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Morley Koffman
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Name:
Morley
Koffman
Bar Admissions / Year of Call: 
British Columbia 1953
Education: 
B.A., LL.B.
Areas of Practice: 
Corporate/Commercial and Securities/Corporate Finance/Mergers & Acquisitions

Morley Koffman, 85, of Vancouver, British Columbia passed away peacefully on June 28th, 2015 after a long life well lived. He is lovingly remembered by his wife and best friend of 57 years, Myrna Koffman, his daughter Lori Koffman and son-in-law Ken Ziebelman, his son Ted Koffman and daughter-in-law Debby Koffman, his son Robert Koffman and daughter-in-law Tara Koffman, his 8 granddaughters Rachel, Alexis, Jamie, Nikki, Lindsey, Anna, Sarah and Ariel, and his sister Thelma Friedman.

Morley was a true Vancouverite through and through. He was born and bred in Vancouver on March 11, 1930 at the Vancouver General Hospital, where he died on June 28th. At the age of 5, without his parents’ knowledge, he enrolled himself in grade 1 at Lord Tennyson Elementary School and was asked to leave when the administrators found out he was not yet 6 years old. He skipped two years of school and graduated from Kitsilano High. Morley received his BA from UBC after three years and graduated from UBC law school in 1952 where he was the youngest in his graduating class. Morley was called to the bar in 1953, shortly after his 23rd birthday.

After law school Morley joined a firm with leading practitioners Harold and David Freeman. When he was 25, Morley became a name partner at the new firm Freeman, Freeman, Silvers and Koffman, and immediately took on the responsibility of managing the firm. Thus began Morley’s decades of law firm management, which he handled in addition to his incredibly heavy practice load.

Under Morley’s leadership, Freeman and Company (as the firm eventually became known) grew to be an elite business firm. Morley was awarded the prestigious title of Queen’s Counsel in 1986. Morley’s current firm, Koffman Kalef LLP, was created in 1993 by a number of the partners of Freeman and Company.

Morley loved practicing law, and worked--even from his hospital bed at many times over the past few years--up until just a few weeks before he died. For over 60 years, he advised prominent clients locally and internationally, including some of the most important entrepreneurs in the history of the Province, as well as the City of Vancouver and the Province of B.C. He was consistently referred to as a lawyer’s lawyer. He was notorious for his prodigious work ethic, arriving to the office most mornings before 6:30 a.m. He also served as a director of numerous domestic and foreign corporations. But perhaps what is most remarkable are the number of pro bono acts of assistance he provided during his busy and high profile legal career—almost all of them done quietly and confidentially.

In 2010, at the age of 80, Morley was selected by “Best Lawyers” peer review publication as the corporate lawyer of the year for British Columbia. He was the recipient of the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from UBC law school, and one year ago was featured as the cover story of the leading B.C. law journal The Advocate. Morley was a proud supporter of UBC and its Faculty of Law and served the Vancouver Jewish community in a number of capacities, including terms as Vice-Chairman of both the Combined Jewish Appeal of Greater Vancouver, and Chairman of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Vancouver. His philanthropic donations to these organizations and many others have had a profound impact.

Most importantly, Morley was a loving partner to his wife and best friend for 57 years, was adored by his three children for whom he served as sounding board and a role model his entire life, and was deeply loved by his granddaughters who lovingly called him ‘Morley.’ His warm, engaging presence and his always clear-headed counsel will be deeply missed by his family, his partners, his wide circle of friends, and his many, many clients. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Vancouver, the Morley Koffman Bursary at the Allard School of Law or the charity of your choice.

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