Gavin Hume, QC – “A Statesman”

Experienced, skilled and respected. Words that aptly describe Gavin Hume, QC, the Law Society’s President for 2011.

Hume is held in the highest esteem by his fellow Benchers. “Gavin’s work ethic is legendary around the Benchers’ table,” says Second Vice-President Bruce LeRose, QC. “He always strives for excellence and he is innately fair.”

Second Vice-President-elect Art Vertlieb, QC, describes Hume as a good lawyer and an inherently decent human being. “He genuinely listens and is respectful of people’s views, even if he doesn’t agree.”

Gavin HumeFor more than four decades, Hume has been practising law at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin (formerly Russell & DuMoulin). He is recognized nationally and internationally as a leading practitioner in labour and employment law.

A steadfast interest in labour law was first piqued at a seminar he attended at UBC law school. Shortly after being called to the bar in 1968, he was invited to create a labour law practice at Russell & DuMoulin with Ben Trevino, QC (1997 Treasurer, now a Life Bencher). Trevino was his mentor, and together they became pioneers in the uncharted field of labour and employment law.

Hume has also been committed to teaching and mentoring the next generation of lawyers who are interested in pursuing a career in law, and was chair of his firm’s Student Committee for many years. At last count, he has been principal to 112 law students who have had the benefit of his wisdom and expertise.

Law students, and anyone who is contemplating becoming a lawyer, will receive the same words of advice from Hume: “Engage in the practice of law only if you love it. It’s a very demanding profession and requires a significant amount of time and effort. If you don’t love the work, you will resent it.” Clearly, Hume loves the practice of law, and his contribution extends beyond his law firm. “I want to give back to the profession that has been generous to me.”

During his seven-year tenure as a Bencher, Hume has served on numerous Law Society committees. LeRose admires Hume for always taking on the most difficult and sometimes controversial assignments as a Bencher. “He does so with quiet determination, total conviction and a willingness to share his enormous experience with his colleagues and peers. There are no tasks too difficult and no details too small when doing the many and varied jobs he has undertaken as a Bencher.”

Most recently, Hume was the Chair of the Ethics Committee and the Finance Committee, Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee and a member of the Appointments Subcommittee, the Litigation Subcommittee, the Delivery of Legal Services Task Force and the Retention of Women in Law Task Force.

In addition to his invaluable work on behalf of the Law Society, he has also served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association Labour Sections, at the local and national levels. He is also a founding member and past president of the Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers.

Hume’s contribution extends beyond the legal community. “My mother always said that it’s important to give back to the community that we live in.” An impressive display of awards on the wall in his office is a testament to how much he has given back.

Hume is one of only a few Honourary Life Members of the Human Resources Management Association of BC. He was a recipient of the CBA’s Community Service Award for Vancouver in 2003.

In 2009, YMCA Canada appointed Hume as an Officer of the YMCA Fellowship of Honour. He has served in a governing capacity and as honourary solicitor for the YMCA of Greater Vancouver throughout most of his career. LeRose recognizes Hume as one of the cornerstones of the YMCA. “He has spent countless years in a leadership role with this organization and its success is in no small part due to the many contributions of his time, talent and resources.”

Hume and his wife, Trish Janzen, committed to help with the revitalization of the YMCA’s Camp Elphinstone in Howe Sound. With their support, the newly-opened Mark Hume Waterfront and Leadership Centre provides children and youth with leadership and boating skills training.

When he takes time for his own well-deserved leisure activities, Hume does so in true west coast style. He is an avid skier and a boating enthusiast. In the summer months, he enjoys cruising BC waters in his power boat, including the west coast of Vancouver Island and the Broughton group of islands north of Desolation Sound. When his boats are stored away for the winter, he turns his attention to the opening of ski season at Whistler.

Hume has an extensive collection of wines. He proudly does his part to support the BC wine industry and has a particular penchant for the Naramata Bench wines. His passion for wine has not gone unnoticed by his fellow Benchers. Vertlieb believes that Hume’s favourite activity is reflecting on wine. “He’s not a wine snob; he just genuinely enjoys wine.”

Above all else, Hume is a family man who likes nothing better than to preside at family dinners in West Vancouver and Whistler with Trish, son Gavin, his wife Adriana, grandsons Harrison and Robbie, “darling daughter” Stephanie and her husband Damian.

He and Trish reside in West Vancouver, but Fasken Martineau DuMoulin could likely be considered a second home as Trish is also a partner there. The office and meeting rooms on the 9th floor of the Law Society building may soon begin to feel like yet another home during his term as president.

While at the helm, Hume will focus on advancing the objectives in the Law Society’s three-year strategic plan, which concludes at the end of 2011. He will also play a pivotal role in developing a new strategic plan for 2012.

With his structured and methodical approach, there’s no doubt that Hume will get the job done. And with his integrity, modesty and professionalism, the Law Society’s “statesman” for 2011 will get the job done right.