In Memoriam: The Hon. W. Dan Chilcott, QC, LSM

Posted: 05/05/2015

Photo of The Hon. W. Dan Chilcott, QC

The Hon. W. Dan Chilcott, QC, gives remarks at Law Society Medal ceremony (2013)

Former Law Society Treasurer The Hon. W. Dan Chilcott, QC, LSM, died in Ottawa on April 28, 2015, in his 86th year.

Highly regarded by members of the Bar and the judiciary, Mr. Chilcott was voted Treasurer of the Law Society for the 1987-88 term after serving as a dedicated elected bencher from 1979, being re-elected consecutively.

“We are saddened to learn of the passing of Dan Chilcott and we thank him for his many years of exemplary service and great contributions to the Law Society, the legal profession and his many achievements as an Ottawa lawyer and judge,” said Law Society Treasurer Janet E. Minor.

In 2007, the Law Society bestowed upon Mr. Chilcott its highest award during the Ottawa Call to the Bar ceremony – the degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) honoris causa.

In his speech to the candidates about to be called to the Bar, he said: “Having been at the bar for over 50 years, may I be so presumptuous as to mention a few attributes that may be helpful in your practice whether you are a litigator or doing solicitor’s work… Some say the 4 H’s will be enough – hard work – humility – honesty and humour. These four are certainly a good foundation but I think you must add integrity – common sense (the greatest gift of all) – independence and commitment or courage. All of these factors add up to REPUTATION – and that is the most precious asset that a lawyer can possess.”

A graduate of the Dalhousie Law School, Mr. Chilcott was called to the Bar of Nova Scotia in 1954 and the Ontario Bar 1956.

He began his career as a senior assistant Crown attorney of Carleton County (1956-59) and Crown Prosecutor in the Northwest Territories. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1967.

Mr. Chilcott entered private practice with the firm Binks, Chilcott & Simpson, in 1959, working mainly in criminal and civil litigation for more than 30 years until he was appointed to the bench.

In 1988, Mr. Chilcott began a distinguished judicial career, serving first as a judge in the High Court of Justice in Ontario (1988-90), the Ontario Court of Justice (1990-99) and finally the Superior Court of Justice (1999-2004).

In 2013, Mr. Chilcott was again recognized by the Law Society when he was presented with the Law Society Medal.

One of his nominators said at the time: “He is a person of undoubted independent character whose entire career has been the promotion of the aims of the Law Society, the independence of the judiciary and law profession, and the furtherance of all that is worthy in the wider community.”

The Medal is given for outstanding service within the profession where the service is in accordance with the highest ideals of the legal profession.

“We remember Dan fondly and are thinking of his wife, children, grandchildren, and all who knew and loved him,” said Treasurer Minor.