Trudi Brown, winner of the 2017 Law Society Excellence in Family Law Award, with Law Society President Herman Van Ommen, QC. (Submitted photo)

Oak Bay lawyer recognized as a ‘trailblazer’ in family law

Trudi Brown, QC, is the first recipient of the Law Society of BC’s Excellence in FamilyLaw award

Oak Bay lawyer Trudi Brown, QC, is the first recipient of the Law Society of BC’s Excellence in Family Law award. This much-deserved honour celebrates her significant influence on the family law bar in British Columbia as an inspiring leader and mentor.

This award is also a recognition of Ms Brown’s contribution to legal education. She taught Family Law at UVic in 2010, as well as giving workshops, judicial training and supervision of many co-op and articling students over the years. She was also a member of the Board of Governors at the University of Victoria from 2002-2008, during which time she served two years as Chair of the Board.

“She has done all of this with a sense of humour and bemused love of humanity that has leavened what is often a difficult area of practice,” said UVic’s Dean of law, Jeremy Webber in his letter of nomination. “As anyone who has met her will know, she has a large and generous personality, which has underpinned her role as innovator, educator of family lawyers, volunteer in the community, and builder of today’s family-law bar.”

Brown was called to the B.C. bar in 1974 and then practiced for four years with the B.C. Crown Counsel Office in Victoria. Since leaving the Crown she has concentrated her practice in family law and is currently a partner at Brown Henderson Melbye in Oak Bay village.

“This award recognizes that family lawyers play a major role in the community and probably touch more clients than most other forms of law, often in very difficult circumstances,” said Brown. “I would like to share this award with all those who practice in this area.”

Known for championing innovation in the delivery of legal services in family law matters, Brown was one of the first lawyers in Victoria to embrace collaborative practice and was a staunch believer in resolving family law disputes without going to trial, well before that mandate was included in the current Family Law Act.

“Trudi is a trailblazer in family law in this province. She has led by example through her passionate interest in the practice of family law, her innovation in the delivery of legal services and her dedication to the reform of family justice processes and legal education,” said Nancy Merrill, QC, second vice-president and chair of the Law Society Excellence in Family Law Award Selection Committee.
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