Exceptional lawyers recognized with QC designation

  • December 20, 2017

Attorney General David Eby has announced the 2017 recipients of the honorary title of Queen’s counsel (QC).

“I’m honoured to congratulate this year’s QC designation recipients,” Eby said. “Each appointee has earned this very special honour by demonstrating a superb record of achievement and commitment to our province’s legal system. As professionals, volunteers and advocates, they have shown integrity and leadership in upholding the rule of law, serving their communities and striving to make British Columbia a safer and more equitable place to live.”

The following Queen's counsel appointees are active CBABC members and are listed chronologically by the date they were called to the bar: 

Frances Joan Connell has practiced law since graduating with distinction from the University of British Columbia (UBC) faculty of law in 1979. She has served as the chief legal advisor for the mayor of Vancouver, council, the city manager and senior city staff for 21 years. Connell is chief legal advisor to city-related agencies, such as the Vancouver Police Board, the Vancouver Economic Commission and the Vancouver Affordable Housing= Agency. Connell’s work as a lawyer and leader has contributed to improvements in environmental and community sustainability in Vancouver.

Michael Fitzwilliam Welsh graduated from UBC’s law school in 1980 and clerked with the B.C. Supreme Court the following year. Over the past 36 years, Welsh served as lead counsel in trials and appeals at all levels of court in complex criminal, civil and family matters. Since 1983, he has maintained a litigation and mediation practice and has been an active leader in many legal and community capacities, including roles as the past president of the Canadian Bar Association B.C. Branch (CBABC) and immediate past president of the British Columbia Arbitration & Mediation Institute (BCAMI). He is a regular contributor to continuing legal education and served as a faculty member in continuing legal educational conferences and seminars.

Gerald Allen Cuttler was called to the B.C. bar in 1983 and has served as litigation counsel since then. He started with Freeman & Company, a Vancouver corporate, commercial and litigation firm, and went on to partnerships at Freeman & Company, Walsh & Company, Getz Prince Wells, LLP. In 2011, he founded Cuttler & Company where he has focused on corporate and commercial litigation, administrative law, professional regulation and dispute resolution. Cuttler has also taught ethics and professionalism at the University of British Columbia’s Peter A. Allard School of Law.

John Scott Logan is a graduate of the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University and was called to the B.C. bar in 1983. In 1994, he co-founded Jenkins Marzban Logan LLP, where he is managing partner. Logan often acts as mediator, arbitrator, referee or fairness commissioner in connection with construction and commercial projects and disputes across Canada. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and BCAMI.

Douglas John Marion was called to the B.C. bar in 1984 and has built an extensive career as a criminal trial lawyer. Since 2002, he has held the position of local services agent for the Legal Services Society (LSS) in Courtenay and Campbell River. Marion takes on pro bono files for clients who fail to satisfy the LSS funding criteria and commits time to mentoring junior counsel, assisting local practitioners with substantive legal issues and advising on professional responsibility.

Deborah Ann Armour graduated from Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law in 1985 and was called to the B.C. bar the following year. In 2010, she was appointed chief legal officer for the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC), where she leads the professional regulation department. Armour is an adjunct faculty member with UBC’s Peter A. Allard School of Law and volunteers for several groups including the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association and the Government Relations Committee of the CBABC.

Margaret Heather Mason is a charity and non-profit organization lawyer with more than 30 years’ experience advising donors, charities and other tax-exempt organizations and their boards. She has guided legislative policy through her participation on the B.C. Law Institute (BCLI), the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canadian Association of Gift Planners. A partner with Norton Rose Fulbright, Mason has received numerous awards of distinction from Chambers Canada and Best Lawyers in Canada.

Christopher Andrew McPherson is with the BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) and has considerable experience with high-profile homicide cases. He is an elected bencher with the LSBC and has leadership experience from roles with the New Westminster Bar Association, the BC Crown Counsel Association, the International Association of Prosecutors, and the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law. McPherson has presented papers and lectured on many legal topics, including ethics, confidentiality and practice management. 

James Michael Sullivan was called to the B.C. bar in 1988 and is a senior partner in the Vancouver office of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. He has represented clients in numerous major corporate-commercial, class action, energy, environmental, constitutional and product liability cases. He also advises clients on national and international compliance with foreign and domestic anti-corruption legislation. Sullivan contributes to the legal and academic community through his activity with the Federated Press Class Action Journal and the International Survey of Electronic Discovery and Data and Privacy Law and is currently a governor of the Law
Foundation of British Columbia.

Michael Johnny McDonald graduated from the UBC faculty of law in 1988. A member of the Peguis First Nation in Manitoba, he has built a career representing Indigenous clients. In addition to founding his own firm, he has mentored many associates, including several prominent Indigenous lawyers. McDonald has supported numerous First Nation clients in negotiations with many of Canada’s largest resource and lands sector companies and through innovative commercial agreements. He has been an adjunct and visiting professor at the Native Education Centre and UBC’s faculty of law and Sauder School of Business.

Ursula Botz has worked as Crown counsel with the BCPS for virtually her entire career and has argued serious criminal cases with complex legal issues in the court of appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. From 1992 to 1998, she worked as a prosecutor in provincial court and conducted trials in the B.C. Supreme Court. Botz has served as program coordinator for the UBC Law Advanced Trial Advocacy course and the B.C. Inns of Court program and has contributed to the Continuing Legal Education Society (CLES), the Law Courts Education Society and the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy.

Zoolfikar Kamrudin Bhimji Suleman graduated from Dalhousie University in 1989 and founded the firm Suleman & Co. in 1992 where he continues to practice and mentor other members of the profession. Suleman has long been an active contributor to many legal organizations, including the Constitutional and Civil Liberties Law Section of the CBABC, co-chaired the Immigration Employment Summit and served as a member of the organizing committee for the Islamophobia hotline. He has contributed to legal scholarship and community engagement through work on topics that include immigration and refugee law, racial profiling, and arts and
culture.

Donna Mary Turko was called to the B.C. bar in 1992 and established Turko & Company in 1997. She has worked extensively in criminal defence law and prison law. For many years, she has contributed to UBC’s Innocence Project and to the Association in Defense of the Wrongfully Convicted, which is now known as Innocence Canada. Turko is an instructor of the Wrongful Conviction Evidence course at the Allard School of Law, as well as a past board member and executive committee member with the Elizabeth Fry Society. Turko’s pro bono activities were recognized in 2017 when she was the recipient of the Harry Rankin pro bono award.

Lisa Joan Hamilton graduated from UVic in 1994 and has been practicing family law in B.C. ever since. In 2016, she was elected as a bencher with LSBC and fulfills several posts, including chair of the Credentials Committee and vice-chair of the Equity and Diversity Committee. She is also a member of the Supreme Court Rules Committee and the Provincial Court Family Rules Working Group. She is a founding member of the Family Law Arbitrators Group Society and is behind a project called the Family Law Organizer, an online family law community.

Catherine Jean Parker was called to the B.C. bar in 1998 and has worked in environmental, constitutional, human rights, information and privacy law litigation. She has acted as an adjudicator for the Office of the Information Privacy Commissioner and is a frequent guest lecturer on topics such as constitutional law, privacy law and civil liberties. Parker has contributed to the Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation and the UVic Environmental Law Centre. In 2016, she received the CBABC George A. Goyer QC Memorial Award for Distinguished Service.

Monique Carmel Pongracic-Speier was called to the B.C. bar in 2002 and is a partner with Ethos Law Group LLP. In addition to her work on public law cases, Pongracic-Speier continues to represent injured workers and has served as volunteer and pro bono counsel in several groundbreaking public law cases that raised systemic issues of access and equality. She has chaired numerous panels and conferences on emerging topics in international law and contributes a chapter on international law to the Annual Review of Law and Practice.

Jamie Fraser Maclaren was called to the B.C. bar in 2004 and has been the sole practitioner at Maclaren Law Office since 2005. He is the founding executive director of the Access Pro Bono Society of B.C. MacLaren has been an elected bencher with LSBC since 2013 and was the recipient of the Harry Rankin QC Pro Bono Award that same year. He is currently president of the Allard Law Students Legal Advice Program, co-chair of the Family Justice Pathfinder Project and the Justicia Project. He is a founding member of Pro Bono Canada and the Access to Justice B.C. Committee.

View the full release from the Ministry of Attorney General