CBA bids adieu to Deputy CEO Joan Bercovitch

  • September 12, 2018

Joan Bercovitch, a driving force in the CBA for the past 24 years, has left the CBA as part of the restructuring at the national office. She leaves a mark on an array of initiatives that are key to the CBA’s reputation and influence, both nationally and internationally – gender and racial equality, conflicts of interest, access to justice, managing partners’ roundtables and legal futures, to name a few.

“As I part ways with this Association that I have loved for so many years, I leave you with the best of me,” Joan said in her farewell message. “A body of work that I hope has contributed to a strong, relevant and respected legal profession. And my son and his friends – active, engaged and energetic young lawyers of the CBA – committed to the rule of law and making this world a better place for all.”

We asked a few CBA members who have worked with Joan about her legacy.

 “Personifying the intellect and the soul of the CBA, Joan used her brilliant legal mind and her deep capacity for empathy to find light in the law, humanity in the humdrum and poetry in the prosaic – all for the benefit of the legal profession and the public whom we serve.” - Justice Robert Stack, Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador

“Joan Bercovitch (Joni as I always called her) is one of the brightest strategists that I have ever worked with. She has a unique ability to get the best out of the people working with her, and in the most pleasant way. The CBA, indeed the entire legal profession in Canada, will miss Joan.” - Scott Jolliffe, partner at Gowling WLG, former National Managing Partner of Gowlings and former chair, CBA Conflicts of Interest Task Force

“I always enjoyed working with Joan for her unwavering commitment to the CBA and its mission, her reliable and insightful guidance on advocacy matters and her sense of humour. Her passion for improving the law and for helping the legal profession better serve Canadians played a large role in building and sustaining the CBA's profile, value and effectiveness.” - Fred Headon, Assistant General Counsel at Air Canada, former chair, CBA Legal Futures Initiative, CBA President 2013-2014

“Joan's contributions through the CBA to the public interest and the legal profession are worthy of high praise. In my work with the CBA, I was struck by Joan's dedication, enthusiasm and thoughtfulness. She made a difference.”  - Malcolm Mercer, partner at McCarthy Tétrault, Treasurer, Law Society of Ontario and former chair, CBA Ethics Committee

“I think first of Joan’s human qualities: her genuine interest in how a colleague was doing  as a person, not just as the CBA volunteer; her pleasure in talking about her ‘amazing children;’ her sense of humour; and her passion for justice and law reform. Her contribution was always valuable and valued. She is a superb lawyer and a talented philosopher of the administration of justice. She never met a ‘blue sky’ question she didn't like and can see further into the future than most. It always was a pleasure to work with her and it always will be an honour to be her friend.” - Daphne Dumont, QC, MacNutt & Dumont, CBA President 2000-2001

“My mother worked tirelessly and passionately on two connected fronts: to promote and protect the rule of law and to prepare the profession for the challenges of the future. As a champion of the future of lawyers, she was also a champion of young lawyers and students. As a member of the inaugural Law Students Forum and later its Chair, I was inspired by and benefited directly from my mom’s promotion of the needs of young lawyers and students within the organization. The Futures and Do Law Differently initiatives have provided roadmaps and tools for my peers and me to succeed as the profession changes to meet the needs of the future. The CBA and the profession as a whole will miss her but the legacy of her work will be relevant for years to come.” - Adam Sadinsky, associate at Silcoff Shacter, former chair, CBA Law Students Section.

We wish Joan all the best for the future.