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

After it reviews the file and pursuant to Law Society Rule 3-14, the committee can adjourn the review and to make enquiries of the complainant, the lawyer or any other person, confirm the decision to take no further action, refer the complaint to the Practice Standards Committee or the Discipline Committee or direct the Executive Director to conduct further investigation of the complaint to determine its validity.

Terms of Reference

Committee #1

Georges Rivard (Chair)
Tanya Chamberlain
Cheryl D'Sa, KC
Dr. Jan Lindsay
Mark Rushton

Committee #2

Timothy J. Delaney (Chair)
Paul Barnett
Jennifer Chow, KC
Ravi R. Hira , KC
Daniele D. Poulin

Staff contact

Carolyn Anderson

Admin support

Ashleigh Fasken

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 

Michael F. Welsh, KC (Chair)
Gurminder S. Sandhu, KC (Vice-Chair)
Simran Bains
Nikki Charlton
Christina Cook
Jay Michi
Elisabeth A. Sadowski

Staff contacts

Geoff Howes
Lesley Small

Admin support

Bonnie Bernal
Sherise Furse

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 

Michèle Ross (Chair)
Barbara Stanley, KC (Vice-Chair)
David Allard
Sasha Hobbs
Thomas L. Spraggs
Kevin B. Westell
Craig M. Yamashiro

Staff contact

Natasha Dookie

Admin support

Leah Ensing

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 

Jeevyn Dhaliwal, KC (Chair)
Jennifer Chow, KC
Brook J. Greenberg, KC
Lindsay R. LeBlanc, KC
Michèle Ross
Thomas L. Spraggs
Michael F. Welsh, KC

Staff contact

Avalon Bourne
Kerryn Holt

Admin support

Rebecca Neal

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 

Brook J. Greenberg, KC (Chair)
Lindsay R. LeBlanc, KC (Vice-Chair)
Jeevyn Dhaliwal, KC
Hardeep S. Gill
Dr. Jan Lindsay
Clifford Proudfoot, KC
James Struthers

Staff contact

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 

Gaynor C.C. Yeung (Chair)
Brian B. Dybwad (Vice-Chair)
Jennifer Chow, KC
Timothy J. Delaney
Michael J. Kleisinger
James Struthers
Natasha Tony

Staff contact

Carolyn Anderson
Natasha Dookie

Admin support

Sally Canosa

Advisory Committees

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 

Natasha Tony (Chair)
Gurminder S. Sandhu, KC (Vice-Chair)
Simran Bains
Aleem S. Bharmal, KC
Tanya Chamberlain
David How
James A.S. Legh
Jaspreet S. Malik

Staff contact

Alison Luke

Admin support

Deborah Mah

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

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 

Lindsay R. LeBlanc, KC (Co-Chair)
Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, KC (Co-Chair)
Christina Cook
Brian B. Dybwad
Brook J. Greenberg, KC
Sasha Hobbs
Benjamin D. Levine
Jonathan Yuen

Staff contacts

Vicki George
Fiona McFarlane

Admin support

Deborah Mah

Publications

Indigenous Framework Report (September 2022)
Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan (July 2018)

Task Forces

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 

Cheryl D'Sa, KC (Chair)
Kevin B. Westell (Vice-Chair)
Drew J. Beesley
Janine L. Benedet, KC
Sasha Hobbs
Michelle S. Lawrence
Thomas L. Spraggs
Katie Sykes

Staff contact

Aara Johnson
Lesley Small

Admin support

Anna Lin

Recent reports

Recommendation for Mandatory Principal Training Program, submitted to Benchers on April 20, 2023. 

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 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 J. Greenberg, KC (Chair)
Lindsay R. LeBlanc, KC (Vice-Chair)
Richard H. Bell
Aleem S. Bharmal, KC
James K. Fraser
Graham Fulton
Joan Letendre
Benjamin D. Levine
Ryan Rosenberg
Michèle Ross

Staff contacts

Jeanette McPhee
Eva Theiss
Michael D. Lucas, KC

Admin support

Amanda Kerr