Queen's Counsel Nomination Process
Under the Queen's Counsel Act, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Attorney General, may bestow on lawyers in British Columbia the honorary title of Queen's Counsel (QC) to recognize exceptional merit and contribution to the legal profession. To make this appointment process more transparent and accessible, the Ministry of Justice has a formal system for nominating candidates.
Every year, the Attorney General sends a call for nominations letter to the judiciary, the Law Society of B.C., the B.C. Branch of the Canadian Bar Association and the Trial Lawyers Association.
Anyone, outside of an immediate family member or candidates themselves, can make a nomination by filling out an online application form.
All nominations are confidential. Nominators may be contacted to clarify information provided, but will not be updated on the status of the application. Application information will not be made public.
All nominations must include a signed consent form to provide authorization for disclosure of information by the Law Society of BC to the Advisory Committee.
Unsuccessful candidates may be nominated in subsequent years; however, a complete application is required for every nomination. Nominations are not carried forward from year to year.
Appointments are announced at the end of the year.
- Belong to the B.C. bar and have been members for at least five years.
- Demonstrate professional integrity, good character and excellence in the practice of law. Such excellence could be determined by any of the following conditions:
- They are acknowledged by their peers as leading counsel or exceptionally gifted practitioners.
- They have demonstrated exceptional qualities of leadership in the profession, including in the conduct of the affairs of the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Society of British Columbia and other legal organizations.
- They have done outstanding work in the fields of legal education or legal scholarship.
All applications will be reviewed by an Advisory Committee, which will also recommend deserving candidates to the Attorney General. The committee includes:
- The Chief Justice of British Columbia
- The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia
- The Chief Judge of the Provincial Court
- Two members of the Law Society appointed by the Benchers
- The President of the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch
- The Deputy Attorney General
The Attorney General continues to be able to directly appoint exceptional lawyers who meet the eligibility criteria. It is expected that this power will normally be exercised in exceptional circumstances only.
Office of the Deputy Attorney General
Phone: 250 356-0149