Janet Derbawka is an accomplished lawyer practising commercial real estate law, and business law, and advising on commercial acquisitions, dispositions and financing transactions. With extensive experience negotiating lease transactions on behalf of landlords and tenants, she is consistently recognized as a recommended lawyer in property leasing by the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.

Acting on behalf of startups and privately held companies, international franchises, real estate investment trusts and publicly traded companies, Janet works with some of Canada’s largest developers and retailers. Her other clients represent a variety of industries, including technology, gaming, financial services, and facility management.

Janet also provides counsel on general business law matters, representing clients in structuring, negotiating and documenting a broad range of corporate / commercial transactions with an emphasis on acquisitions, divestitures, reorganizations and financings. In addition, Janet has acted as counsel in numerous cross-border, multijurisdictional transactions involving foreign purchasers.

Representative Matters

  • Act as counsel for landlord of major designer outlet centre in Vancouver.
  • Act for major Canadian financial institution in retail and office leasing transactions.
  • Act for major technology companies in connection with office leasing matters.

Speaking Engagements

The Show Must Go On ICSC Canadian Law Conference

April 27, 2017

Speaker, Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference, Toronto, Ontario

April 2016

Omni-Channel Retailing and Percentage Rent Roundatable Leader, ICSC 2015 Conference, Whistler, BC

January 26, 2015

Hints from the Hinterland - Tread carefully outside of Ontario; things are different there

February 2013

The Pursuasive Lawyer Speaker, Leadership for Women Lawyers

November 2012


Rankings & Recognition

  • Recognized in the 2020 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Consistently Recommended lawyer in the area of Property Leasing
  • Recognized in the 2019 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Consistently Recommended lawyer in the area of Property Leasing
  • Recognized in the 2018 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Repeatedly Recommended lawyer in the area of Property Leasing
  • Consistently recommended. Property Leasing, in the 2018 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

Community Involvement

  • Volunteer with Girl Guides of Canada

Directorships & Affiliations

  • Co-Chair, 2017 ICSC Whistler Planning Committee
  • Member, 2015/2016 ICSC Whistler Planning Committee
  • Member, CREW (Vancouver Chapter)
  • Member, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
  • Conference Co-chair for Leadership for Women Lawyers: Practicing Law in Today’s Fast-Paced Environment
  • Contributing Editor, O’Brien’s Encyclopedia of Forms, Division II Corporations for British Columbia

Education & Admissions

Called to the British Columbia bar
Called to the Ontario bar
LLBUniversity of Toronto
BCommUniversity of Alberta

Insights by Janet L. Derbawka (2 Posts)

May 22 Update: Rent Relief on its Way for Small Businesses and Commercial Landlords

May 22, 2020

Rent Relief for Small Business Businesses (Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance)

April 30 Update: Rent Relief on its Way for Small Businesses and Commercial Landlords

Apr 30, 2020

Government announces commercial rent relief for small businesses