CPLED Board Chair
Don Thompson, QC
A leader in local and national affairs involving the legal profession, Don Thompson joined the Law Society of Alberta in 1999 as the Deputy Executive Director and was appointed CEO and Executive Director in 2001. He recently stepped down from his leadership role with the Law Society of Alberta, but remains the Board Chair for CPLED.
Don’s leadership skills have been exemplified through his work in streamlining business processes that meet local, provincial and national demands of key stakeholders in the legal profession. His passion for an accountable, responsive and proactive association has led to many successful initiatives that have raised the profile of the Law Society of Alberta, and Alberta’s legal profession in general.
Don has also been a leader on the national stage through his involvement with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, playing an instrumental role in developing the National Mobility Agreement, which provides for Canadian lawyers to work, almost unconditionally, in other Canadian provinces. His work has included professional competence, national and international lawyer mobility, and governance of the legal profession.
Don’s career spans more than 20 years of association management. Before joining the Law Society of Alberta, Don held a number of senior positions at the Law Society of British Columbia, most notably as Deputy Executive Director, where his talents were instrumental in implementing an advanced technology aimed at providing a high service, fully integrated membership resource program, the first of its kind in Canada.
Don holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of British Columbia. He is a member of the Law Society of Alberta, the Law Society of British Columbia, the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Society of Association Executives. He received his Queen’s Counsel in 2004.
Cori is the Deputy Executive Director and the Director of Professionalism & Policy at the Law Society of Alberta.
After being called to the Bar, Cori practiced law as a civil litigator and then worked as Legal Counsel to the Court of Appeal for several years. Prior to joining the Law Society of Alberta, she was the Director of Recruitment and Professional Development in the Calgary office of Dentons LLP where she was responsible for all aspects of student, associate and income partner career development including hiring, training, evaluation, coaching and compensation. During her time at Dentons, Cori was active in developing pro bono and diversity initiatives for the firm, including an Internationally Trained Lawyers Program.
Cori has taught several courses at the University of Calgary Law and Society department and is currently a member of the Stewardship Group of the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative. She has previously served as a Director on the boards of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations and the YWCA of Calgary.Cori was born and raised in Calgary. She received her LLB in 1994 from the University of Calgary and her LLM in 2000 from the University of British Columbia.
Mr. Melnyk was born and raised in Edmonton where he obtained his Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1985. After completing his law degree in 1990 at the University of Alberta, Mr. Melnyk began practicing law in Red Deer, and has been an active member of the bar since 1991. He is currently a partner with the law firm of Warren Sinclair LLP.
In 2017, Mr. Melnyk was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Law Society of Alberta and the Canadian Bar Association (Alberta Branch). In 2010, he was awarded the Prism Award for outstanding commitment to pro bono legal services in central Alberta. He is a current member of the Family Law Rules Advisory Committee. In addition, Mr. Melnyk has been a chair and presenter at Legal Education Society of Alberta conferences dealing with family law.
Mr. Melnyk has also been an active member of the community where he has been the Run Director for the CIBC Run for the Cure, Canadian Cancer Society since 2016. He is also a past board member with the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Red Deer and an ongoing volunteer with the Festival of Trees (fundraiser for the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation).
Kris has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Law Society of Manitoba since having been appointed to the role in 2014. She has led the work of the Law Society in developing a strategic plan that focuses on supporting a competent and ethical legal profession, increasing access to justice in Manitoba, promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in the regulation and delivery of legal services and building confidence in the Law Society as the regulator of the legal profession in Manitoba.
On the national front Kris has played a significant role in the development of the Federation of Law Societies Model Code of Professional Conduct. She served as a member of the Model Code of Professional Conduct Committee from 2005 to 2009, the Standing Committee of the Model Code of Professional Conduct from 2010 to 2016 and then Chair of the Standing Committee from 2016 to 2018. Kris was a member of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Issues and of the Legal Ethics and Legal Regulation Team for the CBA Legal Futures Initiative, which examined the changes facing the Canadian legal profession in its 2014 Report Futures: Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada.
Kris was called to the Bar in Manitoba in 1983 and practised civil litigation in private practice until joining the Law Society in 1998 as General Counsel, later serving as Senior Counsel. During her time at the Law Society of Manitoba she has engaged in a broad range of regulatory issues locally, nationally and internationally. She has frequently presented on regulatory issues and professional ethics and responsibility and has taught Ethics and Professional Responsibility both at the University of Manitoba and at CPLED.
Irene is a member of the Public Utilities Board of Manitoba. Prior to retiring from Manitoba Justice, she was the Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Civil Law. From 2012-2015, she was the Director of Innovation. She was the Manitoba Ombudsman from March 2005 until January 2012, the Assistant Deputy Minister of Justice, Courts Division, from January 2000 to March 2005, the Public Trustee of Manitoba from 1991 to 2000 and Vice President, Licensing and Corporate Counsel and Secretary for the Liquor Control Commission from 1981 to 1991.
She graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor of Arts, and from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Laws. She was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1980.
Irene has served on the Boards of the United Way of Winnipeg 1991–2001, Manitoba Theatre for Young People 1979–1990 and served as Chair of each board. She chaired the Deer Lodge Hospital Ethics Committee from 2002–2005.
She is currently a member of the Law Society Access to Justice Committee and a public representative Board Member of the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba. She is a Life Bencher of the Law Society of Manitoba and was President in 2010/2011. She is the Law Society representative on the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee
During her time as President and Bencher, Irene served as a member of all standing committees and as chair of the Admissions and Education committee, chair of the Discipline Committee, chair of the Finance Committee, and a member of the Presidents’ committees on the Code of Conduct, Conflicts, and Lawyers Acting as Executors and Trustees.
Tim Brown, QC
Tim was appointed Executive Director of the Law Society of Saskatchewan in January 2017 to lead a staff of 30 and oversee, facilitate and guide a leadership policy board of 23 ambitious Benchers, guiding the direction and regulation of Saskatchewan’s legal profession in the public interest.
Tim has practiced law in Saskatchewan for over 25 years and has gained a wide range of experience in both large and small firms, government and the legal aid system. He owned his own law firm and has acted as an adjudicator on tribunals. In private practice, he practised criminal law, initially as a Prosecutor and then as a Defence Lawyer. Tim was Counsel with the Saskatchewan Lawyers’ Insurance Association for five years before becoming Executive Director at the Society.
Thomas Schonhoffer, QC
Thomas Schonhoffer, Q.C. has called to the Law Society of Saskatchewan 1984. After working in private practice he joined the Law Society of Saskatchewan in 1994 as Counsel for Saskatchewan Lawyers’ Insurance Association. In 2007, he was appointed Executive Director of the Law Society of Saskatchewan. Tom is currently Chair of the Automobile Accident Injury Commission.
Tom sits on many Advisory Boards and Committees including Canadian Lawyer’s Insurance Association, Saskatchewan Lawyer’s Insurance Association, Canadian Legal Information Institute, Canadian Professional Legal Education Inc, The Law Foundation of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Administrative Tribunals Association and Saskatchewan Teacher’s Regulatory Board.
Tom holds a Bachelor of Laws from Queen’s University as well as a Masters of Arts from the University of Regina. Tom received his Queen’s Counsel designation in 2005.
CPLED Board Advisor
Tilly Pillay, QC
Tilly is a long-time advocate for regulatory innovation and social justice in Nova Scotia, she became the Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society in January 2018. She began her career as a staff lawyer with Nova Scotia Legal Aid. Tilly has spent nearly two decades in leadership roles with the Department of Justice, as a senior lawyer and as Executive Director of Legal Services, where she also served as Acting Deputy Minister for 16 months, 2015-2016.
She has served on the Board of Directors of Bryony House, as a volunteer with the Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association (now ISANS), and as a member of the Board of Directors with the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (LISNS).
Tilly completed her Bachelor of Laws at Dalhousie Law School in 1989 and she has been a member of the Nova Scotia Bar since 1990. She speaks several languages, including French. She also has an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto. She received her Queen’s Counsel in 2008.