CBABC honours five extraordinary lawyers at annual event

  • June 12, 2023

VANCOUVER, BC (Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Territory) - June 12, 2023: The Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch honoured five distinguished lawyers on Saturday with our esteemed annual CBABC Bar Awards. 

“This is a special opportunity for us to congratulate those who go above and beyond every day to contribute to the cause of justice. Our theme this year was remarkable deserves recognition, and I truly believe each recipient is more than worthy of this honour. We are lucky to have these individuals not only as colleagues, but as members of our association”, shared Aleem Bharmal, KC, CBABC President.

In memory of Harry Rankin, QC’s immense support of access to justice for the poor, this award acknowledges commitment to pro bono service. 

Michael Feder, KC (McCarthy Tétrault LLP) has spent immeasurable hours offering pro bono services over the course of his career, inciting impactful change on countless individuals and organizations across Canada. Widely regarded as one of the top litigators in Canada, he has given his free time to organizations such as Pivot Legal Society, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association. He is one of only a handful of lawyers in the country to be appointed by the Chief Justice of Canada as amicus curiae and often acts pro bono on Supreme Court of Canada appeals.

This award celebrates CBABC members who have succeeded in advancing equality in the legal profession or generally in British Columbia. 

Jim Wu (Forte Law) has championed Chinese Canadians and people with disabilities not only through his work, but by sharing his own story about his battle with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease. In only seven years of practice, he is making a difference by offering language-inclusive services to those who speak Mandarin and Shanghainese and serving on organizations such as the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, Access Pro Bono and the Parkinson’s Society of BC.

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

Sonali Sharma (Athena Law) runs a practice that truly embodies the concept of innovation. A sole practitioner at her own firm, Athena Law, she is an advocate for maintaining an inclusive and trauma-informed practice. She provides a unique approach to offering “unbundled” legal services in English, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu, using her practice as a way to make legal services more financially and linguistically accessible.

This award honours a CBABC member who has demonstrated outstanding dedication and service by contributing the critical behind-the-scenes work for community-building.

Angela Price-Stephens (Martin Estate and Injury Law) is a champion for mental health, and uniquely blends this passion with her commitment to justice. Despite being a busy senior lawyer with a litigation and alternate dispute resolution practice, she never fails to offer her support whether it’s providing counselling services to low-income couples and families in distress or staffing crisis and suicide help lines. She is a volunteer director with the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Hear the Child Society and Brain Trust Canada.

The President’s Medal recognizes one or more of the following: legal academic proficiency, outstanding works of legal scholarship, significant contribution to the profession during the CBABC President's term.

Louisa Winn, KC (BC Prosecution Service) spends her time heavily involved in organizations like CBABC and the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL), supporting cross-cultural dialogue and increased diversity within the legal profession. A Chinese immigrant, she co-directed the documentary, “But I look like a lawyer”, to profile the unconscious bias experience by Pan-Asian lawyers. Louisa initiated an innovative dialogue series to showcase the supportive relationships among Indigenous and Pan-Asian communities in BC.

The 2023 CBABC Bar Awards were presented on Saturday, June 10 at the CBABC Provincial Council meeting.

About CBABC:
The Canadian Bar Association is the professional organization representing more than 38,000 lawyers, judges and law students across Canada with almost 7,800 members in British Columbia. CBABC members practice at the forefront of the justice system, providing services to British Columbians in every area of law.

Media Contact:
Jo Brayshaw, Communications & Marketing Manager
604.638.1907 |