David A. Wright will serve as the Law Society’s first full-time independent non-bencher Tribunal Chair.
Treasurer Thomas Conway said Wright is “a leader and innovator in administrative tribunals.”
He holds an LLM from the New York University School of Law, an LLB and BCL from the McGill University Faculty of Law and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2001. Wright has served with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO), including as an associate chair, and with Social Justice Tribunals Ontario.
Before becoming an adjudicator, Wright practised as a bilingual litigation and labour lawyer, appearing before administrative tribunals and all levels of courts. He was law clerk to Madame Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé of the Supreme Court of Canada, in 1998-99.
Mr. Wright is a member of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario, the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators, and the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals.
He has served as an executive member and conference chair of the Constitutional and Human Rights Section of the Canadian Bar Association, and as an executive member of the Ontario Bar Association’s Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Section, chairing for two years.
A year ago, Convocation approved enhancements to the Law Society’s adjudicative model, committing to a “transparent, fair and effective” hearings process for both the public and affected licensees.
“As hearings become more complex and the number of cases increases, it is important to enhance the way in which the Law Society meets its regulatory mandate at the tribunal level,” a report stated. “A professional statutory tribunal requires effective and independent leadership.”
Wright will be supported by two part-time vice-chairs, who are elected benchers. The Law Society plans to add non-bencher adjudicators to the Hearing Panel.