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Former British Columbia chief justice Lance Finch dies at 82

VANCOUVER — Lance S.G. Finch, a former chief justice of British Columbia, has died at the age of 82.

Chief Justice Robert J. Bauman says as a judicial leader, Finch was strong, steady and humble.

His honours and awards include the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 and the lifetime achievement award from the law school’s alumni at the University of British Columbia.

He was appointed Queen’s counsel in 2015 and in 2017 he became a member of the Order of B.C.

In a news release, Bauman says Finch built a wide-ranging litigation practice that included municipal law, commercial litigation, insurance defence and injury claims.

Finch was born in Edmonton and lived there until 1951, when his family moved to Victoria.

He was called to the bar in 1963.

He first joined the B.C. Supreme Court as a judge in 1983 before being appointed to the Court of Appeal, where he served from 1993 to 2001.

As chief justice, Finch led the Courts of Appeal for B.C. and Yukon from 2001 until he retired in 2013.

“He always commanded the respect of the legal profession in our province and his legacy of significant jurisprudence is acknowledged across Canada,” Bauman says. “Lance Finch was a good colleague, a good friend and a great judge.”

Bauman says Finch died surrounded by family on Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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