Notice to the Profession
September 06, 2017

Download a Nomination form.

Election date

An election will be held on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 for Benchers of the Law Society of British Columbia in all districts for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2018 and ending December 31, 2019.

Nominations

To be valid, nominations of candidates for election must be received by the Law Society by 5:00 pm on Friday, October 13, 2017. Each nomination must be signed by two nominators (who are members in good standing and eligible to vote in the relevant district) and must contain the nominee’s consent to the nomination.

 

Nomination forms may be downloaded from the Law Society website at www.lawsociety.bc.ca (see link on the home page under Highlights), or by contacting Amy Tang, Executive Support Administrator, at 604.443.5779 (toll-free 1.800.903.5300) or atang@lsbc.org.

Electronic election

Voting in this year’s election will be done electronically through our secure online voting platform. Information on accessing the online voting platform to vote electronically will be emailed to each eligible member of the Law Society by no later than November 1, 2017. If you are unable to participate by electronic vote, please contact Renee Collins, Manager of Executive Support, at 604.443.5706 (toll-free 1.800.903.5300) or rcollins@lsbc.org.

Law Society Rules

For information on the election of Benchers, see Rules 1-20 through 1-44. The Law Society Rules are available in the Member’s Manual and in the Act, Rules and Code section of the Law Society website. If you have questions about the election process, please contact Renee Collins, Manager of Executive Support, at 604.443.5706 (toll-free 1.800.903.5300) or rcollins@lsbc.org.

Rules 1-22 and 1-23 outline the qualifications required of a candidate for election as a Bencher and the nomination process. Rule 1-21(1) describes the Bencher electoral districts into which the province is divided.

Pursuant to Rule 1-21(2), the number of Benchers to be elected from each district must be reduced by one for each Bencher from that district who holds office as First Vice-President, Second Vice-President or Second Vice-President-elect. Accordingly, the number of Benchers to

be elected from the County of Vancouver (District No. 1) has been reduced from 13 to 12, because First Vice-President Miriam Kresivo, QC is from Vancouver County, and the number of Benchers to be elected from the County of Nanaimo (District No. 3) has been reduced from 1 to 0, because Second Vice-President Nancy Merrill, QC is from Nanaimo County. If Vancouver Bencher Craig Ferris, QC, the Benchers’ nominee for the office of Second Vice-President in 2018, is elected at the Annual General Meeting on October 3, 2017, the number from the County of Vancouver will be further reduced from 12 to 11. Under Rule 1-5(4), these three individuals automatically continue as Benchers until they complete their terms as president.

Roles and duties of the Benchers

The Benchers are the Law Society’s governors. They govern and administer the affairs of the Society in accordance with the Legal Profession Act, set and enforce standards of professional responsibility for lawyers, and preside at discipline and credentials hearings. Benchers can expect their duties to consume four or five full days a month. For more information on the role of the Benchers, see the Law Society website under About Us > Benchers

Election information package

Following the close of nominations on October 13 and by no later than November 1, 2017, information on accessing the online voting platform to vote electronically will be emailed to each eligible member of the Law Society. The online voting platform will also contain candidate photographs (if provided) and links to full profile information.

Candidates’ biographies and election statements on Law Society website

Candidates’ biographical summaries and election statements will be posted on the online voting platform and on the Law Society website at www.lawsociety.bc.ca by November 1, 2017. If you do not have internet access you may request a print copy of the biographical information by contacting Amy Tang at 604.443.5779 (toll-free 1.800.903.5300) or atang@lsbc.org.  

 

Benchers encourage diversity in candidates seeking office

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.