Legal Aid BC announces new CEO

Legal Aid BC (LABC) announced today that Michael Bryant will be its next Chief Executive Officer. The organization’s Board of Directors made the appointment following a competitive national search. Bryant takes on the role beginning January 17, 2022.

Bryant is a lawyer and currently the Executive Director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. He served as the 35th Attorney General of Ontario and as Ontario’s second Minister of Indigenous Affairs. After leaving public office, Bryant practiced criminal law, including legal aid and providing duty counsel services in some of Ontario’s busiest courts. In 2019, he was included in Canadian Lawyer’s “Top 25” most influential lawyers in Canada. 

“We look forward to welcoming Michael to Legal Aid BC, which will benefit from his broad experience and keen appreciation for both the challenges of providing legal aid services and the importance of those services in people’s lives,” said Karen Christiansen, Chair of LABC’s Board of Directors. “As LABC continues its commitment to providing accessible, effective services that meet people’s legal needs, we are thrilled to have Michael lead the organization into its next chapter.”

In his new role, Bryant will lead LABC’s post-pandemic service responses. These include a continued commitment to working with community members, judges, lawyers, foundations and governments to advance access to justice. Equally important will be ensuring ongoing support to legal aid lawyers, LABC employees, and the community agencies that are critical to LABC’s work in delivering services that meet people’s legal needs while supporting the principles of fundamental justice in the post-pandemic environment.

Bryant holds a BA and an MA from the University of British Columbia, a JD from Osgoode Hall Law School and an LLM from Harvard Law School. In addition to his public service work, as a lawyer Bryant has appeared before all levels of Canadian courts, he has worked as a negotiator for First Nations, and has served at leading global law firms in New York, Toronto and Vancouver. He is looking forward to returning to BC where he was born and raised.

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