The Law Society Excellence in Family Law Award recognizes lawyers who have contributed to the advancement of justice for families.

Award criteria

Current and former Law Society members are eligible for the award. Nominees must demonstrate how they have:

  • helped people solve their family disputes in a manner consistent with the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch’s Best Practice Guidelines for Family Lawyers;
  • demonstrated innovation in the area of family law, with particular consideration to finding creative and non-adversarial ways to help families resolve disputes;
  • developed innovative models and practices for helping people achieve efficient, cost-effective and lasting outcomes to their family law disputes;
  • demonstrated a commitment to pro bono and/or legal aid services; and
  • improved access to justice in family matters for people and groups that face systemic barriers to enjoying equal justice in society.

How to submit a nomination

A Law Society member in good standing may nominate a current or former Law Society member for the award. This award was initiated in 2017 and will next be presented in December 2019. Nominations are currently open and will close on October 18, 2019.

To submit a nomination, send the nominee’s curriculum vitae and the completed Nomination Form by email, mail or courier, or in person, to:

Kerryn Holt, Manager of Governance & Board Relations
The Law Society of British Columbia
845 Cambie Street
Vancouver, BC  V6B 4Z9

Further information

For further information about the award, contact:

Kerryn Holt, Manager of Governance & Board Relations

2017 Recipient

The Law Society is pleased to award Trudi Brown, QC, the 2017 Law Society Excellence in Family Law Award. Brown was called to the BC bar in 1974 and practised for four years with the BC Crown Counsel Office in Victoria. Since leaving the Crown she has concentrated her practice in family law and is currently a partner at Brown Henderson Melbye in Victoria.

Known for championing innovation in the delivery of legal services in family law matters, Brown was one of the first lawyers in Victoria to embrace collaborative practice and was a staunch believer in resolving family law disputes without going to trial, well before that mandate was included in the current Family Law Act.

She is a long-time contributor to and current co-chair of the National Family Law Program, a highly respected legal education program. She also sits on the editorial board of the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC's British Columbia Family Law Practice manual, a resource used by lawyers across the province every day. She has served as a governor of the Law Foundation of BC, a director of the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, and the president of the Canadian chapter of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. Brown is a Life Bencher, and was president (then known as the treasurer) of the Law Society in 1998.

“This award recognizes that family lawyers play a major role in the community and probably touch more clients than most other forms of law, often in very difficult circumstances,” said Brown. “I would like to share this award with all those who practice in this area.”

“Trudi is a trailblazer in family law in this province. She has led by example through her passionate interest in the practice of family law, her innovation in the delivery of legal services and her dedication to the reform of family justice processes and legal education,” said Nancy Merrill, QC, second vice-president and chair of the Law Society Excellence in Family Law Award Selection Committee.