About

As a publicly funded, non-profit organization, we provide affordable legal services in family law, domestic violence, child welfare, immigration, and youth and adult criminal defense.

We are Alberta-wide: Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Siksika Nation and Wetaskiwin.

Vision

An Alberta where everyone is able to understand and protect their legal rights.

Mission

We provide legal services and expertise to individuals and the legal community to support fairness in the justice system.

Governance

As a registered society incorporated under the provincial Societies Act, Legal Aid Alberta is an organization independent from government, but is accountable to the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General and to the Law Society of Alberta.

In 2018, a new tripartite governance agreement was signed with Legal Aid Alberta, the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, and the Law Society of Alberta.

Values

Our organization strives to always focus on what matters, to stay true to our values in everything we do. These values are the underpinning of our organization, reflecting on what is truly important to us and guide us in the decisions we make every day.

We Are One

We work together in a collaborative and supportive manner to deliver unwavering and innovative services to our clients as one unified organization.

We Are Protectors

We serve Albertans, often the most vulnerable of us, and work tirelessly to protect their rights and to ensure a fair process.

We Are Exceptional

We are experts at what we do and we continually strive for improvement.

We Are Independent

We operate and provide legal counsel free from outside involvement.

Executive Team

Our executive team is responsible for strategic and business planning and ensuring that LAA delivers crucial legal services to Albertans while operating within the Governance Agreement. They – along with all of LAA’s dedicated team members – strive to achieve our vision of an Alberta where everyone is able to understand and protect their legal rights.

Gianpaolo (John) Panusa

President and Chief Executive Officer

Reporting to the board of directors, John is responsible for the executive planning and coordination of the organization. He also represents the organization in dealing with Alberta Justice, the Law Society of Alberta, the federal government, other legal aid plans in Canada, the legal community, and the public.

Steve Burford

Vice President, Finance and Technology

Steve ensures our systems and infrastructure enable our front-line staff to deliver legal services to our clients. He oversees the facilities, purchasing, and finance departments. This includes preparing budgets, business plans, and sustainability plans for the board of directors and Legal Aid Alberta funders.

Lori Haughian

Vice President, Justice Services

Lori leads, directs, and oversees all client services functions. This includes client intake and assessment, appointing, client payments, and certificate and tariff administration. Lori also guides and oversees the day-to-day operations of the staff law offices and the corporate law and case management group.

Doug Ingersoll

General Counsel and Advisory Counsel Services

Doug oversees Legal Aid Alberta processes, training, and strategic initiatives to safeguard quality of services for clients. He also ensures that Legal Aid Alberta conducts business to the highest ethical standards, aligns with best practices, and eliminates or mitigates all legal, regulatory, and commercial risks.

Laurie Wang

Executive Director, People, Culture and Communications

Laurie oversees the communications, culture and human resources functions at Legal Aid Alberta. She is responsible for strategic oversight of LAA values, culture and brand—telling the LAA story, recruiting and retaining the best talent, and engaging teams and stakeholders.

Board of Directors

Legal Aid Alberta is governed and guided by a carefully chosen board of directors. The board makes decisions that are carried out by our executive and management teams.

Our board of directors consists of up to six Alberta lawyers and at least five public members with diverse backgrounds.

Ryan Callioux

Chair

Edmonton, Alberta
Director Since 2016
Membership Status: Chair

Called to the Alberta Bar in 2002, Callioux is an Edmonton-area lawyer who has dedicated his professional legal career to helping families and children. Practicing family law for the past 18 years, he is an experienced litigator on child welfare cases and has advised government on risk management initiatives to reduce domestic violence and enhance legal services to protect children. Callioux has been a member of the LAA Board since 2016.

Callioux Family Law and Mediation

Christine Hutchinson

Vice Chair

Calgary, Alberta
Director Since 2017
Membership Status: Vice Chair

Christine has been practicing law for 19 years. A member of the Lac La Ronge First Nation, she has always worked in access to justice, starting out as an Aboriginal court worker in her community. She later obtained a BA in Aboriginal Justice and Criminology and a JD. Christine has served on many boards and committees. She operates her own legal practice at Siksika and is currently working in energy regulation.

Catherine Braeuer

Board Member

Edmonton, Alberta
Director Since 2021
Membership Status: Board Member

Catherine Braeuer is a CPA, CA whose career has focused on finance, technology and corporate governance consulting for a variety of organizations including publicly funded healthcare, education, children’s aid and legal aid entities. She is currently leading the Global Financial Reporting Transformation Team for Finning International.

Owen Edmondson

Board Member

Edmonton, Alberta
Director Since 2017
Membership Status: Board Member

Owen Edmondson has a BSc and an MBA, as well as CPA, CGA designations. He built a 32-year career with the ATCO Group of Companies, holding senior executive positions in finance and regulation.

Nancy Peck

Board Member

Calgary, Alberta
Director Since 2016
Membership Status: Board Member

Nancy Peck is Chief Financial Officer of AltaCorp Capital Inc. She has over 25 years of financial experience with a formal accounting designation and has completed the Director’s Education Program with ICD.

Brad Pickering

Board Member

Edmonton, Alberta
Director Since 2021
Membership Status: Board Member

Brad Pickering is a retired Government of Alberta Deputy Minister, having served 17 years in various senior leadership roles as Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs, Chief Executive Officer of the Alberta Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Agency, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation, Deputy Solicitor General/Deputy Minister Public Security, and Deputy Minister of Sustainable Resource Development. Prior to joining the Government of Alberta Brad spent 20 years in the municipal government sector.

Hilary Rose

Board Member

Edmonton, Alberta
Director Since 2016
Membership Status: Board Member

Hilary Rose has served as treasurer and finance committee chair for not-for-profit boards and advisory committees, including the Edmonton Opera, Friends of Rutherford House, sporting organizations, and University of Alberta’s Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology (WISEST).

Deanna Steblyk, QC

Board Member

Calgary, Alberta
Director Since 2015
Membership Status: Board Member

Deanna Steblyk attended the University of Alberta law school and joined the Alberta Bar in 1999. She practiced civil litigation for 10 years and has practiced at the Alberta Securities Commission since 2008. She is Senior Special Counsel to the Vice-Chairs of the Commission.

Kent Teskey, QC

Board Member

Edmonton, Alberta
Director Since 2021
Membership Status: Board Member

Kent Teskey, QC is a criminal lawyer at the firm of Pringle Chivers Sparks Teskey, practicing across Western Canada at both the trial and appellate level. He is a past-president of the Law Society of Alberta.

Michael Waite

Board Member

Calgary, Alberta
Director Since 2018
Membership Status: Board Member

Michael Waite joined the Alberta Bar in 1999. He practices health law, employment law, estate litigation, and general commercial/civil litigation. He also has experience in family law and criminal law with Calbert Waite.

News

Media releases and stories that showcase our positive impact.

Featured Cases

We work hard to navigate a complex justice system.

Community Partners

Knowledge-sharing is essential.

2020-21 By the Numbers

Active representation certificates

Brydges calls

Distinct representation clients

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