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Stacey Jessiman, JD, LLM 
Founder & Director

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At Jessiman Law, and previously at international firms in Canada, the US and France, Stacey has helped global companies, Indigenous communities and their business groups, museums, governments and individuals achieve intelligent solutions in business, art & cultural heritage, dispute resolution, intellectual property, and Aboriginal and Indigenous law matters.   

 

Stacey helps Indigenous and industry clients create commercial agreements and corporate entities (including societies, LPs, and LLPs) that are tailored to their specific needs, build strong relationships, honour community values, and advance economic reconciliation. As part of that work, she develops clear corporate governance policies and optimizes management practices to support sustainable economic development.

 

Drawing on her previous work at Salans (now Dentons) in Paris on international arbitrations and mediations relating to energy, construction, mining, manufacturing, and IP disputes, and at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York on mergers & acquisitions and securities issuances, Stacey knowledgeably helps Indigenous and industry clients with a wide range of business and negotiation matters. 

Stacey works with Indigenous communities on government to government agreements, band governance matters, and on crafting laws, policies, treaty provisions, and agreements relating to repatriation and protection of cultural heritage

 

She is also sought after by museums around the world for expert help sensitively responding to repatriation and restitution claims in accordance with applicable laws and ethics guidelines, including UNDRIP and NAGPRA, and with updating repatriation and restitution policies to reflect current approaches.  

Stacey has created and taught courses at Stanford University examining the complex issues surrounding illicit trade and protection of art & Indigenous cultural heritage, including implementing international and domestic legal and ethical frameworks such as the UNESCO 1970 Convention, Washington Principles and UNDRIP. Her courses bring into the classroom the voices and perspectives of renowned Indigenous and museum experts from around the world. Her research and teaching have contributed to her in-depth understanding of issues arising in repatriation/ restitution matters and her development of a specific process based on Relationship Building for resolving these disputes.

Through her work as a lawyer, mediator, and academic, Stacey has developed the ability to creatively handle interrelated legal, ethical, historical, cultural, financial, and organizational issues within clients' business relationships and dispute resolution processes.

Stacey holds BA degrees in Art History (Hons) and International Relations from Stanford University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto, and an LLM degree from the University of British Columbia. She completed advanced mediation training at Harvard Law School and is a member of the arbitration and mediation panels of the Court of Arbitration for Art in the Hague. From 2012-2014, Stacey was a Visiting Student Researcher at the Stanford Archaeology Center, and in 2015/16 was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford Law School. She writes and speaks frequently at international conferences on UNDRIP, heritage repatriation, and dispute resolution issues.

 

Stacey is a member of the BC, Ontario, and New York Bars and is fluent in French.

You can contact Stacey by email at stacey@jessimanlaw.com, or by clicking on the tab below:

Representative Experience:

Business & Economic Development

  • Creation of business and economic development entities, including corporations, societies, joint ventures, LPs and LLPs, and related documents including shareholder agreements and corporate governance policies

  • Board of directors advising and training on corporate governance best practices

  • Development of agreements between shareholders and subsidiaries creating clarity around profit distribution and governance matters

  • Assistance to an Indigenous economic development corporation with acquiring 100% ownership of a financial software subsidiary

  • Assistance to an agricultural industry client with joint venture and revenue-sharing agreements with First Nations

  • Development of ecotourism revenue-sharing agreements

  • Advising on Indigenous procurement set-aside criteria and responding to RFPs

  • Advice on RFPs related to Indigenous engagement

  • Advice to First Nations on financial administration laws and finance policies

  • Assistance to Fortune 500 companies with mergers and acquisitions and securities issuances 

  • Assistance to a French global fashion house with commercial agreements related to its retail business in Asia

  • Worked on the corporate aspects of a leading Canadian insurance company’s demutualization

  • Worked as in-house counsel for a B2B e-commerce company

  • Legal advice to human rights and arts-related non-profit organizations 

 

Negotiation/Dispute Resolution

 

  • Helped clients in France, the United States and Canada resolve international commercial disputes in the energy, mining, construction and IP sectors through arbitration and mediation, under a variety of institutional rules

  • Development of innovative reconciliation agreements between First Nations and educational institutions & government relating to educational, financial, cultural, and land & resource use/management issues

  • Assistance to a BC First Nation with negotiating an Enduring Relationship Agreement with a BC Crown Corporation and related trust matters

  • Negotiation of a memorandum of understanding and purchase and sale agreement on behalf of a First Nation relating to purchase of traditional territory from a Crown Corporation

  • Negotiation of accommodation agreements with Crown Corporations on behalf of First Nations

Art, Heritage & Intellectual Property

  • Assistance to museums with updating their repatriation policies to implement UNDRIP

  • Advice to a US museum on sensitively repatriating Indigenous cultural material under NAGPRA

  • Assistance to Indigenous clients with protecting traditional knowledge and other intellectual property rights through cultural heritage laws and policies and in agreements with industry and government partners

  • Negotiated changes to the culture and heritage chapter of a BC treaty to respect UNDRIP 

  • Advice to museums in North America on provenance research and legal responses to restitution claims for illicitly acquired art

  • Helped the family of a renowned Canadian artist reclaim consigned works from a gallery

  • Provided provenance research and restitution claim risk analysis to a US university in advance of a major art exhibition 

  • Advice to US tribal and state government agencies on matters relating to the international repatriation of Indigenous cultural material

  • Advised a South American federal government on amendments to its heritage laws

 

Professional Association Memberships:

  • Court of Arbitration for Art (Mediator and Arbitrator Panel Member)

  • Truth and Reconciliation Advocacy Committee, Canadian Bar Association - BC Branch

  • Lawyers Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation (Advocacy Committee)

  • Canadian Bar Association

  • American Bar Association

Representative Experience
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