News Release
December 08, 2017

Vancouver, December 8, 2017 The Law Society of British Columbia announces the appointment of Donald Avison as its new executive director and chief executive officer, beginning January 1, 2018.

Avison brings a wide-ranging background of legal, policy, regulatory and leadership experience to draw from as he drives forward in implementing the Law Society’s newly adopted strategic plan. He has been a lawyer and deputy minister, and he served for 10 years as president and general counsel of the University Presidents’ Council of BC. He also has extensive board experience and currently provides advice on board governance and practice.

Avison has appeared before all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada where he was counsel or co-counsel for the attorney general of Canada in cases involving interpretation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Avison has experience in the regulatory field as a consulting board member for the BC Oil and Gas Commission, and as board chair of the Centre for Drug Research and Development. He also authored a 2010 report on the BC College of Teachers, which probed issues of independence and the importance of acting in the public interest to ensure public confidence in the regulator.


Herman Van Ommen, QC, president of the Law Society:

“We are fortunate to have Mr. Avison joining the Law Society. He is the right choice to build upon our success as a leading, proactive regulator and to help us make further progress toward truth and reconciliation, contribute to improving access to justice, and speak with a strong, clear voice on issues that affect the public we serve.”

Donald Avison, incoming Law Society executive director and chief executive officer:

“I am honoured by the opportunity to contribute my vision and leadership to how the Law Society achieves its responsibilities as a regulator of the legal profession and voice for the public on justice issues.”

The Law Society regulates the more than 11,000 practising lawyers in the province. It does so by setting standards of professional responsibility for BC lawyers and articled students, and by upholding those standards through a complaints and discipline process. These standards and processes are important to maintain public confidence and trust in lawyers, and to ensure the public is well-served by a competent, honourable legal profession.


For further information contact:

David Jordan
Communications Officer


Vinnie Yuen
Communications Officer