June 21st, 2024

Local lawyers receive Queen’s Counsel designation

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on April 19, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

Three lawyers from Lethbridge and one from Blairmore have received the Queen’s Counsel designation for their high standard of service to Albertans and the legal community.
Valerie Jo Danielson of Ratzlaff Danielson Law Office in Blairmore has been awarded the title of Queen’s counsel, along with Lethbridge recipients Deirdre Margaret McKenna of Davidson & Williams LLP, Wayne Charles Petersen of North & Company Law Office, and Kurt Edward Schlachter of Stringam LLP.
The four recipients are among 144 lawyers to receive the distinction and whose names were announced earlier this month in an Alberta government news release.
“The appointees receiving the Queen’s counsel designation this year help set the standard for service to Albertans through our justice system,” Tyler Shandro, minister of justice and solicitor general, said in the release. “Their hard work is vital to providing essential legal services that make a difference in the lives of so many in our province, and it is a pleasure to grant them this well-deserved honour.”
The history of the Queen’s counsel designation traces its origins to the Elizabethan era in England, with Upper Canada admitting its first appointees in 1841. Appointees must have been called to the bar for at least 10 years and demonstrate exceptional competence, professionalism and integrity while contributing to the administration of justice in Alberta.
In Alberta, candidates are screened by a committee of judicial officials, legal representatives and representatives of the minister of justice and solicitor general and his department. Appointment recommendations are then submitted to the minister for consideration.
In accordance with the Queen’s Counsel Act, the minister has discretion to identify additional names for appointment, which has happened historically and again this year. The final list is then submitted to cabinet for consideration and approval. Recipients for 2022 include both public and private sector lawyers who have practiced in communities across the province.

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