26 lawyers appointed as Queen’s counsel
The following Queen’s counsel appointees are listed chronologically by the date they were called to the bar:
Bruce Josephson (1969) was appointed to the Provincial Court in 1975. He served as chief judge of the B.C. Provincial Court from 1988-89, was a judge at the county court of Westminster from 1989-90 and served on the province’s Supreme Court from 1990-2017. At all levels of court, he served with great distinction and was repeatedly involved in judicial training and education. Since retiring from the bench, he has been involved in mediation and arbitration and been a guest speaker at numerous professional gatherings. Bruce has had a remarkable 42-year judicial career and one of the longest in B.C.’s history.
Bruce Ralston (1982) has served as the MLA for Surrey-Whalley since 2005 and is currently B.C.’s minister of energy, mines and low carbon innovation. Prior to that, he was appointed minister of jobs, trade and technology. He served as official opposition spokesperson for many portfolios and was the chair of the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts in 2009, where he advised on public finance and the law. Earlier in his career, he practised law, served on Surrey city council and was recognized by BC Business Magazine as one of B.C.’s leading board chairs.
Kathy Kendall (1984) has largely practised in family and child protection law through the Legal Services Society from 1985 to 2010. Since 2010, she has been self-employed in the family law domain as lead family duty counsel in Kamloops. Throughout her career, Kathy has been engaged in education and service, including as a sessional lecturer at Thompson Rivers University, serving on various boards, including the Board of the Law Foundation. She was the founding chair of the Kamloops Women Lawyers Forum and has also volunteered internationally, reaffirming her commitment to changing the lives of women and children.
John Landry (1984) has been a leading litigator for over 30 years, practicing before the courts in B.C. and many other provincial jurisdictions. John specializes in complex economic and trade-related litigation with an emphasis on international trade, energy, and rail transportation practice areas. Over the last several years, his litigation practice has been primarily before arbitrators and specialized quasi-judicial tribunals. Throughout his career he has shown a passion for advocacy education and training and has led intensive advocacy training programs in the Yukon at the request of the Yukon Law Society.
Karen Martin (1985) is a senior litigator with extensive lead counsel experience in arbitrations, matters before administrative tribunals and court actions, appearing frequently before the B.C. Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of the Yukon, and the B.C. Court of Appeal. She has acted as counsel for and represented the Association of Professional Engineers and cities such as Victoria, Surrey, Richmond, North Vancouver and the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. She is consistently recognized as a leading lawyer by publications such as Chambers (regional and global), Benchmark, Lexpert, Who’s Who, Best Lawyers in Canada and Martindale Hubbell. Karen was recently elected president of the Canadian College of Construction Lawyers.
Doug Jevning (1986) is engaged in the full-time practice of law, primarily in the area of criminal defence. He has also conducted several ad-hoc criminal prosecutions for the provincial Crown. In this area, he has conducted both plaintiff and defendant actions, mediations, trials and appeals. He has given his time to the Canadian Bar Association, the Provincial Court Judicial Advisory Council, and other similar bodies and organizations. In addition, Doug acts as a senior mentor with a national pro bono initiative that matches law student volunteers with qualified lawyer mentors.
Joel Nitikman (1986) is ranked by several publications as one of Canada’s leading tax practitioners. He has appeared as counsel at all levels of court in B.C., Tax Court of Canada, Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, Supreme Courts of Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories, and at the Supreme Court of Canada. He has acted as an expert tax witness in civil litigation for plaintiffs and defendants. Joel has been an adjunct professor of tax at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC since 2001. He is also editor-in-chief of International Tax Planning.
Tom Fellhauer (1988) was one of the first lawyers in the interior of British Columbia to specialize in tax and charities law. His practice has included a wide range of tax-related matters, including disputes, tax and estate planning, trusts, corporate law and charities law. His other contributions include being elected four times as a bencher for the Law Society of BC (Okanagan District). As a bencher, Tom has participated in numerous conduct meetings, conduct reviews and has chaired hearing panels and review boards. Over the years, he became a trusted source for ethical advice to lawyers both inside and outside the Okanagan District.
Tara Britnell (1989) practices in the areas of Aboriginal law and commercial litigation. Her work in Aboriginal law included drafting the first set of bylaws for the Sechelt First Nation after it became self-governing. Tara was co-counsel for the appellant in Williams v. Canada, , a seminal case on taxation of employment income under the Indian Act. In addition to practising corporate and commercial litigation, she developed expertise in the areas of defamation and media law, including challenging publication bans and obtaining access to court exhibits. She is a former member of the West Coast LEAF speakers’ bureau and ran a legal clinic for Battered Women’s Support Services.
Nancy Carter (1991) is a recognized leader in civil and family justice reforms. The effects of the policy and legislative changes she has steered have had a significant impact on the profession, particularly in the area of family justice transformation. Since 2006, she has been leading civil and family law reform for the Ministry of Attorney General and driving some of the major law reform accomplishments of the ministry. Earlier in her career, she provided strategic guidance in managing the defence counsel arrangements for high profile cases. These efforts garnered Nancy and the team a nomination for a Premier’s Innovation Award.
Rob Sider (1991) has focused his practice on workplace law, including labour, employment and human rights. Rob has appeared in front of labour relations boards, boards of arbitration, employment standards tribunals and human rights tribunals, as well as before the B.C. Supreme Court and B.C. Court of Appeal. Rob is a devoted mentor to juniors at his firm and he has taken on many extra responsibilities there, including heading the firm’s Labour and Employment Group. Best Lawyers in Canada recognized him for his labour and employment law, and he is a regular author and speaker on various labour and employment topics within and outside the firm.
Colin Forsyth (1993) prosecuted in Manitoba until 1993, after which he joined the B.C. bar and the Smithers Crown counsel office. He accepted the position of administrative Crown counsel in Prince Rupert in 1995. He has since carried a significant trial load of serious cases, including murders, manslaughter and sexual assault, as well as those involving complex confidentiality issues. He is renowned in the areas of legal and ethical issues, as exemplified by his dedicated time to the B.C. Crown Counsel Association’s board of directors and the planning of the annual Crown counsel conference.
Janet Grove (1993) became the first female managing partner in her firm’s 127-year history where she was accountable for over 95 lawyers and 150 professionals. She has been instrumental in developing strategic plans, conflicts of interest cases, pro bono work, remuneration, risk and auditing. Janet was named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women in the WXN Top 100 Awards and was recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada as a leading lawyer in the areas of biotechnology and corporate law. Janet also worked with the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC to develop a student internship program and continues to be highly involved.
Chris Rusnak (1994) is committed to legal education, mentorship, and giving back to B.C.’s legal community. In his more than 25 years with the bar, he has earned a spot as one of eight finalists from across Canada, and was one of only two lawyers from B.C. eligible for the title of Litigator of the Year in the 2020 Canadian Law Awards. In addition to recognition in Lexpert, Chambers Canada and The Best Lawyers in Canada, Chris is an invited fellow of the Canadian College of Construction Lawyers. Chris is also an adjunct professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC, where he teaches professionalism and ethics.
Kenneth Armstrong (1996) is highly regarded among the personal injury bar and has focused his practice on ICBC defence litigation, group life and disability insurance defence. He has conducted dozens of Supreme Court trials and has appeared in the Court of Appeal and Provincial Court. Prior to serving as president of the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch, he served on the provincial council for several years. He has also served on 19 committees addressing legal aid, legislation and law reform, government relations, finance and membership. Kenneth also has given his time to prepare and deliver legal education programs to guide the next generation of lawyers.
Jacqueline McQueen (1996) has primarily practised in family law and general civil litigation and is also a certified mediator. As a litigator, she has appeared before all levels of court in B.C. She was elected as a bencher for the Law Society of British Columbia and is currently the chair of the Practice Standards Committee, a member of the Access to Justice Advisory Committee, and the Rule of Law and Lawyer Independence Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the B.C. Law Institute Pension Division Review Project. She has been a mentor through the CBA Women Lawyers Forum and has also actively participated in pro bono legal advice programs.
Brook Greenberg (1998) was recognized as one of the best lawyers in B.C. in corporate and commercial litigation in 2020 by Chambers and Partners. Along with this, he also practises complex banking, forestry and construction litigation. Brook has been an adjunct professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, teaching civil procedure since 2006. He has also been a contributing author of the B.C. Civil Trial Handbook and Introducing Evidence at Trial. He has been actively involved with the UBC Law Students’ Legal Advice Program and has served as a bencher of the Law Society since 2016. He is chair of the Mental Health Task Force of the Law Society, and in June 2019, he received a Lexpert Zenith Award for his leadership in mental health.
Michael Bain (1999) practises in the areas of employment and administrative law and produces a publication called The Advocate. Through his editorials, he raises awareness of issues facing women, Indigenous peoples, the LGBTQ2S+ community, and others under-represented in the profession. Michael has contributed to UBC’s Peter A. Allard School of Law History Project to preserve a record of the legal history of B.C. In 2020, the Peter A. Allard School of Law alumni board chose Michael as the recipient of the Service to the Legal Community Award. He provides pro bono legal services to law students, articled students and those with employment issues in their first three years of practice. He is a regular contributor to the Continuing Legal Education Society.
Janine Benedet (1999), while still practising law, is a leading legal scholar whose publications have been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada and by judges at all levels of court. She is a teacher at the Peter A. Allard School of Law and in 2014 received UBC’s highest teaching honour, the Killam Prize, as well as the Curtis Teaching Award. Janine is one of Canada’s leading scholars on sexual assault law and her scholarship focuses on Canada’s most marginalized women and girls. She played an instrumental role in the launch of RISE Women’s Legal Centre with West Coast LEAF, and invests hundreds of hours in judicial education. She has been retained as an expert witness in a Canadian Judicial Council inquiry and in the first prosecution against the promotion of hatred against women in Canada.
Sarah Yasmin Khan (1999) joined the B.C. Public Interest Advocacy Centre early in her career before going into private practice. Sarah is now general counsel with the new Office of the Human Rights Commissioner for British Columbia. She has spent much of her career seeking to promote systemic changes to laws, policies and practises in the areas of access to disability benefits, civil and family legal aid, residential tenancy and seniors’ rights. She has appeared in front of many courts and tribunals, including the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, Residential Tenancy Branch and B.C. Supreme Court. Sarah has contributed legal materials for Legal Services Society, MOSAIC and Continuing Legal Education Society. She was a director of West Coast Environmental Law Association for five years.
Patrick McGowan (1999) practises both criminal and civil law. He was one of four main defence counsel in a high-profile case for which he was awarded the Trial Lawyers Association’s President’s Award for his work. He is presently senior counsel for Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering. He has been retained to act for the Law Society as disciplinary counsel, working both at the investigative and disciplinary stages. Patrick volunteers with the UBC Law Innocence Project and with Access Pro Bono. He also advises lawyers when they face difficulties in situations like regulatory proceedings.
Eric Gottardi (2003) practises primarily in the areas of criminal defence, constitutional and regulatory law. He has worked on special prosecutions in B.C. and in Ontario. Earlier, Eric was the chair of the CBA National Justice Section and acts as a founding co-chair for the National CBA Annual Criminal Law conference. As a member of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law, he received the Young Justice Award in 2014. Eric has also been a faculty and planning committee member of the Federation of Law Societies National Criminal Law program. He acted as a supervising lawyer for the UBC Law Student’s Legal Advice Program and is currently an editor of the Charter of Rights Newsletter.
Ryan Dalziel (2004) was a lawyer at 22 and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada 17 times. Ryan’s advocacy falls into a wide array of subjects, including equality rights, freedom of expression, drug addiction, criminal conspiracy and sentencing – all leading cases of the Supreme Court of Canada. Mostly recently, he co-founded a new public interest advocacy organization, the Canadian Association for Progress in Justice. Ryan has undertaken 2,000 hours of pro bono work on behalf of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, religious freedom, First Nations and other advocacy organizations. Ryan was included in both Lexpert (nationally) and Business in Vancouver’s 40 Under 40 in 2011, when he was 29.
Jacqueline Hughes (2005) is senior counsel at the Ministry of Attorney General. Her practice focuses on appellate advocacy and complex constitutional litigation, including charter claims, access to justice issues and class actions. Jacqueline is currently lead counsel for the Province in the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering. She is a contributing editor for The Conduct of Civil Litigation in British Columbia, and is a frequent speaker and contributor for the Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C. She is an adjunct professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC and was selected as a finalist for the Lexpert Rising Stars Awards.
Nina Purewal (2006) has been a Crown counsel in Smithers and Terrace since 2013. Before this, she worked with government and non-governmental organizations like Pivot Legal LLP to further human rights for marginalized individuals. Nina prosecutes with the Indigenous Justice Framework of the B.C. Prosecution Service and the community’s interest is at the forefront of her decision-making. She received her master’s in international human rights law from Oxford and has dedicated time to the Board of Legal Education Action Fund, as well as the International Law Association’s Committee on Feminism and International Law. Nina has been chairing the Criminal Law Subsection of the CBA since 2014 and the Women Lawyers Forum since 2015.
Douglas S. White Coast Salish name: Kwul’a’sul’tun (2008), is a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo and is a practising lawyer and Aboriginal Title and Rights and Treaty Rights negotiator for First Nations across Canada. He is the chair of the B.C. First Nations Justice Council and co-chair of B.C.’s Provincial Advisory Committee for Indigenous and Specialized Courts and Related Initiatives. Additionally, he was elected Chief of Snuneymuxw First Nation for a four-year term (2009) and was a director of the Indigenous Bar Association of Canada from 2006-08. He has been granted distinguished alumni awards from both Vancouver Island University and the University of Victoria.