The Legal Services Society board appoints a chief executive officer to administer the business of the society. Our society is managed by an Executive Management Committee (EMC) made up of the chief executive officer and the society's four directors.
Chief Executive Officer
LSS's chief executive officer (CEO) leads the Executive Management Committee, which includes the directors of the society's four divisions.
Mark Benton, QC
Mark has been a lawyer since 1980, and has served as the CEO of the Legal Services Society since 2002. He holds a B.A. from the University of British Columbia, a LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School, and a LL.M. from the Dalhousie University Faculty of Law. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2008.
His legal experience includes small office practice, legal aid work, appellate advocacy, and four years as an adjunct professor at the UBC Faculty of Law. He is past-chair of the Association of Legal Aid Plans of Canada, is a Canadian Forum for Civil Justice board member, and is an active participant on a number of prominent government and non-government collaborations addressing justice issues of importance to Canadians, including the steering committee of the Action Committee on Civil and Family Justice and the Reinventing Criminal Justice Forum. Mark has served as an advisor to governments and NGOs on the development of legal aid programs in the Caribbean, East Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia’s Pacific region. He has an active interest in making justice systems more effective in responding to people’s needs.
He is regularly invited to speak on topics related to legal aid, not-for-profit governance, and justice innovation. Mark has been recognized in the BC legislature as “a passionate advocate for access to justice for the economically disadvantaged in British Columbia, and he brings along with that passion great creativity in the search for solutions for how to make a difference in people's lives.”
The directors of the society's four divisions sit on the Executive Management Committee and report to the chief executive officer.
Strategic Planning, Policy, and Human Resources
Manages LSS human resources, reporting, policy and planning issues
Departments: Human Resources and Organizational Development, Strategic Planning and Policy
Harold Clark, CHRP
Director, Strategic Planning, Policy, and Human Resources
Harold has been with LSS since 1998, when he joined the society as manager, Human Resources (HR). He was promoted to director of HR in 2000 and became director of Field Operations and HR in 2002. His position changed to director, Strategic Planning, Policy, and Human Resources with the implementation of Redesign 2005. Harold came to the society with extensive experience in the HR field, including senior personnel officer for the Greater Vancouver Regional District, executive director for Royal Life Saving Society Canada (BC & Yukon Division), and assistant manager, Facility Operations for the City of Burnaby. He holds a BA with a double major in Business Administration (Personnel Management focus) and Criminology, and is a Certified Human Resources Professional. Harold is affectionately known as the "fun guy" in recognition of his leadership role in — and insistence on — bringing fun into the workplace. Harold was instrumental in bringing employee wellness and recognition programs to the fore at LSS. He also developed and introduced the performance management system for LSS staff. In addition to sitting on the society's Executive Management Committee, Harold chairs the Operations, Planning & Policy Committee and is the LSS Liaison Designate to the Ministry of Justice and Law Foundation.
Public Legal Information and Applications
Manages LSS application and legal information services, community outreach, and Indigenous services
Departments: Community and Publishing Services, Indigenous Services, Intake and Referral Services
Director, Public Legal Information and Applications
Sherry joined the Legal Services Society as a staff lawyer in 2000, following a career in private practice in both BC and Saskatchewan. While at LSS, she has worked in a number of capacities that saw her implement the family duty counsel program and later manage intake, offices and local agents. Since becoming director in 2009, Sherry has overseen the integration of information and referral services in the application process, the expansion of public legal education and information services to include community partners and enhanced Aboriginal services. Sherry is the Chair of the BC Public Legal Education & Information Working Group and sits on the advisory committees of two national access to justice projects, the National Self-Represented Litigant Project and the Evolving Legal Services project.
Legal Advice and Representation
Manages LSS referral and advice services, tariff accounts, and case management and operations
Departments: Criminal, Immigration, and Appeals; Family Law Services; Lawyer Services
Director, Legal Advice and Representation
Heidi has been with LSS since 1994, when she joined the society as a tariff lawyer. Prior to her appointment as the director, Legal Advice and Representation in 2009, she was the director of Public Legal Information and Applications from 2005 to 2008. Previously, she served as manager of Client Services (branches), acting director of Client Services, and Field Operations manager. In those positions, she oversaw the implementation of the provincial family duty counsel and advice programs and the mediation and extended services pilot projects. She also developed and implemented the former Family Case Management Program, recognized nationally and internationally as an efficient model for allocating scarce resources to meritorious family referrals. She has played a key role in the design phase of the Vancouver Supreme Court Self-Help Information Centre, and is a member of its steering committee. She was also on the Family Law Working Group of the Justice Reform Task Force. She worked in private practice from 1989 – 1994.
Finance and Corporate Services
Manages LSS finance, information technology, facilities, administrative, and audit functions
Departments: Audit and Investigation, Finance and Administration, Information Technology
Doug Wong, CPA, CA
Director, Finance and Corporate Services
Doug was appointed the director of Finance and Corporate Services in September 2010. He comes to LSS with more than 22 years of financial management experience, including 10 years at a senior level. Prior to joining the LSS Executive Management Committee, Doug was with two public K–12 school districts in various senior financial capacities where he was responsible for financial reporting, investments, audits, and the development of business plans for new schools and services. His background also includes the oversight of IT and facilities operations. Doug is a graduate of UBC in the Faculty of Commerce and holds a Chartered Accountant designation. His position as director is responsible for Finance and Corporate Services, Information Technology, and the Audit and Investigation departments. In addition, Doug attends and supports the board's Finance Committee and liaises with the Ministry of Attorney General on financial matters.
The society's senior management is located in the Vancouver office. To contact senior management, please see Contact us.