A former competitive swimmer and native of Port Moody, Vancouver personal injury lawyer Thomas Spraggs first studied law in Australia while pursuing his sport year-round.
Thomas’s father specialized in personal injury and founded Coquitlam’s first law firm, Spraggs & Co. in 1971. In 2003, after practising law in Alberta and the Yukon, the younger Spraggs was admitted to the Law Society of B.C. and joined his father’s firm. Since then Thomas has focused on helping people involved in motor-vehicle crashes seek justice.
Tell us a little bit about the history of Spraggs Law. When was it started? Has it always been a family affair?
Spraggs & Co. was founded by my late father in the early 1970s. After serving in the Canadian Armed Forces as an engineer, he went to law school at UBC and settled in Coquitlam. He saw the potential for tremendous growth in the Tri-Cities and that there would be a need for legal services.
After I went to law school and worked in Alberta for a few years, and after my wife Jessica was accepted to UBC Law, I moved back to the Tri-Cities to work with my Dad. I don’t think my Dad ever really planned on retiring; however, in 2004 he was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident that ended his career and I became the leader of the firm.
We have grown significantly since 2004 in part, I think, because I stay true to his values of treating everyone equally, hard work and a focus on results for clients.
Both Tom and Jessica have spent time in Alberta. What’s the attraction with Alberta? Why did you come “home” to Vancouver?
After attending law school abroad, I had the opportunity to article at an excellent personal injury firm in Edmonton. My experience there was invaluable to my development as a litigator and negotiator. I worked with talented lawyers who all had different styles of practice, and I was able to learn a great deal from them.
While in Edmonton, I met Jessica and we married. When Jessica received an entrance scholarship to UBC Law, it was the perfect opportunity for me to come home.
Read an interview with Thomas Spraggs in BC Businesses, where he discusses how he increased his understanding of business processes to practical applications to improve efficiency, manage risk, and enhance prosperity.
Why does your firm focus on personal-injury law, rather than other legal services?
I think there is power in focus. We have always felt that our skills and knowledge are ideally suited to litigation and that this is how we can best serve the community.
We may take on other types of cases in the future, but only if we firmly believe that we can provide clients with excellent advice and service.
You’re an award-winning firm. What awards has Spraggs Law received?
We were honoured to receive the Innovative Workplace Award from the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch in 2016. This award is very meaningful to me because it recognizes the efforts we have made to build a strong, values oriented organizational culture. Further, by streamlining processes and procedures, we allow our co-workers to focus on client needs.
At the end of the day, a positive and supportive culture and strong systems results in excellent client care.
What’s judgement you’re proud of?
One of my most memorable trials involved a client who was an RCMP officer who was injured on a motorcycle responding to an emergency. There was a difficult liability issue, which we won, meaning our client was not at fault in any way for the accident.
Further, we were successful in having the court file sealed (which ICBC opposed) to protect the identity of client, who in his capacity as an RCMP officer investigated and assisted in the prosecution of gang related offenses.
ICBC’s lawyer in this case was a highly skilled, well-regarded defence litigator – it was a challenging fight that we ultimately won.
What questions do you have for Thomas Spraggs?
Do you have any questions for Thomas about his practice? Leave a comment below — we’d love to hear from you. And, as always, if you have any questions about ICBC, motor vehicle collisions or personal injury, be sure to contactone of our ICBC lawyers in Vancouver.