Back to Navigation

Bencher Election 2015

 bencher election 2015 header

The Law Society of Ontario is mandated to govern the legal profession in the public interest. Benchers sit as members of Convocation to fulfill that mandate. The bencher election concluded on April 30, 2015.

Questions regarding the election can be directed to the Office of the Elections Officer at 416-947-3404 or 1-877-947-3404 or email at

Election Results: 2015 Bencher Election

NEW: Detailed results are now available in 2015 Election Results and Voter Turnout Statistics 1987-2015.

The Law Society of Ontario has a new governing board for the 2015–19 bencher term, following the election of 40 lawyer benchers from a list of 95 candidates.

There were a total of 16,040 ballots cast, representing 34 per cent of the profession. Voter turnout in the last election was 37 per cent.

Below is the list of all 40 newly elected benchers. 8 Regional Benchers are marked with an asterisk.

Benchers inside Toronto

Minor, Janet E. *
Leiper, Janet
Anand, Raj
Schabas, Paul B.
Falconer, Julian
Bredt, Christopher
Nishikawa, Sandra Y.
Lem, Jeffrey W.
Goldblatt, Howard
Papageorgiou, Gina
Troister, Sidney H.
Galati, Rocco
McDowell, William C.
Groia, Joseph
Murchie, Barbara
Mercer, Malcolm
Callaghan, John
Wardle, Peter C.
Go, Avvy Yao-Yao
Rosenthal, Jonathan M.

Benchers outside Toronto

Evans, Robert F. (CE) *
Spurgeon, Andrew (CS) *
Sharda, Raj (CW-CO) *
Beach, Peter (E) *
Braithwaite, Jack (NE) *
Bickford, Fred J W (NW-NO) *
Donnelly, Teresa (SW-SO) *
McGrath, Susan T. (NE)
Horvat, Jacqueline A. (SW-SO)
Corbiere, Dianne G. (CE)
Hartman, Carol (NE)
St. Lewis, Joanne (E)
Richer, Susan Armatage (E)
MacLean, M. Virginia (CW-CO)
Lerner, Michael M. (SW-SO)
Earnshaw, Ross F. (CS)
Cooper, Paul M. (CE)
Criger, Janis P. (CS)
Udell, Jerry B. (SW-SO)
Vespry, M. Anne (E)

About electoral regions and Regional Benchers

For the purposes of the election, the province was divided into eight electoral regions. The eight electoral regions are as

  • City of Toronto Electoral Region
  • Northwest Electoral Region (NW) - composed of the territorial districts of Kenora, Rainy River, and Thunder Bay.
  • Northeast Electoral Region (NE) - composed of the territorial districts of Algoma, Cochrane, Manitoulin, Nipissing,
    Parry Sound, Sudbury, and Timiskaming.
  • East Electoral Region (E) - composed of the counties of Frontenac, Hastings, Lanark, Lennox and Addington, Prince
    Edward and Renfrew, the united counties of Leeds and Grenville, Prescott and Russell and Stormont, Dundas and
    Glengarry, and the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton.
  • Central East Electoral Region (CE) - composed of the District Municipality of Muskoka, the counties of Haliburton,
    Northumberland, Peterborough, Simcoe and Victoria, and the regional municipalities of Durham, and York.
  • Central West Electoral Region (CW) - composed of the counties of Bruce, Dufferin, Grey and Wellington, and the
    regional municipalities of Halton and Peel.
  • Central South Electoral Region (CS) - composed of the County of Brant, and the regional municipalities of
    Haldimand-Norfolk, Hamilton-Wentworth, Niagara, and Waterloo.
  • Southwest Electoral Region (SW) - composed of the counties of Elgin, Essex, Huron, Kent, Lambton, Middlesex,
    Oxford, and Perth.

The candidates from each region who receive the most votes from voters in that region are declared regional benchers. The remaining 32 benchers are the 13 candidates from outside Toronto who receive the most votes from all voters and the 19 candidates from inside Toronto who receive the most votes from all voters.

For candidates outside Toronto, the candidate’s region is identified above by a notation after the candidate’s name. 

Election data

More information, including vote counts, is available in the 2015 Bencher Election Results.

Voting procedures

Information on voting in the bencher election is now available.

Archived nomination information for the 2015 Bencher Election

Voting Guide for the 2015 Bencher Election  
Notice to the profession
 Candidate letter
 Candidate instructions
 Nomination form
 Fillable candidate page for Voting Guide (Word format)
 Standard candidate page format
 Frequently Asked Questions
 By-Law 3

 Results: 2011 Bencher Election

Archived Bencher Election webcast

The Law Society’s webcast to inform potential candidates about the issues that are currently facing the legal profession, issues on the Law Society’s agenda and the election process and running for bencher was broadcast on January 19, 2015. Access the archived webcast.

Questions and answers

The January 19 webcast ended before all questions were answered on the live broadcast. Read answers to the remaining questions

Terms or Concepts Explained