A Sampling of Informative Court Decisions Concerning Expropriation

Expropriation Compensation Board Decisions

Our expropriation lawyers are Jeff Frame, David Hughes and Courtney AuBuchon.