News Release
January 08, 2020

The Law Society has renewed its pool of hearing panel members with the appointment of six new public representatives and seven new members of the legal profession. These individuals will join the 23 continuing and reappointed hearing panel pool members.

The newly appointed adjudicators include Indigenous representation as well as representation from communities throughout the province. The new appointments were made following a province-wide outreach campaign that attracted more than 150 applicants. The Law Society’s search was assisted by a third-party recruitment firm.

Hearing panels adjudicate discipline matters involving lawyers, and examine the fitness and character of individuals applying to be a lawyer. Each discipline and credentials case is heard by a three-person panel comprising one member of the Law Society’s governing board of Benchers, one lawyer who is not a Bencher, and one member of the public who is not a lawyer.

Public representatives on hearing panels is one more way that the Law Society fulfills its mandate to act in the public interest and ensure that hearings are open and transparent. Hearings are open to the public, and decisions are posted on the Decisions page of the Law Society website. For further information about hearing panel pools, visit the Law Society website.


See Backgrounder, attached: Law Society Hearing Panel Pool Members

For further information contact:

David Jordan
Communications Officer





New Appointments, Law Society of BC Hearing Panel Pools

The following new appointments will join the 23 continuing and reappointed Law Society hearing panel pool members, effective January 1, 2020.

Members of the public 

Linda Berg, Burns Lake. Linda Berg is the executive director of the Lake Babine Nation. A member of the Stl’atl’imx Nation, she has served as executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake, and as a panel member of the Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal.

David Dewhirst, Kamloops. David Dewhirst has served on multiple boards, including as director of BC Veterinary Captive Insurance Co. Ltd., and Kamloops Immigrant Services. He also served as vice-president of the College of Veterinarians of BC, and was a client service officer for Service Canada.

Michael Dungey, Ladysmith. Michael Dungey is a retired staff sergeant with the Calgary Police Service. Since his retirement he has served as an appeals commissioner for Alberta Workers Compensation and the public representative for the Professional Conduct Committee for the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses.

Karen Kesteloo, Victoria. Karen Kesteloo is a Chartered Professional Accountant and chairs the Finance/Investment Committee of the College of Chiropractors of BC. She has served on the Victoria Police Board and the Royal Roads University Board of Governors, and chaired multiple board committees at Coast Capital Savings Credit Union.

Cyril Kesten, Sidney. Cyril Kesten recently retired as a professor of education at the University of Regina. He has served on the City of Regina Board of Revision, the Certified Professional Accountants of Saskatchewan, and on the Discipline Committee of the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association.

Ruth Wittenberg, Victoria. Ruth Wittenberg is president of the BC Association of Institutes and Universities. She has served as assistant deputy minister in the Ministries of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development, Education, and Human Resources.`


Catherine Chow, Richmond. Catherine Chow is vice-president and general counsel for Keg Restaurants Ltd. and an adjunct professor at the UBC Allard School of Law. Her practice background is in commercial litigation.

Kimberly Henders Miller, Victoria. Kimberly Henders Miller is a senior Crown counsel with the BC Prosecution Service. She has taught the Advocacy course at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law and has served on multiple committees with the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch.

Andrew Mayes, Cranbrook. Andrew Mayes is deputy regional Crown counsel in Cranbrook, where he supervises nine Crown and eight support staff. He has served as an international prosecutor and international judicial inspector with the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo.

Monique Pongracic-Speier, QC, Vancouver. Monique Pongracic-Speier is a partner at Ethos Law Group LLP, where she practises in the areas of civil law and Aboriginal law. She has served as chair of the CBA (National) International Law Section and has been a member of Lawyers Rights Watch Canada.

William Veenstra, QC, Vancouver. William Veenstra is associate counsel with Jenkins Marzban Logan LLP in Vancouver. He is a past president of the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch, where he served on multiple committees and working groups, including the Truth and Reconciliation Working Group.

Ardith Walkem, QC, Chilliwack. Ardith Walkem is a member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation and has practised in the area of Indigenous law since she was called to the Bar. She is currently a barrister and solicitor with Walkem and Associates Law Corporation.

William Younie, QC, Duncan. William Younie is a partner with Ridgway and Co. Barristers and Solicitors. He is a past president and former member of the board of directors of the Lawyers Assistance Program of BC and a former president of the Cowichan Bar Association.


Continuing Law Society Hearing Panel Pool Members

The following Law Society hearing panel pool members have been reappointed or will continue serving their current appointment term.

Members of the public 

Donald Amos, Sidney

E. Nanette (Nan) Bennett, West Vancouver

Clarence Bolt, Sidney

Carol Gibson, Vancouver

Darlene Hammell, Victoria

John Lane, Cobble Hill

Brendan Matthews, Kamloops

Laura Nashman, Victoria

Lance Ollenberger, Fort St. John

Paul Ruffell, Qualicum Beach

Thelma Siglos, New Westminster

Robert Smith, Surrey


Ralston Alexander, QC, Victoria

Gillian Dougans, Kelowna

Eric Gottardi, Vancouver

Gavin Hume, QC, Vancouver

David Layton, QC, Vancouver

Lindsay R. LeBlanc, Victoria

Bruce LeRose, QC, Trail

H. Nina Purewal, Smithers

Shannon N. Salter, North Vancouver

John Waddell, QC, Victoria  

Sandra Weafer, Vancouver