270 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 2 MARCH 2021
Paul Gregory Backhouse
Friend, lawyer, husband, father and avid outdoor
adventure enthusiast Paul Gregory Backhouse died
suddenly on August 13, 2020 when he was hit by a
vehicle when cycling.
Paul was born in Flin Flon, Manitoba on May 20,
1979, later moved to Morden, Manitoba and eventually
attended University of Manitoba to study microbiology.
After graduating, he worked at the National Microbiology Lab in
Winnipeg, where he was known for good work and a predilection for practical
jokes. Somewhere along the way he was introduced to rock climbing
and spent several years making long drives to the mountains before eventually
deciding that law school would be a good excuse to live near the
mountains permanently. He started law school at the University of British
Columbia in 2005.
Paul’s law school career was characterized by too many weekend climbing
and skiing trips to count; rugby matches, trips and practices; numerous
evenings at the bar; and also some occasional studying. Paul made many
friends at law school with whom he remained very close until his unfortunate
Paul began his legal career articling with Lindsay Kenney LLP in Vancouver
and continued on with that firm following his call to the bar in 2009. As
a civil litigator he quickly developed a reputation as a capable legal advisor
who could clearly see the merits and demerits of any particular position.
He once told me early on in our respective careers that in his view any civil
dispute that did not involve a novel interpretation of the law should be
resolved out of court. As an inexperienced and likely overconfident young
lawyer, I did not pay much heed to his words. I now know, with the benefit
of hindsight, that he was wise beyond his experience.
Paul left Lindsay Kenney in 2011 and joined me at the firm of Lakes
Whyte in North Vancouver, doing primarily agency prosecutions for the
Public Prosecution Service of Canada. In those years, we travelled frequently
to Fort St. John and Dawson Creek in northeastern B.C., to the Sunshine
Coast and up Highway 99 to Pemberton, along with Peter Whyte (now
the Honourable Judge Whyte) and Helen Huzzey. Paul would use those
trips to check on snowpack, rock and ice conditions to plan his mountain