LAP Staff


Derek C. LaCroix, Q.C. – Executive Director
Susan Burak – Associate Director
Matt Heemskerk – Associate Director
Bena Stock – Associate Director
Laurie Stewart – Office Administrator

Staff Bios

Derek C. LaCroix, Q.C.- Executive Director
Derek LaCroix, QC, joined LAP as our Executive Director in 1996. With 40 years work experience, he brings a sincere and valued perspective to his commitment to both the organization and to the BC legal profession. Derek practised law for 18 years and went on to expand his skills in business and counseling. This diverse range of interests has helped Derek become a respected leader in the legal, health care and recovery communities. He has served on committees with the Canadian Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He was a Commissioner of the Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) and the Chair of the annual CoLAP conference for several years. He is also on several non-profit boards of societies dealing with addictions, education and spirituality. He is often called upon to present seminars and workshops throughout the province, and is tireless in his efforts to make a positive difference in the lives of legal professionals and those who care about them. He received the designation of Queen’s Counsel in 2004.

Derek can be reached by phone at 1.888.685.2171 or 604.685.2171 or email at  ( derek (at) lapbc (dot) com (. ) derek (at) lapbc (dot) com

Susan Burak, B.A., LL.B., M.A.

Registered Clinical Counsellor, C.A.C. – Associate Director
Susan Burak was called to the Bar in 1990 and practised primarily in the areas of family, wills & estates, real estate, health and administrative law. She has been active in the areas of mediation and collaborative law and has taught mediation and conflict resolution internationally with a program in Africa and with another international training organization in Europe.  Having a prevention oriented philosophy and a background in public health, certified parenting facilitation, psychology, and a master’s degree in counselling psychology, Susan has always had a keen interest in helping colleagues in areas of career planning and enhancement, stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and overcoming trauma. Through her education and involvement with numerous international societies and conferences, Susan has had the opportunity to work with leading experts in these areas. Susan has always been motivated by a love for learning and spiritual development. Through raising a family, Susan was involved in a number of community development initiatives and has served on several non-profit boards of directors. She has been awarded a Paul Harris Award for Community Service and a Canadian Bar Association Silver Pin.

Susan can be reached by phone at 1.888.685.2171 or 604.685.2171 or email at ( Susan (at) lapbc (dot) com.

Matt Heemskerk,  B.A., L.L.B., RTC
Registered Therapeutic Counsellor – Associate Director
Matt is a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor and Associate Director with LAP. He practised law for 9 years at a large downtown law firm and has assisted many lawyers with successful transitions in their lives.

Matt can be reached by phone at 1.888.685.2171 or 604.685.2171 or email at ( matt (at) lapbc (dot) com.

Bena Stock, B.A., LL.B., M.C. Registered Clinical Counsellor, R.C.C. – Associate Director

Bena Stock was called to the Bar in 1992 and practised primarily in the areas of professional negligence and insurance defence for 24 years. Bena has a master’s degree in counselling, and has assisted many clients in the areas of anxiety, depression, relationship issues, time management, and career planning, including career transition and advancement. She has a particular interest in helping clients develop practical coping mechanisms to support a sustainable lifestyle. Bena works to assist clients attain their goals, and views counselling as an opportunity for personal growth. She understands the joys and challenges of balancing a career with family life. Relying on her personal experience as a former litigator, the wife of a litigator, and the mother of two children, is one of the ways Bena connects with clients. Bena believes in giving back to the community, and has served on several non-profit boards of directors.

Bena can be reached by phone at 1.888.685.2171 or 604.685.2171 or email at ( bena (at) lapbc (dot) com.

Laurie Stewart
Office Administrator

Laurie can be reached by phone at 1.888.685.2171 or 604.685.2171 or email at  ( info (at) lapbc (dot) com.

Staff, Directors + Volunteers