Janneke Lewis was a family lawyer at North Shore Law LLP from 2001 to 2012. In 2014 she returned to North Shore Law LLP after living in Scotland for 2 years. She was called to the Bar as a barrister in 1986 in South Africa and thereafter practiced as a prosecutor. After immigrating to Canada, Janneke re-qualified as a lawyer in Canada in 1995 and was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1996.
She focuses primarily on the areas of family law, including abuse issues and child abduction and financial issues. She is an accredited Family Law mediator.
In 1979, Janneke obtained a BA and in 1981 she obtained her law degree from the University of Natal, South Africa.
Janneke was an elected member of the Provincial Council of the Canadian Bar Association representing North Vancouver for four years. In 2010 she was honoured with the Canadian Bar Association, BC branch Community Service Award for her work in the area of human trafficking. She is also a member of the Trial Lawyers Association.
Janneke is a past Governor of Western Canadian Region for Soroptimist International. She has attended several international conferences on human trafficking. In April 2005, she presented a workshop on prosecuting child trafficking at a UN conference in Bangkok and participated in the consultative NGO group for the UN Vienna Forum held in February 2008. She talks publicly to interested groups on human trafficking to raise awareness on this issue and provides assistance to the Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons. While in Scotland, she volunteered with Rhoda Grant MSP to lobby and advocate for the Nordic Model of prostitution laws and was a member of the Cross party Human Trafficking group.
Whose property is it?
In 2013 a new Family Law Act was enacted with one of the most significant changes from the old law being inclusion of family debt and of excluded property. The act states that property which is inherited or brought into the marriage by one spouse, settlements or damages awarded to one of the parties, or gifts from third parties (like parents) is “excluded property” – that is, property excluded from division should the parties separate. In the three years since the law was enacted, this section has given rise to several court decisions with varying results. The cases are fact driven and results are unpredictable. Property put into joint title is hardly ever excluded, even if a large portion of the property was purchased with excluded money. The only thing that can be safely said about the law on excluded property is that it is uncertain and in flux. In order to deal with this uncertainty, couples should plan ahead and consider how they want to divide property in the event of a separation. These decisions should be made at a time when there is no contemplation of separation. If spouses wish to have control over the decisions made about their property or to manage the risk at potential separation, it is imperative to have an agreement before separation becomes an issue. Without such an agreement, spouses risk uncertainty at separation and with the uncertainty, a potentially costly battle. The family lawyers at North Shore Law can help. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.