June 05, 2020

Gordon Turriff, QC passed away on June 3, 2020, after a long and courageous struggle with cancer. Following a clerkship with Chief Justice Nathan Nemetz, Turriff articled with Shrum Liddle & Hebenton and was called to the bar in 1975. A few years later, he took a position as assistant professor in the Faculty of Law at UBC, before serving as district registrar of the Supreme Court of British Columbia for three years. Upon his return to the practice of law, Turriff became the foremost expert on the financial relationship between lawyers and their clients, disputes over costs, and remuneration for other professionals, including fiduciaries. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002.

As a Bencher and President of the Law Society, Turriff was a leader in ensuring the Law Society was focused on the public interest, and he articulated how this included the right of members of the public to independent lawyers. He dedicated his term as President, which coincided with the 125th anniversary of the Society’s incorporation, by travelling around the province to speak to lawyers and public audiences about the importance of the independence of the bar and how self-governance of lawyers is not a privilege granted by government but a right that protects the public through regulation that is independent from the state. His many contributions to the Law Society and legal profession made a deep impact. He will be missed.