Paralegal Award renamed for William J. Simpson

Posted: 07/03/2014

William Simpson

In May, Convocation approved the renaming of the Law Society Distinguished Paralegal Award to the William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award in honour of Mr. Simpson’s outstanding contribution to the implementation of paralegal regulation by the Law Society.

William J. Simpson, QC, LSM, was recognized for his significant contribution at a luncheon hosted last week in Ottawa by then-Treasurer Thomas G. Conway.

“When I heard a few months ago that the award was going to be renamed I was shocked….and I still am. Thank you,” Simpson said to the crowd.

The renaming of the award is retroactive to its establishment in September, 2011.

Simpson was a bencher of the Law Society from 1999 to 2004, and contributed to numerous committees and task forces, including as chair of the Paralegal Task Force.

Between February and September 2004, Simpson and the task force led a consultation process in which they met with more than 60 stakeholder groups, law associations and legal organizations throughout the province and received close to 70 written submissions.

The task force’s report on paralegal regulation was adopted by Convocation and “remains the basis of the model in operation today,” said Treasurer Conway at the June 23event.

“The fact that the project succeeded was, to a very large extent, due to the incredible hard work and, in fact, to the personal integrity of Bill Simpson, who was able to gain the confidence of the key parties.”

Cathy Corsetti, chair of the Paralegal Standing Committee, presented the renamed award to Simpson. Brian Lawrie, the first recipient of the award that now bears Simpson’s name and a paralegal bencher, then honoured him with a commemorative pin.

Simpson was called to the Bar in 1967 (Honours) and earned his LLB from the University of Ottawa. He is a former president of the County of Carleton Law Association (1980) and a past president of the Ontario Bar Association (1997-98).