Employment lawyer Lawrence Robinson named associate judge at B.C. Supreme Court

Lawrence (Lanny) Robinson.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia has announced the appointment of Lawrence (Lanny) Robinson as a new associate judge.

Starting from Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, Robinson will enhance the court’s efforts to ensure timely and consistent access to justice across the province, the province said in a press release.

Robinson’s addition to the bench expands the team of associate judges in British Columbia to 14, serving provincewide. Associate judges play a crucial role in the judicial process by presiding over civil chambers and registrar hearings.

They handle pre-trial motions and procedural orders, which are vital in preparing cases for trial. By managing these preliminary stages, associate judges facilitate smoother and more expedient trials, which are conducted by justices or judges.

Bringing a rich background in law to his new role, Robinson was called to the bar in 2002.

He has since developed a diverse legal practice, including specialties in employment and human rights, personal injury claims, defamation actions, creditors’ remedies, and commercial and municipal disputes. He was a partner at Alexander Holburn in Vancouver.

Robinson’s extensive experience also includes appearances at all levels of court in British Columbia and representations before numerous administrative tribunals. His leadership and expertise were recognized in 2009 when he became a partner at his firm.

Robinson has also contributed significantly to legal education and community service. He taught business law at Langara College and frequently presented for the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC and the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.

His commitment to the legal community extends to his volunteer work as chair of the Employment Law Subsection of the Canadian Bar Association – B.C. Branch and as a director of the Port Moody Foundation. Currently, he serves as the director of the Kekinow Native Housing Society.

Though Robinson’s primary posting will be in Vancouver, the modern judicial system’s flexibility allows him to support other regions through video-conferencing technology, ensuring his impact is felt across British Columbia.

The process for appointing an associate judge is comprehensive, involving an ad hoc committee’s review of candidates. This committee comprises B.C.’s deputy attorney general, a Supreme Court justice, and representatives from the Law Society of British Columbia and the Canadian Bar Association’s B.C. branch. After a consultation with the chief justice, the attorney general recommends candidates to the cabinet for appointment through an order-in-council.

This appointment follows the recent change in the title of the position from master to associate judge, which took effect on January 15, 2024, marking a significant update in the nomenclature of the court’s roles.

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