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 composed 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 committees and task forces is available at Committee and Task Force Reports.

Committees

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.

Terms of Reference | Mandate letter (committee #1) | Mandate letter (committee #2)

Committee #1

Paul Barnett (Chair)
Jennifer Chow, KC
Paul Pearson
Daniele D. Poulin
Mark Rushton

Committee #2

Geoffrey G.R. McDonald (Chair)
Dr. Jan Lindsay
Georges Rivard
Puneet Sandhar
Gurminder S. Sandhu

Staff liaison

Sarah M.R. Conroy

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.

Terms of reference | Mandate letter

Steven R. McKoen, KC (Chair)
Kim Carter (Vice-chair)
Nicole Danjai Freeborn Bresser
Cheryl D'Sa
Lisa H. Dumbrell
Geoffrey G.R. McDonald
Paul E. Pearson
Kelly H. Russ
Sarah M. Westwood

Staff contacts

Geoff Howes
Lesley Small

Publications

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

The Discipline Committee reviews complaints about lawyers, former lawyers, visiting lawyers, articled students and practitioners of foreign law and determines whether a disciplinary response is warranted. The committee is composed of lawyer Benchers, Appointed Benchers, and one or more non-Bencher lawyers. When considering the appropriate disposition of a complaint, the Discipline Committee is guided by the Conduct Assessment and Disposition Guidelines. The committee may refer the matter back for further investigation, take no further action on the complaint, send the subject lawyer a conduct letter, require the subject lawyer to attend a conduct meeting or a conduct review, or authorize the issuance of a citation. The Discipline Committee may also refer a matter to the Practice Standards Committee. In addition, the committee determines various applications made under the Rules or referred by the President.

Terms of reference | Mandate letter

Brook J. Greenberg, KC (Chair)
Barbara Stanley, KC (Vice-chair)
Tanya Chamberlain
Jeevyn Dhaliwal, KC
Katrina M.L. Harry
Dr. Jan Lindsay
Michèle Ross
Marnie Westbury
Kevin Westell

Staff contact

Natasha Dookie

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.

Terms of reference | Mandate letter

Lisa J. Hamilton, KC (Chair)
Christopher A. McPherson, KC (Vice-chair)
Jeevyn Dhaliwal, KC
Brook J. Greenberg, KC
Sasha Hobbs
Jacqueline G. McQueen, KC
Michael F. Welsh, KC

Staff contact

Avalon Bourne
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.

Terms of Reference | Mandate letter

Jeevyn Dhaliwal, KC (Chair)
Christopher A. McPherson, KC (Vice-chair)
Paul Barnett
Lisa J. Hamilton, KC (ex-officio)
Clifford Proudfoot, KC
Thomas L. Spraggs
Guangbin Yan

Staff contact

Andrea Langille
Jeanette McPhee

 

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.

Terms of reference | Mandate letter

Jacqueline G. McQueen, KC (Chair)
Todd C. Harvey
Michael James Kleisinger
Lindsay R. LeBlanc
Natasha Tony
Sarah M. Westwood
Gaynor C.C. Yeung

Staff contact

Carolyn Anderson
Natasha Dookie

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.

Terms of reference | Mandate letter

Lisa H. Dumbrell (Chair)
Kevin Westell (Vice-chair)
Tanya Chamberlain
Jennifer Chow, KC
The Honourable Thomas Cromwell
Brian B. Dybwad
Mark K. Gervin
Guangbin Yan

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.

Terms of reference | Mandate letter

Cheryl D’Sa (Chair)
Gaynor C.C. Yeung (Vice-chair)
Paul Barnett
Beatriz Contreras
Lindsay R. LeBlanc
Linda I. Parsons, KC
Gurminder S. Sandhu
Natasha Tony

Staff contact

Andrea Hilland, KC
Jennifer Chan

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

Terms of reference | Mandate letter

Jacqueline G. McQueen, KC (Chair)
Michael F. Welsh, KC (Vice-chair)
Jon Festinger, KC
Georges Rivard
The Honourable Marshall Rothstein, KC
Marko Vesely
Sarah M. Westwood

Staff contact

Lance Cooke

Mandate letter

Michael F. Welsh, KC (Chair)
Cristie L. Ford
Dr. Jan Lindsay
Caroline Nevin
Michѐle Ross
Shannon N. Salter

Staff contact

Lesley Small

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.

See also: Why Reconciliation Matters

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.

Terms of reference | Mandate letter

Katrina M.L. Harry (Co-chair)
Christopher A. McPherson, KC (Co-chair)
Brian B. Dybwad
Kelly H. Russ
Barbara Stanley, KC
Michael F. Welsh, KC
Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, KC

Staff Contacts

Andrea Hilland, KC
Jennifer Chan

Publications

Indigenous Framework Report, submitted by the Committee and approved by Benchers on September 23, 2022
July 2018: Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan

Task Forces and Working Groups

In order to ensure that the unique needs of Indigenous peoples are addressed in the Law Society’s regulatory process, the Law Society has established an Indigenous Engagement in Regulatory Matters Task Force to review its rules and procedures. The review is part of the strategic plan and recommendations in the Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan to identify and remove systemic barriers for Indigenous people in the Act, Rules and BC Code.

Terms of reference | Mandate letter
Work plan

Christopher A. McPherson, KC (Co-chair)
Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, KC (Co-chair)
Lisa H. Dumbrell
Leah B.M. Fontaine, KC
Brittany Goud
Sasha Hobbs
Thomas L. Spraggs

Staff contacts

Andrea Hilland, KC
Jennifer Chan

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.

Terms of reference | Mandate letter

Steven R. McKoen, KC (Chair)
Brook J. Greenberg, KC (Vice-chair)
Katrina M.L. Harry
Sasha Hobbs
Michelle S. Lawrence
Jacqueline G. McQueen, KC
Caroline Nevin
Thomas L. Spraggs
Katie Sykes

Staff contact

Alison Luke

Recent reports

Recommendation to Develop a Competence Based System for lawyer licensing, submitted from the task force and approved by Benchers on September 23, 2022.

A Competence-Based System for Lawyer Licensing in British Columbia, submitted to the task force by Jordan Furlong, May 2022.

Lawyer Development Task Force Report on exploring the development of alternatives to articling, September 2020

The Mental Health Task Force was established in January 2018 with a mandate to:

  • identify ways to reduce the stigma of mental health issues; and
  • develop an integrated mental health review concerning regulatory approaches to discipline and admissions.

Terms of reference | Mandate letter

Brook J. Greenberg, KC (Chair)
Kim Carter
Cheryl D'Sa
Phil Dwyer
The Honourable Madam Justice Nitya Iyer
Derek C. LaCroix, KC
Christopher A. McPherson, KC
Kendra F. Milne
The Honourable Patricia E. Stark

Staff contacts

Michael Lucas, KC
Alison Luke

The Trust Review Task Force was established in July 2022 with a mandate to :

  • consider recommendations of the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering regarding the handling of trust funds and management of trust accounts by lawyers; and
  • assess the current trust accounting rules and related requirements, such as client identification and verification, against the objectives of those rules and any concerns expressed about the rules and their enforcement.

Terms of Reference

Brook Greenberg, KC, Chair
Richard Bell
James Fraser
Graham Fulton
Lindsay LeBlanc
Joan Letendre
Cheryl Martin
Michѐle Ross
Kevin Westell

Staff contacts

Jeanette McPhee
Eva Theiss
Michael Lucas, KC