News Release
August 27, 2008

VANCOUVER – The Law Society of British Columbia is satisfied that criminal charges have been laid against Martin Wirick for the misappropriation of real estate and mortgage funds.

The Law Society disbarred Wirick in 2002, after receiving information about the misdirection of funds in several real estate transactions. The society took immediate steps to protect the victims and approved nearly $40 million in compensation to people and organizations affected.

"The Law Society went to great lengths to protect the public interest in this case," said John J.L. Hunter, QC, President of the Law Society. "We have provided $38.4 million in compensation to victims, we disbarred Mr. Wirick, and we adopted new rules and guidelines to help prevent this from ever happening again.

"As a result of the actions of the Law Society and its members, not one of the hundreds of these innocent homeowners lost their homes," said Hunter.

As part of the new rules and regulations, the Law Society has strengthened its Trust Assurance Program, which includes new reporting requirements for lawyers, enhanced rules regulating the handling of trust funds, and an in-field audit program for regular and spot audits to ensure compliance.

Founded in 1869, the Law Society of BC is the governing body of the legal profession in BC. Under the provisions of the Legal Profession Act, the Law Society is responsible for the licensing, professional conduct and discipline of the more than 10,000 lawyers in BC.

Media contacts:

Dana Bales, Communications Officer
Law Society of BC

Cara McGregor, Communications Officer
Law Society of BC