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ner for the third-year law class, that he had been hoping to meet Len ever
since he had read a “first-class” paper written by him in second year.
Len graduated from law school in 1966 and articled to the late Ron Bray
at Clark, Wilson, White & Maguire, joining the firm as an associate at the
end of his articling year in 1967.
The next step in Len’s career involved his friend from his Acadia Camp
years: Ken Smith. In the spring of 1962, when Len had just completed firstyear
law and Smith had obtained a B.A. degree and had pending employment
in the insurance industry, they met by chance at a post-exam
fraternity party. During the evening, Len persuaded Smith that he should
forego the insurance job and apply to UBC Law. Smith took his advice. On
his call to the bar in 1966, Smith joined his friend, the late Frank Crane, in
a downtown practice. In 1968, Len left Clark Wilson and joined Crane &
Smith, soon to be known as Crane, Smith & Doust (and later Crane, Smith,
Doust, Eades, Desfosses & Eades). Around this time, Len and Sandy welcomed
two more children: Stephen, born in 1968, and Simone, born in 1969.
Ken and Len’s first law partnership was short-lived, however, because of
health issues faced by the senior partner. It was amicably dissolved in 1970
and Len and Ken joined Clark Wilson. Then, in 1977, they left that firm to
found a litigation boutique: Doust & Smith.
The two partners divided the litigation matters, with Len handling the
criminal law side and Smith the civil side. The firm was a professional success
and attracted many fine young lawyers as associates, growing to 14
lawyers at its apogee.
In 1988, Doust & Smith merged with Shrum, Liddle & Hebenton, which,
following further mergers, is now McCarthy Tétrault. Len has continued at
that firm as associate counsel since the merger.
Throughout his career, Len has played a crucial role in the development
of many younger lawyers. He is very proud that so many of those he had a
hand in mentoring have themselves achieved success and prominence in
the profession, including Paul Lawrence (resident Provincial Court judge in
Terrace for many years); Austin Cullen (justice and former Associate Chief
Justice of the B.C. Supreme Court); Jim Williams (justice of the B.C.
Supreme Court and, many years ago, the investigating RCMP officer on one
of Len’s cases who Len persuaded to leave the force and enrol at UBC Law);
Bill Smart, Dave Crossin and Warren Milman (justices of the B.C. Supreme
Court); and Kathy Neilson, Liz Bennett and Ken Smith (justices of the B.C.
Supreme Court and later the B.C. Court of Appeal).
Lisa Martz, Bronson Toy and Mike Feder, all of whom have worked with
Len at McCarthys, recall the process of junioring Len. Preparing for court
meant thinking not just about what would persuade the court to go his way,