Innovation Award

Nominations for the 2024 awards are now closed.

This award recognizes innovation in rethinking the model of legal services, in challenging societal, institutional or historical barriers and in serving the bar.


Individuals, law firms and organizations are eligible to receive the Innovation Award. An individual recipient must be a CBABC member. Law firms or organizations must have a majority of CBABC members. A previous recipient is ineligible for consideration.


The Innovation Award recognizes lawyers, law firms or organizations who demonstrate leadership in promoting workplace innovation within the practice of law. The award recognizes innovation and creative thinking by CBABC members that break new ground for other lawyers to follow by exhibiting courage and leadership. This award is about lawyers who think outside the box and show us what is possible. Innovation in the practice of law can mean many different things.

Innovation in rethinking the model of legal services

  • Improving how we deliver to our clients: better access to affordable legal services; alternative fee arrangements; creative client-centered models
  • Creating healthy workplaces: education and support for mental health issues, fostering cultures of education, support and career development
  • Transforming the day-to-day practice: alternative business models, pioneering modes of staff organization and management, inventive approaches to integrating technology

Innovation in challenging societal, institutional, or historical barriers

  • Promoting diversity: reaching out to under-served communities; encouraging diverse voices to speak out in the workplace
  • Creating access to legal services by traditionally under-served or disadvantaged client groups
  • Carving out new practice areas or models that bring real and substantial change within the legal landscape

Innovation in serving the Bar

  • Leading in the development and implementation of creative strategies for mentoring the next generation of lawyers
  • Supporting and developing new opportunities for lawyers who are members of equality-seeking groups
  • Championing policies that support the retention of lawyers such as flexible working arrangements, thoughtful parental leave policies, etc.

NOMINATION & selection

Nominations are sought in the spring. The CBABC Board of Directors selects the recipient. The nominee must consent to the nomination and must be nominated by three CBABC members in good standing.


The award is presented by the CBABC President at the last Provincial Council meeting of the fiscal year, usually held in June. This award can be presented annually if there are viable candidates. The award is a brass plate on a walnut plaque.


2023 – Sonali Sharma, Athena Law

2022 – Sara Forte, Forte Workplace Law

2021 – The Society for Children & Youth of BC

2020 – BC Prosecution Service

2019 – Technical Safety BC

2017 – Labour Rights Law Office

2016 – Spraggs & Co.

2015 – Rebecca Maurer, Health Sciences Association of BC

2014 – Clark Wilson LLP

Names, designations and honorifics are reflected as they were when the award was presented.

Additional Information 

CBABC Awards
604.687.3404 or 1.888.687.3404