Claire Hunter - President
Claire is counsel at Hunter Litigation Chambers with a broad commercial litigation, administrative law and appellate practice. Prior to returning to practice in British Columbia, she was a law clerk to the Honourable Justice Frank Iacobucci at the Supreme Court of Canada and associate lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York from 2004 to 2010. Claire has received a number of awards both in New York and in BC for pro bono service, including the 2012 APB Allan Parker QC Award for Representation Services and the 2015 Harry Rankin QC award from CBABC. She currently represents British Columbia on the CBA’s national pro bono committee and is a former chair of that committee. Claire also sits on the boards of the Lawyers Inn Society and the VSO School of Music and serves on the Law Society of British Columbia’s Access to Legal Services Committee.
Raji Mangat - Vice-President
Raji practices in the area of constitutional and administrative law. She is the Director of Litigation at West Coast LEAF and works on a variety of litigation and law reform programs on a broad range of issues, including prisoners’ rights, criminal justice, surveillance and privacy, democratic governance, and accountability for law enforcement actors.
Sarah Nelligan - Secretary & Treasurer
Sarah practices in the area of Insolvency and Restructuring as an associate of Lawson Lundell LLP. She routinely appears before all levels of court, assisting clients in a variety of insolvency matters and related proceedings. Committed to increasing access to justice, Sarah routinely volunteers at the Justice Access Centre and is a guest lecturer for the Family Services of Greater Vancouver’s Financial Literacy Program on the topic of Credit and Insolvency– a contribution for which she was recognized with a 2011 Lexpert Zenith Award for Corporate and Law Firm Social Responsibility. Sarah also sits on the BarTalk Editorial Board Committee.
Jasmine Allen has worked in the non-profit sector for eight years with a focus on fundraising, donor relations, event management, community relations and volunteer management. She has been fortunate to work with a wide range of organizations, including Easter Seals BC/Yukon, Special Olympics BC, UNICEF Canada, and the David Foster Foundation. In addition to her non-profit work, she also volunteers with the Cures for Kids Foundation and Cloth for a Cause.
Jasvinder S. (Bill) Basran
Bill is the Regional Director General of the Federal Department of Justice’s BC Region. He joined the DOJ in 1995, specializing in tax law. He has been the Regional Director General since 2007 and is responsible for managing what is often called “the largest law office in Western Canada”, with a total of approximately 420 employees, including 225 lawyers. Bill is a member of the DOJ’s Executive Committee and was instrumental in developing and implementing its National Pro Bono Policy. He continues to be the DOJ’s Pro Bono Champion.
The Honourable Ross Colver, Q.C.
In 1967 Ross became the first full-time family court judge in the Okanagan, presiding in the cities of Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon. After retiring from the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 2001 he provided free mediation to hundreds of separated parents on behalf of Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC. Recently accredited as a family dispute resolution specialist under the Family Law Act, he is resuming parenting mediation under the sponsorship of Access Pro Bono BC.
Morgan is a litigation lawyer at Miller Thomson LLP practicing general commercial litigation, Aboriginal law and criminal law. In 2009, Morgan won the Salvation Army’s Volunteer Lawyer of the Year Award. Morgan also sits on the Board of Directors for QMUNITY– BC’s leading resource centre for the LGBT community, and she is the Co-Chair of the Mabel League Women’s Fastpitch League in Vancouver.
Manager of Fasken Martineau’s Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group in Vancouver, is a commercial litigator with a broad practice focused on business disputes involving real estate, contracts, economic torts, companies and partnerships, civil fraud and white-collar crime, and injunctions. He advises on matters for private and public clients involved in litigation across a range of sectors and industries. Simon is a frequent instructor and lecturer on commercial litigation and real estate issues.
The Honourable Lance Finch, Q.C.
The Honourable Lance S.G. Finch, Q.C. had a 20-year litigation practice that included insurance defence, plaintiff’s injury claims, municipal law and general commercial litigation prior to his appointment to the British Columbia Supreme Court in 1983. In 1993, he was appointed a Justice of the British Columbia and Yukon Courts of Appeal and in 2001 was appointed Chief Justice of British Columbia. Since his retirement from the Court in 2013, Lance has rejoined Guild Yule LLP as associate counsel, providing advice on trial and appellate matters as well as acting as an arbitrator and mediator. Lance is the recipient of many honours and awards, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, and has been awarded honorary doctor of laws degrees by each of University of British Columbia, University of Victoria and Thompson Rivers University. He is an active supporter of pro bono work, including by serving as a trustee of Pro Bono Canada, an organization created to encourage and support the development of province-wide pro bono programs.
Zahra has always had a deeply rooted interest in non-adversarial resolution of issues, and her training in mediation and collaborative divorce provide the tools that she needs in assisting clients to reach the best possible solutions in family law situations. As well as being accredited by the Law Society of BC as a family law mediator, arbitrator, and parenting coordinator, she is a member of the BC Parenting Coordination Roster Society, and the BC Hear the Child Society Roster. Zahra has had the opportunity to provide legal services to a number of different immigrant and cultural communities, and is keenly aware of the cultural differences that often play a significant role in conflict resolution.