About Us

With each new day, the need grows for Canadian-trained lawyers who are able to service clients whose activities and communities cross over borders around the globe.

Smeets Law recognizes that the bedrock of strong lawyer-client relations is a commitment to high-quality service combined with a track record of success. We strive to build such a foundation with each of our clients whether we are incorporating a company for them, obtaining a divorce, defending them against a criminal charge, or drafting a will. If our client does not achieve what has been identified after consultation with us as their goal, we believe we have not served them well.

What sets Smeets Law apart from the rest is the recognition that the need for Canadian legal services no longer stops at the Canadian border. In the current era of globalization clients often lead complicated lives that straddle national boundaries, marketplaces, and communities. They require lawyers like us who have adapted, and who are at home in the global village.

Not only can we incorporate a company for our clients, to illustrate what we offer, we can also make it possible for them to get investors and skilled workers located outside Canada involved in their company. If they are separating from a spouse who lives in another country, we can advise them about how best to establish or protect custody and access rights involving children brought across international borders. If they are charged with a criminal offence we can defend them before the criminal court as criminal defense lawyers. With our experience as Canadian immigration lawyers we can also counsel them on how best to protect their immigration status in Canada in the event of a conviction. Smeets Law provides services to numerous clients with diverse cultural backgrounds. As such, Smeets Law understands the importance of being able to communicate effectively with the client, especially in their own language. Smeets Law is able to fluently communicate in English, French, German, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. However, arrangements can be made to provide services in any language that will meet the needs of the client.

Educational and informative, we have acquired detailed knowledge about many legal processes, their workings, and how they may affect you, your family, friends, and associates.

The lawyers at Smeets Law believe that by educating the public and potential clients we serve everyone’s best interests. If we educate people about their legal rights and prepare them for the appropriate legal action, the process can proceed in a much stronger, more efficient, and more cost-effective manner.

One factor which distinguishes Smeets Law is the cosmopolitan culture of our firm. Many members of the firm come from different parts of the world. We hope to expand our practice both in Canada and internationally, and welcome all inquiries.

Meet The Team

  • Larry Smeets
  • Kevin Rosales
  • Graham Zilm
  • Tammi Hua
  • Vivian Tran
  • Sebastian Smeets
  • Luis Vargas
  • Agnieszka Doll
  • Fernanda Haddad
  • Olivia Du
  • Julian Smeets

 


Larry SmeetsSmeets Larry

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Larry Smeets studied international and Asian history at the University of Saskatchewan. He completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree there, and then a Masters of Arts degree. Larry was awarded a full graduate scholarship to complete the Masters degree, which focused on recent Chinese domestic and foreign policy.

After Larry completed his graduate degree, he taught history for the History Department at the University of Saskatchewan for one year. Then he enrolled in the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, where he completed a Bachelor of Laws degree. While he was completing his law degree he taught night courses in Chinese history for the university’s extension division. Larry completed his legal education in 1990. He then moved to British Columbia to article and to practice law. In 2002 he established his own law firm, Smeets Law.

Over the years Larry’s practice has followed two main paths. One is a litigation path, which includes both criminal and civil litigation. The other is an immigration and international track.In recent years some of his cases have attained national prominence in Canada as well as internationally, and have been featured in news pieces offered by such media as the CBC National News, CBC “As It Happens” (to listen to an interview conducted on October 23, 2009, go to Part 2 of “As It Happens Larry Smeets”), The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and The Vancouver Sun, along with various local television and newspaper outlets.”

Larry is a member of several organizations, including The Law Society of British Columbia, the Canadian Bar Association, the International Commission of Jurists, and the Canadian Council on International Law. He is also on the list of assigned counsel of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

Larry’s hobbies and interests are varied and wide-ranging. He has devoted much of his time to the study of languages, and is able to communicate at various levels of proficiency with his clients and others in French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Russian, and Spanish. More recently, he has begun to study Vietnamese.

Larry has also devoted much of his time over the years to writing legal articles, opinion pieces, and poetry. His writings have been featured in various publications, including the Australian Journal of Law and Society, The Far Eastern Economic Review, and The Vancouver Sun. His poetry and opinion pieces have also been published in various publications. His first book of poetry The Odyssey: Wanderings in the Global Village will be published soon.

Larry loves music. He plays the piano and sings, and has over the years belonged to various Vancouver-based choirs, including City Soul Choir, Jubilatte! Chamber Choir, and The Downton Singers.

Kevin Rosales

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Sociology from the University of British Columbia, and obtained his Juris Doctor from The University of Saskatchewan. While attending law school, Kevin was the student manager at CLASSIC: a not-for-profit firm that provides legal services to low-income, marginalized Saskatchewan residents. He has worked in areas including immigration and refugee law, criminal law, and residential tenancies. Kevin’s practice includes mainly Criminal, Civil, Family, and Immigration Law.

Kevin was born in El Salvador, and is fluent in Spanish. He is thus able to assist clients that have difficulty with the English language or simply prefer to communicate in Spanish.

Over the past ten years, Kevin has worked as a computer technician in a variety of different capacities. Kevin has long been interested in emerging technology, particularly in the field of computer science.

Kevin enjoys travelling, reading, and building custom computer and entertainment units.

 

Graham Zilm

Graham was admitted to the Bar in British Columbia in 2015. He has a JD from the University of British Columbia. He received a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts in Classics from the University of British Columbia before taking up a doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto, where he taught ancient history and mythology.

During his legal studies, he also worked as a research assistant and for the UBC Law History project and as a circulations assistant at the UBC Law Library.

Graham is fluent in French and enjoys serving clients in a wide variety of areas. In his spare time he enjoys painting, reading, and playing guitar and banjo.

 


Tammi Hua

Tammi obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations from McGill University, with minors in Japanese and Langue et Littérature Française. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of British Columbia. While in law school, Tammi assisted clients through the Law Students Legal Advice Program in small claims and employment matters. She also volunteered as a LiveHelp assistant with the Legal Services Society’s family law website. During the summer, Tammi interned with the Review Division at WorkSafeBC, where she reviewed decisions on compensation for section 5 workplace injuries.

During her articles at Smeets Law, Tammi has appeared on behalf of clients at the provincial court level. She is able to assist clients in French and Mandarin.

In her spare time, Tammi enjoys piano, reading, and studying new languages.

Tran VivianVivian Tran

Vivian began working at Smeets Law in March 2017. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia and obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of Calgary. During law school, Vivian held leadership positions in a variety of student initiatives. She was a founder of the Diversity and Law Society, Group Leader for the Pro Bono Students Canada Immigration Project and a founder of the Student Ambassadors for the University of Calgary Faculty of Law. She was also involved in the larger legal community as a Student Director of the Western Chapter of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, a group committed to promoting equity and diversity among the legal profession.

Vivian has studied and worked around the world in countries such as Denmark, Thailand, and Northern Canada. She can converse in Vietnamese, and has spent time learning Spanish and German. Vivian has worked with multicultural clients in Canada as a CELPIP exam invigilator and with the University of Calgary’s ESL Department.

Outside of work, Vivian likes to travel, swim, bike, and read.

 

Sebastian SmeetsSebastian

As head of Smeets Law’s Accounting Department, Sebastian’s primary objective is to ensure the firm’s adherence to the various rules and standards set by the Law Society of British Columbia, as well as by provincial and federal governments, with respect to the management of both the firm’s general and trust accounts. This objective is of course in addition to the various other tasks and responsibilities expected of all accounting departments.

Sebastian completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics at Simon Fraser University and a Diploma in Accounting at the University of British Columbia. In addition to his employment with Smeets Law, Sebastian has held numerous service-oriented positions, the most notable being the exportation of Canadian-produced food products to various prisons, wholesale distributors, and retail outlets located throughout Washington State. Sebastian also has extensive experience working for a downtown Vancouver trustee under the Bankruptcy & Insolvency Act, offering financial restructuring as well as insolvency related professional services.

Having always taken interest in people from all corners of the globe, Sebastian has, at some point in his life, spent time learning French, Mandarin, German, Dutch/Flemish, and Polish. At present, he is able to communicate in English and French. His interest in various cultures has also led him to visit 27 countries and city-states.

Vargas LuisLuis Vargas

Luis works as an administrative assistant helping our lawyers with daily tasks and making sure our office runs smoothly. Luis was born in Lima, Peru. He studied abroad in Moscow, Russia for 6 years, where he obtained his Telecommunications Engineering degree. In 2012, Luis moved to Canada and continued his studies at Vancouver Community College.

He speaks fluent Spanish, English and Russian.

During his normal routine at the office, Luis enjoys dealing with clients in different languages. When he is out of the office, Luis loves to teach Spanish, travel and is always looking to learn something new.

 

 

 

Agnieszka DollDoll Agnieszka

Agnieszka is a socio-legal researcher, lawyer and an educator who is interested in the intersection of law and medicine. Trained in law, sociology, and gender studies, she is currently completing her PhD in the Law and Society Program at the University of Victoria, Faculty of Law. Her doctoral work “Lawyering for the ‘Mad’: Experts, pathologies, and emergency involuntary admission to psychiatric facilities in Poland”, explores how the legal process of involuntary admission is organized so that it silences voices of persons undergoing the admission and those advocating on their behalf. Agnieszka also writes blog posts, article journals, and chapters in activists’ books, and engages in community-based social justice research.

Prior to coming to Canada, Agnieszka completed a law degree at the Marie Curie-Sklodowska University in Poland (with Dean’s Distinction), received a barrister and solicitor training, and was admitted to the national bar of Poland in 2005. She advised and represented clients in criminal cases, including cases of gender violence, family law, and refugee and human rights. In line with her social justice commitment she also worked with international human rights organizations and took part in the Council of Europe and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’ human rights missions in Kosovo.

Agnieszka currently tutors Health Care Law (HADM 400) and Risk Management and Safety for Health Services (HADM 488) at Athabasca University. She has taught courses in criminology, law, and women’s studies at universities in Canada, United States and Europe.

Agnieszka loves dancing, backpacking, skating as well as soap-making and assisting her partner with carpentry projects. Agnieszka is fluent in Polish and English, understands and speaks Russian and has a basic command of Spanish.

Haddad FernandaFernanda Haddad

Fernanda works at Smeets Law as an Office Assistant. Currently, she is attending Douglas College to complete her undergraduate degree in Commerce and Business Administration. In June 2012, Fernanda obtained her Bachelor of Laws from Mackenzie Presbyterian University in Brazil. As a Brazilian lawyer, her main practice centered around Tax law.

Fernanda is fluent in English and Portuguese.

 







Olivia DuDu Olivia

Olivia’s love of science and technology motivated her to obtain a Bachelor of Science from the University of Western Ontario and a Master’s of Science from the University of Waterloo. This passion eventually led her to obtain her Juris Doctor from the University of Ottawa, where she further expanded her interests into other legal fields such as oral advocacy, dispute resolution, health, privacy, intellectual property, and corporate law.

In law school, Olivia was the volunteer coordinator for the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board’s pro bono group, and advocated for clients of the Medico-Legal Society of Toronto. She also worked as a research assistant for a health law professor and a teaching assistant for the first year Dispute Resolution and Professional Responsibility course. Olivia interned with a boutique Intellectual property firm, an in-house counsel at a hospital, and an intellectual property clinic aimed at start-up companies.

In her spare time, Olivia enjoys playing with her Pembroke Welsh Corgi, trying out new and exciting cuisines, and staying active.

Olivia will be articling with the firm in September 2017

 

JulianJulian Smeets

Julian Smeets was born and raised in Canada. Julian is attending Simon Fraser University, where he is completing his undergraduate degree in English. Julian works as a clerk for Smeets Law. Julian is fluent in English and French.