2015 Annual General Meeting of the Law Society of British Columbia

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Registration: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm PST (Vancouver); 11:45 am – 12:30 pm PST (other locations)
Call to order: 12:30 pm PST

Main location: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, The Panorama Roof, 900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver

Audio-conference locations: Victoria • Nanaimo • Abbotsford • Surrey • Castlegar • Cranbrook Kelowna • Prince George • Fort St. John • Prince Rupert • Smithers • Terrace • Kamloops

BC lawyers and articled students are invited to attend the next Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Law Society, which will be held on Wednesday, October 14, 2015.

The main venue will be in Vancouver, linked by audio-conference to the 13 other locations. Please register on arrival to obtain your voting card. You may be asked for identification. Only Law Society of BC members in good standing (whether practising, non-practising or retired) will be eligible to vote at the meeting. Please see page 6 for venue and Fast track pre-registration information.


Webcast – new this year!

Members and students unable to attend the AGM will be able to watch and listen to the business of the AGM via webcast. This marks the first step towards electronic participation at AGMs. The Benchers will be looking into other opportunities in the coming year.

For this year, if you would like to participate and vote at the AGM, you must attend at one of the physical locations. If you are interested in watching and listening via webcast, you may access the link by visiting our website at www.lawsociety.bc.ca and clicking on the AGM banner on the home page.

Business of the meeting

The business of the 2015 Annual General Meeting will be the following:

  • Election of Law Society Second Vice-President for 2016
  • Appointment of Law Society auditors for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2015 (Resolution 1)
  • Announcement of Law Society fees for 2016
  • Consideration of resolutions authorizing Benchers to amend the Rules to provide for:
    • New “CPA” designation for Auditors (Resolution 2)
    • Appointed Benchers’ status at AGM (Resolution 3)
    • Electronic distribution of AGM material (Resolution 4) 
Election of Second Vice-President for 2016

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 1-19. The Benchers are pleased to announce their nomination of Miriam Kresivo, QC to serve as Second Vice-President in 2016, and invite the profession to support Ms. Kresivo’s nomination.

Pursuant to Rule 1-5(2), the Second Vice-President for 2016 will be First Vice-President in 2017 and President in 2018. 


Miriam Kresivo, QCMiriam Kresivo, QC

Miriam Kresivo, QC is currently associate counsel at Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP. Her focus is on corporate and governance matters. Prior to this she was General Counsel of Chevron Canada Limited, dealing with all aspects of the refining, distribution and marketing of petroleum products. 

Elected a Bencher in May 2012, Miriam is currently chair of the Governance Committee, Vice Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee and a member of the Discipline Committee, Executive Committee and Regulation and Insurance Working Group.

Miriam was formerly the Secretary-Treasurer of the Vancouver Bar Association and has been on the executive of both the Canadian Bar Association's Pension Section and Corporate Counsel Section. From 2002 to 2012 she was a director of BC Pavilion Corporation, which owns and operates the Vancouver Convention Centre and BC Place and was involved in the construction of the expansion of the Vancouver Convention Centre and the renovation of BC Place. She has served on the UBC Alumni Awards Committee and has been a director of the Vancouver Writers Festival. She is currently a director of the Hamber Foundation.

Law Society fees for 2016

The Benchers will set the 2016 fees pursuant to the Legal Profession Act, following their review of the Finance and Audit Committee’s recommendations at the September 25, 2015 Bencher meeting. The Finance and Audit Committee bases its recommendations on a thorough review of the Law Society’s finances, statutory mandate and strategic plan. An overview of the 2016 fees set by the Benchers will be presented at the 2015 Annual General Meeting and will be posted to the Highlights section of the Law Society website.

The Finance and Audit Committee and senior management are conducting a full review of the Law Society’s operational budgets for 2016 as the basis for the 2016 fees, including the General Fund practice fee, the Lawyers Insurance Fund assessment and the Trust Administration Fee. The overall objective when setting the fees is to ensure that the Law Society’s operations are appropriately funded to enable the Society to efficiently and effectively fulfill its statutory mandate to protect the public interest in the administration of justice.

The Finance and Audit 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 (CanLII) and the delivery of pro bono legal services.

If you have any questions about the process for setting the 2016 fees, contact Jeanette McPhee, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Trust Regulation, by telephone at 604.443.5712 (toll-free at 1.800.903.5300) or email jmcphee@lsbc.org.

Consideration of resolutions allowing Benchers to amend Rules

Section 12 of the Legal Profession Act requires the approval of two-thirds of members voting in a general meeting or referendum before the Benchers can make rule changes with respect to certain matters, including general meetings of the Law Society, and appointment of Law Society auditors. At this AGM, members are asked to vote on three resolutions to indicate whether they favour the Benchers making rule changes on:

  • updating the designation of the Law Society Auditors from CA or CGA to CPA
  • permitting Appointed Benchers to attend and speak at a general meeting as of right
  • distributing AGM material electronically

Commentary providing background on each of these resolutions will be included below.

Resolution 1: Appointment of Law Society auditors for 2015

BE IT RESOLVED that PricewaterhouseCoopers be appointed as the Law Society’s auditors for the year ending December 31, 2015.

Resolution 2: CPA designation for Auditors

BE IT RESOLVED to authorize the Benchers to amend the Law Society Rules 2015, pursuant to the Chartered Professional Accountants Act, SBC 2015, c. 1, by rescinding Rule 1-10 (2) and substituting the following:

(2) The auditor appointed under subrule (1) must be a qualified CPA.

Effective June 24, 2015, professional accountants in BC are all Chartered Professional Accountants and the old designations of CA, CGA and CMA are being phased out. The requirement in Rule 1-10 that the Law Society auditors be a CA or CGA needs to be updated. These amendments, affecting the appointment of the Law Society auditors, require the approval of members voting in a general meeting or a referendum.

Resolution 3: Appointed Benchers’ rights at an AGM

BE IT RESOLVED to authorize the Benchers to amend the Law Society Rules 2015 to allow appointed Benchers to attend and speak at a general meeting as of right and to act as a local chair at a general meeting if appointed by the Executive Director.

Our present Rules provide that only members of the Law Society and articled students are entitled to be present and speak at general meetings. After consideration of this by the Act and Rules Committee, the Governance Committee and the Benchers, it is suggested that appointed Benchers, having the same rights and responsibilities as elected Benchers, ought to be able to attend and speak at general meetings as of right. This amendment, affecting the organization of a general meeting, requires approval by the members at a general meeting or by referendum.

Resolution 4: Electronic distribution of AGM Notices

BE IT RESOLVED to authorize the Benchers to amend the Rules respecting general meetings to provide that the required notices of general meetings may be distributed by electronic means instead of by mail as presently required.

Following a July 2015 report of the Governance Committee, the Benchers have resolved to pursue electronic voting at the AGM and for Bencher elections. As work towards that goal continues, the Committee is recommending some interim steps to enhance accessibility, improve efficiency and reduce cost. To enhance accessibility, the Law Society will webcast the AGM in 2015. To improve efficiency, the Benchers are suggesting that the Rules regarding general meetings be amended to provide for the electronic distribution of notices of general meetings; currently the Rules provide that such notices be mailed, which is understood to mean delivery on paper by Canada Post. This amendment, affecting the organization of a general meeting, requires approval by the members at a general meeting or by referendum.

November 16, 2015 Benchers general election

A general election of the Law Society of British Columbia Benchers will be held on November 16, 2015, for a two-year term commencing January 1, 2016. In early September 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, 2015.

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 particularly 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 leaders of diverse backgrounds and experience.

As noted above, the Law Society is working towards implementation of fully electronic Bencher elections with the goal of increasing accessibility and participation. To that end, and to provide transition, the by-election in Vancouver County for 2016 to replace the outgoing President will be conducted both manually and electronically. Members will receive paper notices by mail, as well as electronic notices by email. Members will have the option of voting either by mail-in paper ballots or by electronic submission.


2015 Annual General Meeting locations / pre-registration

Law Society members are encouraged to use the fast track pre-registration form (available in the Login Resources section of the Law Society website at www.lawsociety.bc.ca – access Login Resources via LAWYER LOGIN) to specify the meeting location you expect to attend. Email us at AGM@lsbc.org regarding any meeting access / support needs or AGM questions you may have.



(a light lunch will be available at all AGM locations)

No. 1 - Vancouver


Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, The Panorama Roof
900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC

No. 2 - Victoria


Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour, Pacific B Room
728 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC

No. 3 - Nanaimo


Coast Bastion Inn, Benson Room
11 Bastion Street, Nanaimo, BC

No. 4 - Westminster


Ramada Plaza & Conference Centre, Valley Room
36035 North Parallel Road, Abbotsford, BC


Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel, Green Timbers 1
15269 104th Avenue, Surrey, BC

No. 5 - Kootenay


Fireside Inn, Boardroom
1810 - 8th Avenue, Castlegar, BC


Best Western Cranbrook Hotel, DW Krocker Room
1019 Cranbrook Street North, Cranbrook, BC

No. 6 - Okanagan


Coast Capri Hotel, Vineyard Room – Section 4
1171 Harvey Avenue, Kelowna, BC

No. 7 - Cariboo

Prince George

Ramada Inn Prince George, Dogwood Room
444 George Street, Prince George, BC

Fort St. John

North Peace Cultural Centre, Multi-Purpose Room
10015 - 100th Avenue, Fort St. John, BC

No. 8 - Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert

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


Alpenhorn Bistro & Bar, Boardroom
1261 Main Street, Smithers, BC


Best Western Plus Terrace Inn, Chinook Room
4553 Greig Avenue, Terrace, BC

No. 9 - Kamloops


The Plaza Heritage Hotel, Blackwell Hall
405 Victoria Street, Kamloops, BC


September 15, 2015