Queen's Counsel nomination process

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History

Under the Queen's Counsel Act, the Lieutenant-Governor in Counsel, 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 the Queen's Counsel appointment process more transparent and accessible, the Ministry of Attorney General has a formal system for nominating candidates.

Call for nominations

Every year, the Attorney General sends a call for nominations letter to the judiciary, the Law Society of British Columbia, the Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch and the Trial Lawyers Association. 

Make a nomination

You can recommend anyone but an immediate family member or yourself.

To make a nomination:

  1. Check if the person you're nominating meets the criteria for candidates.
  2. Complete the Queen's Counsel Nomination form.
    • The information you provide will be kept confidential and never made public.
    • We may contact you to clarify any information you provided.
  3. Invite the nominee to complete and manually sign the Queen's Counsel Consent form (PDF:369KB).
    • The nominee consent form authorizes the Law Society of British Columbia to disclose nominee information to the Advisory Committee.
  4. Send the signed consent form to the Office of the Deputy Attorney General: MAGDeputyQCAppt@gov.bc.ca

The nominee consent form authorizes the Law Society of British Columbia to disclose nominee information to the Advisory Committee.

Queen's Counsel appointments are announced at the end of each year. If a nominee is unsuccessful, you can nominate them again by completing a new nomination form.

Criteria for candidates

Candidates must:

  1. Belong to the B.C. bar and have been member for at least five years.
  2. Demonstrate professional integrity, good character and excellence in the practice of law. Such excellence could be determined by any of the following conditions:
    • They have done outstanding work in the fields of legal education or legal scholarship.
    • 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 are acknowledged by their peers as leading counsel or exceptionally gifted practitioners.

Advisory committee

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, B.C. 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.


For more information

Contact the Office of the Deputy Attorney General
Phone: 250-356-0149
Email: MAGDeputyQCAppt@gov.bc.ca