CBABC recognizes exemplary contributions by lawyers with awards

By Yvette Trancoso

Law360 Canada (June 15, 2023, 3:32 PM EDT) -- The Canadian Bar Association, B.C. branch (CBABC) has honoured five of the province’s lawyers with awards that were presented on June 10.

The awards recognized those who have gone “above and beyond every day to contribute to the cause of justice,” said CBABC president Aleem Bharmal in a recent announcement.

According to an announcement, the 2023 President’s Medal went to Louisa Winn, K.C., of the B.C. Prosecution Service. Winn co-directed the documentary But I Look Like a Lawyer to profile the unconscious bias experienced by Pan-Asian lawyers, and initiated a dialogue series to showcase the supportive relationships among Indigenous and Pan-Asian communities in BC.

Other awards presented:

Harry Rankin, Q.C. Pro Bono Award

This award, in memory of Harry Rankin,’s support of access to justice for the poor, acknowledges commitment to pro bono service. This year’s recipient is Michael Feder, K.C., who has spent immeasurable hours offering pro bono services over the course of his career, inciting impactful change on countless individuals and organizations across Canada.

Equity and Diversity Award

This award celebrates CBABC members who have succeeded in advancing equality in the legal profession or generally in British Columbia. The award was given to Jim Wu, who 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. Wu is making a difference by offering language-inclusive services to those who speak Mandarin and Shanghainese.

Innovation Award

This award recognizes innovation in rethinking the model of legal services, in challenging societal, institutional or historical barriers, and in serving the bar. This year’s recipient is Sonali Sharma, a sole practitioner who is an advocate for maintaining an inclusive and trauma-informed practice, and who uses her practice as a way to make legal services more financially and linguistically accessible.

Community Supporter Award

This award honours a CBABC member who has demonstrated outstanding dedication and service by contributing the critical behind-the-scenes work for community-building. This year, the award went to Angela Price-Stephens. 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 counseling 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.