Notice to the Profession
September 14, 2020

The conclusion of President Craig Ferris, QC’s term on December 31, 2020 and upon Madam Justice Ahmad's recent appointment to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, will create two vacancies for the position of Bencher in the County of Vancouver (District No. 1). Accordingly, pursuant to Rules 1-20(2) and 1-38(1), respectively, a by-election will be held to fill the vacancies.

The by-election will be conducted in accordance with the Legal Profession Act, Law Society Rules 1-20 to 1-44, and the Code of Professional Conduct. There is an expectation that candidates will conduct themselves in a courteous and civil manner. 

Candidate eligibility and nominations

Law Society Rules 1-22 and 1-23 outline the qualifications required of a candidate for election as a Bencher and the nomination process.

Nominations of candidates for election must be received by the Law Society by 5:00 pm on Thursday, October 15, 2020. In light of the current health directives, nomination forms can only be accepted by email to

Nomination forms may be downloaded from the Bencher election page on the Law Society website, or by contacting

Each nomination must be signed by two nominators (who are eligible to vote in District No. 1 [Vancouver County] and are members in good standing) and must contain the nominee’s consent to the nomination.

The two Benchers elected will serve a one-year term commencing January 1, 2021 and ending on December 31, 2021.

Benchers encourage diversity in candidates seeking office

The Benchers believe that the Law Society's mandate to protect the public interest in the administration of justice is best served by leadership from diverse backgrounds and experience. Diversity that brings the skill and richness of talent reflected in the peoples of British Columbia strengthens our legal community and the community at large. All lawyers who meet the qualifications for Bencher and want to contribute to the governance of the profession are encouraged to stand for election. We particularly encourage Indigenous lawyers, racialized lawyers, LGBTQ2+ lawyers, lawyers with disabilities, young lawyers, and those practising predominantly in solicitors' fields to stand for election, as these groups continue to be underrepresented among elected Benchers. Although the Law Society has achieved, and been enriched by, gender parity among its elected Benchers, it continues to encourage women to stand for election as part of its commitment to achieve leadership that is reflective of the face, talents, and strengths of all British Columbians.


The Law Society will use a third-party company, SimplyVoting, to provide online voting for the by-election. No paper ballots will be distributed, and the election will be conducted entirely electronically.

An email communication will be sent to all eligible voters on Friday, October 30, 2020 which will include voting instructions, a randomly generated password, and a link to the voting site. If you are unable to participate by electronic vote, please contact Avalon Bourne, Manager of Governance & Board Relations, at 604.443.5706 (toll-free 1.800.903.5300) or

Candidates’ biographies and election statements

Candidates’ biographical summaries and election statements will be posted on the Bencher election page of the Law Society website and on the SimplyVoting site after the close of nominations on October 15, 2020 and before voting commences on October 30, 2020.

Roles and duties of the Benchers

The Benchers are the Law Society’s volunteer board of governors. They govern and administer the affairs of the Law 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 approximately seven or eight hours per week, four or five full days a month, or 200 hours per year. This is made up of preparation for and attendance at Bencher meetings; committee, task force or working group meetings; and sitting on hearing panels.

For more information, see the Law Society website under About Us > Benchers and the Bencher election page.

Further information

For information on the election of Benchers, see Rules 1-20 to 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 Avalon Bourne, Manager of Governance & Board Relations, at 604.443.5706 (toll-free 1.800.903.5300) or