920 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2018
In high school, presenting in blue hair, Doc Martens and safety pins in
ears, and unafraid to speak truth to power, Wendy and a group of close
friends wrote and published a newspaper called The Underground, an
unsanctioned, anonymous critique of the high school establishment. The
law offices of Baker Newby in Chilliwack, where Wendy’s dad Jim practised
as a respected litigator, served as The Underground’s unofficial sponsor and
In one particularly controversial issue, Wendy and her friends provided
a critical analysis of their teachers’ job performances. After reading the
issue cover to cover, the principal was reportedly so impressed with the
quality of the analysis and writing that he took it upon himself to further
distribute the paper around the school.
For those who have been fortunate enough to have worked with Wendy
over the years, this story will come as no surprise. Wendy is fiercely intelligent,
engaged and outspoken. These qualities, combined with a measure
of thoughtful subversion, have made Wendy a vital part of the legal community
for the past 26 years.
After graduating high school Wendy studied at UBC, obtaining an honours
degree in English with a focus on modern poetry. After UBC Wendy
moved to Ottawa where she taught herself computer programming. Naturally
skilled at writing code, Wendy worked as a programmer for a few years
before setting her sights on returning to the West Coast.
After encouragement from her cousin, Susan Dent, that the other students
in law school really were not all that bad, Wendy aced the LSAT and
was on her way to UVic Law. There, Wendy found her calling. It was also
there that she found her husband, Kelly. The details around the meeting
between Kelly and Wendy remain somewhat murky, but an apocryphal
story about the least likely of them feigning the need for computer help to
facilitate a meeting persists among Wendy and Kelly’s friends.
Wendy excelled at law school, but her priority was not how to conventionally
launch her legal career. Wendy split her articles between with the Sierra
Legal Defence Fund and a small but mighty litigation boutique. Having paid
no attention in law school to the scuttlebutt about the different firms, Wendy
approached the conundrum of which firm to choose from a practical/mathematical
angle. On the practical front, she knew Darrell Roberts was a good
lawyer and, on the mathematical front, she figured out that Roberts, Muir &
Griffin had the highest ratio of female lawyers to male lawyers.
Wendy’s early years at her firm were spent punching far above her year
of call. Wendy’s caseload involved a number of environmental appeals
against leading counsel. These cases were the foundation for Wendy’s fear-