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Get to know Shane Gardner - Sword for Hire

May 09, 2024 by FH&P Lawyers


kelowna law firm

Clay: I'm Clay Williams, I'm a partner at FH&P Lawyers, and I'm here with Shane Gardner, and we're just going to get to know Shane a little bit. Shane, you're an associate with FH&P Lawyers?

Shane: Yes Sir!

Clay: So, tell us a little bit about what you do at FH&P.

Shane: Mostly construction litigation, from a larger perspective civil litigation, but with a focus on construction and commercial disputes, business disputes…Anything related to that.

Clay: So basically you're the type of lawyer that goes to court. You're not the type of lawyer that that writes the contracts.

Shane: Yeah! Sword for hire, I've heard it called before. Going to court and arguing with the judge and hopefully coming up with a good result.

Clay: All right, where did you grow up?

Shane: I grew up in Saskatchewan, went to law school out there. Before I became a lawyer, I was working in the construction industry for a while. I had my own frustrations on how things were dealt out there, you know? Got a lot of family working in the construction industry, so I see some of the struggles that they've had in working their business and dealing with some legal issues… So I decided to get a little more involved and become a lawyer.

Clay: It's actually a neat backstory that you were working in construction and now you're doing construction law!

Shane: Yeah, same sort of business, just a lot less cigarettes!

Clay: Did I ask you where did you go to law school? Was that in Saskatchewan as well?

Shane: Yeah, in Saskatchewan. I graduated in 2016, so I'm a seven-year call.

Clay: That sounds great! And now you're here, and you're working in Kelowna for us. You know our tagline is “Rooted in Community, Ready to Help”! So, what do you do for the community?

Shane: So obviously, we're sort of in the nexus of the files that we work on and with the firm, we service a lot of the construction clients here in the economy and in the industry. As the economies tend to tighten a little bit we've seen a lot of people in a bit of a hairy place, so we try to service them by giving them reasonable legal advice and being honest with them upfront.
Outside of legal practice, I’m fairly involved in sports; I try to help with kids sports and organizing kids who don't have the means to participate in sports, and getting them active. I know how much it's meant to me - being able to play sports and I’m just trying to help out and stay active in the community!

Clay: Do you have any war stories or success stories about your construction practice?

Shane: Yeah! I mean I'd like to think I got more success stories than war stories. There's definitely been some moments I'm proud of, you know where we were able to help some people who were sort of the David to the Goliath and like I said some family members I know have been in similar situations so it becomes a bit of a passion project. You don't want to get too involved, but you know those startup companies that don't really have the right on way to deal with litigation and expensive lawyers, you know litigation could be crippling to them, so sort of to have them and give them the ability and to help them win a case - that gives them a little bit more life to their company. It means a lot.

Obviously, I can't get too much into specifics, but a few years ago we had a really big arbitration case where we helped the company against a supplier - we got a seven-figure damage award against the supplier, and they're still operating today. That's sort of a badge that I wear with some pride. And just servicing construction clients day to day, keeping them afloat in these somewhat precarious times…

Clay: Yeah, it is precarious and it seems like a lot of work right now. A lot of disputes.

Shane: I mean Clay and I work together quite a bit, and I think he could probably comment on it more than I could, but like I said before, the economy tightens, and a lot of builders lean… that type of stuff. It's a fairly fickle situation, so it doesn't take much to hold up a project or hold up a mortgage draw; the parties get into a dispute, everything falls apart..so there's a lot of litigation out there right now and as FH&P I'm happy to work there. I think we do a fairly good job.

Clay: Actually I think we do a great job! So anyway, I hope you got to know Shane a little bit and I'll be interviewing somebody else at FH&P next time!

Shane: Thanks again for having me!