A leader in local and national affairs involving the legal profession, Don Thompson joined the Law Society of Alberta in 1999 as the Deputy Executive Director, and was appointed Executive Director in 2001. He leads over 80 employees in two major Canadian cities.
Don’s leadership skills have been exemplified through his work in streamlining business processes that meet local, provincial and national demands of customers, partners and key stakeholders in the legal profession. His passion for an accountable, responsive and proactive association has lead to many successful initiatives that have raised the profile of the Law Society of Alberta, and Alberta’s legal profession in general.
Don has also been a leader on the national stage through his involvement with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, playing an instrumental role in developing the National Mobility Agreement, which provides for Canadian lawyers to work, almost unconditionally, in other Canadian provinces. He has been an author, presenter and facilitator at national and international conferences and organizations. His work has included professional competence, national and international lawyer mobility, and governance of the legal profession.
Don’s career spans more than 20 years of association management. Before joining the Law Society of Alberta, Don held a number of senior positions at the Law Society of British Columbia, most notably as Deputy Executive Director, where his talents were instrumental in implementing an advanced technology aimed at providing a high service, fully integrated membership resource program, the first of its kind in Canada.
Don holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of British Columbia. He is a member of the Law Society of Alberta, the Law Society of British Columbia, the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Society of Association Executives. He received his Queen’s Counsel in 2004.
Thomas Schonhoffer, Q.C.
Thomas Schonhoffer, Q.C. joined the Law Society of Saskatchewan in 1994 as Counsel for Saskatchewan Lawyers’ Insurance Association Inc. (SLIA). In 2007, he was appointed Executive Director of the Law Society of Saskatchewan and leads a vibrant and energetic group of Benchers, Law Society staff and members of the legal profession in Saskatchewan.
Tom’s management style is proactive and since his appointment as Executive Director, he has made substantial internal changes to the structure of the Society. The many changes and efficiencies have resulted in improved internal operations, leaving more time to consider the substantive issues which will guide and shape the future of the legal profession in Saskatchewan.
Tom sits on many Advisory Boards and Committees and has been an active member of the Canadian Bar Association throughout his legal career. He holds a special interest in legal education as it relates to professional competence, loss prevention and risk management. He has made numerous presentations for the Canadian Bar Association, Saskatchewan Legal Education and for the CPLED Bar Admission Program. Tom is a very welcome addition to the CPLED Board.
Tom holds a Bachelor of Laws from Queen’s University in Ontario, as well as a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts from the University of Regina in Saskatchewan. Tom received his Queen’s Counsel designation in 2005. He is an Honorary member of the Law Society of Alberta.
Tim was appointed Executive Director of the Law Society of Saskatchewan in January 2017 to lead a staff of 30 and oversee, facilitate and guide a leadership policy board of 23 ambitious Benchers, guiding the direction and regulation of Saskatchewan’s legal profession in the public interest.
Tim has practiced law in Saskatchewan for over 25 years and has gained a wide range of experience in both large and small firms, government and the legal aid system. He owned his own law firm and has acted as an adjudicator on tribunals. In private practice, he specialized in the area of criminal law, initially as a Prosecutor and then as a Defence Lawyer. Tim Brown was Counsel with the Saskatchewan Lawyers’ Insurance Association (SLIA) for 5 years before becoming Executive Director at the Society.
In his role as Executive Director at the Society, he participates on national and multi-stakeholder boards and committees to promote the competence, integrity and relevance of the profession, while protecting and maintaining the public interest. Tim also enjoys public speaking with a desire to educate students and lawyers. He has presented numerous papers, instructed lawyers and students and moderated discussions for SKLESI, CPLED, the STLA, the CPD Program and the Canadian Bar Association. He was also involved in the recruitment of a new CEO for CPLED and is excited to be on the board as it works through the next set of challenges in a rapidly changing legal profession.
Tim Brown, Q.C. graduated from the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan, in 1991 and received a Q.C. designation in 2017. Aside from his career in law, Tim is an accomplished artist and painter. He also has a busy family life and takes time to learn and grow professionally, moving forward to lead the legal profession in Saskatchewan.
Cori was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. She received her LLB in 1994 from the University of Calgary and her LLM in 2000 from the University of British Columbia. Cori’s graduate work focused on the unequal compensation of young female and indigenous plaintiffs in personal injury actions.
After being called to the Bar, Cori practiced law as a civil litigator and then worked as Legal Counsel to the Court of Appeal for several years. Prior to joining the Law Society of Alberta, she was the Director of Recruitment and Professional Development in the Calgary office of Dentons LLP where she was responsible for all aspects of student, associate and income partner career development including hiring, training, evaluation, coaching and compensation. During her time at Dentons, Cori was active in training students and associates in legal research and writing, and developing pro bono and diversity initiatives for the firm, including the Justicia project and an Internationally Trained Lawyers Program.
In her current role, Cori oversees the proactive, early intervention programs at the Law Society of Alberta and is responsible for policy development including equity and diversity policies and the Law Society’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.
Cori has taught several courses at the University of Calgary Law and Society department and was a member of the Stewardship Group of the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative. She currently serves as a Director on the boards of Vibrant Communities Calgary and the Alberta Law Libraries and has previously served as a Director on the boards of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations and the YWCA of Calgary.
Irene A. Hamilton
Irene Hamilton is the Director of Justice Innovation in the Department of Justice, Manitoba. She was the Manitoba Ombudsman from March 2005 until January 2012, the Assistant Deputy Minister of Justice, Courts Division, from January 2000 to March 2005, the Public Trustee of Manitoba from 1991 to 2000 and Vice President, Licensing and Corporate Counsel and Secretary for the Liquor Control Commission from 1981 to 1991. She graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor of Arts, and from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Laws. She was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1980. Irene has served on the Boards of the United Way of Winnipeg 1991–2001, Manitoba Theatre for Young People 1979–1990 and served as Chair of each board. She chaired the Deer Lodge Hospital Ethics Committee from 2002–2005. She is currently a member of the Law Society Access to Justice Committee and a public representative Board Member of the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba. She is a Life Bencher of the Law Society of Manitoba and was President in 2010/2011. During her time as President and Bencher, Irene served as a member of all standing committees and as chair of the Admissions and Education committee, chair of the Discipline Committee, chair of the Finance Committee, and a member of the Presidents’ committees on the Code of Conduct, Conflicts, and Lawyers Acting as Executors and Trustees.
Kris has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Law Society of Manitoba since having been appointed to the role in 2014. She has led the work of the Law Society in developing a strategic plan that focuses on supporting a competent and ethical legal profession, increasing access to justice in Manitoba, promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in the regulation and delivery of legal services and building confidence in the Law Society as the regulator of the legal profession in Manitoba.
On the national front Kris has played a significant role in the development of the Federation of Law Societies Model Code of Professional Conduct, having been a member of the Model Code of Professional Conduct Committee from 2005 to 2009 and then serving as a member and currently the Chair of the Standing Committee on the Model Code of Professional Conduct. Kris was a member of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Issues and of the Legal Ethics and Legal Regulation Team for the CBA Legal Futures Initiative, which examined the changes facing the Canadian legal profession in its 2014 Report Futures: Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada.
Kris was called to the Bar in Manitoba in 1983 and practised civil litigation in private practice until joining the Law Society in 1998 as General Counsel, later serving as Senior Counsel. During her time at the Law Society of Manitoba she has engaged in a broad range of regulatory issues locally, nationally and internationally. She has frequently presented on regulatory issues and professional ethics and responsibility and has taught Ethics and Professional Responsibility both at the University of Manitoba and at CPLED.