Exceptional lawyers recognized with QC designation

Forty British Columbia lawyers have been appointed the honorary title of Queen’s counsel, or QC, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton announced on December 16, 2016.

Appointees include lawyers who specialize in First Nations law, criminal law, commercial litigation, family law and mediation. The appointees have distinguished themselves by their commitments to continuing legal education, community volunteerism and mentorship of new legal professionals.

Here is the complete list of all the CBABC members who were appointed this year:
(Listed chronologically by date called to the bar)

Gabriel Mark Anthony Somjen is senior counsel with Borden, Ladner, Gervais and has practised law for more than 40 years with a focus on the areas of labour and employment law, including both federal and provincial labour board matters. As an arbitrator and mediator, he often presides as chair in labour arbitrations and mediations. Somjen has delivered legal training in the legal community and volunteered service with community groups such as Breakfast for Learning, Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, Vancouver Art Gallery and Vancouver Youth Theatre.

Phillip Collwell Rankin has maintained a practice of criminal and immigration litigation since his call to the bar in 1979, when he set up his own firm, Rankin & Bond, formerly Rankin, Stone and McMurray. He has appeared as counsel at all levels of courts in B.C. and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada. Rankin serves as guest lecturer for the Simon Fraser University Criminology program and from 1979 to 1988 was a trustee of the Vancouver School Board, which presented him with a certificate of appreciation to recognize his long, meritorious service. He was recognized by the Legal Services Society (LSS) for outstanding service and his willingness to take on difficult cases.

Peter Dean Fairey was called to the bar in 1981 and is a corporate and commercial lawyer at Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, which he joined as partner in 2007. Fairey is active as a governor of the Law Foundation of B.C., director of the Continuing Legal Education Society (CLES) and elected member of Canadian Bar Association (CBA) councils. Additionally, he has been a contributing author to the B.C. Company Law Practice Manual for many years. He has given back to the community through leadership roles with the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Canadian Diabetes Association, from which he received a National Distinguished Dedication Award.

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