VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - June 20, 2016) - The Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch (CBABC) is proud to announce the recipients of this year's Bar Awards honouring outstanding lawyers and an inventive organization. The President's Medal was also announced. CBABC President Jennifer Chow presented the awards last Saturday (June 18) at the CBABC Provincial Council meeting with over 100 of BC's top legal leaders in attendance.

Harry Rankin, QC Pro Bono Award: Sheila Tucker of Shapray Cramer Fitterman Lamer LLP
Awarded for the contribution of countless pro bono hours to civil liberties cases of local and national significance. Notably, Ms. Tucker challenged the criminal law against assisted dying and successfully convinced the Supreme Court of Canada to declare the ban on physician assisted death unconstitutional.

Community Service Award: Kevin MacDonald, partner, Clark Wilson LLP
Awarded to a CBA member demonstrating outstanding dedication, service and commitment to the community. Mr. MacDonald has given thousands of hours of his time over the years to organizations such as St. Thomas More Collegiate, Covenant House and many others. He has also helped raise nearly $1.2M for local charities through cofounding and running the annual HOOPLAW Charity Basketball Tournament for more than 20 years.

Equality & Diversity Award: The Honourable Donna Martinson, QC, retired BC Supreme Court Justice
Celebrating a CBA member who works to advance equality in BC. Former Justice Martinson travels extensively to address judicial seminars, justice summits, legal education conferences and universities. She is committed to advancing legal equality for numerous minority groups including children and promoting the judicial appointments of women and minorities to the Bench.

Innovative Workplace Award: Thomas Spraggs, Principal of Spraggs & Company Injury Lawyers
Awarded in recognition of creative thinking and leadership in developing innovative strategy and its workplace implementation. Mr. Spraggs prioritizes team-based collaboration resulting in continuous sharing of ideas and solutions. His firm also funds further education for its employees and provides alternative work arrangements.

President's Medal: Aleem Bharmal, Executive Director at Community Legal Assistance Society
Awarded in recognition of significant contribution to the legal profession and given personally by the CBABC president. Mr. Bharmal is Chair of CBABC's Access to Justice Committee, Co-Chair of both the Human Rights and Social Justice Sections, Vice-Chair of the Administrative Law Section, committee member on the Advisory Committee to Judicial Council and a volunteer mentor at the Allard School of Law, UBC. In 2015, Mr. Bharmal and his co-counsel, Clea Parfitt, won a high-profile racial discrimination case involving Indo-Canadian veterinarians in BC.

President Chow commented, "Once again CBABC members have shown their skill and talent, and these awards let us recognize their work as it elevates the legal profession and impacts Canadian society."

About CBABC: The Canadian Bar Association is the professional organization representing some 36,000 lawyers, judges and law students from across Canada including over 6,800 members in British Columbia.

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Contact Information:

CBABC Media Contact:
Margot White
Membership & Communications Manager
Office: 604.646.7850
Mobile: 778.987.7001