2010 Annual General Meeting of The Law Society of British Columbia

August 27, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver, Crystal Pavilion A, 300-999 Canada Place, Vancouver
Audio-conference locations (see page 6 for addresses):
Abbotsford • Castlegar • Dawson Creek • Kamloops • Kelowna • Nanaimo
Prince George • Prince Rupert • Smithers • Victoria
Registration and lunch: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm (11:45 am – 12:30 pm outside Vancouver)
Call to order: 12:30 pm

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, September 28, 2010. The main location is in Vancouver, with the meeting linked to 10 audio-conference locations — in Abbotsford, Castlegar, Dawson Creek, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Smithers and Victoria.

Please register on arrival and obtain your voting card. Only members of the Law Society of BC are eligible to vote and you may be asked for identification.

Your RSVP is urgently requested

If you plan to attend the 2010 Annual General Meeting, please email your RSVP by September 17, 2010, using the list of AGM locations and email addresses set out on the back panel 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 AGM includes the following:

  • Election of the Second Vice-President for 2011
  • Appointment of Law Society auditors for 2011
  • Practice fee resolution
  • Members’ resolution
Election of Second Vice-President for 2011

Each year at the AGM members elect a Bencher 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 Art Vertlieb, QC to serve as Second Vice-President in 2011 and invite the profession to support the nomination.

Under Rule 1-3(2), the Second Vice-President for 2011 will become First Vice-President in 2012 and President in 2013..

 

Resolutions

Resolution 1: Appointment of Law Society auditors, submitted by the Audit Committee

BE IT RESOLVED that PricewaterhouseCoopers be appointed as the Law Society auditors for 2011.

Resolution 2: 2011 practice fee, submitted by the Benchers

WHEREAS:

A. the Benchers have determined that the amount of $1,399.04 per practising lawyer is required to maintain and operate the programs of the Law Society and to otherwise discharge its statutory mandate during the year 2011; and

B. the Benchers have determined that it is appropriate to advance the interests of the Law Society by paying per practising lawyer the amounts to the organizations indicated below:

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada - $20.00

The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) - $32.25 

The Law Foundation of BC (pro bono contribution) - $14.35 

Courthouse Libraries BC - $180.00

Lawyers Assistance Program  - $56.00

Vancouver Bar Association (The Advocate) - $27.50

 

BE IT RESOLVED THAT, commencing January 1, 2011, the practice fee be set at $1,729.14 pursuant to s. 23(1)(a) of the Legal Profession Act.

Resolution 3: Members’ resolution, submitted by Ian R. Sisett, Robert Porter, QC and Tom Smithwick, QC.

WHEREAS:

A. The requirement for the amount of LSBC CPD [Continuing Professional Development] hours for members makes no allowance for those of limited and non full-time practice.

B. And whereas some provisions should be made to facilitate semi retirement rather than the full requirement for other members.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:

1. The Professional Development Rules be amended to provide that the requirements for any member in part-time practice consisting of twenty hours or less per week, the LSBC CPD shall be reduced to six hours per year but shall include two hours of professional responsibility and ethics, client care and relations and/or practice management.

Message from the Benchers regarding Resolution 3

The Benchers are not in favour of the amendment to the current CPD requirements set out in the members’ resolution.

In approving the recommendation of the Lawyer Education Advisory Committee in 2008 that both full and part-time practitioners be subject to the full 12-hour CPD requirement, the Benchers determined that requiring anything less for part-time members would be inconsistent with the Law Society’s mandate to protect the public interest. The level of knowledge and skill that a lawyer must bring to the provision of legal services does not depend on whether a lawyer provides legal services on a full-time or part-time basis. The public needs to be confident that all lawyers are qualified and competent and the Benchers have determined that 12 hours of CPD a year is the minimum standard to achieve this. Requiring a lesser number of CPD hours for part-time lawyers is inconsistent with this rationale.

 

Overview of 2011 fees

The Benchers recommend a total annual fee of $3,484.14 for 2011. The practice fee will increase by $95.64 to $1,729.14, the first increase in two years. The insurance fee will also increase by $150, reflecting the continuing exposure of the profession to claims arising from the economic downturn. However, the Special Compensation Fund assessment will decrease by $45 to $5, reflecting the assumption of defalcation coverage under Part B of the insurance program and the resolution of almost all the outstanding claims arising prior to May 2004. The Bencher presentation on fees and the associated budgets for each fund is available on the Law Society website; see the link from this notice in the Publications & Forms/Notices section at www.lawsociety.bc.ca.

Annual practice fee - $1,729.14

Special Compensation Fund assessment - $5.00

 Lawyers Insurance Fund assessment - $1,750.00

Total = $3,484.14

2010 fees - $3,283.50

Increase (6.1%) - $200.64

Practice fee

The Benchers recommend a practice fee to the members based on a thorough review of the Law Society’s finances by the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee met with Chief Executive Officer Tim McGee and senior management to review the proposed 2011 fees and budgets for the General Fund, the Lawyers Insurance Fund and the Special Compensation Fund. The Finance Committee also reviewed the fee proposals from Courthouse Libraries BC, the Lawyers Assistance Program and The Advocate. Based on these meetings and reviews, the Finance Committee made recommendations to the Benchers regarding the fees for each of these funds and programs. These recommendations were reviewed by the Executive Committee in June and approved by the Benchers at their July meeting.

The overall objective of the practice fee recommendation is to ensure that operations of the General Fund are appropriately funded to enable the Law Society to efficiently and effectively fulfill its statutory mandate of protecting the public interest in the administration of justice.

Law Society operations

Of the proposed $95.64 increase in the practice fee, $79 relates to the decision to fund the existing forensic accounting program from the practice fee rather than the trust administration fee, while the balance relates to the funding of external organizations.

As noted last year, the trust administration fee revenue for 2010 was not expected to be sufficient to cover the cost of the existing trust assurance and forensic accounting programs. In November 2009, the Benchers considered how the forensic accounting program should be funded and determined that the program was most appropriately funded by the practice fee. Thus while General Fund expenses, exclusive of the forensic accounting and internal rent adjustments, are expected to increase by 1% in 2011, an anticipated increase in revenue (based on average practising membership of 10,575) will offset the increase in General Fund expenses for 2011.

Overall 2011 General Fund operating expenses are budgeted to increase by 2.5% from 2010 budgeted levels. The main budgeted changes are as follows:

  • market-based compensation adjustments
  • net change of three staff positions — a staff lawyer to support the society’s strategic initiatives, support for continuing professional development, and administrative support for the Benchers — offset by the reduction of one management position
  • lower external counsel fees due to reductions in legal defence costs

Based on current economic conditions, the trust administration fee revenue for 2011 is projected to be sufficient to cover the cost of the trust administration program with no increase to the current fee of $10.

Funding for other organizations

The Benchers have determined that it is appropriate to advance the interests of the Law Society by supporting the following organizations: the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, Canadian Legal Information Institute, Law Foundation of BC (pro bono programs), Courthouse Libraries BC, Lawyers Assistance Program and Vancouver Bar Association (The Advocate). More information was provided in the first notice of AGM, which can be found on the Law Society website in Publications & Forms / Notices.

Special Compensation Fund assessment

The Benchers have reduced the Special Compensation Fund assessment to $5 for 2011, a reduction of $45 from 2010. As noted last year, the decrease is made possible by the expected conclusion of the last remaining claims during 2011/2012, and by the management of new defalcation claims under Part B insurance coverage.

Lawyers Insurance Fund assessment

The Benchers have resolved to increase the 2011 insurance fee by $150, to $1,750. The impact of the recession on claims frequency in 2010 is consistent with 2009, which increased by 13% over 2008. Economic downturns have always generated increased claims activity in the one to three-year period following the downturn, and the 2008 recession is no exception. While the value of the fund’s investments has recovered substantially in the latter part of 2009 and the early part of 2010, there remains some concern that continuing financial instability may impact the value of market-based assets in the future. While the fund’s total investments remain sufficient to cover expected liabilities and provide some measure of reserve, the investment income that has offset some of the insurance costs has declined and is likely to continue to be lower than in the past.

As a result, the Benchers have resolved to increase the 2011 insurance fee by $150. This increase is being echoed in the insurance programs in other Canadian law societies, which are facing similar pressures on their reserves. It is hoped that continued modest increases in the insurance fee will generate sufficient revenue to offset greater claims costs and avoid the need for a more dramatic increase a few years down the road.

Total fee comparison with other law societies*

free comparison chart

* fees for other law societies based on 2010 information adjusted by 3% for comparability

For more financial information

If you have questions about the proposed fees or the financial information in this notice, contact Jeanette McPhee, Chief Financial Officer, by telephone at 604-443-5712 (toll-free in BC 1-800-903-5300) or email at jmcphee@lsbc.org.

2010 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 in your email.

RSVP deadline is Friday, September 17, 2010

City/town

Location

RSVP by email to:

Vancouver

Pan Pacific Vancouver, Crystal Pavilion A
300-999 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC V6C3B5

vancouver@lsbc.org

Abbotsford

Best Western Regency Inn, Conference Center
32110 Marshall Road, Abbotsford, BC V2T 1A1

abbotsford@lsbc.org

Castlegar

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

castlegar@lsbc.org

Dawson Creek

The George Dawson Inn
11705-8th Street, Dawson Creek, BC V1G 4N9

dawson_creek@lsbc.org

Kamloops

The Coast Canadian Inn
339 St. Paul Street, Kamloops, BC V2C 2J5

kamloops@lsbc.org

Kelowna

Sandman Hotel Kelowna
2130 Harvey Avenue, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6G8

kelowna@lsbc.org

Nanaimo

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

nanaimo@lsbc.org

Prince George

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

prince_george@lsbc.org

Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert’s Crest Hotel
222 West 1st Avenue, Prince Rupert, BC V8J 1A8

prince_rupert@lsbc.org

Smithers

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

smithers@lsbc.org

Victoria

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

victoria@lsbc.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Art Vertlieb, QC

Art Vertlieb, QC Art Vertlieb, QC practises with Vertlieb Dosanjh in Vancouver, focusing on personal injury law, professional disputes, and general civil litigation. Prior to attending UBC law school, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at the University of Arizona.

First elected a Bencher of the Law Society in 2004, Vertlieb is currently Chair of the Discipline Committee, Chair of the Delivery of Legal Services Task Force, and a member of the Executive Committee. He has previously served as Chair of the Equity and Diversity Committee, Vice-Chair of the Audit Committee, and Vice-Chair and member of the Discipline Committee; member of the Credentials, Regulatory Policy, Competency and Medical-Legal Liaison Committees, the Independence and Self-Governance Advisory Committee, and the Small Firm and Civil Justice Reform Task Forces.

Vertlieb is a member of the Judicial Council of BC, a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a Governor of the American Association for Justice and a member of the Law Society of Yukon Discipline Committee. He is a founding Vice-President and former President of the Trial Lawyers Association of BC, a founding member and former Chair of the Lawyers Assistance Program, a former Director of the BC Courthouse Library Society and the Continuing Legal Education Society, and a former member of the Ministry of Labour Substance Abuse.

Vertlieb most recently served as Commission Counsel to the Braidwood Commission of Inquiry. He devotes his free time to his wife Bev and his three sons, and to playing hockey with the UBC alumni.