Matkin resigns as Law Society Executive Director

MatkinAs previously announced to the profession, James G. Matkin, QC resigned as Executive Director of the Law Society of British Columbia on December 6.

Mr. Matkin had earlier stepped aside as Executive Director on November 22 on paid leave to await the outcome of an investigation by the Law Society Executive Committee. The Executive Committee began the investigation after information was published in the Vancouver Sun regarding Mr. Matkin’s personal business affairs.

In announcing his resignation on December 6, Mr. Matkin stated that he did not wish his involvement in outside private business interests to continue to be an issue for the Law Society or the public. “Therefore, I have concluded it is in the best interests of the Law Society for me to resign.” As a result of the resignation, it was unnecessary for the Executive Committee to proceed with its investigation.

The resignation was on mutually agreed terms.

The Benchers appointed Vancouver lawyer Sholto Hebenton, QC as Acting Executive Director of the Law Society on November 25, 2004, and he will continue in that role until a new Executive Director is appointed.

Mr. Hebenton previously practised with Shrum, Liddle and Hebenton and its successor, McCarthy Tétrault, until his retirement in 2000. He was educated at UBC, Oxford University (where he attended as a Rhodes Scholar) and Harvard Law School.

“Mr. Hebenton’s distinguished service to both the legal profession and the public, along with the leadership he has shown throughout his lengthy career, make him ideally suited for this interim position,” Law Society President William Everett, QC said of his appointment. “We are very pleased that Mr. Hebenton will lend his valuable experience and insight to the Law Society.”

Mr. Hebenton has served the legal profession in many capacities, including as a member of both the National and Provincial Councils of the Canadian Bar Association, as a Director of the BC Law Institute, as a Governor of the Law Foundation of BC and as a Director of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice. Mr. Hebenton’s community involvement has included service as a Governor of the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, as a member of the Vancouver Police Board and as President of the Canadian Club of Vancouver. He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1985.

The Benchers have appointed a committee to conduct a search for a new Executive Director.