THE Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch, (CBABC) celebrated the outstanding contributions of its members in the legal community at the Annual Bar Awards Luncheon on June 15 in Richmond.
Harry Rankin, QC Pro Bono Award
In memory of Harry Rankin, QC’s immense support of access to justice for the poor, this award acknowledges commitment to pro bono service. 2019 recipient David Wotherspoon is committed to representing people facing seemingly insurmountable odds – people in need of creative, experienced and dedicated counsel. Wotherspoon believes lawyers have a duty to assist society’s most vulnerable people and has defended a homeless encampment in Maple Ridge. On another occasion, after providing advice to a client in need, he declined payment and suggested the client could instead donate to Pivot Legal Society – that person did make that donation.
Equality & Diversity Award
This award celebrates a lawyer dedicated to advancing equality in the legal profession, or generally in British Columbia. Since her call to the bar, 2019 recipient Kamaljit Lehal has worked tirelessly to end violence against women and has advocated for changes to laws and policies that compromise the safety of immigrant women. Her work includes speaking to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and helping to create a pro bono clinic for the South Asian community. She also has contributed to CBABC’s work on the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
Innovative Workplace Award
This award recognizes innovation in rethinking the model of legal services; in challenging societal, institutional or historical barriers; and in serving the bar. The award was accepted by David Clancy on behalf of 2019 recipient Technical Safety BC – a self-funded, not-for-profit organization that acts as a regulator, overseeing installation and operation of technical systems across the province. It recently built a brand new, healthier worksite with improved accessibility, with LEED gold standards for environmental sustainability, and with a goal to go largely paperless. Its 10-year strategy includes using analytics, business intelligence and machine learning.
CBABC extended congratulations and gratitude to all nominees and recipients of the 2019 Bar Awards, noting that their hard work and dedication sets a worthy example for everyone in BC’s legal community.
The Canadian Bar Association is the professional organization representing more than 36,000 lawyers, judges and law students across Canada with over 7,000 members in British Columbia.