Exceptional lawyers recognized with QC designation – CBABC
December 19, 2016
Forty British Columbia lawyers have been appointed the honorary title of Queen’s counsel, or QC, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton announced on December 16, 2016.
Appointees include lawyers who specialize in First Nations law, criminal law, commercial litigation, family law and mediation. The appointees have distinguished themselves by their commitments to continuing legal education, community volunteerism and mentorship of new legal professionals.
Here is the complete list of all the CBABC members who were appointed this year:
(Listed chronologically by date called to the bar)
Gabriel Mark Anthony Somjen is senior counsel with Borden, Ladner, Gervais and has practised law for more than 40 years with a focus on the areas of labour and employment law, including both federal and provincial labour board matters. As an arbitrator and mediator, he often presides as chair in labour arbitrations and mediations. Somjen has delivered legal training in the legal community and volunteered service with community groups such as Breakfast for Learning, Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, Vancouver Art Gallery and Vancouver Youth Theatre.
Phillip Collwell Rankin has maintained a practice of criminal and immigration litigation since his call to the bar in 1979, when he set up his own firm, Rankin & Bond, formerly Rankin, Stone and McMurray. He has appeared as counsel at all levels of courts in B.C. and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada. Rankin serves as guest lecturer for the Simon Fraser University Criminology program and from 1979 to 1988 was a trustee of the Vancouver School Board, which presented him with a certificate of appreciation to recognize his long, meritorious service. He was recognized by the Legal Services Society (LSS) for outstanding service and his willingness to take on difficult cases.
Peter Dean Fairey was called to the bar in 1981 and is a corporate and commercial lawyer at Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, which he joined as partner in 2007. Fairey is active as a governor of the Law Foundation of B.C., director of the Continuing Legal Education Society (CLES) and elected member of Canadian Bar Association (CBA) councils. Additionally, he has been a contributing author to the B.C. Company Law Practice Manual for many years. He has given back to the community through leadership roles with the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Canadian Diabetes Association, from which he received a National Distinguished Dedication Award.
Dean Parker John Lawton has been a partner with Carfra Lawton LLP, a firm he and James Carfra began in 1985 in Victoria. During his practice of insurance law and civil proceedings, he has represented a wide range of clients from individuals to not-for-profit organizations and has appeared before all levels of courts in B.C. and in the Supreme Court of Canada. Lawton is a credentialed mediator and has mediated disputes involving litigated private and public law issues. In 2014 as a bencher of LSBC, he was appointed to the board of CLES. His community involvement included the United Way of Greater Victoria and the YW-YMCA of Greater Victoria
Campaign for Youth.
Wilfred Danny M. Marcotte has practised in several areas of law beginning with litigation and a more recent emphasis on corporate, business, real estate and wills and estates. He is a former instructor of law and economics at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George. Marcotte created e-conveyance, the first internet-based electronic real estate transaction platform. He has been involved with many community and volunteer activities including Prince George Hospice Society, Prince George YMCA and founding member of the Nechako Rotary Club.
Roelof (Roy) Adrianus W. Nieuwenburg is a senior partner with Clark Wilson LLP in Vancouver and has a commercial practice that includes construction and procurement, leasing, commercial real estate, development, mergers and acquisitions, corporate and financing. He has overseen major files for top B.C. universities and was founding chair of the Banking Law Subsection of the CBABC. He was lead counsel for the Vancouver Airport Authority for the development and construction of the new Canada Post Pacific Processing Centre on Sea Island. Nieuwenburg has active community involvement with a variety of organizations, including the Canadian Forces Liaison Council and the Westport Neighbourhood Association.
Morag Mary Jean MacLeod is sole practitioner in a practice restricted to family law in Vancouver. She is also a mediator, arbitrator and parenting co-ordinator experienced in the resolution of complex, high-conflict family law cases. MacLeod has been a leader in the move toward alternate dispute resolution for family law matters and was a founding member of what became the Parenting Coordinators Roster Society, of which she is currently president. She is a contributor to continuing legal education family law publications. MacLeod’s community activities include the Richmond Art Gallery Association, Community Arts Council of Richmond and founding member of JASMINE Justice Access Society for Maintaining Independence & Empowerment.
Bruno De Vita is Managing Partner of Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP and a senior member of its litigation department. He has been with the firm since his call to the bar in 1984. In his practice, he handles a broad range of civil and commercial litigation in the areas of insurance, professional liability, class action, personal injury and local government. In 2014, the CBABC honoured De Vita as Insurance Lawyer of the Year in recognition of excellence and mentorship. He was appointed an arbitrator to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, an international tribunal based in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2015; he sits on both the general panel and the football panel.
Celso Alessandro Andrea Boscariol is a partner with Watson Goepel LLP, which he joined in 1998. He is a senior corporate commercial lawyer with a practice focused on corporate commercial, real estate, environmental, government relations and business law matters. Boscariol is actively involved in mentoring young lawyers in the law, client service and the ethics of the practice of law. He volunteers with community organizations such as Burnaby Minor Baseball Association, Burnaby Hospital Society and St. Mark’s College/Corpus Christi College. Boscariol has been honoured with a Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, Canada 125 commemorative medal and Cavaliere deli’Ordine della Stella della Solidarieta or Knight of the Italian Republic – Star of Solidarity.
John Frederick Grieve has practised insolvency and restructuring for more than 30 years, all of them at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP and its predecessor. For the last nine years, he has been chair of the firm’s Global Insolvency and Restructuring Group. Grieve has appeared before the courts of B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario and has led or had a significant role in proceedings such as Matters of Eron Mortgage Corporation, Bear Mountain Master Partnership, Catalyst Paper, Pope & Talbot and Angiotech Pharmaceuticals.
Barbara Jean Norell began practice in the areas of insurance, solicitor’s negligence and medical malpractice defence. Today she is a partner in health law with Harper Grey LLP with a practice in civil litigation defence, administrative law and privacy law. Norell is an architect and supporter of initiatives to encourage the retention and leadership of women in law. She is a mentor within her firm and through the CBA women’s forum and to other women within the profession. Additionally, she is Delta’s appointed representative on the South Fraser Family Court and Youth Justice Committee.
Craig Anthony (Tony) Wilson has practised francise, IP and commercial law as associate counsel at Boughton Law of Vancouver since 2004. He has been a bencher of the LSBC since 2012 and is actively involved in law reform in B.C. as a member of the Unfair Contracts Relief Project of the B.C. Law Institute (BCLI). Wilson was a member of the advisory committee to the Ministry of Justice with respect to the Franchises Act (Bill 38), which the Legislature passed in 2015. He has also written two books: one on franchise law and the other about online reputation management law.
Melissa (Lisa) Anne Peters is Senior Research and Opinions Partner with Lawson Lundell LLP, where she has been since 2000. Her practice as an in-house, practical academic involves drafting opinions on a wide range of legal topics in litigation and transactional contexts, as well as drafting submissions for all levels of court, legislative interpretation and advising on contract interpretation and drafting. Peters is chair of the BCLI and has served on the board since 2010. She is also an Access Pro Bono volunteer and participates in a variety of community activities.
Jennifer Chow has been a litigator for more than 25 years and since 1998 has been senior counsel/litigator with the Department of Justice in Vancouver where she leads litigation teams and has conduct over a wide range of complex civil litigation files that involve constitutional law, Aboriginal rights and title, the duty to consult, treaty ratification, administrative law and judicial review. She has appeared at all levels of court in B.C., the federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada. Chow is also current past president of the CBABC.
Michael James Yawney is managing partner at Vernon’s Nixon Winger LLP with a practice focus as civil litigator and trial lawyer. In his more than 20 years at the firm, he has appeared before all levels of courts in B.C., as well as administrative tribunals and regulatory agencies. Yawney’s community involvement includes North Okanagan Brain Injury Society, United Way, Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation and Vernon Hospice House. He is also involved with the Thompson Rivers University law school mentorship program.
William Laurence Scott has been called to the bar in Ontario, Nova Scotia and B.C. He opened his own law firm, Scott & Company in Kamloops in January 2000 and practices in the area of divorce and family law. He opened a branch office in Merritt to serve a large clientele of low income and First Nations families who did not have easy access to legal advice. Scott moved his practice to New Westminster in Sept. 2004 and is associated with the Quay Law Centre. He has served as a local president of the Navy League, is on the board of Kamloops Children with Autism and has advocated for persons in the LGBTQ community.
Janet Jacy Wingson is a partner at McQuarrie Hunter LLP, where she conducts maters from initial instructions to trial and appeal in the areas of estate disputes, commercial, contract disputes, debt collection, real estate disputes and professional negligence claims. She has been with the firm since 1993 and shares her expertise with younger lawyers, the profession and the communities she serves. Since her arrival in B.C. from Trinidad in 1992, she has taken leadership roles in the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, B.C. and has been a member of the CBA Equality Committee.
Nitya Iyer works on complex, significant issues of constitutional and administrative law, human rights and information and privacy topics that are relevant and important to ensure access to justice in a diverse society. Since 2011, she has been a partner at Lovett Westmacott in Vancouver. Iyer has argued eight times in the Supreme Court of Canada and has been appointed to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, as Equal Pay Commissioner of the Northwest Territories and was recently one of three members of the Dalhousie Task Force on Sexism, Misogyny and Homophobia in the Dental Faculty.
Robert Bruce Ellis Hallsor is managing partner at Crease Harman LLP where he specializes in wills, estates and trusts. Prior to his call to the bar in 1996, he worked in the Provincial Legislature and held various portfolios from 1987 to 1995, including assistant to the B.C. Minister of Labour and Consumer Services and assistant to the Minister of Forests and Lands. He was a founding public member of the B.C. College of Social Workers in 2010, where he served until 2016. He has also been active with the Royal B.C. Museum Foundation and sits on the national board of directors of Fair Vote Canada.
Charlotte Aggie Salomon is a partner with McConnan Bion O’Connor & Peterson Law Corp. of Victoria, where she is a civil litigator. She has served the CBABC in many volunteer capacities, including member of the Advisory Committee to the Judicial Council of B.C., Court Services Committee and Government Relations Committee. Salomon is active in the community in Our Place Society, Union Club of British Columbia, St. Michaels University School Advancement Committee and Chabad of Vancouver Island Society.
Andrew David Gay has practised civil litigation since 2005 at Gudmundseth Mickelson LLP where he is a partner. His areas of focus are government liability, administrative law, nuisance law and liquor law. He has represented the Province in cases involving government liability in tort, acted for the Province in constitutional litigation concerning the salaries of Provincial Court Judges, defended the Director of Civil Forfeiture and been co-counsel in the class action relating to historic abuse at the Woodlands School. For seven years, Gay has co-taught an upper-year seminar on government liabilities and issues of public law at the Peter A. Allard School of Law.
Sean Travis Pihl practices personal injury litigation, labour and employment and commercial litigation at Pihl Law Corporation in Kelowna. He has appeared at all levels of court in B.C. and before a variety of tribunals and arbitrations for human rights, labour and employment. Pihl has been active with the Kelowna Bar Association in many roles and is an ongoing guest lecturer at UBC Okanagan on employment, labour and human rights law. In 2013 he was awarded the Fred Macklin Memorial Award for Man of the Year in recognition of outstanding contributions to the City of Kelowna.
Tina Louise Dion was called to the bar in 1999 and since 2012 has been in private practice with an emphasis on Aboriginal administrative law. From 2006 to 2012, she was with Tsawwassen First Nation as in-house counsel and director of legal services to assist in the transition to a selfgoverning entity. In that role, she assisted in developing legislation and by-laws and worked to integrate Tsawwassen’s prosecution function with the provincial court. Dion regularly chairs the Aboriginal Administrative Law conference hosted by the CLES. She is appointed to the boards of the College of Psychiatric Nurses of B.C. and the Justice Institute of B.C.
Read the full press release from the Government of British Columbia