Lance was born in Edmonton Alberta, and lived there until 1951 when his family moved to Victoria, British Columbia. He attended high school there, and then Victoria College (before it became a University).
Lance graduated from the UBC Law School in 1962, and articled to Frank Collier, Q.C., of Guild Yule Schmidt Lane Collier and Hinkson, as the firm was then known. He was called to the bar in 1963 and for the next 20 years had a litigation practice that included insurance defence, plaintiff’s injury claims, municipal law and general commercial litigation.
In 1983 Lance was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia and for the next 10 years as a trial judge heard all sorts of cases – torts, contracts, administrative law, criminal law, family and commercial.
In 1993 Lance was appointed a Justice of the British Columbia and Yukon Courts of Appeal, and in 2001 was appointed as Chief Justice of both of those Courts. The Provincial Courts of Appeal have broad jurisdiction and hear all kinds of appeals from the Provincial and Territorial Superior Courts, as well as other cases as provided for by statute.
Since his retirement as Chief Justice in June 2013, Lance has rejoined Guild Yule LLP (as it now is) as associate counsel, and is available for advice on trial and appellate matters, as well as for arbitrations and mediation.
As both a lawyer and Judge, Lance has been an active participant in continuing legal and judicial education.
His honours and awards include:
- 2002, Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal
- 2003, University of British Columbia – LLD (Hon)
- 2006, Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia – Lawyer Helping Lawyer Award
- 2007, International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law medal in recognition of contribution to the goals of the Society
- 2008-2012, President, International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law
- 2010, Justice Institute of British Columbia – Anthony Pantages Medal
- 2011, University of Victoria – Alumni Legacy Award
- 2012, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal
- 2013, UBC Law Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2014 to Present, Associate Counsel, Guild Yule LLP
- 2014, Thompson Rivers University – LLD (Hon)
- 2015, Appointed Queen’s Counsel
- 2015, University of Victoria – LLD (Hon)