Minister Announces Queen’s Counsel Appointments – Government of NL
January 17, 2018
The Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Justice and Public Safety is pleased to announce the province’s newest appointments to the Queen’s Counsel by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
The honorary title of Queen’s Counsel recognizes senior lawyers for exceptional merit and contribution to the legal profession. These lawyers have served a minimum of 10 years as a member of the bar in Newfoundland and Labrador, have gained the respect of the legal community and are in good standing with the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Appointments are made after consultation with the Legal Appointments Board as outlined in the Queen’s Counsel Act.
Those appointed to Queen’s Counsel are R. Paul Burgess, Kimberly Hawley George, Glen L. C. Noel, Jacqueline Pelletier, Richard Rogers, Maureen E. Ryan, Shelley Anne Senior, Colm St. R. J. Seviour, Heidi A. Wells and Judy White. Biographies of each appointee can be found in the backgrounder below.
“I congratulate this year’s appointees. These lawyers have demonstrated great leadership in the legal profession and their contributions to the justice system, as well as the community, in Newfoundland and Labrador are to be commended.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General
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Justice and Public Safety
Biographies Queen’s Counsel Appointees
R. Paul Burgess
R. Paul Burgess is from St. John’s, attended Memorial University of Newfoundland and graduated from Dalhousie Law School with a Bachelor of Laws in 1988. He was called to the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar in 1989. Mr. Burgess is with Burgess Law and his practice is general in nature, with a focus on civil litigation and corporate commercial law. Mr. Burgess is currently the President of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador; a Past President of the Canadian Bar Association, Newfoundland and Labrador Branch; a past member of the Canadian Bar Association National Board of Directors; a lecturer at the Law Society’s Bar Admission Course, and has held various other positions with the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Canadian Bar Association. He also has served on the boards of numerous not-for-profit organizations as well as coached minor league hockey and baseball for many years.
Kimberly Hawley George
Kimberly Hawley George was raised in St. John’s and educated at Our Lady of Mercy and Holy Heart of Mary High School. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Memorial University in 1991 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of New Brunswick in 1994, after which she completed articles under the direction of John McCarthy, QC at the Department of Justice, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. She was called to the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar in 1995. Following a short time in the Civil Division, Ms. Hawley George became a legislative drafter with the Office of the Legislative Counsel and was appointed Chief Legislative Counsel in 2011. In October 2016, she was appointed Chief Legislative Counsel – Assistant Deputy Minister, Legal Services with the Department of Justice and Public Safety, with responsibility for the Legislative Counsel Office, Civil Division and Legal Information Management, among other areas. Now on a leave of absence from that position, Ms. Hawley George is currently Law Clerk to the House of Assembly. Ms. Hawley George is the former secretary and past president of the Association of Legislative Counsel in Canada, and has represented the province at the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel in Hong Kong. Ms. Hawley George is a frequent presenter at the Executive Café series for senior managers in government, and has presented at the Continuing Legal Education series for public service lawyers. She enjoys various volunteer opportunities, and is an executive member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Teresa’s Conference.
Glen L. C. Noel
Glen L.C. Noel is a partner in the St. John’s office of Cox & Palmer practicing in the areas of insurance litigation, construction and commercial litigation, and alternative dispute resolution. Originally from St. Anthony, Mr. Noel received his B.A. from Memorial University in 1987, and his LL.B. from Dalhousie University in 1990. He was called to the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar in 1991 and has practiced with Cox & Palmer and its predecessor firms since 1990, when he articled under Edward Roberts, QC. Mr. Noel has built an extensive practice since this time, and is now consistently recognized as a leading practitioner in insurance law, commercial insurance litigation, and personal injury law. He serves as Chair of the Law Society Discipline Committee and member of the Judicial Council of the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador. Mr. Noel served as a Bencher with the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador from 2001-2010, and was appointed President of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2011. He is a past presenter for the Law Society’s Bar Admission Course and has presented several continuing legal education seminars for the Law Society and the Canadian Bar Association. In addition to providing outstanding service to his clients and profession, Mr. Noel is an avid runner who has qualified and competed in races such as the Boston Marathon. He looks forward to participating in his 25th Tely 10 in 2018.
Born in St. John’s, Jacqueline Pelletier graduated from Memorial University with a Bachelor of Vocational Education degree in 1990 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Dalhousie University in 1995. After articling with the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission, she was called to the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar in 1996. From 1996 to 2001, she worked in private practice with a focus on family, criminal and regulatory law. In 2001, she left private practice to join the Department of Justice, working specifically in the area of family law litigation, including child protection, adult protection and matters involving child abduction under the Hague Convention. Ms. Pelletier has appeared before all levels of court in the province. In 2013, she became Manager of the Family Litigation Unit. Her volunteer efforts have included serving as board member and chair of her parish council and sitting on the St. Bonaventure’s College Board of Governors.
Richard Rogers graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a BA (Hons.) and attended University of New Brunswick for his law degree which he completed in 1988. He was called to the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar in 1989. After his articles with the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Justice and Williams, Harris, Roebothan and McKay law firm, he continued his legal career with a concentration on plaintiff related matters and criminal defence work. Mr. Rogers is the Senior Partner at Rogers Rogers Moyse, concentrating his practice on personal injury litigation, including serious brain and spinal cord injury and medical malpractice cases. His early involvement as legal counsel in the Hughes Inquiry (Mt. Cashel) lead to continuing involvement with a number of abuse cases as Plaintiff counsel. He has appeared successfully at all levels of court and tribunals including Provincial, Supreme Court Trial Division, Supreme Court of Appeal, Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. Mr. Rogers has guest lectured at Memorial University of Newfoundland in a number of faculties. He has been involved as a director in a number of local groups including but not limited to the LSPU Hall, Newfoundland and Labrador Brain Injury Association, Wonderbolt Circus, Lakecrest School Board of Directors, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Dragon Boat Association (Cancer Survivors Support Group). Mr. Rogers is the past chair of the Canadian Bar Association Health Law Committee Newfoundland Branch, Co-Founder of the former Newfoundland and Labrador Party, a social response to environmental issues in Newfoundland and Labrador, and founder of the annual Rogers Rogers Moyse/Knights of Columbus Christmas Dinner. He is a present member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Law Society Disciplinary Committee, and continues to support and sponsor the sports community at large, with particular emphasis on Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball, the Vandals Rugby Club and men’s and women’s soccer.
Maureen E. Ryan
Maureen E. Ryan is from St. John’s and graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and in 1989 from Osgoode Hall, York University with a Bachelor of Laws degree. Ms. Ryan was called to the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar in 1990. She is a senior corporate commercial partner in the St. John’s office of Stewart McKelvey. She has been repeatedly recommended as a leading lawyer in corporate commercial law by the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and, in each year from 2008 to 2018, has been recognized as a leader in the field of corporate law by the National Post’s Best Lawyers in Canada. In 2004, she was named one of Lexpert magazine’s Top 40 lawyers under 40. Ms. Ryan has participated in various roles at Stewart McKelvey including on a firm-wide basis as a member of the recruiting committee, marketing committee and business department manager. Presently, she is Vice-Chair of the firm’s governing partnership board. She has also been active in the community, and has contributed to the following organizations as a member: Advisory Committee on Judicial Appointments (Province of Newfoundland and Labrador), Insurance Committee and Committee on Law Corporations (Law Society of Newfoundland), Advisory Committee (Holy Heart Auditorium) and Board of Trustees (Belvedere Orphanage Fund). Ms. Ryan has also been actively involved as Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Legal Continuing Education, Director of St. Patrick’s Mercy Home Foundation Inc. and a former Instructor for the Bar Admission Course with the Law Society of Newfoundland. She has been a presenter in the area of corporate law on many occasions both at the local and national levels, including at education sessions at the Law Society of Newfoundland, the Canadian Bar Association National Business Law Boot Camp and various Canadian Bar Association national webinars.
Shelley Anne Senior
Shelley Anne Senior attended Law School at University of New Brunswick in 1989 with a Beaverbrook Scholarship. Ms. Senior graduated on the Dean’s List in May of 1992 and was called to the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar in June 1993. She worked in private practice on the west coast for 15 years, before joining the Legal Aid Commission in 2008. From 2008 to 2014, she was the team leader in Legal Aid’s new Family Child Office in Corner Brook, where she worked with a paralegal and a social worker helping clients who were involved with Child Youth and Family Services. In October 2014, she moved to the main Legal Aid office in St. John’s, where she has been practicing as a staff solicitor, mostly criminal law. Ms. Senior is also involved in the community through her participation in the arts through amateur theatre, as a member of the Board of Directors for Theatre NL and with the Board of MusicNL. She has also been involved with the Committee on Family Violence, the NL Environment Network and the Canadian Environment Network. Professionally, she has served as Secretary of the Public Accountant’s Licensing Board for 16 years, as a member of the Employment Preparation Board for 18 years, and as a board member of the NL Legal Aid Commission for five years. Ms. Senior has two children and two grandchildren.
Colm St. R. J. Seviour
Colm St. R. J. Seviour was born in Dublin, Ireland, and raised in St. John’s. Mr. Seviour graduated in 1979 from Memorial University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and in 1982 from Osgoode Hall Law School with a Bachelor of Laws degree. He was called to the bar in 1983 and has been a partner with the law firm Stewart McKelvey since 1987. His practice includes natural resources, commercial litigation and environmental matters. Mr. Seviour has appeared at all levels of Courts in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and in the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also litigated matters before various administrative tribunals, including the provincial Mineral Rights Adjudication Board and tribunals constituted under the Atlantic Accord legislation and the North American Free Trade Agreement. He has been peer-recognized in Lexpert, Best Lawyers, Who’s Who Legal Canada and Benchmark Canada. Mr. Seviour is a longstanding member of the board of Lady Cove Women’s Choir and is active in the tennis community, currently a member of the boards of the Riverdale Tennis Club and Tennis Newfoundland and Labrador (Past President).
Heidi A. Wells
Heidi A. Wells has been in public and private practice since 1993. She is a graduate of Université Laval (Bachelier ès Arts) and Université de Moncton (Common Law in French). Her early work experience, with Halley Hunt in St. John’s, Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland, and McCarthy Tétrault, a business law firm in London, U.K., was followed by 11 years of service with the Department of Justice as a Crown Attorney. Ms. Wells returned to private practice four years ago and currently practices administrative law and civil litigation with O’Flaherty Wells Law in St. John’s. She is the proud mother of Sarah and Jack O’Flaherty.
Judy White is a Mi’kmaq grandmother and member of the Flat Bay Band. She currently resides in Conne River, Newfoundland and Labrador. Ms. White completed a Bachelor of Laws degree from Dalhousie Law School with particular emphasis upon Aboriginal Law. She also completed the Intensive Program of Lands, Resources and First Nations Government at Osgoode Hall Law School. Ms. White has recently completed the Leading Peoples and Investing in Sustaining Communities, an Indigenous certificate program at Harvard Business School. She has completed the Chartered Directors Program at McMaster University. Ms. White has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Assembly of First Nations and a partner with the law firm of McDonald White located at Conne River, Newfoundland and Labrador, specializing in Aboriginal law. She has served as the Self Government Advisor for Miawpukek First Nation. Ms. White has served as a Policy and Planning Specialist for Women’s Policy Office on Aboriginal Women’s Issues. She has vast board and governance experience and has served on many agencies and in various capacities including the National Centre for First Nations Governance, the First Nations Statistical Institute, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Board of Regents for Memorial University. Ms. White is currently the Assistant Deputy Minister with the Intergovernmental and Indigenous Affairs Secretariat with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.