Directors

The APB Board of Directors consists of several lawyers and non-lawyers from across BC who share a dedication to the pursuit of equal access to justice for all British Columbians.

Claire Hunter - President

Claire is counsel at Hunter Litigation Chambers with a broad commercial litigation, administrative law and appellate practice. Prior to returning to practice in British Columbia, she was a law clerk to the Honourable Justice Frank Iacobucci at the Supreme Court of Canada and associate lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York from 2004 to 2010. Claire has received a number of awards both in New York and in BC for pro bono service, including the 2012 APB Allan Parker QC Award for Representation Services and the 2015 Harry Rankin QC award from the CBABC. She currently represents British Columbia on the CBA’s national pro bono committee and is a former chair of that committee. Claire also sits on the boards of the VSO School of Music and serves on the Law Society of British Columbia’s Access to Legal Services Committee.

Raji Mangat - Vice-President

Raji practices in the area of constitutional and administrative law. She is the Director of Litigation at West Coast LEAF and works on a variety of litigation and law reform programs on a broad range of issues, including prisoners’ rights, criminal justice, surveillance and privacy, democratic governance, and accountability for law enforcement actors.

Jasmine Allen - Secretary

Jasmine Allen has worked in the non-profit sector for eight years with a focus on fundraising, donor relations, event management, community relations and volunteer management. She has been fortunate to work with a wide range of organizations, including Ester Seals BC/Yukon, Special Olympics BC, UNICEF Canada, and the David Foster Foundation. In addition to her non-profit work, she also volunteers with the Cures for Kids Foundation and Cloth for a Cause.

Zahra Jenab - Treasurer

Zahra has always had a deeply rooted interest in non-adversarial resolution of issues, and her training in mediation and collaborative divorce provide the tools that she needs in assisting clients to reach the best possible solutions in family law situations. As well as being accredited by the Law Society of BC as a family law mediator, arbitrator, and parenting coordinator, she is a member of the BC Parenting Coordination Roster Society, and the BC Hear the Child Society Roster. Zahra has had the opportunity to provide legal services to a number of different immigrant and cultural communities, and is keenly aware of the cultural differences that often play a significant role in conflict resolution.

Jasvinder (Bill) Basran

Bill is the Regional Director General of the Federal Department of Justice’s BC Region. He joined the DOJ in 1995, specializing in tax law. He has been the Regional Director General since 2007 and is responsible for managing what is often called “the largest law office in Western Canada”, with a total of approximately 420 employees, including 225 lawyers. Bill is a member of the DOJ’s Executive Committee and was instrumental in developing and implementing its National Pro Bono Policy. He continues to be the DOJ’s Pro Bono Champion.

Johanne Blenkin

Johanne is a former lawyer who has worked in the not for profit sector for over 15 years, currently as Executive Director of the University Neighbourhood’s Association providing civic administration to residents at UBC and formerly as the CEO of CLBC. Her focus throughout her career has been on community engagement, equity of access and building capacity to use information with a particular focus on using technology effectively and creatively. At CLBC she supported the Clicklaw and Lawmatters for public libraries projects that are now ongoing programs. She practiced family law on the Island with a focus on Legal Aid and collaborative law. As one of the founding members of Access to Justice BC and a director of CanLII, Johanne is committed to furthering access to justice to meet the needs of citizens. She has served on numerous law society and bar association committees, and as a director on a number of boards.

The Honourable Ross Colver, Q.C.

In 1967 Ross became the first full-time family court judge in the Okanagan, presiding in the cities of Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon. After retiring from the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 2001 he provided free mediation to hundreds of separated parents on behalf of Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC. Recently accredited as a family dispute resolution specialist under the Family Law Act, he is resuming parenting mediation under the sponsorship of Access Pro Bono BC.

Simon Coval, Q.C.

Manager of Fasken Martineau’s Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group in Vancouver, Simon is a commercial litigator with a broad practice focused on business disputes involving real estate, contracts, economic torts, companies and partnerships, civil fraud and white-collar crime, and injunctions. He advises on matters for private and public clients involved in litigation across a range of sectors and industries. Simon is a frequent instructor and lecturer on commercial litigation and real estate issues.

The Honourable Thomas Cromwell

The Honourable Thomas Cromwell received law degrees from Queen’s and Oxford, practised law in Kingston and Toronto and taught at the faculty of law, Dalhousie University. During his time at Dalhousie, he was active as a labour arbitrator and served as Vice-chair of the Nova Scotia Labour Relations Board. He served as Executive Legal Officer to the Chief Justice Canada from 1992 – 1995 and was appointed to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal in 1997. He served there until his appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2008. Justice Cromwell was awarded the C.B.A.’s Louis St. Laurent Award of Excellence and was elected an honorary fellow of Exeter College, Oxford and of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is the recipient of four honorary doctorates in law and an award in his name, The Honourable Thomas Cromwell Award for Public Service, has been established by the Queen’s law faculty. He is the chair of the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters and a member of the Canadian Judicial Council’s Working Committee on Jury Charges. He retired from the Supreme Court of Canada on September 1st, 2016. He is senior counsel with Borden Ladner Gervais in Ottawa and Vancouver.

The Honourable Lance Finch, Q.C.

The Honourable Lance S.G. Finch, QC had a 20 year litigation practice that included insurance defence, plaintiff’s injury claims, municipal law and general commercial litigation prior to his appointment to the British Columbia Supreme Court in 1983. In 1993, he was appointed a Justice of the British Columbia and Yukon Courts of Appeal and in 2001 was appointed Chief Justice of British Columbia. Since his retirement from the Court in 2013, Lance has rejoined Guild Yule LLP as associate counsel, providing advice on trial and appellate matters as well as acting as an arbitrator and mediator. Lance is the recipient of many honours and awards, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, and has been awarded honourary doctor of laws degrees by each of University of British Columbia, University of Victoria and Thomspon Rivers University. He is an active supporter of pro bono work, including by serving as trustee of Pro Bono Canada, an organization created to encourage and support the development of province-wide pro bono programs.

Micah Rankin

Micah is an Associate Professor of Law at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia, where he teaches and researches in the areas of constitutional law, evidence and criminal law. Prior to joining TRU’s law faculty, Professor Rankin was a law clerk at the British Columbia Court of Appeal. He then worked as an associate at Hunter Litigation Chambers in Vancouver for several years. In addition to his academic work, Professor Rankin regularly acts as pro bono legal counsel in public interest cases and on criminal appeals. He has appeared at all levels of court in British Columbia and on several occasions in the Supreme Court of Canada.