When contracts, celebrations, and karma collide

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What comes to mind when you hear the word “lawyer”? Party planner probably isn’t your first thought. After all, these are the guys who always force us to read the fine print before letting us do anything fun. However, once you meet Luca Citton, business lawyer and partner at Boughton Law, it’s officially time to rethink the link between lawyers and fun.  

A few weeks ago, a collective cheer rang out across the City of Vancouver when the first public New Year’s Eve celebration (NYEVAN) in over a decade was announced. It is set to be the biggest public NYE party in the history of Vancouver, and, with the help of a remarkable set of volunteers, it will return as an annual event.

Luca Citton is one of the dedicated volunteers who has guided the Vancouver New Year’s Eve Celebration Society along its crash course to throwing the biggest party Vancouver has ever seen. Before the first piece of confetti can hit the ground, there was an essential legal framework that had to be established in order to ensure the sustainability of the celebration. A business lawyer at Boughton Law, a West Coast-based law firm and founding partner of the Society, Luca gladly offered his expertise on the legal demands surrounding the organization of such a grand-scale event. He saw the partnership between Boughton Law and the Society as a natural fit.  

“I’ve lived downtown for the last fifteen years and it has always been a struggle to find a fun and safe New Year’s event in my neighbourhood. Through volunteering with the Society, I had the opportunity to help plan the sort of event that I would like to attend.”      

“Boughton Law prides itself on being a West Coast law firm and really encourages our lawyers to participate and give back to our community. What better way to give back to my city during the holidays than to help provide an accessible, all-ages event for both residents and tourists?”  

Admittedly, he also had personal reasons for volunteering. “Ok, so I really like fireworks, too!”

Luca has been involved with planning this year’s event since 2013. He set up the legal structure of the Society, the essential backbone to any existing society, and then put on his party hat and wrote and reviewed the multitude of contracts that needed to be signed to support the size of the NYEVAN event.

“Sometimes I think lawyers get asked to sit on these boards simply because nobody else wants to read the hundreds of pages of documents that other lawyers draft and require for such complex events. Maybe it’s the often forgotten legal principal of karma.”

When Luca isn’t pouring over contracts for both the Society and Boughton Law, he is also volunteering his time as President of Vancouver’s Italian Cultural Centre and various other local non-profits. Most recently, he volunteered his expertise with TEDxVancouver. He credits such a high degree of community participation for his own career development. He adds, “Plus, it goes back to that whole karma thing.”   

Seeking inspiration? The motivation to volunteer, Luca says, is not only found in a particular cause, but also in the incredible people you meet along the way. “I find a cause I am excited about and ensure that the cause is supported by other like-minded people.” Such was the case with the Vancouver New Year’s Eve Celebration Society. “The Society is made up of many passionate people, all of whom have freely donated countless hours and dollars to making this event happen. Everybody really cares about the cause. It’s an inspiring group to work with.”  

NYEVAN has all of the requirements necessary to become an annual staple of Vancouver’s holiday season: live entertainment, food and libations, and of course, fireworks. Business Lawyer Luca Citton, party planner extraordinaire, concludes, “It has been years of hard work to make NYEVAN happen, but it will all  pay off once the clock strikes midnight— but for my own ease of mind, be sure to sign the waiver.”     

You can follow Luca on Twitter @LawyerLuca.

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