Sabri M. Shawa QC, FCIArb

SABRI M. SHAWA QC, FCIArb

Contact Information

Principal Practice Areas

  • General Commercial Litigation with an emphasis on Energy, Engineering and the Environment
  • Arbitration, Mediation, and Negotiation
  • Employment and Business Relationships
  • Professional Negligence and Discipline

EDUCATION

  • LLM (Major in Dispute Resolution) 2006 University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
  • LLB 1990 University of Alberta
  • BSc (Chemical Engineering) 1987 University of Calgary

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • Jensen Shawa Solomon Duguid Hawkes LLP 1995 - present
    • Firm Chairman 2008 - 2014
    • Managing Partner 1997 - 2004
    • Founding Partner
  • MacKimmie Matthews 1990 - 1995
    • Articling Student and Associate, Litigation Department

I have spent my entire career practicing law in Calgary. I appear as counsel at all levels of court in Alberta, as well as at a wide variety of administrative and regulatory boards and tribunals, and at arbitrations and mediations. I am also an arbitrator, mediator and negotiator.

In 2012, I was appointed Queen's Counsel and in 2014, I was admitted as a Fellow in the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

I am listed in the 2013 and 2014 editions of Best Lawyers in Canada in the practice area of Alternative Dispute Resolution for both Arbitration and Mediation. I am listed as a Canadian Litigation Star in Arbitration and Energy/Resources (2014) by Benchmark Canada.

PRACTICE FOCUS

My current practice is comprised primarily of:

General Commercial Litigation with an emphasis on Energy, Engineering and the Environment

I have been retained in countless litigation, administrative and regulatory proceedings concerning:

  • oil and gas royalty and operating agreements and ownership and rights issues
  • engineering and design faults and failures and construction deficiencies
  • misappropriation of proprietary technology and data
  • environmental contamination, nuisance and reclamation
  • environmental compliance, enforcement and offences
  • electrical transmission and generation
  • various other contractual disputes among parties in these industries

Arbitration and Mediation

The breadth of my litigation practice over the years has given me a broad knowledge of many businesses, industries and endeavours. That familiarity, coupled with my training in dispute resolution techniques and practices, equips me to serve as an independent arbitrator or mediator in a wide variety of disputes.

I have been retained in many arbitrations, both as counsel for a party and as an arbitrator, including with respect to:

  • construction and project management
  • franchise agreements
  • commercial contracts
  • freight contracts
  • labour relations

I have also been retained to mediate hundreds of disputes and represented parties in many others, including with respect to:

  • personal injury
  • insurance claims
  • professional negligence
  • employment
  • medical malpractice

Employment and Business Relationships

I provide advice and opinions to, and represented, employers and employees in matters involving:

  • wrongful and constructive dismissals
  • breaches of confidentiality, non-competition and non-solicitation obligations
  • breaches of fiduciary duties
  • injunctions
  • discrimination and harassment

I have negotiated:

  • complex services agreements
  • large partnership agreements
  • employment, executive compensation and independent contractor agreements with respect to a variety of professionals

My experience also includes drafting and reviewing employment, executive compensation and independent contractor agreements, as well as employment policies.

Other retainers have included investigation of employee misfeasance and harassment.

Professional Negligence and Discipline

I have represented judges, lawyers, engineers, accountants, investment advisers, stock and insurance brokers, doctors and other health care providers in claims and proceedings against them. I have also served as counsel to professional discipline tribunals.

Other Experience

In addition to my current practice, I have significant experience with:

  • shareholders' and directors' disputes
  • oppression claims
  • insurance matters including both claims and coverage issues
  • personal injury claims for both plaintiffs and defendants, including catastrophic injuries
  • medical malpractice claims and other health care related matters for plaintiffs and defendants
  • estate litigation
  • pension litigation
  • defamation claims
  • criminal defence and as a special prosecutor for the Federal Department of Justice in respect of Employment Insurance fraud

PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES AND PUBLICATIONS

  • Alberta Energy Regulator (formerly Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board) 2003 - present
    Included on roster of mediators
  • Legal Education Society of Alberta 2012 - present
    Member of Board of Directors
  • Canadian Bar Association 2014
    Panelist: How to Establish a Successful Litigation Practice, Alberta Law Conference
  • University of Calgary, Faculty of Law 2014
    Panelist: Candid Conversations with Men in Law Round Table Discussion
  • Mount Royal University Forensic Studies Program 1999 - 2013
    Ad hoc advisor (1999 - 2002), Community Advisory Board: member (2002 - 2006), Chairperson (2006 - 2013), and co-author of two Internet course units
  • ADR Institute of Canada/International Chamber of Commerce Canada Gold Standard in ADR conference (Toronto) 2013
    Panelist: Thinking Outside the Box to Realize ALL Potential Benefits of Commercial Arbitration
  • Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) 2012 Instructor: Advocacy
  • Legal Education Society of Alberta Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop 2009 and 2011
    Guest instructor
  • Halsbury's Laws of Canada First Edition 2011
    Co-author: Civil Procedure Update, Alberta Rules of Court, Cumulative Supplement Release 14, LexisNexis
  • Canadian Bar Association Alberta 2011
    Author: Law Matters: "Mandatory Mediation under the New Alberta Rules of Court - the First Year"
  • Legal Education Society of Alberta Civil Advocacy Series: Evidence for Litigators Seminar 2011
    Panelist and workshop instructor
  • ADR Institute of Canada Peak Performance in ADR Conference 2011
    Moderator: Financial Experts in ADR
  • Legal Education Society of Alberta Arbitration Seminar 2011
    Speaker
  • University of Calgary 2003 - 2010
    Sessional instructor, Faculty of Law, Civil Procedure
  • University of Calgary Intensive Trial Advocacy Course 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009
    Guest instructor
  • Legal Education Society of Alberta New Lawyer Experience Seminar 2009
    Co-chairperson
  • Howard Tidswell Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence (University of Calgary Faculty of Law) 2009
    Nominee
  • Certus Strategies and Canadian Dispute Resolution Corporation 1997 - 2004, 2006 - 2008
    Included on roster of mediators
  • Calgary Medical Legal Society 2008
    Speaker: Medical Care for the Gravely Ill - Who Calls the Shots?
  • CBC TV (The National News at Six) and CBC Radio (Calgary Eye-opener) 2007
    Interviewed about an injunction obtained in respect of a comatose patient
  • Cochrane High School 1989 and 2004
    Graduation ceremony guest speaker
  • Law Society of Alberta 2004
    Insurance Committee Member
  • Insight Information Co. Obstetric Malpractice and Risk Management Conference (Vancouver) 2004
    Speaker: Elective C-Sections - Latest Challenges and Complications
  • Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association Sexual Torts Workshop 2004
    Moderator
  • Resicare Society of Calgary 1994 - 2003
    Member of Board of Directors (including several terms as President)
  • Law Society of Alberta 2000 - 2003
    Conduct Committee member
  • Calgary Inc. Magazine 2003
    Profiled as one of its Top 40 under 40 Calgarians
  • Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association Section B Auto Insurance Workshop 2003
    Speaker
  • The Canadian Institute Litigating Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries Conference (Toronto) 2003
    Speaker: Building the Plaintiff's Case
  • University of Calgary 1997 - 2002
    Regular Guest Speaker: Faculties of Nursing and Continuing Education, Nursing and Healthcare in Forensic Populations
  • Canadian Institute Auto Insurance Claims Litigation Conference 2002
    Speaker: Use of Experts in Accident Reconstruction
  • University of Calgary 2002
    Guest Lecturer: Faculty of Law, Civil Procedure
  • Volunteer Calgary 1997 - 2000
    Regular Speaker: Legal Liability, Insurance and Screening Practices for Not-for-Profit Organizations
  • Essential Talk Network 2000
    Internet radio interview about suing politicians
  • University of Calgary 2000
    Guest lecturer: Faculty of Law, Remedies
  • Conflict Solutions 2000 Conference 2000
    Panelist: National Dispute Resolution Conference
  • Theatre Junction 1996 - 1999
    Member of Board of Directors
  • Alberta Justice Provincial Court 1998 - 1999
    Included on roster of mediators, Civil Claims Mediation Program
  • Better Business Bureau 1996 - 1998
    Included on roster of mediators, Mediation Program
  • Lexpert Medical Negligence Conference 1998
    Speaker: Standard of Care, Consent and Limitation Period Issues
  • The Lawyers Weekly 1998
    Author: "Informed Consent Most Difficult Medical Negligence Issue", 1998
  • Canadian Bar Association Health Law Subsection 1998
    Speaker: Informed Consent

CURRENT PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIPS

  • ADR Canada
  • ADR Institute of Alberta
  • Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association
  • Calgary Bar Association
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Law Society of Alberta

July 2014

Please contact Sabri M. Shawa QC, FCIArb at shawas [at] jssbarristers [dot] ca if you are interested in receiving a copy of any of the following:
  • Canadian Bar Association 2014
    Panelist: How to Establish a Successful Litigation Practice, Alberta Law Conference
  • University of Calgary 2014
    Panelist: Candid Conversations with Men in Law Round Table Discussion
  • ADR Institute of Canada/International Chamber of Commerce Canada Gold Standard in ADR conference (Toronto) 2013
    Panelist: Thinking Outside the Box to Realize ALL Potential Benefits of Commercial Arbitration
  • Mount Royal University Forensic Studies Program 1999 - 2013
    Ad hoc advisor (1999 - 2002), Community Advisory Board: member (2002 - 2006), Chairperson (2006 - 2013), and co-author of two Internet course units
  • Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) 2012
    Instructor: Advocacy
  • Halsbury's Laws of Canada First Edition 2011
    Co-author: Civil Procedure Update, Alberta Rules of Court, Cumulative Supplement Release 14, LexisNexis
  • Canadian Bar Association Alberta 2011
    Author: Law Matters: "Mandatory Mediation under the New Alberta Rules of Court - the First Year"
  • Legal Education Society of Alberta Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop 2009, 2011
    Guest instructor
  • Legal Education Society of Alberta Civil Advocacy Series: Evidence for Litigators Seminar 2011
    Panelist and workshop instructor
  • ADR Institute of Canada Peak Performance in ADR Conference 2011
    Moderator: Financial Experts in ADR
  • Legal Education Society of Alberta Arbitration Seminar 2011
    Speaker
  • University of Calgary 2003 - 2010
    Sessional instructor, Faculty of Law, Civil Procedure
  • University of Calgary Intensive Trial Advocacy Course 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009
    Guest instructor
  • Legal Education Society of Alberta New Lawyer Experience Seminar 2009
    Co-chairperson
  • Calgary Medical Legal Society 2008
    Speaker: Medical Care for the Gravely Ill - Who Calls the Shots?
  • CBC TV (The National News at Six) and CBC Radio (Calgary Eyeopener) 2007
    Interviewed about an injunction obtained in respect of a comatose patient
  • Insight Information Co. Obstetric Malpractice and Risk Management Conference (Vancouver) 2004
    Speaker: Elective C-Sections - Latest Challenges and Complications
  • Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association Sexual Torts Workshop 2004
    Moderator
  • Cochrane High School 1989 and 2004
    Graduation ceremony guest speaker
  • Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association Section B Auto Insurance Workshop 2003
    Speaker
  • The Canadian Institute Litigating Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries Conference (Toronto) 2003
    Speaker: Building the Plaintiff's Case
  • University of Calgary 1997 - 2002
    Regular Guest Speaker: Faculties of Nursing and Continuing Education, Nursing and Healthcare in Forensic Populations
  • Canadian Institute Auto Insurance Claims Litigation Conference 2002
    Speaker: Use of Experts in Accident Reconstruction
  • University of Calgary 2002
    Guest Lecturer: Faculty of Law, Civil Procedure
  • Volunteer Calgary 1997 - 2000
    Regular Speaker: Legal Liability, Insurance and Screening Practices for Not-for-Profit Organizations
  • Essential Talk Network 2000
    Internet radio interview about suing politicians
  • University of Calgary 2000
    Guest lecturer: Faculty of Law, Remedies
  • Conflict Solutions 2000 Conference 2000
    Panelist: National Dispute Resolution Conference
  • Lexpert Medical Negligence Conference 1998
    Speaker: Standard of Care, Consent and Limitation Period Issues
  • Lawyers Weekly 1998
    Author: "Informed Consent Most Difficult Medical Negligence Issue", 1998
  • Canadian Bar Association Health Law Subsection 1998
    Speaker: Informed Consent

28 July 2014

I earned a Master of Laws degree with a major in Dispute Resolution from the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, in 2006. My course of study there included arbitration, international commercial dispute resolution, and international trade law.

In 2014, I became a Fellow (FCIArb) of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in London, an internationally-recognized dispute resolution organization. I am also a member of ADR Canada and the ADR Institute of Alberta. I am listed in Best Lawyers International for Alternative Dispute Resolution (arbitration and mediation) and as a Canadian Litigation Star by Benchmark Canada for Arbitration.

I have been retained as an arbitrator on several occasions with respect to a variety of matters including construction projects, franchise agreements, and general commercial disputes.

Over the nearly 25 years I have been practicing as a litigator in Calgary, I have been involved in dozens of arbitrations as counsel for a party. Those arbitrations were in respect of claims arising out of freight contracts, construction and project management agreements, construction deficiencies, contractors' negligence, and labour disputes, among other things.

I have, on many occasions, drafted arbitration clauses, as well as arbitration agreements. I have also provided advice and opinions on the application and enforceability of arbitration provisions.

In 2013, I spoke at the International Chamber of Commerce Canada Conference on Realizing Potential Benefits of Commercial Arbitration. In 2011, I spoke at the Legal Education Society of Alberta's Arbitration Seminar on the selection, appointment and jurisdiction of the arbitrator, scope and composition of the award, and enforcement of awards (domestic and international). Also, in 2011, I moderated a panel discussion on Financial Experts in ADR at the ADR Institute of Canada Peak Performance Conference.

When I was a member of the Conduct Committee of the Law Society of Alberta, I sat as a panel member in hearings reviewing the conduct of lawyers against whom complaints had been made. I have also acted as counsel to various tribunals to provide advice to hearing panel members in the course of proceedings.

I would be happy to speak with you about any potential appointment.

Background

  • Sabri is listed in Best Lawyers International for Alternative Dispute Resolution (arbitration and mediation).
  • In addition to an LLB, Mr. Shawa has a degree in chemical engineering and a Master of Laws degree, with a major in Dispute Resolution. He was the Managing Partner of the firm for a number of years, and is presently the firm's Chairman. He appears regularly before all levels of Court in Alberta, and at administrative and regulatory tribunals.
  • Mr. Shawa is a member of the ADR Institute of Alberta and he has extensive experience acting as a mediator and arbitrator.
  • He taught Civil Procedure at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law from 2003 to 2010.
  • His engineering background stands him in good stead in technical disputes.

Mr. Shawa's litigation experience spans the following areas:

  • Construction/Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Commercial, including shareholders/directors/ fiduciary obligations
  • Insurance
  • Employment/dismissal/competition and confidential information
  • Environmental and pollution
  • Municipal and Local Government
  • Estate and Trust
  • Fatality and serious personal injury
  • Professional negligence and discipline
  • Phone: 403-571-1520
  • Fax: 403-571-1528
  • inquiries [at] jssbarristers [dot] ca
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