Ministry of AG invites Queen's Counsel nominations

Presentation by Attorney GeneralAttorney General Geoff Plant (front right) presents a certificate to Thomas H. Hara, QC, one of 27 BC lawyers honoured with the title of Queen's Counsel in late 2002, while Chief Justice Donald I. Brenner of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Chief Judge Carol Baird Ellan of the Provincial Court and Chief Justice of

British Columbia Lance Finch share in the moment. The presentations were made at a reception hosted by the Law Society in February, 2003.

Mr. Hara practises criminal and labour law in Vancouver. He is a director of the Japanese Canadian Citizenship Association and was the first Japanese Canadian to open a law office in BC.

The Ministry of Attorney General is calling for nominations for new Queen's Counsel appointments this September.

 


Each September, beginning this year, the Attorney General will send out a call for nominations of candidates for appointment as Queen's Counsel. 

Under the Queen's Counsel Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council, on recommendation of the Attorney General, may bestow on lawyers in British Columbia the honorary title of Queen's Counsel to recognize exceptional merit and contribution to the legal profession.

While the Law Society has historically assisted through informal consultations to identify potential QC appointments, no formal nomination process has existed until now.

Nominations

The call for nominations in September will be directed to the judiciary and to the Law Society, the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association and the Trial Lawyers Association for communication to the profession. Any lawyer interested in making a nomination may obtain an application package, including forms and instructions, from the Ministry website.

Outside of an immediate family member of a nominee or nominees themselves, anyone can submit a nomination by completing an application form. The application must be accompanied by a statement of support from two nominators and a nominee's c.v. or brief biography and may also be accompanied by letters of support.

All nominations are confidential. Nominators may be contacted to clarify information in support of the nomination, but will not be updated on its status. Application information will not be made public.

Unsuccessful candidates may be nominated in subsequent years; however, a complete application is required for every nomination.

An application must be postmarked or faxed no later than midnight, November 3. Appointments will be announced at the end of the year.

Criteria for candidates

Candidates must:

  • belong to the BC bar, and have been members for at least five years; and
  • demonstrate professional integrity, good character and excellence in the practice of law. Such excellence could be determined by any of the following:
  • being acknowledged by their peers as leading counsel or exceptionally gifted practitioners;
  • having demonstrated exceptional qualities of leadership in the profession, including in the conduct of the affairs of the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Society of British Columbia and other legal organizations;
  • having done outstanding work in the fields of legal education or legal scholarship.
Advisory committee

All applications will be reviewed by an advisory committee, which will also recommend deserving candidates to the Attorney General. The committee includes:

  • The Chief Justice of British Columbia;
  • The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia;
  • The Chief Judge of the Provincial Court;
  • Two members of the Law Society appointed by the Benchers (for 2003-2004 these appointees are First Vice-President William M. Everett, QC and Second Vice-President Peter J. Keighley, QC);
  • The Deputy Attorney General.

The Attorney General retains authority to directly appoint lawyers who meet the eligibility criteria. It is expected that this power will normally be exercised in exceptional circumstances only. 

Contact information

For more information, contact:

Office of the Deputy Attorney General
PO Box 9290 Stn. Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W 9J7

Telephone: 250 356-0149
Website: www.ag.gov.bc.ca/queens-counsel.