May 16, 2011

Panellist Profile: Graeme Keirstead, Manager, Intake and Early Resolution, Law Society of British Columbia

News and Events
Professional Regulation

We continue profiling speakers on the regulatory panel for our conference. This week we introduce Graeme Keirstead.

Topic – PROFESSIONALS TAKING CARE OF THEIR CLIENTS – Succession and Trustee Protocols

Mr. Graeme Keirstead is a lawyer with the Law Society of British Columbia who holds the position of the Manager of Intake and Early Resolution.  The Law Society has been the self-governing regulatory body for British Columbia’s legal professionals for over 125 years.  Currently, the Law Society regulates over 10,000 practising lawyers.

For the last few years, the Law Society has been engaged in designing protocols for lawyers to designate other lawyers to take care of their clients, or to designate other persons to arrange for the orderly transfer of clients, in the event of a lawyer’s inability to practise or on retirement.  Mr. Keirstead will speak about the protocols and template agreements created by the Law Society to help lawyers identify trustees for their practice, to make arrangements with trustees, and to assist lawyers who become trustees to understand their obligations.  He will also speak about how the Law Society has introduced and delivered this information to members.

With the aging population, all professional regulatory bodies are facing the challenge of guiding their members on succession and trustee planning. Many questions arise: Should such professional planning be mandatory, and if so, what should be the enforcement mechanism?  Are clients involved in the process?  Do they have to consent to the trustee, or at least be given notice of the trustee? How are records to be accessed by a trustee? What if the professional works or consults in an organization with other professionals and the client files are shared files? Come to the Conference to hear Mr. Keirstead speak about the Law Society’s protocols and to engage in a discussion with the panel about this important subject.