Former BC Attorney General Joins Davis LLP

VANCOUVER, Nov. 24, 2011 /CNW/ - Davis LLP is pleased to announce that Barry Penner, Q.C., will be joining the firm as Senior Counsel after a distinguished career of more than 15 years serving the province of British Columbia.  Mr. Penner was elected to the Legislative Assembly four times and currently represents the constituency of Chilliwack-Hope. He will have primary responsibility for the development and growth of Davis' environmental and renewable-energy practice in B.C., and will also assist with the growth of these practices in the rest of Canada and internationally.

"Mr. Penner has had an exemplary career in B.C. politics," says Robert Seidel, Q.C., Firm Managing Partner of Davis LLP. "His long-standing interest and experience in environmental and renewable-energy matters will complement the firm's leading project-development and project-finance practice."

Prior to becoming Attorney General and Minister of Aboriginal Relations & Reconciliation in 2010, Mr. Penner served as B.C.'s Minister of Environment from 2005 to 2010, making him the longest-serving environment minister in provincial history. He has extensive knowledge of the public-policy issues and permitting processes impacting B.C. project proponents. During his tenure, he was involved in a number of significant, innovative initiatives, including B.C.'s renewable-energy legislation - considered one of the leading examples of such legislation in the world.

"I am eager to tackle this new challenge in my career, and I'm looking forward to working with a full-service, highly-regarded firm like Davis LLP," said Penner. "Davis has played an important role in the history of British Columbia, growing from its local roots to become a leading national and international law firm."

Mr. Penner is the second former Attorney General of British Columbia to join the firm - the first was Allan Williams, Q.C. who joined the firm when he left politics in 1983. He passed away earlier this year.

While heading up the Environment Ministry, Mr. Penner was responsible for the Environmental Assessment Office, which reviewed and approved billions of dollars of investment in new projects following comprehensive environmental assessments, including major expansions to hydro-electric facilities, transmission lines, BC's first wind-power projects, small hydro-electric projects, mines and port facilities. Mr. Penner's accomplishments in office include:

  • leading the BC Government's response to the Sumas Energy 2 (SE2) power plant, which would have added 2.5 tonnes of particulate matter every day into the air of his constituency in the Fraser Valley, and championing renewable alternatives to meet growing energy demands;
  • introducing legislation expanding B.C.'s parks and protected areas by 1.63 million hectares (4 million acres) - the largest protected area network in Canada; and
  • strengthening BC's Wildlife Act to provide the toughest penalties in Canada.

In 2010, Mr. Penner was referred to as "one of the most credible [cabinet] ministers" in British Columbia by Vancouver Magazine when he received the "Power 50" award. A former President of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (a consortium of legislators and private-sector business leaders in five U.S. states, three Canadian provinces and two territories), Mr. Penner was named to the "Order of the Smashed Brick" by the Canadian Consulate in Seattle, Washington for his diplomacy in working to reduce tensions and barriers between Canada and the United States.

Davis LLP was founded in British Columbia in 1892 and has grown to become a national and international firm on its own terms, with over 240 lawyers in seven Canadian cities and Tokyo - the only Canadian law firm with an office in Japan. The firm is a leader in the Canadian public-infrastructure sector and with a 100-plus year pedigree in the natural-resource sector and a strong energy and power-generation practice.

Mr. Penner will officially join Davis LLP early in the new year.

Image with caption: "Barry Penner, Former B.C. Attorney General, to join Davis LLP as Senior Counsel in 2012. (CNW Group/Davis LLP)". Image available at:


For further information:

Danielle Finney
Communications Manager, Davis LLP

Diane Chung,
Director of Marketing & Business Development, Davis LLP

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