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Robert Lapper

Robert Lapper

Born in the Peace River Country of Northern Alberta, Robert Lapper was raised in Banff, Alberta where he enjoyed a childhood of regularly exploring and enjoying mountain wilderness, and becoming active as a “junior naturalist” supporting adults who sought to retain the wilderness values of the Rocky Mountain National Park system.

Following his high school graduation in Banff, Robert pursued an undergraduate degree in Honours Political Science and the University of Victoria, and then a Bachelor of Laws Degree at UVic. He clerked for the BC Supreme Court, and then spent twelve years in private practice as a litigator and commercial lawyer.

He joined the Ministry of Attorney General Province of British Columbia to do counsel work for the province on emerging treaty negotiations and aboriginal issues. He served as counsel on several leading aboriginal law matters, including the negotiation of the Nisga’a Final Agreement. In 1996 he was appointed Senior Solicitor, Aboriginal Law. In 2000, he was appointed Assistant Deputy Attorney General Legal Services - heading all of civil side legal services to government. In 2007 he became Deputy Secretary to the British Columbia Cabinet, and Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Relations. In 2010 was appointed Deputy Minister of Labour.

In 2012, he left the service of the Province of BC to become Chief Executive Officer of the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario) - a position he held until his retirement in 2017. Currently Robert is continuing his active volunteer engagement, working with Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, and related human rights organizations to address pressing human rights and rule of law issues in developing countries, and is continuing his passion for working on climate change and wilderness preservation matters. He and his partner Heather are relocating back to British Columbia to be closer to their roots, and their children and grandchild.

Robert was honoured with an appointment as Queens’ Counsel in 2001, and was recently named a “Distinguished Alumnus” of the University of Victoria (Faculty of Law).