2013 Annual General Meeting of the Law Society of British Columbia

September 9, 2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Registration: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm (Vancouver); 11:45 am – 12:30 pm (other locations)
Call to order: 12:30 pm
Main location: Pan pacific Vancouver, Crystal Pavilion a,
300 – 999 Canada place, Vancouver
Audio-conference locations: Abbotsford • Castlegar • Cranbrook • Fort St. John • Kamloops
Kelowna • Nanaimo • Prince George • Prince Rupert • Smithers • terrace • Victoria

BC lawyers and articled students are invited to the Annual General Meeting of the Law Society of British Columbia, which will be held on Tuesday, October 1, 2013. The main venue is in Vancouver, linked by audio-conference to 12 other locations – in Abbotsford, Castlegar, Cranbook, Fort St. John, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Smithers, Terrace and Victoria.

Please register on arrival to obtain your voting card. Note that you may be asked for identification; only Law Society of BC members in good standing are eligible to vote. 


Your RSVP is urgently requested

If you plan to attend the 2013 Annual General Meeting, please email your RSVP by September 23, 2013, using the list of AGM locations and email addresses set out on page 6 of this notice.

The Law Society needs your response to arrange for appropriate facilities and to prepare for registration. Please note any access or support needs you may have in your RSVP response.

Business of the meeting

The business of the Annual General Meeting will include the following:

  • Election of Law Society Second Vice-President for 2014
  • Appointment of Law Society auditors for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2013
  • Announcement of Law Society fees for 2014
  • Consideration of member resolution
Election of Second Vice-President for 2014

Each year at the AGM a Bencher is elected by the attending members to serve as Second Vice-President for the following year, pursuant to Law Society Rule 1-18. The Benchers are pleased to announce their nomination of David Crossin, QC to serve as Second Vice-President in 2014, and invite the profession to support Mr. Crossin’s nomination.

Under Rule 1-3(2), the Second Vice-President for 2014 will be First Vice-President in 2015 and President in 2016.


David Crossin, QCDavid Crossin, QC

David Crossin, QC is a partner at Sugden, McFee & Roos LLP, a litigation firm in Vancouver. His practice focuses primarily in the areas of criminal, administrative, and commercial litigation. Mr. Crossin appears regularly as counsel at all levels of court and before various administrative tribunals, and advises lawyers in both personal and professional matters.

First elected as a County of Vancouver Bencher in 2009, Mr. Crossin is currently a member of the Law Society’s Executive Committee and Rule of Law and Lawyer Independence Advisory Committee, and chairs the Ethics Committee. Previously he has served on the Access to Legal Services Advisory Committee, the Ethics Committee (both as a member and as vice-chair), and on the Adjudication / Prosecution and Discipline Guidelines Task Forces.

Mr. Crossin has served on the board of directors of the Legal Services Society of British Columbia since 2007, for the past two years as chair. He is a member of the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Law Society fees for 2014

The Benchers will set the Law Society fees for 2014 fees pursuant to the Legal Profession Act, following their review of the Finance Committee’s recommendations at the September 27, 2013 Bencher meeting. The Finance Committee will base its recommendations on a thorough review of the Law Society’s finances, statutory mandate and strategic plan. An overview of the 2014 fees as set by the Benchers will be presented at the 2013 Annual General Meeting on October 1, 2013, and will be posted to the Highlights section of the Law Society website prior to that meeting.

The Finance Committee and senior management are conducting a full review of the Law Society’s operational budgets for 2014 as the basis for the 2014 fees, including the General Fund practice fee, in addition to the Lawyers Insurance Fund assessment and the Trust Administration Fee. The overall objective when setting the practice fee is to ensure that the operations of the General Fund are appropriately funded to enable the Law Society to efficiently and effectively fulfill its statutory mandate to protect the public interest in the administration of justice.

The Finance Committee is also reviewing budgets and fee proposals from a number of organizations and programs traditionally supported by the Law Society fees, including: Courthouse Libraries BC, the Lawyers Assistance Program, The Advocate, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, the Canadian Legal Information Institute and the delivery of pro bono legal services.

If you have any questions about the process for setting the 2014 fees, contact Jeanette McPhee, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Trust Regulation, by telephone at 604.443.5712 (toll-free in BC at 1.800.903.5300) or email at jmcphee@lsbc.org.  

Resolution 1: Election of Law Society Second Vice-President for 2014

BE IT RESOLVED that David Crossin, QC be elected as the Law Society’s Second Vice-President for the year commencing January 1, 2014.

Resolution 2: Appointment of Law Society auditors for 2013

BE IT RESOLVED that PricewaterhouseCoopers be appointed as the Law Society’s auditors for the year ending December 31, 2013.

Resolution 3: Member resolution

The Law Society Rules permit any two members in good standing to submit a resolution for consideration at the Annual General Meeting.

We, Cameron Ward and Martha Katerberg, members in good standing of the Law Society of British Columbia, propose the following resolution to be presented at and voted upon at the 2013 Annual General Meeting of the Law Society of British Columbia:


A. The Law Society created a Governance Review Task Force with the objective of assessing "the Law Society's current governance structure and practices in light of global scrutiny of self-regulating bodies and evolving 'best practices' in governance.”

B. In its interim report delivered to the Benchers in July of 2012, the Governance Review Task Force stated:

In light of the growing expectations on boards to be transparent (and the increasing scrutiny of their practices by stakeholders), boards across all sectors are becoming more and more proactive in terms of disclosure. Two examples of matters that are increasingly disclosed (either to other board members or to the public at large) are director attendance records and director expense reimbursement....[I]n light of the Benchers' commitment to transparency and accountability, it may be worthwhile for the Benchers to consider whether such information ought to proactively be disclosed on an annual basis, either to other Benchers, to members or to the public at large.

C. The Governance Review Task Force recommended that the Law Society "consider whether individual Bencher expense reimbursement should be disclosed."

D. In December of 2012, the Benchers rejected the recommendation of the Governance Review Task Force and declined to consider disclosing individual bencher expense reimbursements.

E. The members fund the governance of the Law Society by making annual fee payments at levels assessed by the Benchers and are therefore entitled to transparency and accountability in respect of how the benchers spend the members' fee payments.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Law Society disclose the complete individual Bencher expense records of all Benchers, from January 1, 2012 forward, by posting them on its website.


Message from the Benchers regarding Resolution 3:

The resolution submitted by Mr. Ward and Ms. Katerberg for consideration by the members at the Annual General Meeting proposes that that the Law Society disclose the complete individual Bencher expense records of all Benchers, from January 1, 2012 forward, by posting them on its website.

The Benchers considered the disclosure of individual Bencher expenses in conjunction with many other recommendations arising from the 2012 governance review. At the time, the Benchers were concerned that disclosure of individual Bencher expenses would be unfair to those Benchers from outside the lower mainland whose expenses are invariably higher due to travel and accommodation costs associated with their attendance to Law Society business. However, the Benchers also created a new Governance Committee and charged it with considering governance issues and making further recommendations to the Benchers.

The Governance Committee has now considered the issue of disclosing individual Bencher expenses. It has recommended that the Benchers publish on the Law Society website an annual summary of individual Bencher expenses by category, which will provide an appropriate level of transparency that will permit members to understand the differences in Bencher expenses. The Benchers will consider this recommendation before the annual general meeting.

November 15, 2013 Benchers general election

A general election of the Law Society of British Columbia Benchers will be held on November 15, 2013, for a two-year term commencing January 1, 2014. In late August a notice of election and call for nominations was mailed to the profession and a nomination form was made available for download from the home page of the Law Society website at www.lawsociety.bc.ca (see link under Highlights). Under the Law Society Rules, each nomination must be signed by two members in good standing who are eligible to vote in the relevant district, and must be received by the Law Society by October 15, 2013.

The Benchers note that Aboriginal lawyers, solicitors, visible minority lawyers, women and young lawyers continue to be under-represented among elected Benchers. All lawyers who meet the qualifications for Bencher and want to contribute to the governance of the profession are encouraged to stand for election, but Aboriginal lawyers, visible minority lawyers, women lawyers, young lawyers and lawyers practicing predominantly in solicitors’ fields are encouraged to do so. The Benchers believe that the Law Society’s mandate to protect the public interest in the administration of justice will be best served by leadership from diverse backgrounds and experience.

Information session on the roles and duties of a Bencher

Immediately following completion of the official business of the Annual General Meeting, an information session on the roles and duties of a Bencher will take place at the Abbotsford, Vancouver and Victoria meeting venues (see next page for locations). Current and former Benchers will be on hand at each location to answer questions and to share their perspectives on Bencher service.

Seven Benchers will complete their final term of office at the end of this year (see Rule 1-1.1(1), which means that at least seven new Benchers will be elected in the 2013 general election.


2013 Annual General Meeting locations
Please RSVP to the email address beside the location you plan to attend.
If sending an RSVP for others in your office as well, note the number of attendees in your email.
RSVP deadline is Monday, September 23, 2013



RSVP by email to:


Pan Pacific Vancouver, Crystal Pavilion A
300 - 999 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC V6C 3B5



Ramada Plaza & Conference Centre, Summit Room
36035 North Parallel Road, Abbotsford, BC V3G 2C6



Fireside Inn, Boardroom
1810 8 Avenue, Castlegar, BC V1N 2Y2



Ministry of Justice, Boardroom
201 Access Center, 100 Cranbrook Street North,
Cranbrook, BC  V1C 3P9  


Fort St. John

North Peace Cultural Centre, Carpet Room
10015 100th Avenue, Fort St John, BC V1J 1Y7



The Plaza Heritage Hotel, Devick Room
405 Victoria Street, Kamloops, BC V2C 2A9



The Coast Capri Hotel, Vineyard Room 4
1171 Harvey Avenue, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6E8



The Coast Bastion Inn, Douglas Room
11 Bastion Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 6E4


Prince George

The Coast Inn of the North, Hedrick Room
770 Brunswick Street, Prince George, BC V2L 2C2


Prince Rupert

Crest Hotel, Harbour Room
222 1st Avenue West, Prince Rupert, BC V8J 1A8



Alpenhorn Bistro & Bar, Boardroom
1261 Main Street, Smithers, BC V0J 2N0



Best Western Plus Terrace Inn, Coho Room
4553 Greig Avenue, Terrace, BC V8G 1M7



Hotel Grand Pacific, Pender Island Ballroom
463 Belleville Street, Victoria, BC V8V 1X3