Client stories

Imagine you decided to channel your professional training to fulfil your purpose, but then bad luck threatens your vision, sending you “back to the books” to fortify your entrepreneurial dexterity.

That’s the ‘case brief’ for Kendelle Pollitt, LLB, QMed, Lawyer, Mediator and CEO of Pier Law and Mediation, a White Rock, BC law firm that helps clients navigate marriage transitions.  While Kendelle recognized her passion for family law – and boldly founded a practice that mirrored her values – unimaginable events forced the barrister to burnish her entrepreneurial skills to defend her dream business.


Build new skills when dream is over-ruled:

While some might imagine family law to be an intensive discipline, and stressful environment for clients and solicitors alike, Kendelle formulated a distinct vision in 2019.

She explains how, “My work in family law gives me purpose and pride in helping people when they are most vulnerable. To really make an impact on clients’ well-being, I decided to start my own firm that is inclusive, compassionate and kind. And, I wanted to build a workplace that is fun-loving but productive, and focused on employee wellness and mental health.”

With this idealistic mantra – and the youngest of her two children in kindergarten – Kendelle left a large law firm to found Pier Law and Mediation (named after the iconic White Rock fishing pier) with her loyal legal assistant and a handful of clients.

However, reality hit in March 2020, when COVID-19 closed courthouses and clients postponed legal affairs amidst financial uncertainty.  Since Pier Law had no website to conduct digital marketing, the phones stopped ringing at the ‘word-of-mouth’-dependent practice.

Rather than retreat to the law library to wait out the crisis, Kendelle took action: “I got to work learning about marketing, running a company and how to create a business culture. Through books and online seminars, I was like a sponge soaking up knowledge. The more I learned, the more energized I became.”

After taking out a loan to construct Pier’s website, she drafted volumes of client-facing content, including guides, pamphlets and a family law book. Pier Law began attracting new business, doubling its revenues year over year, enabling Kendelle to expand her workforce from two to 20.  She’s since opened a second office in Tsawwassen, BC, and is considering a third location.

She also devotes time to create the desired work culture, by mentoring younger lawyers, to help them flourish personally and professionally, and Pier Law recently piloted a four-day work week to help attract new talent.

Kendelle also shares her entrepreneurial insights with small business owners, by speaking at conferences and developing a course for the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, to guide other lawyers who contemplate starting their own practice.


Finding strength in many people:

Looking back, Kendelle, credits both her adaptability in adverse times and the clear vision she set for her fledgling firm. “I’m also grateful to my husband, sister, parents, my friends and the dedicated team at the firm. They gave me strength to keep going and succeed for all of us.”

Kendelle credits The Scotiabank Women Initiative – and the entire Scotiabank team – for providing tremendous resources, support and solutions to make her dream of owning her own space a reality. “My business banking relationship manager is truly invested in my success. She took the time to come meet me and my staff, and she helped reorganize my banking services to better match our business needs. And during the pandemic, my Scotiabank branch manager helped me access credit to survive that difficult time.”

For example, Scotiabank helped Kendelle overcome a spirit-crushing obstacle when building permits for her new office were delayed 16 months, forcing her to pay rent on temporary offices plus the mortgage on the new premises. “The weight of bearing both expenses was crippling, but Scotiabank provided tailored advice and a business banking solution that helped me fill this financial gap.”

Today Kendelle is eager to share her learnings with other small business aspirants: “Never stop learning about building, running and sustaining a healthy and vibrant business.  Find a mentor, or a mastermind group with others who have already travelled the path you seek. And don’t forget to prioritize your self-care and healthy work/life integration for long-term success and personal well-being.”

Pier Law and Mediation is proving that it’s possible to bust legal precedents of how a typical law firm serves its clients and employees, by delivering kindness, with a clear vision, and the strength of all of its partners.