2020 Women in Law Speaker Series

2020 Women In Law Speaker Series; Jan 16 - Feb 11; Register Now; UAlberta Law

The 2020 Women In Law Speaker Series begins January 16 with the first of five speaking engagements from professionals within the legal community. This series is restricted to UAlberta Law students. Space is limited to 20 participants per session. Please ensure you can stay for the entirety of the session before registering. Lunch will be provided.


Adrienne Roy

Adrienne Roy is a knowledge management lawyer at Bennett Jones in the Calgary office, supporting the firm's corporate practice groups. As part of the Knowledge Management team, she is responsible for preparing and maintaining the firm's model corporate precedents, collecting and sharing best practices, the firm's adoption of legal technology and innovation tools, and facilitating legal project management within the firm. Prior to her current role, Adrienne was a corporate associate at Bennett Jones and maintained a corporate commercial law practice.

Angela Avery

Angela Avery is general counsel and vice-president of business development for Athabasca Oil Corporation, where she leads a team of business development, commercial, legal, human resources and land professionals. With 25 years' experience in progressively senior leadership roles in the energy industry, Angela has significant transactional, projects, operations and compliance experience. Her notable achievements include a $25 billion deal resume; a posting as a chief compliance officer for the world's largest independent E&P in Houston, Texas; regulatory lead for the Keystone Pipeline; and an appointment to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland to litigate war reparation claims. She has served on the boards of the Canadian Energy Law Foundation and Arts Commons, and currently serves on the boards of the Calgary YMCA and Zoological Society. She is called to the bar in Alberta and New York.

Martine Boucher

Martin Boucher is the managing partner and co-founder of Simplex Legal, an in-house boutique law firm with strong expertise in financial services. Simplex Legal has created a new model for client/lawyer interactions to reduce client fees. Martin holds a member of the bar in both Quebec and Alberta. She has extensive experience with both a national law firm and in-house with the likes of General Electric and the CBC. She concentrates in Natural Resources, Financing, Aircraft, Construction and Transportation Law.

Chantel Cabaj

Chantel is the partner and Governance Advisor with National Growth Partners, and the president and founder of DirectHer Network. At National Growth Partners, Chantel helps organizations in both the for-profit and not-for-profit spaces maximize the value and potential of their boards and board processes. Chantel's approach is unique and is derived from a career in law, policy and governance. Known as an approachable community-builder, Chantel has a strong ability to break down complex technical and interpersonal issues into user-friendly digestible content. DirectHer Network is a women-led not-for-profit which seeks to empower women with the knowledge and confidence needed to serve as board directors. DirectHer presents interested groups of women with accessible information related to board basics. The presentations are taught by women with varying levels of board experience and from a variety of different industries.

Samantha Kernahan

Samantha Kernahan is an Intellectual Property and Corporate/Commercial lawyer at the Edmonton office of DLA Piper (Canada) LLP, where she assists a wide range of clients with protection and commercialization of both traditional and IP-based assets. Samantha has served as in-house counsel at two post-secondary institutions in Alberta, where her mandates included governance and decision-making with respect to traditional and IP assets, policy drafting, public procurement and management of material agreements with vendors. Samantha has leveraged that experience in her current private practice to serve her clients' legal and commercial interests.

Wendy Moody

Wendy Moody is a partner at Dentons Edmonton and a member of Dentons' Litigation and Dispute Resolution team. She practices in the area of litigation with a specific focus on insurance litigation. Her practice includes motor vehicle claims, subrogation recovery, occupiers' liability claims, and life and disability matters. Wendy also has experience in commercial matters. She has appeared before the Court of Queen's Bench and Provincial Court of Alberta. Wendy has also effectively resolved many cases through private mediation.

Chrysten Perry

Chrysten Perry is the managing partner of Stikeman Elliott's Calgary office and co-chair of the National Energy Group. She has extensive experience in the oil and gas industry, including the development of upstream, midstream and LNG projects; mergers and acquisitions matters; transportation and storage arrangements; as well as the development of novel joint venture, partnership and other ownership structures to facilitate energy investment. Chrysten regularly advises on the increasingly complex regulatory regimes governing the energy industry in Western Canada. She is a past director of the Canadian Energy Law Foundation and the Canadian Institute of Resources Law.

Kyla Sandwith

Kyla Sandwith is the founder of De Novo Inc., a legal operations consulting firm.She works with lawyers, law firms, and corporate counsel to reimagine how they work and deliver legal services. With a keen focus on process efficiency, technology and value, Kyla helps legal organizations achieve greater profitability, client service and professional satisfaction. Kyla also teaches Leadership for Lawyers at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law. Her aim is to help equip a new generation of lawyers to meet the challenges of the evolving legal landscape.

Sukhi Sidhu

Sukhi Sidhu is the acting regional director and general counsel in the Regulatory and Public Safety section in the Department of Justice. Along with managing legal files, Sukhi chairs the Edmonton articling program, is functional lead of paralegals in the Prairies, and champion of the regional Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign. Sukhi graduated from the University of Alberta with an LLB in 2002 and took on a career in public service. She articled at the Department of Justice and has worked as legal counsel on complex Aboriginal Law cases since 2003. In 2015, she took on the role of deputy regional director and senior counsel of the Aboriginal Law Section. Sukhi is a volunteer with the Law Society of Alberta and a learning group facilitator and evaluator with CPLED.

Fiona Sutherland General Counsel, Acuren

As general counsel at a privately owned industrial contractor, Ms. Sutherland is responsible to oversee all aspects of risk management, corporate governance, contract and litigation management, insurance and internal legal support for all business units. Together with her legal team, she is a dedicated business partner to her clients, focused on helping the corporation achieve best-in-class results. Prior to being at Acuren, Ms. Sutherland held a number of positions in the legal department and in supply chain management at Enbridge Inc. Ms. Sutherland practised litigation and Construction Law at Miller Thomson LLP and prior to becoming a lawyer was part of the procurement team at Imperial Oil Ltd. A native Calgarian, she now calls Edmonton home and balances a demanding legal career with raising her three amazing children.

Carla Swansburg

Carla leads the Canadian business and operations for Epiq, a global provider of managed legal services, eDiscovery, business process outsourcing, claims management services and other support to law firms and businesses through its 80 offices worldwide. Carla previously served as the chief innovation officer for Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. Prior to that,

she was a litigator, first in private practice and then as senior counsel at one of Canada's largest banks. She is a past-president of the Association of Corporate Counsel's Ontario Chapter. Carla's experience includes leading initiatives relating to legal technology, project management and process improvement, and the investigation and implementation of emerging legal technologies in practice.

Desiree Tan

Desiree Tan is a managing lawyer with Nova Scotia Legal Aid, a new role she is starting in mid-February. She will manage the Criminal Law and Appeals Office in Halifax. Originally from Winnipeg, she obtained her law degree from the University of Manitoba in 2011. She was called to the Manitoba bar in 2012, the Alberta bar in 2013 and will be called to the Nova Scotia bar in February 2020. She spent the first part of her career in private practice with a boutique criminal law firm, practicing adult and youth Criminal Defence, as well as Immigration Law. She joined Legal Aid Alberta's Youth Office in 2013 where she practised exclusively in youth law in both Edmonton and Calgary and has successfully argued cases up to the Supreme Court of Canada. At Legal Aid Alberta, she was promoted to team lead of the Calgary Criminal Office in December 2018. In that role, she led the operations of the youth unit and managed a mixed team of lawyers who practised in Adult Criminal, Youth Criminal, Family and Immigration Law. In Halifax, she will continue practicing Criminal Law. She is passionate about Human Rights, Constitutional and Criminal Law, as well as advocating for vulnerable people who have difficulty navigating the legal system.

Dale Wispinski

Dale is the CEO and chief appeals commissioner of the Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers' Compensation. After several years as an associate at Miller Thomson LLP, she joined the Commission as legal counsel in 2012. In 2014, she became the Commission's general counsel, and in 2018, she was appointed as its chief appeals commissioner and CEO - the first woman to hold the role in the organization's 30-year history. Dale is the proud co-founder of the C-Retreat (formerly the Confidence Retreat), an annual event that brings together professional women from across Alberta to have focused conversations about their ambitions and careers. She was the recipient of the 2019 Women in Law Leadership Award for Leadership in the Profession (Government) and was named one of Avenue Magazine's Edmonton 2019 Top 40 Under 40.