David Hughes

I am hard-working, imaginative, and determined to help my clients succeed.


Most of my time as a lawyer involves working alongside First Nations from across BC. I love the challenge of this work and the people I get to share it with and learn from. I like thinking creatively about ways to grow and improve things, and I like the feeling of making a real difference in a dynamic and growing legal field. Over the years, I have been involved in almost every facet of aboriginal law, including:

– Advising First Nation governments on rights and title issues;

– Helping a First Nation advance a land claim;

– Assisting First Nations in negotiating agreements with the Province of British Columbia;

– Negotiating numerous benefit agreements between First Nations and industry to provide recurring streams of income to Bands;

– Helping First Nations create and structure development corporations and partnerships to take advantage of their skills and resources;

– Helping First Nations create joint ventures to bring long-term ongoing benefits to them from development on their ancestral lands;

– Preparing head leases for development on reserve;

– Drafting subleases to include new provisions to encourage greater non-indigenous accountability when doing business on reserve;

– Drafting numerous bylaws for First Nations so that they can govern more effectively, including: creating a State of Emergency Bylaw to allow a First Nation to declare its own state of emergency on reserve and enact appropriate measures;

– Amending a Custom Election Code for a First Nation to allow for secure, online, remote voting during the COVID pandemic;

– Assisting and advising a Chief Electoral Officer in the administering of an Election;

– Adjudicating an appeal of an election for Chief;

– Defending First Nations from wrongful and unjust dismissal claims; and

– Advising First Nations on all manner of employment issues.

Beyond my aboriginal law practice, I am frequently sought out for employment law advice, and on the corporate law side I have extensive experience working with all types of entrepreneurs; people with vision and passion who are willing to take a risk to see something grow. That’s what makes my job enjoyable – working with people who share our vision to “Think Forward”, people who can imagine something better than the status quo. So, if you share these values, and you could use an experienced, creative, and determined lawyer on your side, give me a call.


  • First Nations & Aboriginal Law
  • Business Law
  • Employment Law


    • LLM (Distinction), University of Southampton, 2015
    • School Prize for Best LLM Dissertation
    • Owner Consultant Award, SICA, 2014
    • Called to the Bar of British Columbia, 2006
    • JD, University of Toronto, 2005
      • Gowlings Prize in Trial Advocacy
      • McRuer Scholarship in Administrative Law
    • MA, University of British Columbia, 2001
    • BA (Hons.), University of British Columbia, 1999
    • Director, Kamloops Food Bank
    • Governor, Law Foundation of British Columbia



My advocacy work also includes having successfully represented clients at every level of court in British Columbia.  Some of my reported decisions can be found by clicking the following links:

Heuser v Carnovale, 2016 BCSC 2620
Ascent Developments Corp. v Stonehenge Projects Inc., 2016 BCCA 287
Hamilton v British Columbia (Attorney General), 2017 BCSC 1334
Hamilton v British Columbia (Attorney General), 2019 BCCA 348