2021 Bencher election

An election was held in November 2021 to elect Benchers of the Law Society of British Columbia in all districts for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2022 and ending December 31, 2023. Voting took place from November 1 to November 15, and votes were counted on November 16, 2021.

The Bencher election results are now available: eight new Benchers were elected, one returning Bencher was elected by acclamation, and 13 Benchers were re-elected (two by acclamation).

Pursuant to Law Society Rule 1-5(4), Lisa Hamilton, QC (District No. 1), Christopher McPherson, QC (District No. 4), and Jeevyn Dhaliwal, QC (District No. 1) will continue to hold office as Benchers until they complete their respective terms as President.

President Dean P.J. Lawton, QC congratulates the elected and re-elected Benchers and thanks all those who stood for election. Lawton also thanks the Benchers who will not be returning, acknowledging the years of dedicated service of Pinder K. Cheema, QC, Lisa Feinberg, Martin Finch, QC, Jamie Maclaren, QC, Elizabeth J. Rowbotham, Karen Snowshoe, Chelsea D. Wilson and Heidi Zetzsche. Cheema, Finch, Maclaren and Rowbotham, as well as Lawton, will become Life Benchers in 2022.

Please join us in welcoming the following Benchers who were elected on November 16, 2021 for the 2022-2023 term:

  • District No. 1 (Vancouver) – 11 elected
    • Cheryl D’Sa
    • Brook Greenberg, QC
    • Jennifer Chow, QC
    • Kevin B. Westell
    • Gaynor C. Yeung
    • Lisa Dumbrell
    • Jacqueline G. McQueen, QC
    • Steven McKoen, QC
    • Katrina Harry
    • Kelly Harvey Russ
    • Tanya Chamberlain
  • District No. 2 (Victoria) – 2 elected
    • Lindsay R. LeBlanc
    • Paul Pearson
  • District No. 3 (Nanaimo) – 1 elected
    • Brian Dybwad
  • District No. 4 (Westminster) – 2 elected
    • Gurminder Sandhu
    • Tom Spraggs
  • District No. 5 (Kootenay) – 1 elected
    • Barbara Cromarty
  • District No. 6 (Okanagan) – 1 elected
    • Michael F. Welsh, QC
  • District No. 7 (Cariboo) – 2 elected
    • Georges Rivard
    • Geoffrey McDonald
  • District No. 8 (Prince Rupert) – 1 elected
    • Sarah Westwood
  • District No. 9 (Kamloops) – 1 elected
    • Kim Carter

Candidate biographies and election statements

2022 Bencher by-election in the County of Vancouver 

The next Bencher by-election in the County of Vancouver will be held in November 2022 to elect a Bencher for a one-year term to replace 2022 President Lisa Hamilton, QC. The term of the Bencher elected will begin on January 1, 2023 and end on December 31, 2023. 

Benchers encourage diversity in candidates seeking office

The Benchers believe that the Law Society's mandate to protect the public interest in the administration of justice is best served by leadership from diverse backgrounds and experience. Diversity that brings the skill and richness of talent reflected in the peoples of British Columbia strengthens our legal community and the community at large. All lawyers who meet the qualifications for Bencher and want to contribute to the governance of the profession are encouraged to stand for election. We particularly encourage Indigenous lawyers, racialized lawyers, LGBTQ2+ lawyers, lawyers with disabilities, young lawyers, and those practising predominantly in solicitors' fields to stand for election, as these groups continue to be underrepresented among elected Benchers. Although the Law Society has achieved, and been enriched by, gender parity among its elected Benchers, it continues to encourage women to stand for election as part of its commitment to achieve leadership that is reflective of the talents and strengths of all British Columbians.

Roles and duties of Benchers

The Benchers are the Law Society’s volunteer board of governors. They govern and administer the affairs of the Law Society in accordance with the Legal Profession Act, set and enforce standards of professional responsibility for lawyers, and preside at discipline and credentials hearings.

What Benchers can expect

Benchers can expect their duties to consume approximately four or five full days a month. This is made up of preparation for and attendance at Bencher meetings, committee, task force or working group meetings, and sitting on hearing panels.

For more information, see Resources.