Notice to the Profession
September 07, 2017

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Registration: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm PDT (Vancouver and online); 11:45 am – 12:30 pm PDT (other locations)

Call to order: 12:30 pm PDT

Main location: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, The Panorama Roof, 900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver

Audio-conference locations: Victoria • Nanaimo • Abbotsford • Castlegar • Cranbrook • Kelowna • Prince George • Fort St. John • Prince Rupert • Smithers • Terrace • Kamloops

Online attendance:

BC lawyers and articled students are invited to attend the next Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Law Society, which will be held on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. The main venue will be in Vancouver, linked by audio-conference to the 12 other locations.


Electronic participation

Electronic participation at AGMs has been implemented progressively over the last two years, starting in 2015 with webcasting, followed by electronic distribution of materials in 2016. At the 2016 AGM members authorized a Law Society Rule amendment allowing for electronic voting at future meetings. This year, members have the option of attending the meeting via the webcast and voting online for the resolutions.

To attend the meeting via webcast and to vote online:

  • Between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm PDT on October 3, go to the Law Society website ( and log in to the Member Portal. You will need your surname and password to log in. If you have forgotten your password, click the link “forgot your password” located under the password box. If you have difficulty logging in, please contact Members Services at
  • Click on the link to 2017 AGM and follow the instructions to access the webcast and secure eBallot online website.
  • To vote on resolutions, follow voting instructions on the online ballot.


You may register to attend the meeting either in person or electronically, but not both. If attending in person, please register on arrival to obtain your voting card. You may be asked for identification. Only Law Society of BC members in good standing (whether practising, non-practising or retired) will be eligible to vote at the meeting. If you have already registered electronically, you will be unable to register in person at an AGM location; if you have registered at a location, you will be unable to register electronically. Please see page 5 for venue and fast track pre-registration information.

Business of the meeting

The business of the 2017 Annual General Meeting will be the following:

  • Election of Second Vice-President for 2018
  • Benchers’ report of proceedings since last meeting
  • Appointment of Law Society auditors for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2017 (Resolution 1);
  • Benchers resolution: Elected Bencher requirements

Election of Second Vice-President for 2018

Each year at the AGM, a Bencher is elected by the attending members to serve as Second Vice-President for the following year, pursuant to Law Society Rule 1-19. The Benchers are pleased to announce their nomination of Craig Ferris, QC to serve as Second Vice-President in 2018, and invite the profession to support Mr. Ferris’ nomination.

Pursuant to Rule 1-5(2), the Second Vice-President for 2018 will be First Vice-President in 2019 and President in 2020.


Craig Ferris, QC
Craig Ferris, QC

Craig Ferris, QC practises commercial litigation with Lawson Lundell LLP. His areas of specialization include shareholder remedies, trust, pension and fiduciary disputes, securities and transactional litigation, mining disputes and real estate litigation.

Elected a Bencher for 2014, Craig is currently Chair of the Ethics Committee, Rule of Law and Lawyer Independence Advisory Committee, Early Intervention Working Group and Insurance Subcommittee, Vice-Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee and a member of the Executive Committee. He has also served as a conduct review panel member.

Craig has served a number of other organizations in the legal community: as counsel for the CBA, Proceeds of Crime Appeal; trial advocacy instructor at UBC; speaker at CLE (torts, pensions), Federated Press and other organizations; and as mentor to associates and principal to students. He is a long-time volunteer for Access Pro Bono and is a member of his firm’s Executive.

In the community, Craig serves as a director of Bard on the Beach Society. He formerly was a member of Bard on the Beach Capital Campaign, coach of Kerrisdale Little League and Kerrisdale Soccer, and a member of St. Mary’s Church Parish Council in Kerrisdale. He is an active runner, having completed 14 marathons.


Benchers’ report: Proceedings since last meeting

Pursuant to Rule 1-8(4), on behalf of the Benchers President Herman Van Ommen, QC will provide a brief outline of Law Society proceedings since October, 2016.


At this AGM, members are asked to vote on the following resolutions:

Resolution 1: Appointment of Law Society auditors for 2017

BE IT RESOLVED that PricewaterhouseCoopers be appointed as the Law Society auditors for the year ending December 31, 2017.

Resolution 2: Elected Bencher requirements

WHEREAS Rule 1-22(1)(b) requires that a candidate for elected Bencher must have been a member of the Law Society in good standing for at least seven years;

AND WHEREAS the Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee has reported to the Benchers that that provision acts as a systemic barrier to a large number of lawyers in the province;

AND WHEREAS the Benchers resolved to recommend to the members at the Annual General Meeting that that provision should be removed;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Benchers are authorized to rescind Rule 1-22(1)(b).

Note: Section 12 of the Legal Profession Act requires the approval of two-thirds of members voting in a general meeting or referendum before the Benchers can make rule changes with respect to certain matters, including eligibility to be elected and serve as a Bencher.


Following a recommendation of the Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee, in December of 2016, the Benchers voted to recommend the removal of the requirement that lawyers have at least seven years of call to the bar before seeking nomination in Bencher elections. Removal of this requirement is meant to facilitate the participation of newly called lawyers in Law Society governance and improve Bencher diversity.

November 15, 2017 Bencher general election

A Bencher general election will be held on November 15, 2017. The two-year term of the newly elected Benchers will commence January 1, 2018. A notice of election and call for nominations has been emailed to the profession and a nomination form is available for download from the home page of the Law Society website at Under the Law Society Rules, each nomination must be signed by two members in good standing who are eligible to vote in the relevant district, and must be received by the Law Society by October 13, 2017.

The Law Society has been working toward implementation of fully electronic Bencher elections with the goal of increasing accessibility and participation. Following the 2015 AGM members’ resolution approving implementation of electronic voting for Bencher elections, optional electronic voting was introduced in last year’s Vancouver County by-election, and a fully electronic by-election was successfully implemented in Kootenay County earlier this year. This Bencher general election will be conducted wholly electronically. Members will receive electronic notices by email with instructions on how to access the secure voting platform. Voting instructions will also be posted on our website at, and assistance will be available throughout the voting period.

The Benchers note that Indigenous lawyers, solicitors, visible minority lawyers, women lawyers, LGBTQ lawyers, lawyers with disabilities and young lawyers continue to be under-represented among elected Benchers. All lawyers who meet the qualifications for Bencher and want to contribute to the governance of the profession are encouraged to stand for election, but Indigenous lawyers, visible minority lawyers, women lawyers, LGBTQ lawyers, lawyers with disabilities, young lawyers and those practising predominantly in solicitors’ fields are particularly encouraged to do so. The Benchers believe that the Law Society’s mandate to protect the public interest in the administration of justice will be best served by leadership from diverse backgrounds and experience.



2017 Annual General Meeting locations / pre-registration

Law Society members attending a location are encouraged to use the fast track pre-registration form (available on the Law Society website at – access Portal Resources via MEMBER PORTAL) to specify the meeting location you plan to attend. Email us at regarding any meeting access / support needs or AGM questions you may have. Please note: pre-registration is only available for in-person attendance at AGM locations.



(a light lunch will be available at all AGM locations)

No. 1 - Vancouver


Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, The Panorama Roof
900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC

No. 2 - Victoria


Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour, Pacific B Room
728 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC

No. 3 - Nanaimo


Vancouver Island Conference Centre, Departure Bay A&B
101 Gordon Street, Nanaimo, BC

No. 4 - Westminster


Quality Hotel & Conference Centre, Mt. Baker Room
36035 North Parallel Road, Abbotsford, BC

No. 5 - Kootenay


Super 8 Castlegar, Boardroom
651 – 18th Street, Castlegar, BC


Best Western Cranbrook Hotel, DW Kroeker Room
1019 Cranbrook Street North, Cranbrook, BC

No. 6 - Okanagan


Coast Capri Hotel, Vineyard Room – Section 4
1171 Harvey Avenue, Kelowna, BC

No. 7 - Cariboo

Prince George

Ramada Inn Prince George, Dogwood Room
444 George Street, Prince George, BC

Fort St. John

North Peace Culture Centre, Multi-Purpose Room
10015 – 100th Avenue, Fort St. John, BC

No. 8 - Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert

Crest Hotel, Harbour Room
222 – 1st Avenue West, Prince Rupert, BC


3711 Alfred Avenue, Smithers, BC


Best Western Plus Terrace Inn, Chinook Room
4553 Greig Avenue, Terrace, BC

No. 9 - Kamloops


Double Tree by Hilton Kamloops, Coquihalla Room
339 St. Paul Street, Kamloops, BC