The Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch (CBABC) has once again honoured both outstanding BC lawyers and an innovative organization, all of whom have contributed to the profession and community. CBABC Past President Ken Armstrong presented three special recognition awards to Simon Coval, QC, Tina Parbhakar and the BC Prosecution Service on Saturday, September 26 at the virtual CBABC Provincial Council meeting.
Harry Rankin, QC Pro Bono Award
Left to Right: Simon Coval, QC (Harry Rankin, QC Pro Bono Award Recipient) & Ken Armstrong (CBABC President 2019/20)
In memory of Harry Rankin, QC’s immense support of access to justice for the poor, this award acknowledges commitment to pro bono service. Simon Coval, QC has been a longstanding coordinator of the Access Pro Bono's Court of Appeal roster program, providing clients with summary advice and merits screening, and sometimes representing them himself. He has also been instrumental in promoting pro bono culture in the profession by providing mentorship and support to many young lawyers providing pro bono service.
Equality & Diversity Award
Left to Right: Ken Armstrong (CBABC President 2019/20) & Tina Parbhakar (Equality & Diversity Award Recipient)
This award celebrates a CBABC member who has succeeded in advancing equality in the legal profession or generally in British Columbia. 2020 recipient Tina Parbhakar has dedicated countless hours towards advancing equality and diversity in the legal profession and beyond through education, mentorship, policy development, advocacy, community outreach and organizational change. She is the co-founder of the South Asian Legal Clinic of BC, whose main goal is to improve access to justice for low-income British Columbians of South Asian descent in a culturally sensitive and safe manner.
Innovative Workplace Award
Left to Right: Kerry L. Simmons, QC (CBABC Executive Director) & Peter Juk, QC - Assistant Deputy Attorney General, BC Prosecution Service (Innovative Workplace Award Recipient)
This award recognizes innovation in all its forms: in rethinking the model of legal services; in challenging societal, institutional or historical barriers; and in serving the bar. With the challenges of 2020’s global pandemic, the BC Prosecution Service took extraordinary steps to ensure that their lawyers could continue to function despite court closures, managing the necessity to work remotely and the need to maintain physical distancing. In the words of one of their nominators: "They took a paper and face-to-face based system and made it an online and digital system within weeks.”
CBABC extends congratulations and gratitude to all nominees and recipients of the 2020 Bar Awards. 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.
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