Doreen Saunderson - the firm's Managing Partner - is a Calgary-based trial and appellate lawyer focusing on insurance litigation, often involving difficult product liability claims and health care and other professional service disputes. Her clients are in the oil and gas sector as well as builders and construction companies and trades. My clients include material and equipment manufacturers and distributors as well as healthcare providers, accountants, architects and engineers throughout southern Alberta.
I have experience on both sides of the docket, which helps in building a litigation strategy in collaboration with a client, whether I'm defending or prosecuting a claim. I also know the insurance industry and appreciate the importance of strong, consistent client communication and listening, solid advocacy skills, friendliness, responsiveness, practical judgment, candor and accessibility.
Insurers seek Doreen's advice and representation for various types of personal, commercial and speciality lines insurance, coverage options and assessment of claims, including:
•Commercial General Liability
•Directors and officers liability and
•Professional liability policies
She handles defence of insureds, pursuit of subrogated claims, coverage opinions and acting for insurers in coverage actions. This work has included a wide variety of claims, including those relating to media defamation, occupiers liability, health care, professional errors and omissions, transportation, construction, environmental, pollution, fidelity and manufacturing or design defects. In addition, Doreen provides seminars to insurers relating to legal issues of interest to them. My energy experience is plant, pipeline and well-related and includes environmental claims following accidental releases.
In the health industry, Doreen has represented health care organizations, hospitals and their employees in negligence claims. She has also represented compensated sureties in construction matters and energy companies as well as service companies in commercial, tort and environmental litigation. In addition, she has represented municipalities, pursuing recovery on their behalf and defending claims against them. Doreen also acts for a variety of other clients on general litigation matters, including construction and related claims.
Doreen has appeared before all levels of Court in Alberta and before administrative tribunals. She has also assisted clients with various forms of alternate dispute resolution, including private mediation, judicial mediation and arbitration, including work on a major international arbitration.
Outside of Work
I hike, bike and cross-country and downhill ski. My husband and I sail together when we travel internationally, something that's relaxing and mentally engaging at the same time.
Reading? Novels - often historical - and an occasional biography.
Honours and Awards
Benchmark Canada Litigation Star Benchmark Canada 2014 - 2015
Martindale-Hubbell BV Distinguished Martindale-Hubbell 2013-2017
Best lawyers International Best Lawyers 2013 - 2017
Martindale-Hubbell BV Distinguished Martindale-Hubbell 2013
University of Alberta Law School Gold Medal
Peter Lougheed Scholarship
Volunteer / Pro Bono
Calgary Women's Centre Board of Directors
The YWCA of Calgary Board of Directors 1993-1997
Children's Legal and Educational Centre Board of Directors
Resource Centre Board of Directors
CFSIDS Board of Directors
MS Society of Alberta Member of the Board of Directors 2008-Present
The Back Door Board of Directors
Alberta Law Review Editor-in-Chief 1987-1988
•A local manufacturer of pipe used in the energy industry was facing a potentially costly claim because of an alleged defect and failure resulting in pollution and other damages. I was on a defence team opposing an energy company plaintiff, explained Doreen, working together on building the most effective and efficient strategy that reflected our common interests. We got to know our client and its business and IDed the areas where we needed experts. The claim - beginning as demand for $10-plus million - is ongoing.
• My clients were the insurer and insured following a motor vehicle accident where the plaintiff claimed damages for chronic injuries and future care and loss of future earnings. After a four-week trial, the court awarded damages in an amount that was less than our client's pre-trial offer. It's about doing better at trial than what you were prepared to settle for. I've never gone to trial and failed to best my pre-trial offer.
2014 - 2015 - Benchmark Canada Litigation Star
2013-2017 - Martindale-Hubbell BV Distinguished
2013 - 2017 - Best lawyers International