News Releases

For immediate release November 24, 1998

Law Society serves discipline citation on Laxton

VANCOUVER - The Law Society of British Columbia has served a discipline citation on Vancouver lawyer John Laxton to inform him that the Society will hold a discipline hearing into his conduct in relation to his role in the BC Hydro/IPC affair. The hearing will take place from May 18-20, 1999 at the Law Society building in Vancouver. Chris Hinkson, of the Vancouver law firm Harper Grey Easton, will represent the Law Society as counsel at the hearing.

This hearing will inquire into Mr. Laxton's conduct "in making false, inaccurate or misleading statements to members of the press concerning your activities while Chair of B.C. Hydro, at a press conference which took place on or about February 21, 1996." The misleading statements alleged in the citation relate to Mr. Laxton's denial to the media that he had purchased shares in International Power Corporation (IPC), a company that was involved in a joint venture on a Pakistan power project with a wholly owned subsidiary of B.C. Hydro.

Although Mr. Laxton in this matter was acting in his capacity as director of B.C. Hydro - and not in his capacity as a lawyer - the Law Society can hold a hearing into whether his conduct amounts to "conduct unbecoming a lawyer." Under the Legal Profession Act, "conduct unbecoming" means conduct that the Benchers or a discipline panel find is contrary to the best interest of the public or of the legal profession or harms the standing of the legal profession.

Other issues respecting Mr. Laxton's conduct in the B.C. Hydro/IPC matter are still under consideration by Law Society counsel. Further action taken by the Law Society against Mr. Laxton, if any, will be made public if appropriate. Consequently, the Law Society cannot comment any further at this time.

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Note to Editors:

The Law Society of British Columbia makes available the following documents related to discipline hearings:

  • citation
  • hearing exhibits
  • hearing reports
  • Discipline Digest and Discipline Case Digest summaries

Note also that hearings are generally open to the public; accredited media should call to register to attend and check one week beforehand to confirm the hearing date. Media may also request a list of upcoming hearings or hearings that await decisions as to verdict and penalty.

For more information contact:

Elizabeth Cordeau, Public Affairs Manager
604-443-5724 or 1-800-903-5300 toll-free in B.C.