Law Society of Upper Canada

Law Society of Upper Canada

June 21, 2010 17:27 ET

Noted Community Champion Receives Honorary Law Society Doctorate

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 21, 2010) - The Law Society of Upper Canada presented a degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LLD), to Abdulrahim Ali Chahbar at a ceremony at the London Convention Centre today. Held annually, the Call to the Bar welcomes new lawyers to the profession.

Law Society Treasurer W. A. Derry Millar presented the honorary doctorate to Mr. Chahbar for his years of outstanding service as a lay bencher of the Law Society.

As part of its call ceremonies each year, the Law Society awards honorary doctorates to distinguished people in recognition of outstanding achievements in the legal profession, the rule of law or the cause of justice. Recipients serve as inspirational keynote speakers for the graduating classes as they begin their careers.

"Mr. Chahbar's life has been inextricably intertwined with Ontario's legal system, despite the fact that he is not a member of the legal profession," said the Treasurer. "During his tenure as a lay bencher, he acted as the Law Society's Complaints Review Commissioner, as a representative on the National Committee for Accreditation and as a director of LAWPRO."

The Law Society called 91 of the province's 1,262 new lawyers to the Bar of Ontario today.

Abdulrahim Ali Chahbar received his BA in Economics from the University of Western Ontario in 1975. He was appointed as a lay bencher of the Law Society in 1996, 1999, 2003 and again in 2007. From 1996 to 2005, he acted as the Law Society's complaints review commissioner and provided services now performed by the Complaints Resolution Commissioner. He also represented the Law Society on the board of the National Committee for Accreditation, and was a director of LAWPRO – the Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company (1998 – 2009).

Extremely active in his local community, Mr. Chahbar was elected to the London Board of Education as a trustee in 1991 and again in 1994. He also served as governor of the Fanshawe board of governors (1984 – 1989) and as chair of the board (1988 – 1989). He was elected as a councillor for the city of London in 1997 and re-elected in 2000 and 2003. He became a member of the London Police Services Board in 2003 and served as its vice-chair (2005 – 2006) and chair (2006 – 2009). In addition, he has served as a director on the boards of several organizations, including King's University College at the University of Western Ontario. In October 2009, he was appointed as a justice of the peace of the Ontario Court of Justice, West Region.

The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a mandate to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and to act in a timely, open and efficient manner.

A full biography of Mr. Chahbar is available online at http://www.lsuc.on.ca/media/june1410_Chahbarfullapprovedbio.pdf.

Photos are available upon request.

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