Joan L. Rush (Retired)

Joan Rush is a retired lawyer who worked with Bernard LLP for many years assisting our client insurance underwriters, P&I clubs, and brokers with OSFI, FICOM and other Canadian regulatory and compliance matters.  Joan consulted in the areas of insurance law, health law and corporate governance.  Before establishing her private practice, Joan was Vice President and General Counsel to a Canadian life insurance company.  She completed a Master of Laws degree in Health Law and Ethics.  She has been an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of B.C., teaching life and disability insurance law and a scholar in residence at the UBC Faculty of Law.  She was also an Adjunct Professor with the UBC Faculty of Dentistry.  Although Joan is retired from practice, she maintains a collegial and consulting relationship with our firm.

Representative Cases

Completed Federal and Provincial registrations for various foreign insurers in Canada, including marine insurers, with The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions [Canada] (OSFI) and all Canadian provincial and territorial regulators: 2007 through 2011.

Obtained rulings from federal OSFI for various foreign marine insurers pursuant to the Insurance in Canada of Risks Policy: 2009 and 2010.

Represented companies before OSFI and various Provincial insurance regulators in connection with applications regarding capital, reinsurance and related regulatory issues.

Prepared governance documents and materials for various financial institutions, a B.C. provincial crown authority and a health research agency.

Prepared numerous contracts, policies, corporate and investment management compliance programs and related corporate documents for financial institutions.

Acted as legal representative on a health authority Research Ethics Board.

Consultant to a provincial health authority; responsible for drafting a submission to the B.C. Ministry of Health regarding End-of-Life Care on behalf of the Authority.

Professional and Other Affiliations

  • Called to the Bar of British Columbia, 1983
  • Law Society of British Columbia, Member
  • Community Living B.C., former Director and Chair of Governance Committee (2005-2010)
  • B.C. Cancer Agency Research Ethics Board, former Director (2003-2009)
  • UBC Law (Insurance Law), Visiting Scholar, former Adjunct Professor
  • UBC Law Alumni Association, Member of Advisory Committee

Author and Speaker

  • "Help! Teeth Hurt" Government’s Obligation to Provide Timely Access to Dental Treatment to B.C. Adults Who Have Developmental Disabilities: A Legal Analysis", Self-published, funded by the Law Foundation of British Columbia.
  • “Recommendations for a PHSA Dental Program for Adults with Severe Developmental Disabilities”, Presented to the Board of Directors of PHSA, August 18, 2011.
  • “All at Sea: Navigating the Rocky Straits of Federal and Provincial Marine Insurance Regulation” Presented to the Marine Insurance Association of B.C., May 2010.
  • “Advance Directives in Canada: An Ethical Imperative in a Legal Morass”, The Canadian Journal of Medical Radiation Technology, 2007, Volume 38 No. 4 at 11.
  • “Advance Care Planning: What’s All the Talk About?”, co-written with S. Grant, RN, Dipl.T., D. Barwich, MD, CCFP and C. Tayler, RN, BN, MSA, COC(C) The Canadian Journal of Medical Radiation Technology, 2007, Volume 38 No. 4 at 5.
  • Debate Panelist: Should financial/economic cost be a factor in Canadian oncologists' treatment recommendations for non-curative cancer therapy for an individual patient? B.C. Cancer Agency Annual Conference, Vancouver, B.C., November 29 & 30, 2007.
  • “Advance Directives in Canada: An Ethical Imperative in a Legal Bog” Presented to the Inaugural Canadian Symposium on Advance Care Planning, Calgary, Alberta, May 2007; to the B.C. Cancer Agency Centres, (Victoria, Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Kelowna) Ethics and Oncology Education Rounds; and to the Fraser Health Advance Care Planning Conferences and Medical Education Rounds, 2006 and 2007.
  • “Legal Perspectives on the Work of the Research Ethics Board” Presented at the B.C. Cancer Agency Annual Conference, Vancouver, B.C., November 23-25, 2006.
  • Speaker and Panel Member, Pallium Canada-wide Audio-conference on Advance Care Planning, May 25, 2006.
  • “End-of-Life Decision Making in British Columbia: Why the Current Legislative Scheme Fails to Meet the Future Health Care Planning Needs of British Columbians”. Presented at the Law’s Empire Conference, Harrison Hot Springs, B.C., June, 2005.
  • “Attracting Valuable Board Members and Working Effectively With Them” Presented at the Pacific Business and Law Institute Conference: “Generating Success for Your Charity or Non-Profit”, Vancouver, B.C., November 24 & 25, 2004.
  • “Advance Care Planning: Legal and Ethical Issues in B.C.” Presented at the Fraser Health Authority Advance Care Planning Conference, Surrey, B.C., October 2004.
  • “Affordable Compliance: A Practical Approach”, Presented at the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Compliance Conference, Ottawa, Ontario, April 2002.
  • “The Roles Of Law, Audit And Compliance: One For All And All For One”, Presented at the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Compliance Conference, Niagara-On-The-Lake, April 2000.
  • “Case Study: Seaboard Life Integrated, Top-down, Trademarked Compliance”, IMPACT Magazine, Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, Spring 1997.
  • “Out of the Maze: Towards a Clear Understanding of Remoteness of Damage in the Law of Negligence”, Canadian Bar Review, September, 1983, co authored with Professors J.C. Smith and S. Coval, both of the University of British Columbia.

Other Interests

Joan advocates for the legal and healthcare interests of persons with developmental disabilities. In her free time Joan enjoys horseback riding, bicycling, and kayaking.

Joan L. Rush


  • LL.M., University of B.C., 2005
  • LL.B., University of B.C., 1982
  • B.Comm., University of B.C., 1981