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.

Pinder K. Cheema, QC (Chair)
Michelle Stanford (Vice-Chair)
Jeevyn Dhaliwal
Geoffrey G.R. McDonald
Michael F. Welsh, QC
C. Anthony Wilson, QC

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)
Anita Dalakoti
Veronica L. Jackson
Claude Richmond
Elizabeth Rowbotham
Heidi Zetzsche

Committee #2

Mark Rushton (Chair)
Nicole L. Cederberg
Pinder K. Cheema, QC
Geoffrey G.R. McDonald

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.

Lisa J. Hamilton, QC (Chair)
Jeffrey T.J. Campbell, QC (Vice-Chair)
Anita Dalakoti
Judith A. Macfarlane
Geoffrey G.R. McDonald
Michael McDonald, QC
Mark Rushton
Michelle Stanford
Karen L. Snowshoe

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.

Christopher A. McPherson, QC (Chair)
Brook J. Greenberg (Vice-Chair)
Jasmin Z. Ahmad
Barbara Cromarty
Michael A. Feder
Roland Krueger, CD
Julianne K. Lamb
Dean P.J. Lawton, QC
Carolynn Ryan
Heidi Zetzsche

Staff contact

Deborah Armour, QC

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.

Craig Ferris, QC (Chair)
Philip A. Riddell (Vice-Chair)
Pinder K. Cheema, QC
Jennifer Chow, QC
Bruno De Vita, QC
Greg DelBigio, QC
Jeevyn Dhaliwal
Claire Marshall
Elizabeth Rowbotham
C. Anthony Wilson, QC

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.

Miriam Kresivo, QC (Chair)
Nancy Merrill, QC (Vice-Chair)
Craig Ferris, QC
Lisa J. Hamilton, QC
Dean P.J. Lawton, QC
Steven R. McKoen
Carolynn Ryan

Staff contact

Kerryn Garvie

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.

Craig Ferris, QC (Chair)
Steven R. McKoen (Vice-Chair)
Lisa J. Hamilton, QC
Peter Kelly
Miriam Kresivo, QC
Roland Krueger, CD
Nancy Merrill, QC

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.

Steven R. McKoen (Chair)
Jamie Maclaren, QC (Vice-Chair)
Haydn Acheson
Lisa J. Hamilton, QC
Carolynn Ryan
C. Anthony Wilson, QC

Staff contacts

Kerryn Garvie

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.

Sarah M. Westwood (Chair)
Steven R. McKoen (Vice-Chair)
Patricia M. Barkaskas
W. Martin Finch, QC
Jamie Maclaren, QC
John D. Waddell, QC
Michael F. Welsh, QC
Guangbin Yan

Staff contact

Arielle Jimenez
Sheila Redel

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.

Carolynn Ryan (Chair)
W. Martin Finch, QC (Vice-Chair)
Barbara Cromarty
Jeevyn Dhaliwal
Heidi Zetzsche

Staff contact

Michael Kleisinger

Advisory Committees

The Access to Legal Services 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.

Jeffrey T.J. Campbell, QC (Chair)
Claire E. Hunter (Vice-Chair)
The Honourable Thomas Cromwell
Brook J. Greenberg
Philip A. Riddell
Michelle Stanford

Staff contact

Doug Munro

The Equity and Diversity 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.

Jasmin Z. Ahmad (Chair)
Brook J. Greenberg (Vice-Chair)
Jennifer Chow, QC
Tina L. Dion, QC
Jamie Maclaren, QC
Linda I. Parsons, QC
Elizabeth Rowbotham
Karen L. Snowshoe
Guangbin Yan

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 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 committee advises the Benchers annually on priority planning with respect to the education of lawyers in BC.

Dean P.J. Lawton, QC (Chair)
Sarah M. Westwood (Vice-Chair)
Barbara Cromarty
Celeste A. Haldane
Rolf Warburton
Michael F. Welsh, QC

Staff contact

Alan Treleaven
Alison Luke

Publications

October 2017: Final CPD Review Report of the Lawyer Education Advisory Committee

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

December 2015: Admission Program Review Report

November 2011: Reconciling Qualifications for Differing Types of Legal Services

December 2010: Report on Professional Education

September 2011: Continuing Professional Development Review and Recommendations

December 2010: Report on Advocacy Education

November 2009: Proposed Program for Accredited Mentoring 

November 2007: Continuing Professional Development

November 2006: Preliminary Report on Mandatory Continuing Professional Development

November 2005: New Firm Practice Course Proposal

March, 2004: Lawyer Education Task Force: First Interim Report

Nancy Merrill, QC (Chair)
Richard C.C. Peck, QC (Vice-Chair)
Odette L. Dempsey-Caputo
Richard S. Fowler, QC
Christopher A. McPherson, QC
Philip A. Riddell
Sarah M. Westwood

Staff contacts

Michael Lucas
Doug Munro

Publications

July 2017: Mandate and terms of reference

March 2017 (Legal Aid Task Force): A Vision for Publicly Funded Legal Aid in British Columbia 

The Recruitment and Nominating Advisory Committee advises the President, the Executive Committee or the Benchers, as appropriate, about potential appointees to other organizations to which the Law Society makes appointments and to Law Society committees, task forces and working groups when appointees other than Benchers are required. The committee actively seeks out well-qualified persons with the requisite character, knowledge, experience, expertise and willingness to serve and fulfill the responsibilities of the appointment.

Miriam Kresivo, QC (Chair)
Nancy Merrill, QC (Vice-Chair)
Jeffrey T.J. Campbell, QC
Craig Ferris, QC
Dean P.J. Lawton, QC
Ardith A. Walkem, QC
Sarah M. Westwood

Staff contact

Kerryn Garvie

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.

Jeffrey T.J. Campbell, QC (Chair)
Christopher A. McPherson, QC (Vice-Chair)
Jennifer Chow, QC
Jeevyn Dhaliwal
Jon Festinger, QC
Leah Dolores George
The Honourable Marshall Rothstein, QC
Mark Rushton

Staff contact

Michael Lucas

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.

Grand Chief Edward John (Co-Chair)
Nancy Merrill, QC (Co-Chair)
John Borrows
Craig Ferris, QC
Dean P.J. Lawton, QC
Claire Marshall
Michael McDonald, QC
Ardith A. Walkem, QC

Staff Contact

Andrea Hilland

Publications

July 2018: Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan

Task Forces and Working Groups

Miriam Kresivo, QC (Chair)
Jeffrey T.J. Campbell, QC (Vice-Chair)
Craig Ferris, QC
Lisa J. Hamilton, QC
Nancy Merrill, QC

Staff contact
Doug Munro
Sheila Redel

Dean P.J. Lawton, QC (Chair)
Barbara Cromarty
Roland Krueger, CD
Jamie Maclaren, QC
Philip A. Riddell

Staff contact
Lance Cooke

When the Legal Profession Act was amended in 2012, the Law Society was given the authority to regulate “law firms” in addition to its authority to regulate individual lawyers. “Law firm” is defined as “a legal entity or combination of legal entities carrying on the practice of law.” The Law Firm Regulation Task Force has been created and given a mandate to recommend a framework for the regulation of law firms.

Steven R. McKoen (Chair)
Jasmin Z. Ahmad (Vice-Chair)
W. Martin Finch, QC
William S. Maclagan, QC
Angela R. Westmacott, QC
Henry C. Wood, QC

Staff contact

Michael Lucas
Alison Luke

Brook Greenberg (Chair)
Michelle Stanford (Vice-Chair)
Derek C. LaCroix, QC
Christopher A. McPherson, QC
Carolynn Ryan

Staff contact
Michael Lucas
Alison Luke

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