2023 Annual General Meeting –Second Notice

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Call to order: 12:30 pm PDT

Meeting location: Virtual meeting via Zoom webinar

Advance Online Voting

Pursuant to Rule 1-13.1(1), the Benchers have authorized the Executive Director to permit advance online voting on the 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) resolutions, which will be available from Friday June 9, 2023 until 5:00 pm PDT on Monday, June 26, 2023. Voter credentials and instructions on how to access the voting site will be sent to all eligible voters shortly, and will be displayed in the member portal, following the receipt of this Notice. All resolutions will continue to be available for view and comment within the member portal, throughout the voting period, along with any commentary on the resolutions from Benchers. Only Law Society of BC members in good standing will be eligible to vote and to comment on the resolutions.

Virtual Meeting

Pursuant to Rule 1-9.1, the Executive Committee has directed that the 2023 AGM will be a virtual meeting, and there will not be any physical meeting locations. Members will be able to join, vote, and speak at the meeting virtually.

If you are planning to attend the virtual meeting, you will need to register prior to the meeting. Please register by using the RSVP function available in the Member Portal. Please RSVP by 5:00 pm PDT on Monday, June 26, 2023.

Instructions on how to join the meeting will be sent to all registered members in advance of the meeting.

To watch a live stream of the meeting, go to the Annual General Meeting page on the Law Society website on the day of the meeting, and click on the link to access.

2022 Audited Financial Statements

The Law Society’s audited financial statements for 2022 are now available on the Law Society website.

Business of the Meeting

The business of the 2023 AGM will be as follows:

  • Election of Second Vice-President for 2024
  • Benchers’ report of proceedings since last meeting 
  • Resolution 1: Benchers' Resolution regarding the Appointment of Law Society Auditors for 2023
  • Resolution 2: Member Resolution regarding Inclusion of Persons with Physical Disabilities
  • Resolution 3: Member Resolution regarding Rule 3-10
  • Resolution 4: Member Resolution regarding Climate Change
  • Resolution 5: Member Resolution regarding Request for Referendum
  • Resolution 6: Member Resolution regarding Rule 3-36(1)(b) and Rule 3-37(1)(b)
  • Resolution 7: Member Resolution regarding Parental Leave and Non-Practising Status

Election of Second Vice-President for 2024

Each year at the AGM, a Second Vice-President for the following year is confirmed. Pursuant to Law Society Rule 1-19, if only one candidate is nominated, the President will declare that candidate to be Second-Vice-President-elect. The Benchers are pleased to announce their nomination of Lindsay LeBlanc for Second Vice-President-elect.

Picture1.jpgLindsay R. LeBlanc

Lindsay R. LeBlanc is a partner with the Victoria based firm Cox Taylor and was called to the bar in 2006. Lindsay practices as a solicitor and litigator in the areas of property development, municipal law, wills and estates, complex commercial transactions & litigation and administrative law. 

First elected a Bencher in 2022, Lindsay is Vice-Chair of the Trust Review Task Force and a member of the Executive Committee and Practice Standards Committee. Prior to her election as a Bencher, she served as a member of the non-Bencher LSBC Tribunal hearing panel pool and lectured at PLTC sessions. 

Lindsay has an extensive organizational governance background.  She is an active volunteer in the legal community having recently completed a six-year term as Governor with the Law Foundation of BC, the last two years serving as Chair. She is presently a member of the Supreme Court of BC Rules Committee and a member of CBA committees. In the community, Lindsay served a six-year term as Governor of UVic and continued on as a Director of its property boards along with her present director role on the BC Scholarship Society where she Chairs the Indigenous Scholarship Committee. 

Lindsay is a member of the Métis Nation and was born and raised in Quesnel before moving to Victoria. 

Benchers’ Report: Proceedings since last meeting

Pursuant to Rule 1-8(4), on behalf of the Benchers, President Christopher A. McPherson, KC will provide a brief outline of Law Society proceedings since the 2022 Annual General Meeting.


Resolution 1: Benchers’ Resolution

BE IT RESOLVED that PricewaterhouseCoopers be appointed as the Law Society of British Columbia auditors for the year ending December 31, 2023.

Resolution 2: Member Resolution submitted by Mark-John O'Nions and Katherine Wang (Amended June 5, 2023)

WHEREAS persons with physical disabilities are a diverse group who experience societal barriers in many different ways; and

WHEREAS the Law Society's Report titled, Towards a More Representative Legal Profession: Better practices, better workplaces, better results (2012) recognizes the importance of developing effective strategies to break down unintentional barriers that members of the legal profession may face; and

WHEREAS some members of the legal profession with physical disabilities view that the Law Society and the judicial system are discriminatory against persons with disabilities and fail to provide adequate accommodation; and

WHEREAS a fundamental objective of the Law Society is to promote diversity and ensure adequate representation based on gender, Aboriginal identity, cultural diversity, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity; and

WHEREAS the Diversity Action Plan calls for the Legal Profession Act, the Law Society Rules, and the Code of Professional Conduct and related policies, procedures, and practices to be reviewed for possible improvements that might help to support diversity in the legal profession.

Be it resolved that membership directs the Benchers:

To create an independent task force headed by persons with physical disabilities to review the Legal Profession Act, the Law Society Rules, the Code of Professional Conduct and related policies, procedures, and practices, so that recommendations may be made to improve the Law Society's inclusion of persons with physical disabilities and to break down unintentional barriers that members of the legal profession may face.

Resolution 3: Member Resolution submitted by Mark-John O'Nions and Katherine Wang

WHEREAS pursuant to section 3-2 of the Law Society Rules, any person may deliver a written complaint against a lawyer or law firm to the Executive Director; and

WHEREAS the Credentials department can unilaterally prevent a member from being a principal where the Law Society receives a complaint against a member, in effect terminating an articled student's articles; and

WHEREAS pursuant to section 3-10 of the Law Society Rules, an interim action board may impose conditions or limitations on the practice of a lawyer or on the enrolment of a prospective articled student whose principal is the subject of a written complaint that has yet to be investigated; and

WHEREAS a member can provide a written request to have submissions to the Credentials Committee to reconsider the decision of the Credentials Department; and

WHEREAS it could take several months to have a decision from the Credentials Committee, leaving the articled student without articles and the principal without a student, disrupting the student's education and career as well as the principal's law practice; and

WHEREAS this rule disproportionately affects small firms and sole practitioners, as an articled student may not be able to be transferred to another member in the firm; and

WHEREAS articled students produce valuable work, attend court on behalf of clients, and contribute to the success of law firms and organizations; and

WHEREAS a member of the Law Society is considered of good standing, of good character and repute unless proven otherwise under the Law Society Rules; and

WHEREAS the presumption of innocence is a legal principle that every person is considered innocent until proven otherwise.

Be it resolved that membership directs the Benchers:

To amend section 3-10 of the Law Society Rules and any other appropriate sections of the Law Society Rules from the date of this resolution, revoking an interim action board's right to restrict the enrolment of a prospective articled student whose principal is in good standing with the Law Society.

Resolution 4: Member Resolution submitted by Hasan Alam and Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson


  1. The Supreme Court of Canada (in Reference re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2021 SCC 11) has recognized that:
    1. Global climate change is real and a threat of the highest order to the country and the world, and requires collective national and international action to address;
    2. The effects of climate change have been and will be particularly severe and devastating in Canada, with heightened impacts in coastal regions, Indigenous territories, and the Canadian Arctic; and
    3. The impacts of climate change disproportionately threaten the ability of Indigenous communities in Canada to sustain themselves and maintain their traditional ways of life and laws;
  2. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has confirmed that unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach (2021 IPCC Sixth Assessment Report – The Physical Science Basis), that 1.5°C in near- term will cause unavoidable increases in multiple climate hazards and present multiple risks to ecosystems and humans (2022 IPCC Sixth Assessment Report – Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability), and that there is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all (2023 Synthesis Report);
  3. The Province of British Columbia has enacted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act in 2019 and, in doing so, affirmed that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) applies to the laws of British Columbia, which provides that Indigenous Peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment, the productive capacity of, and spiritual relationships with, their lands or territories and resources, and the protection of Indigenous laws;
  4. Law societies and associations around the world including the American Bar Association, International Bar Association, the Law Council of Australia, the Law Society of England and Wales, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe, Conseil National des Barreaux les Avocats (France), Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil, Japanese Federation of Bar Associations, and in Canada, the Barreau du Québec and Law Society of New Brunswick, have passed climate resolutions, adopted climate statements, created special committees and task forces, and/or issued climate change guidelines for their members, acknowledging that the legal profession has a relevant role to play in addressing climate change locally, nationally and internationally;
  5. Pursuant to the Legal Profession Act, SBC 1998, c 9, the Law Society upholds and protects the public interest in the administration of justice in British Columbia by, among other things, preserving and protecting the rights and freedoms of all persons, ensuring the independence, integrity, honour and competence of lawyers, and establishing standards and programs for the education, professional responsibility and competence of lawyers and articled students; and
  6. All lawyers have professional and ethical obligations, including the duty of competency to educate themselves on and advise their clients with respect to systemic and material risks, liabilities, and opportunities associated with climate change.


  1. The Law Society develop plans and take rapid action, in a manner which is consistent with restricting global warming to 1.5°C, by adopting science-based targets.
  2. The Law Society support, inform and encourage lawyers to engage with climate change mitigation, in accordance with the Code of Conduct and other regulatory instruments of the Law Society, by undertaking activities to:
    1. provide guidance to lawyers on how, when approaching any matter arising in the course of legal practice, to take into account the likely impact of that matter upon the climate crisis in a way which is compatible with their professional duties and the administration of justice, including advising their clients of the intersection of climate change and human rights;
    2. develop, disseminate and publicize educational tools and resources to support lawyers in incorporating into their daily practice the impacts of climate change, including how to reduce GHG emissions, and adapt, mitigate and prepare for the likely impacts of climate change upon their daily practice; and
    3. engage with current and future climate change-related legislative, regulatory and policy reform so far as it impacts on the practice of law, access to justice and the rule of law, including law and policy aimed at limiting GHG emissions and mitigating the effects of climate change, consistent with commitments under international treaties and domestic law.
  3. The Law Society create a task force or advisory committee to study the topic of the role of lawyers in both advising clients and addressing climate change with the goal of developing further guidelines for lawyers in their practice and climate conscious lawyering, creating professional development programming for lawyers and articled students, and defining climate justice.
  4. The Law Society report publicly on the climate impacts of the Law Society and its operations, the steps taken to reduce those impacts, and the outcome of such steps.

Bencher Commentary:

Further to the proposal in paragraph 4 of “Resolution 4: Member Resolution regarding Climate Change,” the Law Society is pleased to provide information regarding steps taken to reduce the climate impacts of our organization.

The Law Society’s values include being responsive to the changing needs of the public and the profession and responding to such changes in a timely manner. Recognizing the broad societal impact of climate change and other environmental concerns, the Law Society has taken a number of proactive measures linked to our properties, operations, and investments.

Our offices have undergone a number of cost-effective upgrades to enhance energy efficiency, decrease resource consumption (water, electric, and natural gas), and reduce our carbon footprint. The Law Society building has earned Natural Resources Canada’s Energy Star certification since 2018 and, in 2022, was ranked more energy efficient than 83% of similar properties nationwide.

Operationally, the Law Society’s adoption of hybrid work arrangements and the increased use of virtual board meetings, compliance audits, and hearings, has allowed board members, staff, and licensees to reduce their transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. Other environmentally-conscious choices are promoted through our transition to paperless files, bike-friendly amenities for staff, and the use of composting, recycling, and donation programs.

Recognizing the importance of considering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters in our investment decisions, the Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures for the LIF investment portfolio includes policy requirements for responsible investing that considers ESG matters along with other risks, and requires investment managers to report to the Benchers on a regular basis on these matters.

Resolution 5: Member Resolution submitted by Cameron Johnson and Jason Ralph


  1. The 2018 Resolution on the regulation of paralegals was not adopted by the Benchers;
  2. The 2022 Resolution opposing the single legal regulator proposal was not adopted by the Benchers;
  3. The Benchers passed unanimously, a resolution calling on the Government to bring into force the amendments to the LPA on the regulations of paralegals;
  4. The Benchers resolution is contrary to both the 2018 and 2022 resolution of the members;
  5. A petition, a copy of which is attached to this resolution, to require a referendum under s.13 of the LPA is circulating and if that referendum is passed, then the Benchers would be bound to oppose the legislation and take such actions as necessary to oppose that legislation whether political or through the Courts;
  6. The proposed or intended legislation would remove accountability of the board to the profession by removing s.13 of the Act, and thus make the board ungovernable;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Benchers call for an immediate referendum without waiting for the estimated 700 required signatures, on the issue contained in the petition attached as schedule 1 of this resolution, at the next Bencher meeting.

Bencher Commentary:

The Ministry of Attorney General has expressed the government’s intention to table legislation to permit a new class of legal professionals, namely licensed paralegals, to practise law, and to provide for the regulation of such paralegals together with lawyers and notaries under a single legal regulator. This member resolution calls upon the Benchers to conduct an immediate referendum, without receiving the petition signed by 5% of the members required by s.13 of the Legal Profession Act, to put to the members a resolution that directs the Benchers to oppose the proposed legislation and support the existing Legal Profession Act regulating lawyers only. The recitals reference two previous member resolutions to the same effect.

Section 13 of the Legal Profession Act provides a method by which members can require the Benchers to implement member resolutions.  By referendum, the members may require the Benchers to implement a member resolution.  However, s.13 places limits on the ability to require that referendum by giving the Benchers 12 months to implement the resolution and requiring that at least 5% of the members must sign a petition requesting such a referendum. In addition, s.13(4) provides that Benchers can only implement a resolution, even after a successful referendum, if to do so would not be a breach of the Benchers’ statutory duties, which are defined by the public interest. The Benchers are of the view that those limits are important in serving the Benchers’ statutory obligations to uphold and protect the public interest in the administration of justice. Although the majority of Benchers are elected by licensees, Benchers are not “accountable to the profession/members” as indicated by the movers of this member resolution, but are obligated to serve the public interest. What the movers of this member resolution are attempting is to circumvent at least one, if not both, of those limits.

The Benchers are also of the view that this member resolution reinforces the government’s concern that regulation of the legal profession requires consideration.  While not the intent of the movers, the resolution can too easily be characterized as lawyers looking out for lawyers and not acting in the public interest. To the extent that this resolution and other objections to the practice of law by licensed paralegals plays into the narrative that lawyers may place their economic interests ahead of the public interest, it harms the credibility of our profession to self-regulate. 

In response to the government’s Intentions Paper proposing both licensing of paralegals and the creation of a single legal regulator, the Benchers have made it clear that a single regulator of legal professionals may be supported provided that specific considerations are taken into account. Chiefly, we have repeatedly asserted to government that lawyers must form a majority of the regulator’s board. We consider such governance structure to be essential to maintaining an independent bar and an independent regulator. In addition, our response to the government’s Intentions Paper outlines other important considerations, such as the need for diversity on the board and ensuring that the regulator retains broad authority to regulate the competency and integrity of legal service providers. As Benchers, we accept that a new category of legal service providers is likely to become a reality in British Columbia. Rather than confronting or opposing this change, we believe the public interest is best served through the Law Society’s proactive engagement with government and other stakeholders regarding the development of an appropriate regulatory framework.

As stated in our response to the government’s Intentions Paper, any new regulatory framework for legal professionals must be consistent with the principles upon which our free and democratic society is based and we are confident that self-regulation of the legal profession will be held to be a principle of fundamental justice.

Ultimately, it remains to be seen whether the essential conditions put forward by Benchers will be reflected in government’s legislation. In the meantime, the Benchers continue to engage with government in an effort to reach an acceptable regulatory framework.  

Resolution 6: Member Resolution submitted by Janko Predovic and Rahul Aggarwal

Executive Summary:

The legal work experience of lawyers, judges and masters is considered under Rules 3-36(1)(b) and 3-37(1)(b) for the purposes of qualification as a family law arbitrator or parenting coordinator. These Rules are silent respecting the legal work experience of tribunal members (who, though they may be lawyers, usually maintain non-practising status), which means their legal work experience is not considered at all.

The Law Society should amend these Rules to recognize the legal work experience of tribunal members for the purposes of qualification as a family law arbitrator or parenting coordinator.

Full Text:


Law Society Rules 3-36(1)(b) and 3-37(1)(b) (the “Rules”) impose requirements that family law arbitrators and parenting coordinators have, respectively:

... “at least 10 years, engaged in the full-time practice of law or the equivalent in part-time practice or sat as a judge or master”; and

... “at least 10 years, engaged in the full-time practice of law or the equivalent in part-time practice or sat as a judge or master, including considerable family law experience dealing with high conflict families with children”,


Though family law arbitration and parenting coordination invoke aspects of mediation, they are also, in large part, if not primarily, adjudicative roles;


Judges and masters, who are adjudicators, are considered to meet the work experience requirements of the Rules even if they are not “engaged in the full-time practice of law” like a barrister or solicitor might be;


Tribunal members (who, though they may be lawyers, usually maintain non-practising status), like judges and masters, are adjudicators who, among other things, preside over hearings, hear and test evidence, examine parties and witnesses, assess the substantive merits of legal submissions, and write complex legal decisions subject to review in courts and other bodies;


Tribunal members are not considered in the Rules, so their experience does not “count” for the purposes of qualification as a family law arbitrator or parenting coordinator;


The foregoing yields the inequitable result that a seasoned tribunal member, including one who has adjudicated for 10 years or longer, is deemed not to meet the work experience requirements under the Rules, and is likely to be treated under the Rules as less qualified for family law arbitration or parenting coordination than a lawyer who has practised law for 10 years, but has zero adjudication experience;


This (a) denies the public access to a vast array of highly-qualified adjudicators who may wish to leave the public sector and enter the private sector (as these adjudicators may be dissuaded from the private sector due to significant career prejudice), and (b) is unnecessarily prejudicial to public sector tribunal members who elect to leave the public service (as they are unreasonably disqualified from private sector work that may be directly aligned with their previous adjudicative experience in the public sector);


1. Law Society Rule 3-36(1)(b) be amended to state:…

“at least 10 years, engaged in the full-time practice of law, or the equivalent in part-time practice, or sat as a judge or master, or sat as a tribunal member”;


2. Law Society Rule 3-37(1)(b) be amended to state:…

“at least 10 years, engaged in the full-time practice of law, or the equivalent in part-time practice, or sat as a judge or master, or sat as a tribunal member, including considerable family law experience dealing with high conflict families with children”.

Resolution 7: Member Resolution submitted by Brooke Browning and Pauline Lysaght


  1. The Law Society of British Columbia believes that “the public is best served when lawyers reflect the communities they represent” (Supporting women lawyers in BC | The Law Society of British Columbia);
  2. The Law Society is committed to advancing inclusiveness and diversity (Practice Resources - Model Policies - Pregnancy and Parental Leave Policies - frequently asked questions (lawsociety.bc.ca));
  3. The Law Society is concerned that women are leaving the profession disproportionately:
    1. “More women than men leave practice when they enter their 30s, and the percentage of women lawyers begins to decrease for 15 to 19-year calls (approximately 57% men to 43% women)” (On the Path to Equity for Women in Law, April 29, 2022 Roundtable (lawsociety.bc.ca), page 2);
    2. “Specifically, recent BC data indicate that women in the 20-49 age-range made up approximately 60% of lawyers that transitioned from practising to non-practising status, and this group also made up 56% of the lawyers returning to practise. This suggests that women aged 20-49 who go non-practising are slightly less likely than men in that age-range to return to practise.” (On the Path to Equity for Women in Law, April 29, 2022 Roundtable (lawsociety.bc.ca)), page 11;
  4. The Law Society endorses parental leaves as a positive practice (Practice Resources - Model Policies - Pregnancy and Parental Leave Policies - frequently asked questions (lawsociety.bc.ca)) and normalizing parental leaves and utilizing flexible work arrangements may reduce the stigma women lawyers experience when they are seen to be the only ones doing so (On the Path to Equity for Women in Law, April 29, 2022 Roundtable (lawsociety.bc.ca), page 12);
  5. Women lawyers have long expressed the desire for increased options for flexible work:
    1. “In British Columbia, a survey of women reported in 2016 that ‘increased flexibility’, ‘change in work culture’ and ‘possibility of part-time work’ were the three top issues within private practice that respondents felt warranted change” (Justice Education Society of BC, Mapping Her Path: Needs Assessment Report (2016) at 24 in On the Path to Equity for Women in Law, April 29, 2022 Roundtable (lawsociety.bc.ca), page 16);
  6. The federal government offers an extended parental leave of 18 months;
  7. If a lawyer takes two extended parental leaves within a five-year period, and is non- practising for three years or more, they will be required to pass the qualification examination or obtain the permission of the Credential Committee before they are able to practise law again in accordance with Law Society Rule 2-89(1);
  8. Under Rule 2-90, the Credentials Committee may impose conditions on returning to practice, including an undertaking to not practice law as a sole practitioner; and
  9. The ability to practice law as a sole practitioner is a key component of flexible work in the legal profession. 


The Law Society of British Columbia:

  1. Create an exemption under Law Society Rule 2-89 where the absence is for the purpose of a parental leave and the lawyer has not engaged in the practice of law for a time that is equivalent to their federally entitled parental leave(s).