Prestigious honour bestowed on Vernon lawyer

Tom Christensen, an associate with Nixon Wenger, has been appointed as Queen’s counsel by the provincial government.

Vernon lawyer Tom Christensen has been appointed the honorary title of Queen's counsel by the provincial government.

Vernon lawyer Tom Christensen has been appointed the honorary title of Queen's counsel by the provincial government.

A Vernon lawyer has earned a prestigious honour in his profession.

Tom Christensen, an associate with Nixon Wenger, has been appointed as Queen’s counsel by the provincial government.

““It’s not something I’ve coveted but it’s definitely an honour,” said Christensen.

Christensen is among 39 B.C. lawyers presented with the title Friday.

“You look at the company you’re in and certainly in this case, and it’s very rewarding,” he said.

The QC designation is conferred each year on members of the  legal profession to recognize exceptional merit and contribution. Successful candidates have been members of the B.C. bar for at least five years and have been nominated by their peers.

Christensen, who specializes in estate administration, real estate conveyancing and financing, has been a lawyer since 1995.

He was Vernon-Monashee’s MLA from 2001 to 2009 and held cabinet duties as minister of education, aboriginal relations and children and family development.

He is a continuing education instructor at Okanagan College, chairperson of Community Living B.C. and director of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Vernon branch.

Christensen is a former chairperson of the Legal Services Society of B.C.

“It’s critically important for lawyers to be involved in the community. We’re privileged to practise in this profession and having an opportunity to give back is important.”

Christensen follows in the footsteps of his father Ken, who is also a lawyer and Queen’s counsel.

“I think he was pleased about it,” said Christensen of his father’s reaction to the announcement Friday.

An advisory committee reviewed Queen’s counsel applications and recommended candidates to Attorney General Suzanne Anton. The appointments were made by the provincial cabinet.

“The QC designation is given to lawyers who have shown professional  integrity, excellence in the practice of law, and who have contributed  to their communities and the legal profession in meaningful ways,” said Anton.