2006 Annual General Meeting of The Law Society of British Columbia

August 22, 2006

Friday, September 29, 2006
Four Seasons Hotel, 791 West Georgia Street, Vancouver

Audioconference locations: Castlegar • Cranbrook • Fort St. John • Kamloops • Kelowna • Nanaimo • Prince George • Prince Rupert • Surrey • Victoria

Registration and lunch: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm (11:45 am – 12:30 pm outside Vancouver)
Call to order: 12:30 pm

You are invited

All BC lawyers and articled students are invited to the Annual General Meeting of the Law Society of British Columbia, which will be held on Friday, September 29, 2006. The main location is in Vancouver, with the meeting linked to 10 audioconference locations — in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Fort St. John, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Surrey and Victoria.

Please register on arrival and obtain your voting card. Only members of the Law Society of BC are eligible to vote and you may be asked for identification.

Please remember to bring your copy of the 2005 Annual Report or, if you have registered to receive Law Society publications by email, the 2005 financial statements.

Business of the meeting

This is the business of the AGM:

  • Election of Second Vice-President for 2007

  • Appointment of Law Society auditors for 2007

  • Practice fee resolution

  • Member resolution.


Resolution 1: Appointment of Law Society auditors, submitted by the Audit Committee

BE IT RESOLVED that PricewaterhouseCoopers be appointed as the Law Society auditors for 2007.

Resolution 2: 2007 practice fee, submitted by the Benchers


A. the Benchers have determined that the amount $1,014.26 per practising lawyer is required to maintain and operate the programs of the Law Society and to otherwise discharge its statutory mandate during the year 2007; and

B. the Benchers have determined that it is appropriate to advance the interests of the Law Society by paying per practising lawyer the amounts to the organizations indicated below:

  BC Court House Library Society
Lawyers Assistance Program
The Advocate
The Federation of Law Societies of Canada
The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII)

BE IT RESOLVED THAT, for the practice year commencing January 1, 2007, the practice fee be set at $1,296.50 pursuant to s. 23(1)(a) of the Legal Profession Act.

Resolution 3: Member resolution, submitted by Dugald Christie, seconded by Bruce Fraser, QC, both of Vancouver

WHEREAS the Law Society’s Special Compensation Fund Fee of $600 on every practising lawyer and the $10 Trust Administration Fee for every trust account opened by a lawyer cause undue hardship for lawyers who have little or no trust account activity which lawyers tend to be the ones that deal most with low income clients;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT all lawyers who deposit less than $100,000 per annum to their trust accounts be exempt from the Law Society’s Special Compensation Fund Fee;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT lawyers who deposit more than $100,000 per annum to their trust accounts will be subject to a trust administration assessment of 0.05% of the amount by which such net annual deposits to the trust account exceeds $100,000. Such assessment will be payable at the lawyer’s year end.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the above percentage for the assessment may be varied by the Executive if funds coming in from the assessment either exceed or are less than estimated.

Law Society fees and other revenues in 2007

The 2007 practice fee components

The 2007 Law Society practice fee resolution, as proposed by the Benchers, is set out as Resolution 2.

The Benchers have determined that $1,296.50 per practising lawyer is required to operate the Law Society and its programs and to provide funding to the outside programs it supports (the BC Courthouse Library Society, the Lawyers Assistance Program, the Advocate, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and the Canadian Legal Information Institute). Additionally, based on the 2006 budget, included in the total 2007 practice fee is an amount of $85,000 to support various pro bono organizations ($8.85 per member). Future pro bono funding is the subject of a Law Society task force chaired by Ian Donaldson, QC, which is expected to report to the Benchers prior to the end of 2006. The recommended practice fee represents an increase of $231 from the practice fee approved by the members for 2006.

At their September meeting, the Benchers also plan to approve a $100 reduction in the 2007 Lawyers Insurance Fund fee and a $100 reduction in the 2007 Special Compensation Fund fee. The result will be a net increase in mandatory fees for most members in 2007 of $31, representing a 1% increase over the total fees in 2006.

More information on each component of the practice fee is set out below.

1. Law Society fee

The Law Society General Fund operations and programs are supported by the practice fee and the trust administration fee.

In 2005 and 2006, planned contributions from the General Fund reserve were used to make up the difference between practice fee revenue and the actual operating costs of the Law Society. This was done to reduce the accumulated reserve to a more appropriate level. In recommending the 2007 fee, the Benchers have ensured that it reflects the actual cost of running the Law Society’s General Fund programs that are funded by the practice fee and that the practice fee can sustain those programs with minimal reliance upon the General Fund reserve. This approach will provide greater long-term stability to the Law Society’s budgeting and fee setting processes. The recommended 2007 fee will ensure the Law Society can meet demands for its core regulatory services in fulfilment of its public interest mandate.

Effective March 1, 2005, the Law Society began collecting a trust administration fee (TAF) from BC lawyers. Proceeds from the TAF are accounted for separately within the General Fund and, as directed by the Benchers, are only used to fund the new Trust Assurance Program, Part B insurance (trust protection coverage) and the existing audit and investigations and custodianship programs that were formerly funded by the Special Compensation Fund fee. With the introduction of the new Trust Assurance Program on January 1, 2007, the Law Society expects that 95 per cent of all law firms will not have to file an accountant’s report and will save the cost of retaining an outside accountant.

Total fees payable by practising, insured lawyers pursuant to s. 23(1) of the Legal Profession Act in 2007 will be $3,196.50. Total mandatory fees for practising, insured members of the Law Society of Alberta are $3,706, while similar fees for the Law Society of Upper Canada are $ 4,209.

Key priorities for the Law Society in 2007 include introduction of a new firm practice course for lawyers starting their own practices and a refresher course for former lawyers returning to the profession. Both of these programs will be delivered online to ensure economical delivery and universal access. The Benchers also remain committed to ensuring that all Law Society programs incorporate best practices and cost-effective management.

2. BC Courthouse Library Society (BCCLS)

The Law Society’s contribution to the funding of the BCCLS in 2007 is $160, unchanged from 2006. The BCCLS provides legal information services to the profession and the public online and through 30 branch libraries.

3. Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP)

The funding designated for LAP in 2007 remains unchanged at $53 per practising lawyer. LAP provides confidential outreach, education, support and referrals to lawyers and other members of the legal community.

4. Advocate subscription

The subscription costs for the Advocate, distributed bi-monthly to all BC lawyers, is $27.50, unchanged from 2006.

5. The Federation of Law Societies of Canada

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada provides a national voice for provincial and territorial law societies on important issues such as anti-money laundering legislation and inter-provincial mobility. All provincial and territorial law societies have agreed to providefunding in the amount of $13 per member. This is unchanged from 2006.

6. The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII)

CanLII is a not-for-profit organization initiated by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. Its goal is to make primary sources of Canadian law accessible for free on the internet. All provincial and territorial law societies have committed to provide funding to CanLII in 2007. The Law Society’s contribution of $28.74 per member represents an increase of $7 over 2006 to fund improvements to CanLII’s case and legislation collections and to provide enhancements to CanLII’s search engine.

Law Society Insurance and Special Fund fees in 2007

The Benchers will set the 2007 Special Compensation Fund and Lawyers Insurance Fund fees at their September meeting. Based on the operational performance and financial strength of the Lawyers Insurance Fund, the Benchers plan to reduce the insurance fee for 2007 by $100, from $1,500 to $1,400. In addition, the Benchers have also determined that it is appropriate to reduce the fee for the Special Compensation Fund in 2007 by $100, from $600 to $500. This reduction will in no way impair the Law Society’s ability to pay the Wirick Special Compensation Fund claims.

For more information

If you have any questions about the financial information in this notice, please consult the audited financial statements in the Law Society’s 2005 Annual Report or contact Jeanette McPhee, Chief Financial Officer, by telephone at 604 443-5712 (toll-free in BC 1-800-903-5300) or email at jmcphee@lsbc.org.

Annual General Meeting locations

Please RSVP to the email address beside the location you plan to attend.
If sending an RSVP for others in your office as well, please note the number in your email.



RSVP by email to:


Four Seasons Hotel, 791 West Georgia Street



Castlegar Travel Lodge and Fireside Inn, 1800 8th Avenue



Steidl Kambeitz office, 201 – 907 Baker Street


Fort St. John

North Peace Cultural Centre, 10015-100 Fort St. John



Coast Canadian Inn, 339 St. Paul Street



Coast Capri Hotel, 1171 Harvey Avenue



Coast Bastion Inn, 11 Bastion Street


Prince George

Coast Inn of the North, 770 Brunswick Street


Prince Rupert

Crest Hotel, 222 First Avenue West



Sheraton Guildford Hotel, 15269 104 Avenue



Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina, 146 Kingston Street


Election of Second Vice-President for 2007

Each year at the AGM members elect a Bencher to serve as Second Vice-President for the following year, pursuant to Law Society Rule 1-18. The Benchers are pleased to announce their nomination of Gordon Turriff, QC to serve as Second Vice-President in 2007 and invite the profession to support the nomination.

Under Rule 1-3(2), the Second Vice-President in 2007 will become the First Vice-President in 2008 and the President in 2009.

turriffGordon Turriff, QC

Gordon Turriff, QC is senior counsel to Stikeman Elliott LLP at Vancouver. He effectively confines his practice to the law of costs, dealing with financial relationships between lawyers and their clients and costs of litigation.

Elected a Bencher of the Law Society effective January 1, 2002, Mr. Turriff is currently chair of the Independence and Self-Governance Committee (2005-06), Vice-chair of the Credentials Committee (2005-06) and a member of the Futures Committee (2002-2006). He also serves on the Lawyer Education Task Force, as a member since 2003 and now as chair.

He has previously served as a member of the Executive Committee (2005), Credentials Committee (2002-2004) and the Special Compensation Fund Committee (2002), as well as the Trust Assurance Reform Task Force (2003).

Mr. Turriff has served a number of other professional organizations. He was a member of the Canadian Bar Association's National and Provincial Councils for over 16 years between 1979 and 2001. He also served as chair of the BC Branch's Planning and Priorities Committee, as Co-chair of its Court Services Committee and as a member of several CBA National and Branch committees, including, for two terms, the BC Branch Executive Committee. A founding member of the British Columbia Law Institute, Mr. Turriff was a director from 1997 to 2005 and served as a member of the Institute’s Project Committee on Legal Issues Affecting Seniors. In addition, he has served as a director of the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, as an advisor to the Benchers’ Fee Review Task Force, and as an advisor to the Court of Appeal Rules Committee on proposed amendments to the Court of Appeal Rules.

He has authored or co-authored many publications, including the Annotated British Columbia Legal Profession Act, the British Columbia Annual Practice and a chapter on “Remuneration” in Barristers & Solicitors in Practice.

In his community, Mr. Turriff has been a coach of t-ball, softball, baseball and ringette.