2023 Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting takes place at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver on November 21, 2023. Tickets are available, here. Central to the event is the election of six new members to the Board of Directors.
This year’s AGM is generously sponsored by Thomson Reuters, Charest Legal Solutions, and Edge Legal Recruitment.
Hi! My name is Cory Song. I enjoy cooking and playing video games, am active in my church community, and love a good sing-along! I am an Associate at AHBL, practicing insurance defence and police law. If I wasn’t practicing law, my dream is to be a mysterious masked singer, serenading the streets in a souped-up rickshaw.
To me, the VBA has been an invaluable source of community in a profession that can feel very solitary. The sense of collegiality and camaraderie that the VBA brings through its events was and is so important to me, as a student and now as a junior lawyer. I am running for a member-at-large position as I believe my voice on the Board can meaningfully contribute to both fostering the events and initiatives that the VBA has continued to host for the legal profession in BC as well as piloting smaller, informal events for those of us who are not as sports-inclined. Thank you for considering a vote for Cory! Music always brings people together and I am hopeful this Song sounds good to you.
Alex is an associate with Boughton Law Corporation’s securities group with a practice that focuses on M&A, capital markets, and public and private corporate matters. Originally from the Northwest Territories, he obtained his law degree from the University of British Columbia after earning his BA in Political Science and Economics from the University of Alberta.
Alex is running for a position with the VBA in order to contribute to an important platform for the legal community. Emphasizing the importance of active engagement and collaboration, Alex is dedicated to advocating for and implementing initiatives to increase the reach and impact of community events and professional development opportunities. In fostering a supportive and inclusive network, Alex aims at providing all members of the legal community with the access and tools they need to thrive in their practice.
I maintain a general practice in employment and commercial litigation, with a particular focus on litigation involving the workplace. When I am not practising law, I am chasing my one and half year old son. This can be a humbling experience. It reminds me of how quickly any athletic prowess I once might have had has seemingly vanished. Before chasing a toddler, I chased forest fires around the province and played rugby competitively.
The VBA is unique. It fills a space that is often missing for professionals. The VBA provides resources and opportunities to lawyers to connect in a way that provides a break from the work itself or a space to learn from senior counsel outside the four walls of our respective firms. I want to join the VBA Board because I am passionate about ensuring the collegiality amongst members of the bar is maintained and strong for years to come. As a past participant of the Inns of Court program, I want to ensure we can continue to support events that foster connection and discussion amongst our colleagues.
I am running for the VBA Board to help the VBA connect lawyers (new and old) with our peers. Although originally from Vancouver Island, I lived in Ontario and Quebec for the better part of 12 years. I went to uOttawa for law school and articled and first practiced in Toronto. My husband and I moved to Vancouver in February, 2022. I credit the VBA’s many events and initiatives for helping me grow my network and settle down in this new City.
As a candidate, I bring a mix of experience in supporting mental wellness, working in different legal environments, and managing organizational finances. In particular:
• I am a member of the CBABC’s Mental Wellness Committee, tasked with addressing the recommendations of the National Lawyer Wellness Study;
• I have worked at big (Fasken) and small firms (Teplitsky LLP, Toronto); and
• In law school, I was the VP Finance of the Common Law Student Society.
Before law, I worked for 4 ½ years in financial services. Welcome to the Malt house!
Rachel Wollenberg is an associate at Lawson Lundell LLP. She has a broad commercial litigation practice, with specific experience in contractual disputes, shareholder oppression claims, civil fraud, real estate disputes and commercial tenancy matters. Rachel practiced in Alberta for four years before being called to the British Columbia bar in May 2023, and she is eager to become more embedded within the Vancouver bar. Rachel is running for a member-at-large position to promote increased collegiality and engagement with Vancouver bar members, and will work hard to further the important support and services provided by the VBA to the Vancouver legal community.
Allyse Cruise is an associate at Nathanson, Schachter & Thompson. Prior to NST, Allyse worked in an A2J focused role, collaborating extensively with the Centre for Research, Evaluation, and Action Towards Equal Justice. She regularly contributes as a presenter to USask’s Law Reform class, recently volunteered with Saskatchewan’s Access to Justice Network, and was part of the advisory committee for a project that received an inaugural McLachlin Fund grant. Prior to becoming a lawyer, she volunteered with the International Rescue Committee and sat on the board of Saskatoon Community Mediation Services.
Allyse hopes to continue her volunteer work with the VBA! She genuinely appreciates that the organization provides its members with activities ranging from Tuesday night hoops to unlimited hops. Allyse wants to ensure that there continues to be a wide-ranging number of ways that our bar can mingle and support one another. Consider voting for Allyse at this year’s VBA AGM so that she can get started!
Jeff practises commercial litigation and public law at Olthuis van Ert. Jeff went to law school and briefly practiced in Toronto before proudly becoming a member of the Vancouver bar in 2017. Jeff is excited to be running for a position on the VBA board. He strongly believes in the VBA’s mission to foster camaraderie amongst its members, and advocate and protect the interests of Vancouver lawyers.
Jeff has previous board experience, having served on the board of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (BC) from 2018 to 2020, and as the former President of the Vancouver Tennis Association from 2020-2023 (the city’s 2SLGBTQ+ tennis club based out of Stanley Park).
Outside of work hours Jeff can be found on the tennis court, at the curling rink, or in the Red Room at Barry’s Bootcamp.
Daniel articled at Singleton and was called to the bar in 2020. He currently practices in the firm’s commercial litigation, construction, and insurance law groups. Daniel has been a member of the VBA since he was an articled student and he has consistently attended / really enjoyed attending all the events the VBA has to offer. Daniel is excited to be running for the VBA Board of Directors and furthering the VBA’s mandate of increasing collegiality within the profession. During his time in law school, he served on the UVIC student executive where he planned the students’ community sporting events and his class’s graduation. After law school, Daniel has planned many events within his own firm, and is looking to bring that same enthusiasm to the broader legal community in Vancouver as a member of the VBA Board of Directors.
- 5:30pm – Doors open
- 5:30 – 7pm – Reception where members can show support for this year’s candidates
- 7:15pm – AGM call to order
- 7:30pm – Commencement of AGM business (including election of new board members and Peter S. Hyndman Mentorship Award)
- 8:45pm – End of AGM
- 9-11pm – Rooftop Afterparty with DJ and dancefloor
One of the many highlights of the AGM is the silent auction. The silent auction takes place during the reception and prior to the commencement of AGM business. In past years, the auction has raised tens of thousands of dollars for deserving charities with a connection to the legal profession. This year, all of the funds raised will be donated to the Access Pro Bono Society of BC, a non-profit organization that provides critical, pro bono legal services and supports to people and non-profit organizations of limited means. The programs offered by Access Pro Bono are vital to British Columbians and access to justice in this province.
This year’s silent auction includes items from the Penticton Lakeside Resort, River Rock Casino, Barry’s and many more.