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 stepped down from his leadership role with the Law Society of Alberta in 2018, 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 Alberta Bar in 1996, 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.
Bud Melnyk, QC
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 served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Law Society of Manitoba from 2014 until December 2020. She led the work of the Law Society in developing a strategic plan that focused 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 engaged in a broad range of regulatory issues locally, nationally and internationally. She frequently presented on regulatory issues and professional ethics and responsibility and taught Ethics and Professional Responsibility both at the University of Manitoba and at CPLED.
Leah has served as the Law Society of Manitoba’s Chief Executive Officer since January 2021, bringing with her 21 years of experience in professional regulation. Leah is leading the work of the Law Society with a focus on equity, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession with a particular interest in Indigenous lawyers. The current strategic focus also includes improving and enhancing the competence of lawyers, increasing access to justice and increasing awareness of the public protection mandate of the Law Society.
Leah is an active participant in national initiatives in national discipline standards, anti-money laundering, and terrorist financing.
After being called to the Bar in Manitoba in 1991, Leah practiced in the area of civil and commercial litigation, insurance and employment law with Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP. She joined the Law Society of Manitoba’s Discipline Department in 1999 and held various positions with the Law Society before she was appointed the Chief Executive Officer.
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.
Jackie is the Acting Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.
After being called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1988, Jackie practiced law with Buchan, Derrick and Ring in Halifax, Nova Scotia. During her time in private practice, she was a litigator, working primarily in family law and public interest litigation. She appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada with Anne Derrick in R. v. Morgentaler in 1993.
Jackie joined the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society in 1995 as an instructor for the Skills Course. She has held various roles within the Society, including Director, before being appointed the Acting Executive Director in 2021. At the Society, Jackie has been involved with the implementation of the Legal Profession Act, the new Civil Procedure Rules, the legacy Bar Examination, the Land Registration Act education, and the inception of the Legal Services Support regime, as well as the implementation of the Practice Readiness Education Program (PREP). Jackie is involved with the Ad hoc Advisory Group for the Fair Registration Practices Act, the Admissions and Education Counterparts committee of the FLSC, and is past President of ACLED (the group of admissions and education directors across Canada). Over the years, she has sat on many committees and working groups related to the practice of law.