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Our Story

Brown Henderson Melbye is a full service family law firm based in Victoria with a rich history of experience and innovation in British Columbia and beyond.  Trudi Brown QC literally wrote the book on Family Law in BC, British Columbia Family Law Practice, with Madam Justice Huddart and she, Jane Henderson QC and Kay Melbye as the firm’s namesakes have all been a part of the evolution of family law in various ways since Trudi first began practising law Victoria more than 40 years ago.

The origins of Brown Henderson Melbye date to 1985 when Trudi Brown QC and Jane Henderson QC joined forces with Deborah Acheson and Judith Kay and formed Brown Acheson Henderson & Kay, affectionately known around town by the colourful nickname “the Broads on Broad Street”.  From the beginning, Trudi and Jane concentrated their practices on issues affecting children, families and elders, and have made significant contributions to the way that family law is practiced in British Columbia.

In 2001 Kay Melbye who was born and raised in Victoria shifted from a general litigation practice to focus on family law Victoria with the new partnership of Brown Henderson and became a partner in 2009 creating Brown Henderson Melbye.  Jane has since retired from the firm.

Today Brown Henderson Melbye is a full service family law firm of eight lawyers with a depth and breadth of legal experience.  We provide legal advice and guidance to our clients as they navigate the diversity of family law challenges.  In addition to Trudi and Kay our team consists of lawyers Shauna Tucker, Suzanne Williams, Samantha deWit, Samantha Rapoport, Carli Ziegler and Kezia Peterson. Samantha Rapoport and Kezia Peterson rose within the BHM Lawyer ranks, first as Law Co-op and then Articled Students.  Shauna and Suzanne have brought diverse legal backgrounds that include experience in complex litigation with large national law firms based in Vancouver and expertise in elder and child law, and Samantha deWit has previous family law experience in Manitoba and at another family law Victoria firm, while Carli Ziegler is from South Africa and joined us after practicing family law there.

Our team’s dedication to excellence and innovation is one of our common bonds and we contribute to furthering these ideals through leadership within our profession whether we are guest speakers, quoted in articles, or in leadership roles.

Our lawyers are also vested in the broader community, from local to international initiatives, and have sat on such Boards of Directors as the Victoria Symphony, the Children’s Health Foundation of Victoria, and Victoria Family Services of Greater Victoria. As a group, our firm devotes time and resources to more than 20 different organizations in our community.

We thank you for taking the time to get to know us a little better. We are proud of the work that we do and strive to contribute positively to the lives of our clients, the development of the law, and the health of our communities.