Robert Lapper, QC

Robert Lapper, QC
David & Dorothy Lam Chair in Law and Public Policy, Professor
Faculty of Law

B.A. (Honours)- University of Victoria (1978), LLB - University of Victoria (1981)

Area of expertise

Access to justice, justice innovation, public policy, professional regulation and ethics, Aboriginal law.


Robert Lapper, QC is a senior public law lawyer with an extensive background in public policy, professional regulation and governance, aboriginal law, and negotiations with First Nations. He is a graduate of the University of Victoria Faculty of Law (LLB '81), and has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours, Political Science,'78) also from the University of Victoria. After several years in private practice in Sidney and Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, he joined the Government of the Province of British Columbia in 1994 as counsel to its then new treaty negotiation process, and was subsequently appointed Senior Counsel, Aboriginal Law. He was later appointed to senior executive positions in the British Columbia Government, including Assistant Deputy Attorney General – Legal Services, Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Relations, Deputy Cabinet Secretary, and Deputy Minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services, and Open Government.

Robert moved to Toronto in 2012 and took up the position as Chief Executive Officer, Law Society of Upper Canada (now Law Society of Ontario), Canada’s largest regulator of legal professionals. He retired from that position, and returned to British Columbia in 2018. 

Robert is a member of the Steering Committee for Access to Justice British Columbia, and a member of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Policy Committee. He serves as Chair of Governance for the Yellowstone to Yukon Wilderness Preservation Initiative,  as Canadian Chair of the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association, as a Director of Innocence Canada,  and as a Director of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, where he is currently involved with advocacy at the United Nations to secure the release of Anglophone human rights advocates in Cameroon.