Law Society of Upper Canada

Law Society of Upper Canada

June 15, 2007 15:38 ET

Law Society Presents Honorary Doctorate at London Call to the Bar Ceremony

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 15, 2007) - The Law Society of Upper Canada presented a degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.), to the Honourable W. Dan Chilcott, Q.C., former Superior Court Justice and Law Society Treasurer, at a ceremony held at the London Convention Centre on June 15. The event was held to welcome the province's newest lawyers to the profession.

Law Society Treasurer Gavin MacKenzie presented the honorary doctorate to Mr. Chilcott in recognition of his exemplary career and his tremendous dedication to the profession.

The Law Society called 97 new lawyers to the Bar during the event. The event is one of five such ceremonies being held in the province this month.

Each year, as part of its Call ceremonies, the Law Society awards honorary doctorates to distinguished persons who exemplify the values held in esteem by the legal profession. Recipients serve as keynote speakers to inspire the graduating class.

"We honour Dan Chilcott today for his venerable career and his extensive contributions to the profession," said Treasurer MacKenzie. "He embodies the highest of standards, committing himself selflessly to both his fellow lawyers and his community. He is certainly a credit to the profession and a role model for today's graduates."

Called to the Bars of Nova Scotia, Ontario and the Northwest Territories, Mr. Chilcott began his career as the Senior Assistant Crown Attorney for the County of Carleton in 1956. In 1958, he entered private practice with the firm of Binks, Chilcott & Simpson and was appointed Deputy Magistrate for the Northwest Territories, later becoming its Special Prosecutor. In 1967, he was appointed Queen's Counsel.

Mr. Chilcott has served as president of the County of Carleton Law Association and as an instructor for the Law Society's Bar Admission Course. First elected a bencher of the Law Society in 1979, he was voted the Society's Treasurer in 1987. He continues to be an active and dedicated member of the Law Society's Board of Governors, referred to as Convocation.

In 1988, Mr. Chilcott was appointed a justice of the Superior Court of Justice and, in 1999, a Deputy Judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice.

In addition to his significant service to the profession, Mr. Chilcott ardently supports his community. He is a Past President and Life Director of the Central Canada Exhibition Association, Former Vice-Chairman of the Ottawa Police Commission and a Trustee of Grace General Hospital. He is also a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board in Ottawa.

Additional Call to the Bar ceremonies will be held in Toronto on June 18 and 19. The first ceremony was held in Ottawa on June 12.

In congratulating this year's new lawyers, Treasurer MacKenzie said, "You have joined a noble profession... We are committed to the rule of law in a democratic society. We are committed to an independent Bar and an independent judiciary. That is what we stand for, and that is what we stand up for."

He also noted that, "There are many others in our society who are less privileged than we are, people who have no access to legal services. We have a duty to them to promote access to justice for all, through legal aid and pro bono work and otherwise.... So please do your honourable profession and this world a favour: give back."

The Law Society governs legal service providers in the public interest by ensuring that the people of Ontario are served by lawyers and paralegals who meet high standards of learning, competence and professional conduct, and by upholding the independence, integrity and honour of the legal professions for the purpose of advancing the cause of justice and the rule of law.

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