UBC Law Faculty Receives $1 Million Gift from Davis LLP and Irwin Davis

The Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia has received a $1 million gift from national law firm Davis LLP and Irwin Davis, grandson of the firm’s founder Edward Pease Davis, K.C., towards the faculty’s new building project.

The future building, designed to meet the needs of a new generation of law students and legal researchers, will include a student lounge dedicated to the Davis firm. The firm’s evolving history in Canada’s legal community includes the leadership role played over 100 years ago by the firm’s founder in British Columbia and the pivotal role the firm plays today as the only national law firm to originate in Vancouver.

“This gift represents an important contribution to the future excellence of our legal community,” said Mary Anne Bobinski, Dean and Professor at the UBC Faculty of Law. “I am pleased that it honours a founding father of B.C.’s legal community. This is something that will hold special meaning for our professors and students.”

The building will provide space for more than 50 faculty members, 600 undergraduate and 100 graduate students. It will include contemporary classroom designs, more student service spaces, more moot court space, a larger library and new research spaces.  It will be designed to provide a welcoming environment for returning alumni and members of the community.

“We are pleased to be partners in the creation of the new UBC Faculty of Law building,” said Doug Buchanan, former National Managing Partner of Davis LLP and a UBC law graduate. “Many members of our legal team received their education at the university, and demonstrate the high standards of excellence that it represents. This is a vital project for our profession and the province.”

The building will replace the existing Faculty of Law building that is comprised of two aging structures. It is anticipated construction will begin in 2009 and will take approximately 18 months.

“It is a special thrill for me to be part of this gift. I know what a difference it will make for the UBC campus and for so many students aspiring to make a real impact in the field of law,” said Irwin Davis, who grew up within walking distance of the current UBC Faculty of Law building. His childhood home is now UBC’s Cecil Green House, which was built by his grandfather, Edward Pease Davis, K.C., the founder of the law firm.

This gift will be matched by the Law Foundation of British Columbia, which has committed to match donations in support of the UBC Faculty of Law’s vital role in Canada’s legal system.

UBC is proud to welcome Davis LLP to a select group of law firms that have taken a leadership role in this transformative campaign for UBC Law.  To date, donations of $1 million each have been made by Farris Vaughn Wills and Murphy LLP,  Richards Buell Sutton LLP, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP and the Ladner family.

“Davis LLP has been a pioneer in B.C. in many ways,” said Doug Buchanan. “With this gift we carry on that tradition by supporting the creativity and innovation that are part of the education excellence at the UBC Faculty of Law”.


UBC Faculty of Law

One of Canada’s pre-eminent law schools, the UBC Faculty of Law has a 60-year history of educating leaders in the legal profession and society. UBC Law alumni include Kim Campbell (former Prime Minister of Canada); Frank Iacobucci (retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada); Stephen Owen (former federal Minister of Western Economic Diversification and now UBC’s Vice President, External, Legal and Community Relations); Michael Harcourt (former Premier of BC); Thomas Berger (former Justice of the Supreme Court of BC); and Wally Oppal (current Attorney General of BC). Outstanding legal professionals who have taught at the UBC Law School include Beverley McLachlin (current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada) and Allan McEachern (UBC Chancellor and former Chief Justice of the BC Court of Appeal). For more information, visit: www.law.ubc.ca.

UBC Law Building

A 1995 assessment of the UBC Law Faculty building, which opened in 1944, revealed moisture and ventilation problems in addition to outmoded teaching spaces and serious deficiencies in classroom and office accessibility. The future building will provide a mix of classrooms, lecture halls and a new UBC Law Library to serve as an academic space for students and the legal community.

Davis LLP

Davis LLP, established in 1892, is a full-service law firm providing comprehensive legal services to clients through offices across Canada and in Japan. It has more than 200 legal advisors and consultants representing financial, corporate and government organizations and individuals. Its reputation for excellence and ethical practice has earned Davis LLP the highest peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the authoritative world legal directory. For more information visit: www.davis.ca.

Edward Pearse (E.P.) Davis, K.C.

Born in Ontario and a graduate of the University of Toronto, Edward Pease Davis, K.C., founded Davis LLP on March 25, 1892. By 1900, clients included mayor David Oppenheimer and the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Hudson’s Bay Company. In 1910, the Canadian Law Journal said of Davis, who was then 50 years old:

“It is an unusual thing in a Canadian province to find one man who is so admittedly at the head of his profession that he is not regarded as having a rival. . . Mr. E.P. Davis, K.C., by universal acknowledgement is easily leader of the Bar. . . His capacity for work is phenomenal, quite beyond the physical capacity of most men.”

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