2005 Bencher election results

BC lawyers have elected eight new Benchers for 2006-2007 and re-elected 14 Benchers (one by acclamation), following the November 15 province- wide Bencher elections.

New at the Benchers table

Joining the Law Society as Benchers in 2006 are Rita C. Andreone, Leon Getz, QC and Thelma O’Grady (Vancouver), Kathryn Berge, QCand Richard N. Stewart (Victoria), David M. Renwick (Westminster), Ronald Tindale (Cariboo) and Robert D. Punnett (Prince Rupert).

Rita Andreone is a solicitor with Lawson Lundell LLP in Vancouver, whose practice focus is on corporate reorganization and restructuring, project development, financings, mergers and acquisitions and government regulation. A member of the Law Society Discipline Committee since 2003, she has also served as a conduct review panellist and a PLTC contributor. Her community service includes time as a past director of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in BC and Alberta.

Leon Getz, QC, of Getz Prince Wells LLP in Vancouver, is a corporate and securities lawyer and an arbitrator in labour-management and commercial disputes. He has served as a volunteer practice reviewer, a member of the Law Society Planning Committee, a CLE speaker and a member of the advisory committee to the BC Securities Commission. He has served on the board of the Vancouver Symphony Society, the Western Canada Society to Access Justice, the Blackbird Theatrical Society, Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University and the Canadian Jewish Congress (Pacific Region).

Also in in Vancouver, with Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP, Thelma O’Grady is the firm’s Manager of Professional Development. Complementing her years of practice and work experience in continuing legal education, she has also been a volunteer on the Education Committee of the CBABC Women Lawyers Forum, on the CBA Equality Committee and on the Law Society Lawyer Education Task Force. She is a founder of Vancouver’s Professional Development Network, a member of the Professional Development consortium and an active volunteer for local school and community programs.

One of the two new Benchers in Victoria, Kathryn Berge, QC of Berge, Hart & Cassels, practises collaborative family law and acts as mediator and an advocate in the fields of family law, wills and estates and general civil litigation. Her extensive professional commitments include service as a director of the Legal Services Society, an elected member of the CBA Provincial Council and a member of many CBA committees and sections, several of which she has chaired. She has been a member of the ADR Task Force consultation, the CBA Liaison to the Law Society Equity and Diversity Committee, a member of practice advisory panels, a PLTC and CBA section speaker and an active community volunteer.

Richard Stewart, also of Victoria, practises family law with Cook Roberts LLP in Victoria. A member of the Law Society Credentials Committee in 2005, he has also served on the Audit Committee. He is a former President of the Victoria Family Law Subsection and of the Victoria Bar Association, and he has also been a moot advisor for the University of Victoria law school, a speaker and author for the CLE Society and a member of the originating group of the Victoria Collaborative Law Program.

New as a Bencher for Westminster County is David Renwick, a criminal and civil litigator with Baker Newby LLP in Abbotsford. Mr. Renwick has served as a member of the Law Society Special Compensation Fund Committee and as President of both the Chilliwack and District Bar Association and the Fraser Valley Bar Association. He has also been director of the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce, Chilliwack Arts Council, Chilliwack YMCA/YWCA and Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce.

Ronald Tindale, whose practice focuses on criminal defence and civil litigation, will join re-elected Bencher Bill Jackson in representing Cariboo. A barrister with Dick Byl Law Corporation in Prince George, Mr. Tindale is a past Vice-President of the Prince George Bar Association, a lecturer for Provincial Court judges in the area and a speaker for the Prince George Young Lawyers. He is a past board member of the Phoenix Transition Society.

The new Bencher for Prince Rupert, Robert Punnett, practises with Punnett & Johnston. He has been on the CBABC Provincial Council and the board of the Trial Lawyers Association of BC. He has also been a director and President of the Museum of Northern British Columbia, secretary of the Prince Rupert Band Parents Association and a coach of youth soccer in his community.

President Ralston Alexander, QC has offered his congratulations to those elected and re-elected as Benchers and to all those who stood for election. “It takes very committed people to offer up their time in any form of public service,” he said. “I’m happy to see that so many lawyers were willing to come forward as candidates for Bencher and to demonstrate the importance they place in the work of this profession.”

 

Your new Benchers
   
       
Rita Andreone
Rita C. Andreone

Lawson Lundell LLP
Vancouver

Newly elected in Vancouver County

Robert Punnett
Robert D. Punnett

Punnett & Johnston
Prince Rupert

Newly elected in Prince Rupert County

       
Kathryn Berge
Kathryn Berge, QC

Berge, Hart & Cassels
Victoria

Newly elected in Victoria County

David Renwick
David M. Renwick

Baker Newby LLP
Abbotsford

Newly elected in Westminster County

       
Leon Getz
Leon Getz, QC

Getz Prince Wells LLP
Vancouver

Newly elected in Vancouver County

Richard Stewart
Richard N. Stewart

Cook Roberts LLP
Victoria

Newly elected in Victoria County

       
Thelma O'Grady
Thelma O'Grady

Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP
Vancouver

Newly elected in Vancouver County

Ronald Tindale
Ronald Tindale

Dick Byl Law Corporation
Prince George

Newly elected in Cariboo County

Benchers who continue in service

Under the Law Society Rules, the Benchers who were previously elected by the members to serve as President, First Vice-President and Second Vice-President continue as Benchers for their respective districts by virtue of their office. In 2006 those Benchers are:

  • Robert W. McDiarmid, QC (President and Bencher for Kamloops)
  • Anna K. Fung, QC (First Vice-President and Bencher for Vancouver)
  • John J.L. Hunter, QC (Second Vice-President and Bencher for Vancouver).
Westminster by-election underway

Following the appointment of Gregory Rideout as a judge of the Provincial Court, there is now a vacancy for Bencher in the County of Westminster (District No. 4). A by-election has been called in that district for January 24, 2006.

Members eligible to vote in Westminster County can expect to receive ballot packages in early January. In addition to a basic listing of each candidate in the ballot package, lawyers will be invited to visit the Law Society website to read full biographies.

The newly elected Bencher will join Carol Hickman and David Renwick in representing Westminster and will begin serving immediately on election through to December 31, 2007

Life Benchers

With the completion of their terms as Bencher at the end of the year, Ralston Alexander, QC, Patricia Schmit, QC and Ross Tunnicliffe become Life Benchers of the Law Society.

For the record

Benchers elected for the 2006-2007 term are listed below. For full election results in each district, please visit the Law Society website at www.lawsociety.bc.ca.


Benchers elected for 2006-2007
District No. 1 Vancouver

Rita C. Andreone
Lawson Lundell LLP
Elected

Joost Blom, QC
UBC Faculty of Law
Re-elected

Ian Donaldson, QC
Donaldson Jetté
Re-elected

Leon Getz, QC
Getz Prince Wells LLP
Elected

Gavin Hume, QC
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
Re-elected

Terence E. La Liberté, QC
La Liberté & Company
Re-elected

Thelma O’Grady
Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP
Elected

Gordon Turriff, QC
Stikeman Elliott LLP
Re-elected

Art Vertlieb, QC
Vertlieb Dosanjh
Re-elected

James D. Vilvang, QC
Richards Buell Sutton LLP
Re-elected

David A. Zacks, QC
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Re-elected

District No. 2 Victoria

Kathryn Berge, QC
Berge, Hart & Cassels
Elected

Richard N. Stewart
Cook Roberts LLP
Elected

District No. 3 Nanaimo

G. Glen Ridgway, QC
Ridgway & Company, Duncan
Re-elected by acclamation

District No. 4 Westminster

Carol W. Hickman
Quay Law Centre, New Westminster
Re-elected

David M. Renwick
Baker Newby LLP, Abbotsford
Elected

Greg Rideout
Rideout Riddell, Coquitlam
Re-elected*

District No. 5 Kootenay

Bruce A. LeRose
Thompson LeRose & Brown, Trail
Re-elected

District No. 6 Okanagan

Dirk J. Sigalet, QC
Sigalet & Co., Vernon
Re-elected

District No. 7 Cariboo

William F.M. Jackson
Crown Counsel, Dawson Creek
Re-elected

Ronald Stephen Tindale
Dick Byl Law Corporation, Prince George
Elected

District No. 8 Prince Rupert

Robert D. Punnett
Punnett & Johnston, Prince Rupert
Elected

* Following his re-election as a Bencher for Westminster District, Mr. Rideout was appointed a judge of the Provincial Court. Accordingly, he will not serve as a Bencher in 2006. A by-election will be held in Westminster to fill the vacancy.