2020 AGM


Please join us for the Vancouver Bar Association’s annual general meeting taking place via video conference on December 2, 2020 at 12:30 pm. The AGM will feature the election of the Officers of the Association and six new Members-at-Large to the Board. You must be a VBA member to vote at the AGM. The Zoom link for the videoconference will be sent to all registrants prior to the AGM.

Click HERE to Register for the AGM.

2020 Candidates

Paula Krawus

Paula is a people person. Her strengths as a lawyer come from her ability to empathize and communicate. She approaches problems with a positive and thoughtful mindset, and looks for opportunities to collaborate in our adversarial industry.

This past summer, Paula opened PortaLaw, a boutique employment and human rights law firm that prioritizes legal tech and value-based pricing.

With a comfortable five years of practice under her belt, Paula is excited to share her experience and energy with her colleagues in the VBA community. If elected, she plans to bring a small firm and entrepreneurial perspective to the VBA’s services, partnerships and events.

Heather E. Doi

Events in the past year have caused many of us in the legal profession to reflect not just on how we are working, but whether the work we are doing is just and inclusive. I believe these same considerations should guide the work the VBA does for the upcoming term and hopefully beyond. In my view it is more important than ever to act on the VBA’s mandate of connecting members of the bar and judiciary, and supporting charitable initiatives.

As a Member-At-Large I would be committed to finding innovative and increasingly inclusive ways of carrying out the VBA’s mandate. In particular, I would like to see the VBA continue to expand its professional development initiatives and to provide members with a platform to engage on issues of race, inclusion and social justice generally. As a lawyer at a small firm, I believe these efforts would enhance the VBA’s role as a resource and network for all lawyers and particularly those without the benefit of a large firm’s infrastructure. I am also committed to looking at how the VBA can continue to support its affiliated charities during this time when large-scale, in-person gatherings are not possible.

As an associate at Nathanson, Schachter & Thompson LLP I maintain a civil litigation practice with a primary focus on commercial litigation, as well as administrative law. After articling with a national firm, I clerked for six justices of the Supreme Court of British Columbia and was called to the bar in 2017. Since being called I have enjoyed volunteering my time with legal education initiatives, particularly through work with UBC law students. I also love to get outside, particularly these days. Pre-pandemic I was a regular curler at the Vancouver Curling Club.
I would be honoured to serve the bar as a Member-At-Large for the VBA. Thank you for your consideration.

Priscilla Wingenbach

Priscilla Wingenbach is an associate at Grant Kovacs Norell. Her practice is focused on Insurance Defence Litigation, but she also had experience in general civil litigation, including areas of commercial and environmental law.

Priscilla obtained her Bachelors of Laws degree (Honours) at City University London in 2014. She was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2015 and the Bar of British Columbia in 2017. She is a member of the VBA and CBA, active in the Civil Litigation, Insurance Law, and Young Lawyers subsections.

Active in the community, Priscilla has devoted her time to various charities and non-profit enterprises, including one that she co-founded 14 years ago and has run since that time. She has strong ties to the business community, including in accountancy and the financial service sectors.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for all British Columbians, including members of our profession. Our courts are open, but most matters are conducted remotely, and our interactions are limited. We are currently unable to network and strengthen our professional relationships as we once did.

Recognizing the challenges that lie ahead, Priscilla is committed to working hard and refocusing the VBA’s community building efforts through a new program of virtual and in-person events (when permitted). Relying on ties to the business community, she hopes to expand the VBAs reach and networking opportunities by partnering with other professional associations.

Wendy Zhang

I was born in China and grew up in the US, New Zealand, Montreal and Vancouver. I articled at Gall Legge Grant Zwack LLP and have been here since 2014. My practice consists of general civil litigation and tax litigation, with a focus on corporate and commercial matters. I have appeared in all levels of court in British Columbia, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the Federal Court, and the Tax Court of Canada.

As a millennial, it is undeniable that one of the defining aspects of my generation has been the advancement of technology and its impact on our daily lives. The tech boom in the last few decades has affected every industry. While some sectors have embraced these new technologies, others have been more resistant.

From my first year in law school to now, I have always been keenly interested in the potential of modernizing our profession. At the same time, I have been frustrated with the slow pace of technological adoption and general resistance to new technology in law firms and the Courts. Whether it be the use of artificial intelligence as a legal research tool, the proliferation of web based legal services, or modernizing the infrastructure in our Court system, I believe that the legal industry can greatly benefit from better adoption of technological advancements. This has been especially prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Better adoption and usage of technological tools would greatly increase access to justice and increase efficiency in our profession and our Courts.

As a young lawyer with both an aptitude and fascination with technology, I would love to spearhead more initiatives to better integrate and utilize software-based solutions to modernize the Courts and use technology to increase access to justice amongst minorities and underserved populations, an increasingly urgent problem in our society.

Ryan Laity

I’m a senior associate at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, in the Financial Services Group, specializing in insolvency, debt restructuring, and lending law.

The VBA has had a special place in my heart since the first time I attended the AGM as an articling student in 2013. Born and raised in Burnaby, but venturing off to Toronto for law school, I felt a bit out-of-place on my return for articling. I met many great people at the AGM that year, who remain my good friends today. It felt like a proper introduction to the profession!

In the seven years since that first event, I have enjoyed engaging with fellow lawyers and the Vancouver legal community more broadly– as a supervising lawyer for the UBC Downtown Eastside ID Support Clinic, acting on the executive for the CBA Banking Section (including as Chair in 2018) and Insolvency Section, and as a member of the Associates’ Committee at my firm. With your vote, I hope to take that experience and contribute to the VBA as a Member-At-Large.

COVID-19 has understandably restricted the VBA’s ability to connect with members for most of this past year. Nonetheless, the VBA has adapted and found innovative ways to engage members virtually. If elected, I’m eager to work with the Board to continue finding new ways to engage with members during these challenging times, and build on ways to hit the ground running once the public health crisis has ended.

Please consider casting your ballot my way! Thank you.