Law Society committees have specialized roles that carry out many of the regulatory functions of the Law Society and assist with policy development.

Committees and task forces are comprised of Benchers and lawyers from all over BC, all of whom volunteer their time to the Law Society.

An archive of reference resources produced and compiled by past committees and task forces is available here.

Committees

The Act and Rules Committee recommends amendments to the Legal Profession Act and Law Society Rules.

Elizabeth J. Rowbotham (Chair)
Barbara Cromarty (Vice-Chair)
Julianne K. Lamb, QC 
Geoffrey G.R. McDonald  

Staff contact

Jeff Hoskins, QC

The Complainants' Review Committees reviews the case files of complainants who are dissatisfied with dismissal of their complaints following a review by Law Society staff, see Law Society Rules 3-13 to 3-14.

Committee #1

W. Martin Finch, QC  (Chair)
Mark Rushton
Puneet Sandhar
Karen L. Snowshoe
Chelsea Wilson

Committee #2

Claire Marshall  (Chair)
Barbara Cromarty 
Lisa R. Feinberg 
Geoffrey G.R. McDonald
Daniele D. Poulin  

Staff liaison

Karen Mok

The Credentials Committee is responsible for overseeing the enrolment, education, examination and call to the bar of articled students, the transfer of lawyers to BC and the reinstatement of former lawyers. When the character or fitness of an applicant for admission, readmission or transfer needs to be addressed, the committee considers the application directly or orders a formal credentials hearing. The committee is also responsible for reviewing applications relating to a student's failed standing in PLTC and for considering any matters arising from the articling system. The committee further assists the Benchers in setting credentials policy and ensuring that this policy is adhered to and assists in credentials program planning, evaluation and budget. For more on this committee, see Law Society Rules 2-50 to 2-104.

Jeevyn Dhaliwal, QC (Chair)
Mark Rushton (Vice-Chair) 
Pinder K. Cheema, QC
Michelle Casavant
Lisa R. Feinberg 
Lisa C. Fong, QC
Thomas L. Spraggs  

Staff contact

Lesley Small

Publications

May 2017: Program Review of the National Committee on Acreditation for the Federation of Law Societies

The Discipline Committee reviews complaints concerning lawyers or articled students that are referred by Law Society staff, the Complainants' Review Committee or any other committee. The Discipline Committee may dismiss a complaint, instruct staff to make further investigation, order a conduct review of a lawyer or recommend that a citation for a formal hearing be issued against a lawyer. The committee also considers conditional admissions of discipline violations. For more on this committee, see Part 4 of the Law Society Rules.

Jasmin Z. Ahmad, QC (Chair)
Claire Marshall (Vice-Chair)
Barbara Cromarty 
Karen L. Dawson 
Lisa J. Hamilton, QC 
Julianne K. Lamb, QC 
Elizabeth J. Rowbotham 
Marnie Westbury

Staff contact

Natasha Dookie

The Ethics Committee identifies current professional responsibility issues and makes recommendations on changes to the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia (formerly called the Professional Conduct Handbook) for consideration by the Benchers. The Committee also interprets existing Code rules, gives advice to individual lawyers and publishes opinions to the profession at large on matters of professional responsibility.

Pinder K. Cheema, QC (Chair)
W. Martin Finch, QC (Vice-chair)
Brook J. Greenberg
Sasha Hobbs
Thomas L. Spraggs
Michelle D. Stanford, QC
K. Michael Stephens
Marko Vesely
Chelsea Wilson

Staff contact

Lance Cooke

The Executive Committee consists of the President, the First and Second Vice-Presidents, the Second Vice-President-elect, three other Benchers elected from among the Benchers as a whole and one Appointed Bencher elected from among the Appointed Benchers.

The responsibilities of the Executive Committee include assisting the Benchers and the Executive Director in establishing relative priorities for the assignment of Society financial, staff and volunteer resources and planning Bencher meetings. For more on this committee, see Law Society Rules 1-48 to 1-49.

Craig Ferris, QC  (Chair)
Dean P.J. Lawton, QC  (Vice-Chair)
Jeevyn Dhaliwal, QC 
Lisa J. Hamilton, QC 
Steven R. McKoen, QC 
Christopher A. McPherson, QC 
Mark Rushton

Staff contact

Kerryn Holt

The Finance and Audit Committee provides oversight over the financial affairs of the Law Society. The committee provides recommendations on the annual fees, reviews the annual budgets, and periodically reviews the financial and investment results as needed. In addition, the committee oversees the external audit process, recommends the approval of the audited financial statements to the Benchers, and provides oversight over the internal controls and enterprise risk management of the Law Society.

Dean P.J. Lawton, QC  (Chair)
Lisa J. Hamilton, QC  (Vice-Chair)
Jasmin Z. Ahmad, QC 
Dr. Jan Lindsay 
Guangbin Yan 

Staff contact

Jeanette McPhee
Andrea Langille

 

The Governance Committee assesses the Law Society’s current governance structure and practices to identify any areas for improvement.

Lisa J. Hamilton, QC  (Chair)
Pinder K. Cheema, QC 
Jennifer Chow, QC 
Dr. Jan Lindsay 
Jamie Maclaren, QC 
Linda I. Parsons, QC 
Karen L. Snowshoe

Staff contacts

Adam Whitcombe, QC
Kerryn Holt

The Practice Standards Committee reviews information about lawyers who may have competency-related problems and, when appropriate, orders investigations. The committee recommends ways for lawyers with competency problems to become competent, such as through remedial programs, or restricts them from some areas of practice when necessary to protect the public. The committee also approves programs to assist lawyers to practise more competently and maintain their own competence, and assists the Benchers in setting competency-related policy. For more on the committee, see Law Society Rules 3-15 to 3-25.

Jacqueline G. McQueen  (Chair)
Jennifer Chow, QC  (Vice-Chair)
Jamie Maclaren, QC 
Geoffrey G. R. McDonald  
Chelsea Wilson 
Guangbin Yan 
Heidi Zetzsche

Staff contact

Alan Treleaven

The Unauthorized Practice Committee enforces the Legal Profession Act with respect to all aspects of the practice of law by people who are not lawyers and develops policy recommendations for the Benchers in unauthorized practice matters.

Jamie Maclaren, QC  (Chair)
Elizabeth J. Rowbotham  (Vice-Chair)
Paul Barnett 
Clifford Proudfoot, QC 
Heidi Zetzsche 

Staff contact

Gavin Hoekstra

Advisory Committees

The Access to Justice Advisory Committee monitors developments on issues affecting access to legal services, and reports those developments to the Benchers on a semi-annual basis. The committee advises the Benchers annually on priority planning with respect to access to legal services.

Michelle D. Stanford, QC  (Chair)
Paul Barnett 
The Honourable Thomas Cromwell 
Lisa R. Feinberg 
Claire E. Hunter, QC 
Jacqueline G. McQueen  
Nancy G. Merrill, QC 
Michael F. Welsh, QC 

Staff contact

Doug Munro

The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee monitors developments on issues affecting equity and diversity in the legal profession and the justice system. It reports to the Benchers on those developments and assists the Benchers with priority planning.

Jeevyn Dhaliwal, QC  (Chair)
Guangbin Yan  (Vice-Chair)
Jennifer Chow, QC 
Dr. Jan Lindsay 
Karen L. Snowshoe 
Michael F. Welsh, QC 

Staff contact

Andrea Hilland

Publications

March 2018: Retrospective Analysis of Gender in the Legal Profession in BC (1992-2017)

June 2012: Towards a More Diverse Legal Profession: Better practices, better workplaces, better results

July 2006: Report of the Interpreters Working Group

October 2004: Lawyers with Disabilities: Overcoming Barriers to Equality

April 2000: Addressing Discriminatory Barriers Facing Aboriginal Law Students and Lawyers

The mandate of the Rule of Law and Lawyer Independence Advisory Committee is to advise the Benchers on matters relating to the rule of law and lawyer independence so that the Law Society can ensure:

  • its processes and activities preserve and promote the preservation of the rule of law and the independence and effective self-governance of lawyers; and
  • the legal profession and the public are properly informed about the meaning and importance of the rule of law and how a self-governing profession of independent lawyers supports and is a necessary component of the rule of law.

The Rule of Law and Lawyer Independence Advisory Committee also monitors issues that affect or might affect the independence of lawyers and the rule of law, and develops means by which the Law Society can effectively respond to those issues.

Christopher A. McPherson, QC  (Chair)
W. Martin Finch, QC  (Vice-Chair)
Pinder K. Cheema, QC
Jon Festinger, QC
Geoffrey G. R. McDonald
Jacqueline G. McQueen
The Honourable Marshall Rothstein, QC
Mark Rushton

Staff contact

Michael Lucas, QC

Publications

Statements on Issues that Affect the Rule of Law

In October 2015, the Benchers recognized the importance of the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and urged all lawyers in British Columbia to read the executive summary of the Commission's report.

The Benchers agreed that addressing the findings and recommendations of the report is one of the most critical obligations facing the country and the legal system today. The Law Society continues to work on developing a long-term action plan in collaboration with Indigenous peoples on how best to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action.

In July 2016, the Benchers unanimously endorsed the creation of a permanent Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Committee.

The Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Committee provides guidance and advice to the Law Society on legal issues affecting Indigenous people in the province, including those highlighted in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report and recommendations. The committee monitors and reports to the Benchers on those developments, advises the Benchers on priority planning and develops recommendations and initiatives.

Dean P.J. Lawton, QC  (Co-Chair)
Ardith A. Walkem, QC  (Co-Chair)
Nicole D. Bresser 
W. Martin Finch, QC
Katrina M.L. Harry
Claire Marshall
Michael McDonald, QC
Christopher A. McPherson, QC

Staff Contact

Andrea Hilland

Publications

July 2018: Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan

Task Forces and Working Groups

The Anti-Money Laundering Working Group monitors and advises the Benchers on key matters relating to the state of anti-money laundering strategies and initiatives in British Columbia. This advisory function supports the Law Society’s public interest mandate.

Craig Ferris, QC  (Chair)
Dean P.J. Lawton, QC  (Vice-Chair)
Pinder K. Cheema, QC  
Lisa J. Hamilton, QC  
Steven R. McKoen, QC  
Christopher A. McPherson, QC  

Staff contact

Don Avison, QC

Recognizing that significant change in the legal profession and the delivery of legal services is expected over the next five to 10 years, the Futures Task Force will identify the anticipated changes, consider and evaluate the factors and forces driving those changes, assess the impact on the delivery of legal services to the public, by the profession and on the future regulation of the legal profession in British Columbia, and make recommendations to the Benchers on the implications of the anticipated changes and how the Law Society and the profession might respond to the anticipated changes.

Craig Ferris, QC  (Chair)
Jeevyn Dhaliwal, QC  (Vice-Chair)
Lawrence Alexander 
Lynne M. Charbonneau 
Cristie L. Ford 
Steven R. McKoen, QC 
Katie Sykes 
C. Anthony Wilson, QC

Staff contact

Adam Whitcombe, QC

 

 

The Lawyer Development Task Force (formerly the Lawyer Education Advisory Committee) monitors developments on issues affecting lawyer education in BC, and reports to the Benchers about those developments on a semi-annual basis. The task force advises the Benchers annually on priority planning with respect to the education of lawyers in BC.

Steven R. McKoen, QC  (Chair)
Brook J. Greenberg  (Vice-Chair)
Jasmin Z. Ahmad, QC 
Sasha Hobbs 
Julianne K. Lamb, QC 
Thomas L. Spraggs  
Katie Sykes 

Staff contacts

Alan Treleaven
Alison Luke

The mandate of the Licensed Paralegal Task Force is to:

1) consider and identify opportunities, in consultation with the profession and others, for the delivery of legal services in areas where there is a substantial unmet legal need and the public would benefit from the provision of those services by licensed paralegals; and

2) if the task force identifies areas of legal services where licensed paralegals may meet an unmet legal need:

a. consider the scope of services that would be appropriate for licensed paralegals to provide in relation to the identified areas of legal services;

b. consider what education, qualifications, credentials, experience and insurance would be necessary to enable licensed paralegals to deliver legal services in a competent and ethical manner in the identified areas of legal services; and

c. make recommendations to the Benchers for a regulatory framework that will ensure that licensed paralegals provide legal services in a regulated, competent and ethical manner only in the identified areas of legal services approved by the Law Society.

Trudi L. Brown, QC  (Chair)
Michael F. Welsh, QC  (Vice-Chair)
John-Paul E. Boyd, QC 
Nancy Carter 
David C Dundee 
Jamie Maclaren, QC 
Steven R. McKoen, QC 
Joanna Cranmer Recalma 
Michele Ross 

Staff contact

Michael Lucas, QC

Brook J. Greenberg  (Chair)
Michelle D. Stanford, QC  (Vice-Chair)
Phil Dwyer 
The Honourable Chief Judge Melissa A. Gillespie  
The Honourable Madam Justice Nitya Iyer 
Derek C. LaCroix, QC 
Christopher A. McPherson, QC 
Kendra F. Milne 

Staff contact

Michael Lucas, QC
Alison Luke

To contact the task force, email mentalhealth@lsbc.org.