Focus On

Federation of Law Societies of Canada elects new president

Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 2:00 PM | By John Chunn

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada announced on Nov. 22 that Sheila MacPherson of Yellowknife has been elected president for 2017-2018.

MacPherson is a partner with the firm of Lawson Lundell LLP and is responsible for the management of its Yellowknife office. She is a civil litigator with 30 years of litigation experience and works extensively in both the Northwest Territories and in Nunavut. She also serves as the law clerk to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories.

MacPherson joined the Federation Council as the nominee of the Law Society of the Northwest Territories in 2011. She was previously active in the law society, having served as president in 1997 and 2011.

A graduate of Dalhousie University’s school of law in 1987, she was admitted to the Law Society of the Northwest Territories in 1988 and to the Law Society of Nunavut in 1999.  

She is a lifelong northerner, having lived in both Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

“I am honoured to lead the federation,” MacPherson said. “I look forward to advancing our strategic plan including our efforts to update national rules to fight money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as responding to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as they relate to the legal profession.”

She added, “It has been said that the most significant challenge facing Canadians today is reconciliation with our Indigenous population, and this is as true of the legal profession as in any other aspect of Canadian life.”

Another key priority, the federation president said, is implementing recommendations arising from the federation’s program review of the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA). The NCA is responsible for assessing the credentials of foreign trained law graduates.

The federation is the national co-ordinating body of Canada’s 14 law societies, which are mandated by provincial and territorial statutes to regulate the country’s 117,000 lawyers, Quebec’s 4,500 notaries and Ontario’s nearly 8,000 licensed paralegals in the public interest.