Honorary Degree: John A. Young, Q.C.

John A. Young, Q.C.
Community builder and legal advocate

John A. Young, Q.C.

John A. Young, Q.C.

Born in Saint John, New Brunswick, John Young’s interest in commerce and law would lead him to pursue post-secondary degrees in those fields in Halifax. He would later travel to England where he received a Master of Laws from the University of London. 

After graduating from law school at Dalhousie University, Young would spend the next four years working as a political aid on Parliament Hill. It was there that he first heard about three young lawyers starting a law firm in Halifax. After his time in Ottawa, and after he had completed his Master of Laws, he returned to Halifax and remembered what he had heard about that ambitious new firm. Young would choose the new firm, BOYNECLARKE, over a larger firm, becoming their fourth lawyer in the mid-1970s.

Young would be an essential part of the firm’s growth, as they focused on the specialization that allowed them to develop skills that set them apart from larger firms. During this growing period, the firm would go on to win a case in the Supreme Court of Canada over a much larger firm. They were the upstart in some respects, the only new firm in that period when most Halifax firms had been around for a while. Young was an important part of the firm’s growth from four lawyers to the fourth-largest firm in Atlantic Canada today.

Young was most recently Counsel at BOYNECLARKE LLP, having served as the firm Chair from 2012-2018. He acts on behalf of a wide variety of businesses, government agencies, institutions and not-for-profit organizations and advises their senior management in the creation, operation and expansion of their activities.

He is currently serving as a Chair of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council (NS), Chair of the Canadian Maritime Heritage Foundation, Director of the Royal Nova Scotia Tattoo Society, and Trustee of St. Andrews United Church, Halifax. He recently completed a term as Director of the Nova Scotia Health Authority and has served on a wide variety of boards of Canadian corporations.

Young enjoys golf, politics and community service.