Board of Directors
Current Members of the Institute
Dr. Elizabeth Adjin-Tettey
Dean of the University of Victoria Faculty of Law appointee
Elizabeth Adjin-Tettey is Professor at UVic Law where she has been teaching since 1998. She served as Associate Dean, Administration and Research, 2010 – 2016. She also served as Chair of the Employment Equity Advisory Group of the University Human Rights Committee, 2013 – 2015, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee to Investigate Gendered Salary Anomalies, 2013-14; member of the Bargaining team for the first UVic faculty Collective Agreement; member of the Joint Committee on Administration of the Collective Agreement, 2015-2016; and member of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society Program Committee, 2012-2016.
Elizabeth’s teaching and research interests are in Torts; Remedies; and Insurance. She is particularly interested in issues of marginalization in insurance law and tort remedies, especially personal and fatal injury damages, and has published several articles and book chapters on these topics. She is co-author (with Cooper-Stephenson) of Personal Injury Damages in Canada, 3rd ed. (Thomson Reuters, 2018); (with Jamie Cassels) Remedies: The Law of Damages (Irwin Law); and Berryman et al, Remedies: Cases and Materials, 7th ed. (Emond Montgomery, 2016). She revised the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest, Insurance (Carswell, 2016).
Marion Allan graduated from UBC with a BA in 1967; from the University of Alberta with an MA in International Relations in 1970; and from UBC with an LLB in 1977. She articled and then practiced civil litigation for 10 years at Russell and DuMoulin prior to her appointment to the County Court of Vancouver in 1988 and her elevation to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1990.Madam Justice Allan became a Deputy Judge of the Supreme Court of the Yukon Territory in 1990.
She was an adjunct professor of civil procedure at UBC Law School between 1984 and 1988. She frequently participated in educational seminars on topics including evidence, family law, civil procedure, fiduciary obligations, and personal injuries.
During her time on the bench, she participated in many educational programs for judges and lawyers for the National Judicial Institute, Canadian Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education and Trial Lawyers Association, on topics such as evidence, family law, civil procedure, fiduciary obligations, personal injuries and elder law. Marion chaired the Supreme Court Rules Revision Committee from 1994-1999. She has devoted considerable attention to elder law issues and has been engaged in research with the Canadian Centre for Elder Law Studies (CCEL).
She elected supernumerary status in 2007 and retired from the bench in April 2012. Marion was awarded the Trial Lawyers Association of BC Judge of the Year Award in 2012.
She returned to practice in September 2013 as associate counsel with Clark Wilson LLP, where she practiced as a mediator and arbitrator until September 2018.
Marion is a Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Centre for Elder Law and has spoken at numerous elder law and mediation conferences and published articles in those fields.
Law Society of British Columbia appointee
Mr. Christiansen was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1981. Since 1981, he has practices with Heather, Sadler, Jenkins LLP and is Associate Counsel with the firm. His areas of practice include insolvency, commercial litigation, and general solicitor work. He has appeared as counsel in various Courts including BC Court of Appeal, BC Supreme Court, BC Provincial Court, Federal Court of Canada and Tax Court of Canada.
Attorney General of British Columbia appointee
Emily is a partner at Clark Wilson LLP. Emily has focused her legal career on all aspects of estates, trusts and incapacity matters. She advocates for clients in contested litigation matters. She assists clients in preparing estate, trust and incapacity planning documents. She works with clients regarding the administration of estates through probate. Emily is known to be a dedicated and passionate advocate, particularly regarding the complex issues that arise regarding mental capacity.
Dr. Tesh W. Dagne
Dean of the Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law appointee
Dr. Tesh W. Dagne is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, Thompson Rivers University. Prior to joining Thompson Rivers University, Dr. Dagne was a Schulich Research Fellow and part-time Faculty member at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, where he completed his Doctoral studies. He also worked at the Canadian Institute of Resources Law and the Law and Technology Institute. Dr. Dagne was also Visiting Scholar at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law in Vienna.
Dr. Dagne’s primary research interest are in intellectual property law, biodiversity conservation and environmental law. He has widely published in highly regarded national and international journals in these areas and has been frequently invited to speak at different conferences and proceedings in Canada, South Africa, Kenya, India, England and the United States. At the Faculty of Law, Dr. Dagne teaches Property Law in the first year curriculum and Intellectual Property Law and International Intellectual Property Law in the upper year curriculum.
Canadian Bar Association (British Columbia) appointee
Mr. Fleck is a member of the Bars of British Columbia, Ontario and Washington State. He serves as Administrative Crown Counsel with management responsibility for the Fort St. John Crown Counsel office. Currently employed by the Criminal Justice Branch, British Columbia Ministry of Justice, he worked with the Government of Canada in Ottawa, ON and Geneva Switzerland from 1999 to 2012. Earlier he was a Consultant with Trident Consulting Services (2006-2008), a Surface & Subsurface Operations Officer with the Canadian Naval Reserve (1998-2002), Staff Counsel with Pierce County Public Defender’s Office (1997-1998) and a Business Manager in the family business, Fleck Enterprises Ltd.
Mr. Fleck has done volunteer work with several organizations. He is a member of the BC and Ontario branches of CBA, a member of the Washington State Bar Association Criminal Law Section and Canadian Maritime Law Association.
Canadian Bar Association (British Columbia) appointee
Mat Good practices class actions and complex commercial litigation with Good Barrister in Vancouver. He has particular experience with plaintiff-side actions in the areas of consumer protection, tort law, antitrust and competition law. He remains active academically, publishing in these areas and on the law of civil procedure and judicial administration. Between 2012 and 2017, he taught Statutory Interpretation at the law schools at the Universities of British Columbia and Victoria.
Attorney General appointee
Tejas Bahaar Virdi Madhur is a lawyer working in policy and intergovernmental affairs for Tsawwassen First Nation. She obtained her Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Ottawa, and her Juris Doctor from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. While at law school, she was the recipient of the Borden Ladner Gervais Research Fellowship, and the Dawn Russell Community Commitment Award. Tejas previously worked as Legislative Counsel for the Government of Nunavut.
Margaret H. Mason, Q.C.
Law Society of British Columbia appointee
Margaret Mason leads the Charities and Tax-Exempt Organizations practice at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP. Her practice spans a broad range of issues which affect charities and not-for-profits including tax exempt status, governance, political activities and social enterprise. Margaret represents organizations across the sector including religious, environmental, sport, healthcare, social services, education, and research organizations as well as family and corporate foundations.
Margaret also advises donors with respect to their philanthropic planning and has extensive experience with trust and estate related matters including all aspects of estate planning and the administration of estates and trusts, both within Canada and elsewhere.
Margaret currently serves on the Board of Directors of Imagine Canada and the Canadian Sport Institute – Pacific and is the Past-Chair of the National Charities and Not-for-Profit Organizations section of the Canadian Bar Association and a member of the CRA Charities Directorate’s Technical Issues Working Group.
Member at large
Dylan Mazur is the Community Lawyer at BC Civil Liberties Association. Dylan has over fifteen years of experience collaborating with diverse communities in Canada and Latin America on initiatives in the areas of human rights, mental health, and community development. Dylan articled at Community Legal Assistance Society, where he represented clients at the BC Human Rights Tribunal and the Mental Health Review Board. Dylan also worked as the Summer Law Student at the Legal Department of the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc in Kamloops.
Prior to articles, Dylan served as Executive Director of the Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture, BC’s largest centre for refugee mental health. In Mexico, he collaborated with human rights organizations in Chiapas and Oaxaca UN and CIDA-funded initiatives to develop community-based psychosocial support programs for survivors of torture and political violence. In Guatemala, Dylan worked on the development of a knowledge exchange project between First Nations and Mayan communities to promote indigenous justice systems in Guatemala and British Columbia. He also collaborated with three coffee-growing communities in the Western Highlands of Guatemala to develop a community-owned and operated water, sanitation, and public health project. Dylan has served as Program Director at QMUNITY, BC’s largest centre for LGTBTQ communities, as well as Production Manager at Headlines Theatre, a world renown community-based theatre company.
Dylan holds a Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Social Work from UBC. He was the recipient of the 2016 Beverley McLachlin Legal Access Award.
Society of Notaries Public for British Columbia appointee
Susan Mercer became a member of The Society of Notaries Public of BC in 1986. During her tenure on The Society`s Board of Directors from 2001 to 2012, she served as President from 2008 to 2010 and Chair of The Notary Foundation from 2010 to 2012.
One year after retiring from her successful practice in 2014, she was reinstated as Staff Notary for The Society. Now a leader of The Society`s Practice Advisory Team, she conducts Practice Inspections throughout the province, assists members with trust accounting matters, and has acted as custodian for two Notary practices.
Susan graduated in 1972 from Nechako Valley Secondary School. In 1986 she was the first recipient of the prestigious annual Bernard Hoeter Award for the Highest Marks Achieved on the BC Notary Statutory Examinations at the University of British Columbia. In 2002 she completed the Urban Land Economics degree at UBC, receiving two bursaries to recognize her excellent marks. She is a member of the Real Estate Institute of BC.
A member of the BCLI Real Property Reform Project Committee from 2008 to 2012, Susan is the current appointee to the Board of the British Columbia Law Institute from The Society of Notaries.
Her service to the community includes participation on many local Boards and foundations; she was also President of her Rotary Club from 2005 to 2006.
In her private life, Susan is the very proud grandmother of eight wonderful grandchildren who live around the world. She and her husband Dan enjoy time with their family and friends, travelling to explore different parts of the world, and visiting the grandkids!
Member at large
Brent Olthuis is a partner with the Vancouver law firm Hunter Litigation Chambers. He has appeared before all levels of court in British Columbia and Ontario, including in 10 appeals before the Supreme Court of Canada and over 35 before the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. In addition, he has conducted hearings before the trial courts in Alberta and Yukon Territory, the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal, and various administrative tribunals including the BC Financial Services Tribunal, the BC Human Rights Tribunal and the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada. Brent is also experienced in the commercial arbitration setting.
Brent has published peer-reviewed articles in the fields of aboriginal law, criminal practice and gaming law, and is author of the professional conduct chapter in a leading text on the practice of law in Canada. He has also authored and presented a number of papers at continuing legal education conferences, on diverse topics including administrative, criminal and constitutional law. Brent is also a regular faculty member for professional development offerings of The Advocates’ Society.
Brent is also an elected Provincial Council representative to the Canadian Bar Association. Prior to entering practice, Brent served as law clerk to three Justices of the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Honourable Justice Frank Iacobucci of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Lisa A. Peters, Q.C.
Member at large
Lisa Peters is a partner with the Vancouver law firm Lawson Lundell LLP, and is the head of that firm’s legal research and opinions department. She is the author of numerous publications on legal research and private law generally, and has served as chair of the Legislation and Law Reform Committee of the Canadian Bar Association (BC Branch). Ms. Peters has been a member at large on the BCLI board since October 2010 and was elected chair in September 2016.
She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in December 2016.
Andrea L. Rolls
Member at large
Andrea Rolls is a retired Program Manager of Victim Services Division, Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor-General. She has been active in her local community, including in municipal and regional politics. During her more than 25 years in government, Ms. Rolls has held a number of positions. She has overseen implementation of legislation and policy relating to child abuse, aboriginal issues, court systems, restorative justice, and family violence. She has overseen Ministry funding relating to seniors issues such as developing fact sheets on senior abuse and arranging funding for a victim services worker at BC Centre for Elder Advocacy And Support. She has been a longtime member of the BC Adult Abuse and Neglect Collaborative
Prof. Janis Sarra
Dean of the University of British Columbia Peter A. Allard School of Law appointee.
Dr. Jani Sarra is Professor of Law, at the Peter A. Allard School of Law and founding Director of the National Centre for Business Law. She served as Associate Dean of the Allard School of Law until 2007, with oversight of development, strategic planning, alumni relations and communications. Dr. Sarra was appointed UBC Presidential Distinguished Professor effective May 1, 2014 for a three-year term. The UBC Presidential Distinguished Professor recognizes faculty who have made outstanding contributions as scholars and academic leaders. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Sarra served as Director of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at UBC.
Dr. Sarra’s research and teaching interests are in the areas of corporate finance, banking law, corporate governance, securities law, contracts, commercial insolvency law and law and economics. In 2004, she was awarded the title of Distinguished University Scholar for her scholarship in corporate and securities law. She has published ten books and more than one hundred refereed articles in corporate finance, corporate governance and management, securities law and commercial insolvency law.
Dr. Sarra previously served as Vice-Chair of the Ontario Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal, as well as Vice-Chair of the Canadian Social Assistance Review Board. She holds five degrees from the University of Toronto in Political Science, Economics and Law. She previously taught at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and the Ryerson University School of Business. Former posts include also Board Member, Ontario Labour Relations Board, Senior Research Associate Ontario Legislative Assembly and Executive Assistant, Metropolitan Toronto Municipal Council, and Research Associate, Health Advocacy Unit.
Thomas L. Spraggs
Member at large
Tom Spraggs is the owner and operator of Spraggs & Co. Law Corporation, an injury litigation boutique. He holds a Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws, and Masters of Business Administration. His law firm has experienced significant growth over the last several years, and his lifelong passions for technology and learning have helped him develop unique approaches to collaborative work processes and practice management. Recently, the firm was acknowledged by the Canadian Bar Association with the 2016 Innovative Workplace Award.
Tom Spraggs joined the BCLI board of directors in 2012 by appointment of the Attorney General. He has served on the Strategic Planning Committee, the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee (as Chair). He was appointed Vice Chair on August 31st, 2016.
Tom is active in the community. He serves as the Vice Chair of Douglas College where he has also served on a number of committees. Tom is an active member of the Canadian Bar Association and co-chairs the Civil Litigation Tri-Cities/New Westminster section. As a member of the Law Societies of British Columbia, Yukon and Alberta, Tom’s work has been primarily in civil litigation, and he also has a strong interest in administrative law and governance. He has been a frequent participant in the CLEBC Solo and Small Firm Conference, this year sitting as Course Chair.
Tom is a qualified arbitrator with the BCAMI and is in the process of launching Solvere Inc., a digital platform aimed at increasing access to justice.
Chair: Thomas L. Spraggs
Vice Chair: Andrea L. Rolls
Treasurer: Margaret H. Mason, Q.C.
Secretary: Oliver A. Fleck
Past Chair: Lisa A. Peters Q.C.
Arthur L. Close, Q.C.
Arthur Close brings expertise in law reform, inter-jurisdictional issues and plain language.
Arthur Close, QC is a retired lawyer and expert in law reform. Mr. Close was the 1969 UBC Law Gold Medalist and is the recipient of the President’s Medal of the Canadian Bar Association Mr. Close served as Counsel, Commissioner, Vice-Chair and finally Chair of the Law Reform Commission of BC between 1972-1997, during which time he authored a number of reports that were implemented through legislation. After the Law Reform Commission ceased operations, Arthur, along with other members of the legal community, founded the British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) where he subsequently became Executive Director. In 2003 Arthur spearheaded the creation of the Canadian Center for Elder Law, which is the only body in Canada devoted exclusively to legal research and law reform in the area of elder law. His commitment to law reform is evident in his more than 50 published works. He has also held leadership positions with the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, the Federation of Law Reform Agencies of Canada and the BC Plain Language Institute.
Joost Blom, Q.C.
Prof. Robert G. Howell
Professor Howell brings expertise in the areas of intellectual property law, education, research, finance and inter-disciplinary teams.
Professor Howell joined the Faculty of Law as Assistant Professor in 1980 and was promoted to Professor in 1993. From 1977 to 1979, he was a part-time tutor at Victoria University of Wellington, and he was a Teaching Fellow at the University of Illinois from 1979 to 1980. Professor Howell was co-director of the International Intellectual Property Summer Program from 2002-2007 and he currently teaches Property, Intellectual Property, Private International Law (Conflict of Laws) and Managing Intellectual Property. Some of these courses involve consideration of telecommunications and Internet-related law.
His research interests include intellectual property, technology,
telecommunications, private international law, and Asia-Pacific issues. He has
published extensively, including his book Canadian Telecommunications Law: Dimensions in a Digital Age, Irwin Law Inc. (2011), and has organized national and international conferences and seminars.
D. Peter Ramsay, Q.C.
Peter was called to the bar in British Columbia in 1970 and has practiced in Naniamo since then, presently in the 19-lawyer firm Ramsay Lampman Rhodes. He has litigated with respect to estate and other civil matters in trial and appellant courts. In 1997, he received his masters of laws degree from the University of British Columbia with a thesis on the Wills Variation Act. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1999. From 2002 to 2010, he taught Succession and trust law at the Peter A. Allard School of Law and until 2017 was an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University teaching a Personal Planning course in the Masters of Applied Legal Studies program.
Peter has served as a Bencher of the Law Society of British Columbia, and as both a board member and the chairman of the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia. He has been a board member and chair of the British Columbia Law Institute. He chaired the Succession Law Reform Project and the Probate Rules Reform Project which resulted in the Wills, Estates, and Succession Act and the new Supreme Court Probate Rules. In recognition of this long service to the British Columbia Law Institute, he was made a Member Emeritus.