JFK Law is pleased to announce that Karey Brooks has been honoured by being named as one of Her Majesty’s Counsel Learned in the Law (more commonly referred to a Queen’s Counsel). The title of Queen’s Counsel goes back to the appointment of Sir Francis Bacon in as the first King’s Counsel in 1603 and over the years has evolved into a honour recognizing distinguished advocacy before the courts and significant contributions to the profession and the public good. In British Columbia appointment as a Queen’s Counsel is made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on recommendation by the Attorney General but only after consultation with the Chief Justice of British Columbia, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and two members of the Law Society of British Columbia appointed by the benchers for this purpose.
Karey Brooks is one of the founders of JFK Law being here when we turned on our lights on August 1, 2009 after beginning her legal career with Miller Thomson LLP where she was becoming one of their leading litigators. Despite the professional risks involved in leaving an established firm, Karey joined JFK Law to dedicate herself to advancing the rights of Indigenous people as well as historically marginalized Canadians. She has worked tirelessly on this front being part of cases at the Supreme Court of Canada such as Grassy Narrows, Behn, Tsilhqot’in Nation, TWU, Daniels, and most recently Beaver Lake Cree First Nation where she fought to restore an advance costs order designed to allow Beaver Lake to advance its historic litigation to determine the limits of Alberta’s power to diminish the rights guaranteed in Treaty 6. In addition to her work at the Supreme Court of Canada, she has appeared in numerous cases in the Federal Court and courts of British Columbia to advance the rights of Indigenous people, to ensure fair and just band governance, to uphold the contractual rights of women to enjoy a harassment free workplace and to speak out about harassment in the university setting. She also served as commission counsel to the Oppal Commission into the events surrounding the deaths of numerous women in Vancouver’s downtown eastside.
In addition to her work in the courts, Karey has been instrumental in promoting and developing the expectation that lawyers both individually and as a profession have a positive duty to advance reconciliation. She led the development of JFK Law’s Reconciliation Action Plan and has been a major proponent of the efforts of the Law Society of British Columbia and the Advocate’s Society to adopt their own plans to advance reconciliation. She serves as a director of the Advocates Society and of the Collingwood School.
In addition to all of this, Karey has been instrumental in the growth and development of JFK Law over the last twelve years. Her work as a Principal and Director of the firm has shaped the firm and has been vital to the firm’s success.
Karey is well deserving of the title of Queen’s Counsel and we applaud her elevation to this position.