News Release
September 07, 2017

Vancouver, September 7, 2017 – The Law Society sets standards of professional responsibility for BC lawyers and articled students, and upholds those standards through a complaints and discipline process. These standards and processes are important to maintain public confidence and trust in lawyers. Accordingly, the Law Society has ordered that lawyer Donald Franklin Gurney of West Vancouver be suspended for six months starting November 1, 2017.

In May 2017, the Law Society found that Gurney committed professional misconduct by using his trust account to receive and disburse a total of $25,845,489.87 on behalf of a corporate client without making reasonable inquiries about the circumstances and without providing any substantial legal services.

The recent decision on disciplinary action requires that, in addition to the suspension, Gurney must relinquish to the Law Society the $25,845 he was paid for the use of his trust account so that he does not benefit financially from his misconduct. Upon his return to practice, Gurney will also be subject to conditions, including that he report promptly to the Trust Regulation Department any trust transaction involving a remitter, beneficiary or receiving financial institution not located in Canada.

In deciding on the appropriate disciplinary action, the hearing panel considered the range of penalties imposed in similar cases and the need for specific and general deterrence. Written reasons for the decision are available here.

The Law Society of British Columbia upholds and protects the public interest in the administration of justice by ensuring the independence, integrity and competence of lawyers, establishing education and professional development standards for lawyers, regulating the practice of law and preserving and protecting the rights and freedoms of all persons.


For further information contact:

David Jordan
Communications Officer


Vinnie Yuen
Communications Officer