Notice of Bencher election in the County of Vancouver (District No. 1) and call for nominations

September 14, 2016

On December 31, 2016 David Crossin, QC will complete his one-year term as President and his final two-year term as a Bencher for the County of Vancouver (District No. 1). Additionally, Vancouver Bencher Maria Morellato, QC (as she then was) was appointed to the Bench, creating a vacancy for the remainder of her term. Accordingly, pursuant to Rules 1-20(2) and 1-38(1), a by-election will be held on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 to elect two Benchers in District No. 1 for a one year term to begin January 1, 2017.


To be valid, nominations of candidates for election must be received by the Law Society by 5:00 pm on Friday, October 14, 2016. Each nomination must be signed by two nominators (who are members in good standing and eligible to vote in District No. 1) and must contain the nominee’s consent to the nomination.


Nomination forms may be obtained by downloading from the home page of the Law Society website at (see link under Highlights) or by contacting Laura Groom, Executive Support Administrator, at 604.697.5823 (toll-free 1.800.903.5300) or

Electronic election

In this year’s by-election, you will have the choice to vote by mail-in paper ballot, or electronically through our secure online voting platform. You will be mailed a paper ballot package including candidate information before November 1. You will also be emailed instructions on voting online. You may choose one of these methods, but not both. If you vote by mail-in paper ballot and electronically, your mail-in ballot will be voided.

Law Society Rules

For information on the election of Benchers, see Rules 1-20 through 1-44. The Law Society Rules are available in the Member’s Manual and in the Publications section of the Law Society website. If you have questions about the election process, please contact Renee Collins, Manager of Executive Support, at 604.443.5706 (toll-free 1.800.903.5300) or

Rules 1-22 and 1-23 outline the qualifications required of a candidate for election as a Bencher and the nomination process. Rule 1-21(1) describes the Bencher electoral districts into which the province is divided. Rule 1-20(2) mandates the election to fill the vacancy left by the outgoing President, and Rule 1-38 outlines the process for a by-election to fill other vacancies. Rule 1-27.1 authorizes the conduct of a Bencher election either partly or wholly by electronic means.

Role and duties of the Benchers

The Benchers are the Law Society’s governors. They govern and administer the affairs of the Society in accordance with the Legal Profession Act, set and enforce standards of professional responsibility for lawyers, and preside at discipline and credentials hearings. Benchers can expect their duties to consume four or five full days a month. For more information on the role and duties of the Benchers, see Bencher’s Oath and Duties on the Law Society website under Benchers. 

Election information package

Following the close of nominations on October 14 and by November 1, 2016, an election package will be mailed to each member of the Law Society on the District No. 1 voter list prepared pursuant to Rule 1-26. The election package will include a basic profile and photograph (if provided) of each candidate, a ballot, a ballot envelope and a return envelope. Information on accessing the online voting platform to vote electronically will also be emailed to each eligible member of the Law Society. The online voting platform will also contain candidate photographs (if provided) and links to full profile information. 

Candidates’ biographies and election statements on Law Society website

Candidates’ biographical summaries and election statements will be posted on the online voting platform and on the Law Society website at by November 1, 2016. The voting package will advertise the webpage link. A lawyer who does not have internet access may request a print copy of the webpage biographical information by contacting Laura Groom at 604.697.5823 (toll-free 1.800.903.5300) or


Benchers encourage diversity in candidates seeking office

The Benchers note that Aboriginal lawyers, solicitors, visible minority lawyers, women lawyers 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 those practising 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 leadership from diverse backgrounds and experience.