News Release
April 09, 2015

Vancouver, April 9, 2015 – The Law Society is a proud sponsor of 2015 Law Week, which is an opportunity for the public to learn about law and the institutions that form the cornerstones of the legal system. To celebrate Law Week, between April 12 and April 18, 2015 the Law Society is making its senior staff available for interviews with the media.

In keeping with the theme for Law Week – Access to Justice: What does it mean to you? – the Law Society’s First Vice-President David Crossin, QC and Second Vice-President Herman Van Ommen, QC will be able to speak about the numerous Law Society initiatives and programs that aim to improve access to justice in BC, including:

Unbundling – Many lawyers offer to help clients with part of a case, instead of an entire case, which can reduce legal fees.

Diversity – A lack of diversity at the bar can hinder access to legal services and advice. The Law Society has a number of programs to address this issue.

Paralegals – Since 2012, paralegals have been able to perform additional duties. A pilot project is also currently underway in BC giving designated paralegals a limited right of appearance in court.

Rural access – The Law Society’s Rural Education and Access to Lawyers initiative aims to address the shortage of lawyers in smaller communities.

Articled students – The Law Society allows articled students to provide all legal services that a lawyer is permitted to provide, with some exceptions, which can help reduce legal fees.

Legal services and the future – What’s next for the legal profession in BC? The Law Society is looking forward to helping the public access legal services and advice, including the potential for establishing a new group of legal service providers.

To secure interviews for Law Week, please contact a member of the Law Society’s communications department. Contact information is at the bottom of the media advisory.


First Vice-President David Crossin, QC

David was called to the bar in British Columbia in 1977. He joined the partnership of Sugden, McFee & Roos LLP in 2007 and practices litigation in the areas of commercial, criminal and administrative law. He has appeared at all levels of court in British Columbia, and the Supreme Court of Canada. Elected a Bencher in 2009, David is currently Chair of the Rule of Law and Lawyer Independence Advisory Committee, Vice-chair of the Executive Committee and Legal Services Regulatory Framework Task Force, and a member of the Appointments Subcommittee, Discipline Committee, Finance and Audit Committee and Litigation Subcommittee.

Second Vice-President Herman Van Ommen, QC 

Herman Van Ommen, QC practises corporate commercial litigation at McCarthy Tétrault in Vancouver where he is the Regional Managing Partner. He was called to the bar in 1985 while at Shrum Liddle & Hebenton, the predecessor firm. A Bencher since 2009, Herman is currently Chair of the Ethics Committee and Law Firm Regulation Task Force, and a member of the Appointments Subcommittee, Executive Committee, Finance and Audit Committee, Governance Committee, Litigation Subcommittee and Regulation and Insurance Working Group.


For further information or to arrange an interview contact:

Ryan-Sang Lee
Communications Officer

Taylore Ashlie
Director, Communications and Knowledge Management