Civil & Estate Mediation

While litigation is one way of resolving a dispute, it is not without its drawbacks. The costs can be high. The result is imposed and tends to be only victory or loss, so there is no self-determination of outcome and substantial risk may be present. The process can be slow, acrimonious and emotionally draining. A judgment seldom resolves underlying personal issues between litigants whose relationship does not end when the case does. Mediation is one way for parties to resolve a dispute that avoids the shortcomings of litigation.

Three of Hamilton Duncan’s most experienced litigators – Tara Britnell, K.C., Greg Palm and Gurminder Sandhu, K.C. – are pleased to offer their services as mediators to assist parties in the cooperative resolution of disputes. All three have a passion and talent for breaking down communication barriers, identifying interests, creative thinking and helping parties reach cooperative solutions that they have a hand in fashioning.

Between them, Tara, Greg and Gurminder are available to mediate all manner of civil (non-family) cases, including (among others):

  • Estate and Trust Matters 
  • Business Ownership and Commercial Disputes 
  • Workplace and Human Rights Matters 
  • Real Estate Claims (Residential or Commercial) 
  • Professional Negligence and Remuneration 
  • Estate Accountings and Executor Remuneration 
  • Personal Injury Claims 


Our Mediators

Tara R. Britnell, K.C. 

Tara has been recognized as one of British Columbia’s leading estate and trust litigators for more than two decades, during which time she has assisted her clients through the most complex and challenging of estate and trust matters, including cases involving undue influence and capacity issues, issues pertaining to the construction and variation of wills and trusts, contentious estate administrations, and the prevention of elder abuse. In recognition of her excellence as counsel and her contributions to the legal profession, Tara was appointed King’s Counsel in 2020, has been recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada for her work in trust and estate law since 2021 and obtained her mediation certificate from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. 

Tara brings to her role as an estate and trust mediator the same empathy, analysis and dogged determination for solving problems and reaching consensus that made her one of British Columbia’s most sought out estate and trust law advocates and a highly successful negotiator for her clients in mediated settings. 

To book a mediation with Tara, please contact her mediation coordinator, Pawan Gill, at or (604) 581-4677.  

Greg Palm 

Greg has been litigating complex disputes for more than 20 years, and is regarded as one of the preeminent civil litigators in the Fraser Valley. Having maintained a broad practice that includes commercial litigation, shareholders’ and partnership disputes, commercial and residential real estate litigation, employment law and human rights matters, collections and insolvency issues, professional negligence cases, personal injury matters and disputes over legal fees, there are very few kinds of civil litigation matters with which Greg has not had past experience on which he can draw as a mediator. 

Despite his reputation as a skilled combatant in a courtroom, Greg has equally established himself as a problem-solver in a boardroom. Armed with significant diplomacy and a penchant for thinking outside the box and getting beyond parties’ stated positions to their real interests, he thrives on helping parties re-establish productive communication and crafting their own solutions to complex disputes. Nothing makes him happier than watching litigants shake hands.  

To book a mediation with Greg, please contact his mediation coordinator, Caitlin Huestis, at or (604) 580-4785. 

Gurminder Sandhu, K.C. 

As King’s Counsel, a current Bencher of the Law Society, a former member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Provincial Council and a member of the BC Federal Judicial Advisory Committee, Gurminder has a reputation that speaks for itself. In nearly 25 years as litigation counsel, he has had experience in all manner of litigation matters, from claims involving personal injuries to human rights issues to real estate disputes to commercial matters and beyond.

Throughout his career as counsel, Gurminder has taken pride in his ability to distill complex issues and to proactively assesses cases to determine whether cost-effective alternative resolution avenues are available, and he brings those same skills to bear in his work as a mediator. Throw in his conciliatory manner and passion for achieving outcomes by agreement and parties who engage Gurminder get a mediator with both the experience and traits to get matters settled.

To book a mediation with Gurminder, please contact his mediation coordinator, Jennifer Connolly, at or (604) 581-4677. 


Benefits of Mediating with Hamilton Duncan

  • Availability: Our mediators are often available to mediate matters on short notice and, depending on the circumstances, outside normal business hours.
  • Flexible Structure and Process: Our mediators are firm believers that there is no one structure or process best suited to the resolution of every dispute, so they will mediate with or without counsel involved for some or all parties, are available to co-mediate if the situation calls for it and will work with the parties or their counsel to design a process tailored to the specifics of each case.
  • Location Flexibility: Our mediators will travel to most locations within British Columbia without additional charge (other than travel disbursements), will host mediations (see below) or will conduct mediations remotely by video-conferencing technology.
  • Mediation Hosting: Hamilton Duncan boasts brand new conference room facilities that can accommodate mediations of nearly any size, including ones involving numerous parties or groups, at rates far more affordable than Downtown Vancouver. All rooms are video-conference ready and on-site catering is available. Our offices are adjacent to the Skytrain, are easily accessible from Highways 1 and 1A and offer underground parking. 
  • Affordability: With Tara, Greg and Gurminder, parties get the benefit of exceptional reputations and experience at affordable rates.  
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