Queen’s Counsel appointments

It is tradition to appoint lawyers as Queen's Counsel (QC) who have made particular contributions to:

  • the legal profession, or
  • public life

The Lieutenant Governor in Council makes QC appointments under authority of the Queen's Counsel Act.

Deadline for applications is Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 4:30 pm.

Selection criteria

Legal leadership

The Minister of Justice and Solicitor General will consider certain criteria when considering an application for Queen's Counsel (Her Majesty's Counsel, learned in the law, for the Province of Alberta) and will award the appointments of Queen's Counsel to those lawyers who have demonstrated the following attributes to the extent that they make the applicant a leader in the legal profession.

Competence, including:

  • sound intellectual ability with a thorough, comprehensive, and current knowledge of law and practice in the applicant's field
  • distinguished legal service with demanding and challenging legal work that contributes to the development of the law and practice
  • a recognized expertise in a particular area of law and practice (which may include the general practice of law)
  • an outstanding ability as a lawyer in the applicant's field, to a standard to be expected of Queen's Counsel

Professional qualities, including:

  • a history of honesty, integrity, discretion, and candid dealings in professional and personal matters including dealings with professional colleagues, clients, lay people, and the courts and in the execution of duties as an officer of the court
  • the trust and confidence of others
  • the respect of fellow lawyers
  • the respect of the Bench and administrative tribunals before which the applicant may appear
  • demonstrated mentorship of junior members of the Bar

Contributions

The Minister of Justice and Solicitor General may also consider the following in awarding a Queen's Counsel:

Contribution to the administration of justice, including:

  • a demonstrated commitment to make legal services available to all who require them, regardless of the ability to pay
  • a superior commitment to access to justice

Contribution to the community, including:

  • a superior contribution to the life of the community including leadership on community, cultural, and philanthropic organizations
  • contributions to the community in order to further the well-being of the community
  • providing service and support to communities and community organizations in ways that encourage initiative, self-help, cooperation, and partnership building

Contribution to the legal profession, including:

  • a superior contribution to the legal profession through leadership in governance of the profession or Bar-related activities
  • a superior contribution to legal scholarship through teaching or legal writing and research
  • a recognition of superior contribution in a variety of legal practices, including service to government, business corporations, non-profit organizations, administrative tribunals, academic institutions, Crown Prosecutor's office, and the Law Society

Equality

The Minister of Justice and Solicitor General is committed to consider each application on the established merits of the individual alone without regard to law firm affiliation or seniority at the Bar and will consider each application on an equal basis regardless of:

  • gender
  • age
  • race
  • ethnic or national origin
  • religion
  • sexual orientation
  • marital or family status
  • disability
  • political affiliation

Review process

Applications will be reviewed by the Queen's Counsel Screening Committee. The committee advises the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General whether each applicant is:

  • highly recommended
  • recommended
  • not recommended at this time

Queen's Counsel Screening Committee

The committee is comprised of:

  • President, Law Society of Alberta
  • President-Elect, Law Society of Alberta
  • President, Canadian Bar Association - Alberta branch
  • Chief Justice of Alberta, or nominee
  • Chief Justice, Court of Queen's Bench, or nominee
  • Associate Chief Justice, Court of Queen's Bench, or nominee
  • Chief Judge, Provincial Court, or nominee
  • an Assistant Chief Judge
  • the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, or nominee
  • a Lay Bencher
  • a representative from each of the North, Central, and Southern Districts
  • the Deputy Attorney General, or nominee

How to apply

Physical submissions will not be accepted.

Deadline for applications is Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 4:30 pm.

Required forms and documents

Applications must include:

  1. The completed web form.
  2. Four PDF attachments uploaded through the web form (maximum 5 MB):
    • your resume
    • three letters of reference - each letter of reference must state:
      This letter may be disclosed to Alberta Justice and Solicitor General, the Law Society of Alberta, the Queen's Counsel Screening Committee, and as otherwise required for use in the Queen's Counsel selection process.

Web application form

Nominations will not be accepted.

Lawyers must be eligible under the Queen's Counsel Act and must submit an application to be considered for a QC appointment:

Apply online - QC appointment

Contact

If you have further questions about the Queen's Counsel application process:

Office of the Deputy Minister
Alberta Justice and Solicitor General
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:00 pm (Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-5032
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: qc-mail@gov.ab.ca