Pro Bono Work

At Lawson Lundell, we believe in corporate social responsibility.

Lawson Lundell lawyers are committed to giving their time to the community. Our lawyers serve on the boards of charities, non-profits and community organizations. They also serve as directors and members of associations that keep us connected to our clients' industries as well as the legal profession.

Many of our lawyers undertake pro bono work. Lawson Lundell has a dedicated pro bono committee and the firm encourages and supports our lawyers in doing pro bono work with various organizations including Western Canadian Society to Access Justice and the Salvation Army. We contribute to making legal services available to those who would otherwise be unable to access them. Pro Bono Law BC has described our firm as “a strong supporter of pro bono legal services.”

Examples of our recent work include:

  • providing legal advice to a society working to connect aspiring farmers with owners of unused land;
  • assisting an individual to have a Certificate of Incapacity vacated;
  • incorporating an organization that has developed technology to identify handicapped parking spaces to municipal bylaw officials for ticketing as a charity for tax purposes; and
  • representing the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) as intervener in A.B. v. Bragg Communications Inc., 2012 SCC 46. In that case, a 15 year old girl sought assistance from the courts to uncover the identity of the person who created a fake Facebook profile of her containing allegedly defamatory remarks. What made the case unique is that A.B. sought to proceed with her action anonymously and with a publication ban over the contents of the fake profile. A unanimous Court agreed with the BCCLA’s position that any harm to A.B. from having to reveal her identity could be avoided by allowing her to proceed anonymously, but that freedom of expression and the open courts principle required publication of the fake profile. The case is an important benchmark in clarifying when an anonymity order or publication ban will be available to minor victims of online sexualized bullying seeking a remedy in the courts.

In September 2015, a team of lawyers including, Sarah Nelligan, Mark Chandler, Michelle Jones and Gordon Brandt participated in the Pro Bono Going Public Advice-a-thon. This free event facilitates access to justice for low- and modest-income people, including the homeless, by engaging lawyers in advising pre- scheduled and drop-in clients on all legal issues.

In 2010, Lawson Lundell won Gold at the Lexpert Pro Bono Zenith Awards honouring pro bono contributions in the Civil Liberties category for our work with the BC Civil Liberties Association  in the following cases:

  • Chamberlain v. Surrey School District No. 36, 2002 SCC 86, [2002] 4 S.C.R. 710
  • Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority v. Canadian Federation of Students — British Columbia Component, 2009 SCC 31, [2009] 2 S.C.R. 295
  • Victoria (City) v. Adams, 2009 BCCA 563