Fresh from her career in IT in the hospital industry, Barri made the decision to return to school and study law. She and her two young children Erin & Derek moved to Victoria in 1994 where she attended the University of Victoria. The family has very fond memories of life in the newly built – for the Commonwealth Games – family housing. It wasn’t long before Barri, Erin and Derek made the decision that Victoria would be their home. It has remained home for Barri while both Erin and Derek and their families have made Europe their home, providing wonderful travel opportunities for their mother.
Barri began her law practice in the area of family law, having articled at Stevenson Luchies & Legh. However, the broader challenges of civil litigation drew her into personal injury and estate litigation. Barri has appeared in all levels of court in British Columbia as well as a few guest appearances in Alberta.
It was not long after pursuing a personal injury practice that Barri encountered her first client who had suffered a brain injury. This invisible to the observer injury had devastated the man’s life and his family was in a state of turmoil trying to cope with the resulting reduced income and the personality changes in this previously happy, robust husband and father. It was at this time that Barri became involved with the Victoria Brain Injury Society. This not-for-profit agency was – and still is – a grassroots organization dedicated to assisting persons who have acquired a brain injury and their families, cope with the new normal. Barri dedicated eight years to fundraising and serving on the Board, the last three years as President. Barri is passionate in her representation of those who have suffered a brain injury and is grateful to have learned so much from her clients and the medical professionals who support them.
Barri also represents persons who have suffered a sexual assault at some point in their life. It may have been as a child, a teen or young adult. Victims of sexual assault often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, guilt, self-blame, depression, self-destructive behaviours, pain and other physical symptoms and it can be well into their adult years before they are able to seek a legal remedy. Where litigation is the appropriate avenue, Barri is dedicated to assisting survivors navigate the legal system.
Injury from a motor vehicle accident is the largest component of Barri’s personal injury practice. These injuries can take an inordinate amount of time to heal and often require a commitment on the part of the injured person, to therapy and exercise to achieve lasting recovery. Barri enjoys working with these clients to ensure they obtain the treatment they need in order to achieve full recovery and a return to work and the activities of daily living. Barri believes that now, more than ever – with the recent change to the law in British Columbia – the assistance of a lawyer in understanding the new legal landscape is essential to protection of the injured person’s legal rights.
In her trusts and estate litigation practice, Barri has been able to benefit from her experience as a family law lawyer and skills learned in valuating financial loss, to serve her clients. While a mediated or negotiated settlement is often desirable, Barri is able to see the matter through to litigation if that is necessary.
With her children grown and off enjoying their exciting careers, Barri has volunteered her time to the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society Board of Directors for the last 6 years, learning much about the history of the City of Victoria, the dynamic Dunsmuir family and what it takes to preserve an historical structure such as the Castle. In 2018 Barri also became a member of the Board of Directors for the YMCA/YWCA of Vancouver Island. This energetic and influential organization has provided programs, services and a place to exercise and belong to the people of Victoria for 140 years! Barri believes the “Y’s” focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility benefits children and teens, improves the community’s health and well-being and provides opportunities to give back and help in a variety of ways. She has very much enjoyed her time on the Board and looks forward to contributing in whatever way she can.
When not working or volunteering, Barri along with her partner Conrad enjoy working on their mid-century home and growing organic fruits and vegetables, hiking the many wonderful trails in and around Victoria with their dog Scout and travelling.
Hutchison Oss-Cech Marlatt
505 Fisgard St, Victoria
BC V8W 1R3