Jo A. McFetridge
Born in Kelowna, B.C., I spent my childhood in Perth, Australia and Hong Kong. From 1996-1997, I served as First Trumpet in the Hong Kong Youth Symphony Orchestra, and represented Hong Kong on the Women’s Rugby 7s national team, including competing in the 1997 Women’s Rugby World Cup. I was selected as the 1997 OMEGA Sportsgirl of the Year for my national- and international-level excellence across multiple sports.
I completed a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Victoria, where I won the prize for top student in Law, Legislation and Policy. Prior to law school, I attained a master’s degree in classical archaeology and an undergraduate first-class honours degree in classical studies with a minor in physics, both degrees from the University of British Columbia. My master’s degree collaborative research project, Ancient Spaces, focused on the use of virtual reality and video gaming technologies to teach the principles of reconstructive archaeology to junior undergraduates.
Community involvement is important to me. I was a very proud member of the Canadian Forces reserve between 2000 and 2012, serving initially as an infantryman in the army with the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada and subsequently as a Maritime Surface (MARS) Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy with the HMCS MALAHAT. Since my call to the bar, I have provided over fifteen hundred hours of pro bono legal services to clients. I participate in the Access Pro Bono Society Lawyer Roster Program, and I have, since 2012, served as a supervising lawyer at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law’s pro bono legal clinic, The Law Centre.
Prior to co-founding Breakwater Law, I was a lawyer at a leading Vancouver business law firm, where I chiefly practiced corporate commercial law with an emphasis on corporate finance and securities. Seeking a broader range of front-lines legal experience, I left the pure solicitor’s life to find wider adventure as a litigator, first as a sole practitioner and subsequently as the managing lawyer at Breakwater Law.
I value courage, and my personal philosophy is fortuna fortes adiuvat – fortune favours the bold. I prefer a sensible and practical approach to legal problems, and I am always ready and willing to roll up my sleeves to work on the front lines with and for my clients when the opposing party is unable or unwilling to be reasonable.
In my spare time, I enjoy hiking the west coast, photography, travelling, and a good game of poker. I sit on the Board of Directors of the Victoria Pride Society, and I am also a member of the Victoria Flying Club.
I practice primarily in the areas of family law, wills and estates, and business law.
Within my family law practice, I frequently work with the LGBTQ2IA+ and polyamory communities to find family law solutions that work for their unique circumstances. Families and polycules of all configurations will find an understanding and knowledgeable welcome with me, whether for cohabitation, separation, parenting or donor agreements, summary or independent legal advice, or representation in litigation or alternative dispute resolution processes.
email jo at breakwaterlaw dot ca