The Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch (CBABC), announces Michael Welsh as its new President for the 2016/17 term. Mr. Welsh, of Mott Welsh & Associates in Penticton, is the first branch president in over a decade from the BC Interior. A CBABC member for over 38 years, he has volunteered his time in various branch roles including vice president, secretary treasurer, elected officer, chair of several committees including the CBABC BarTalk Editorial Board and as a member of its governing Provincial Council.
Mr. Welsh understands why it is important to support lawyers in the provision of legal services in smaller communities. “British Columbians in small towns and rural areas need local legal services like lawyers and courtrooms as much as people residing in bigger cities, but in a number of cases no longer have them. There are many parts of this province where access to these services needs to be improved and we’ll work toward providing all BC citizens with more readily available legal assistance.”
Mr. Welsh continued, “As a national organization, but with members in communities across this province, the Canadian Bar Association is well-positioned through our BC Branch to assist BC lawyers make justice services more affordable and more available. We give our members the support they need to serve their clients and it is more important than ever to build and support our membership.”
Mr. Welsh was born and raised in the Okanagan and later also lived in the eastern US, in Vancouver and on the Sunshine Coast. A cum laude graduate of Cornell University in New York, he received his law degree from the University of British Columbia. He holds professional designations in mediation and arbitration from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) Institute of Canada, the BCAMI (British Columbia Arbitration and Mediation Institute) of which he is immediate past president, and the Law Society of BC.
The new CBABC president has also served as president of Rotary Clubs in Sechelt and Osoyoos and two terms as president of the BC Grape Growers’ Association. Writing is a passion for this community-oriented lawyer and he has been published many times in the CBABC’s BarTalk magazine, the Advocate magazine and in the Canadian Arbitration and Mediation Journal. For 13 years Mr. Welsh has also written a wine column for the Advocate magazine and has been a BC VQA wine judge. His hobbies include triathlons, skiing, travel and musical theatre.