Patrick Yearwood was born in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1954. He attended the University of Alberta in Edmonton, earning an Arts Degree in Political Science in 1975, and graduated from the University of Alberta Law School in May of 1979. Mr. Yearwood articled at Berzins Willemse and worked there for one year as an associate before moving in August of 1981 to the corporate commercial firm of Shtabsky & Tussman where he continued his corporate commercial litigation practice and also worked in plaintiffs’ personal injury. In 1984, Pat joined the legal department of the Workers’ Compensation Board as a staff lawyer where he continued to do litigation, approximately 50% of which was plaintiffs’ personal injury (handling WCB subrogated cases) and the other 50% corporate insolvency litigation.
In 1988, Mr. Yearwood was appointed Director of the Legal Services Department at the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board where he developed and oversaw a department of lawyers, adjusters, legal assistants and other staff. He participated in the corporate reorganization of the WCB, acted as corporate counsel in a wide range of matters, including leases, contracts, employment law (mostly in a non-union environment) and sexual harassment, as well as continuing to represent the corporation as counsel before the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the Alberta Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada.
Mr. Yearwood’s duties at the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board also included participating in the Benefits Policy Committee, leading the team of lawyers in major redrafting of legislation, membership on the Management Committee which oversaw the running of the whole of the operation of the WCB, and participating in the System Steering Committee, which dealt with all of the information and technology needs for the whole of the corporation.
The most interesting and rewarding duty performed by Mr. Yearwood at the WCB was acting as local co-counsel for the hundreds of asbestos-related actions brought on behalf of Alberta workers who were victims of asbestos disease. This included attending depositions done by American counsel in Alberta, as well as ensuring that the team of investigators and legal assistants undertook the necessary product identification and client service within the Province, and then communicating those results to lead counsel, Ness Motley, in Charleston, South Carolina, and to other co-counsel in Marshall, Texas.
Mr. Yearwood moved with his family to Langley, BC, in May of 1993 when he joined the law firm of MacCallum McIntyre to assume a litigation practice left by a very busy lawyer who had joined ICBC’s litigation department. This consisted of a large number of ICBC defence files as well as an assortment of plaintiffs’ personal injury cases and other litigation matters.
In April of 1998, Mr. Yearwood decided that it was time to start his own firm and established Yearwood & Company close to his home in Walnut Grove, in the Port Kells industrial area which is home to over 800 businesses and where over 12,000 people come to work every day, in addition to the approximately 24,000 people who live in Walnut Grove.
Since coming to British Columbia, Mr. Yearwood has acted as a trial lawyer on many occasions and has also advised many corporate clients on many corporate, commercial, employment and other business matters.
While living in Edmonton, Mr. Yearwood participated in coaching many of the teams that his daughter, Andrea, and his son, James, played on. He also participated extensively in the Canadian Bar Association, acting as Chair, and in other executive positions of many CBA sections, including civil litigation and corporate counsel.
Since moving to British Columbia, Mr. Yearwood has been involved in the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce and was elected President in June 2004. In April 2003, Mr. Yearwood was also appointed as Chair for the local committee known as the Spirit of BC Community Committee, which was established to help the community identify and take advantage of the many opportunities presented by the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Olympic and Para-Olympic Games. Mr. Yearwood has also served as a Commissioner on the Township of Langley Economic Development Commission.
More recently, Mr. Yearwood has been a Director of the Surrey Bar Association and was its President in 2011/12. Mr. Yearwood is currently a Director of the British Columbia Trucking Association since being elected to the Board in 2007.
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