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Outstanding Lawyers Honoured with Bar Awards

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 25, 2012) - The Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch (CBABC) has honoured an outstanding lawyer and impressive law firm who have both contributed to the profession in two distinct areas of service.

CBABC Harry Rankin QC Pro Bono Award

The Harry Rankin QC Pro Bono Award recognizes significant contributions of: pro bono legal services to a client; community organizing in establishing pro bono clinics; coordinating pro bono services, and education and advocacy work to promote pro bono culture. The 2012 Harry Rankin QC Pro Bono Award recipient is lawyer Bruce F. Fraser QC of Vancouver.

Bruce Fraser's name is synonymous with pro bono, as he has contributed to the provision of pro bono and legal aid services in BC for almost half a century. In the last 10 years in particular, he played a key role in bringing together two of our province's major pro bono organizations: Western Canada Society to Access Justice and Pro Bono Law of British Columbia. After his call to the Bar in 1964, Mr. Fraser practiced in Prince George and served as Chair of the local legal aid committee. Throughout his time in Prince George and later in Vancouver, he represented numerous clients in criminal and civil proceedings on a legal aid or pro bono basis.

Mr. Fraser served as the Inaugural Chair of BC's merged pro bono organization, Access Pro Bono, and provided exceptional leadership as it grew to 105 clinics with more than 750 lawyers providing pro bono service to the public. His many nominators spoke highly of his extraordinary contributions, both seen and unseen, to building a positive pro bono culture amongst BC's legal profession. Presenting the award to Mr Fraser, President Kerry Simmons said "I can't think of a better way to summarize this lifelong dedication to the public good - than recognizing you today amongst your peers with the Harry Rankin QC Pro Bono Award, except to add that you have contributed to raising the bar on not just the public good, but the profession's good as well."

CBABC Work Life Balance Award

The CBABC Work Life Balance Award was established in 2007 to recognize lawyers, law firms or organizations who demonstrate leadership and innovation in promoting wellness in the practice of law. The 2012 CBABC Work Life Balance Award, donated by TheraHealth BC, was presented to Vancouver firm McCullough O'Connor Irwin LLP.

McCullough O'Connor Irwin LLP is a corporate and securities firm in Vancouver with six partners and nine associates. The firm's values include a belief that supporting their lawyers and staff both personally and professionally is a key to better productivity and profitability and a key factor in retention. Some of the programs that the firm provides include fitness programs, flexible work arrangements, providing external coaching support, paying for personal development programs and organizing firm wide charity events and many other innovative examples of people-friendly practices.

CBABC President Kerry Simmons presented these two special recognition awards to Bruce Fraser QC and principals from McCullough O'Connor Irwin LLP on September 22 at the CBABC Provincial Council meeting of more than 120 leaders of the legal community.

To view photos for Harry Rankin, QC Pro Bono Award, visit: http://www.cba.org/BC/Public_Media/rankin/2012.aspx

To view photos for Work Life Balance Award, visit: http://www.cba.org/BC/Public_Media/work_life_balance/2012.aspx

The Canadian Bar Association is the professional organization representing more than 38,000 lawyers, judges and law students in Canada, including 6,700 members in British Columbia.