Senior Legal Counsel

July 4 2019
Industries Legal
Categories Legal, Paralegal, In-house - Industry - Contract administrator, Civil law, Litigation
Calgary, AB


SGI CANADA is the trade name of the property and casualty insurance division of Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI). SGI operates as SGI CANADA outside Saskatchewan, in five different provinces, including British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario, and also as Coachman Insurance Company in Ontario.

This role will work out of the Calgary, Alberta office.

SGI's Key Goals

SGI's areas of focus are:

  1. SGI CANADA growth – Accelerate sustainable, profitable growth that protects the company's competitiveness and financial viability
  2. Customer centricity – Develop a deeper understanding of how to increase value for customers; strengthen ability to deliver that value
  3. Traffic safety – Prevent deaths, injuries and property damage caused by traffic collisions
  4. Operational excellence – Enhance foundational business structures and processes, and develop employees to optimize delivery of the strategic plan

We also recognize that, to be truly customer centric, we must first be employee centric. So, we're also working to ensure employees are engaged and have the tools, training and desire to achieve corporate goals. If you're thinking this position has a lot to do with those tools, you're right!

The Position

Responsible for providing legal opinions and conducts litigation for cases of moderate to extreme complexity for SGI and/or its regional operations at each level of the court in the applicable jurisdiction. This position offers an excellent opportunity to lead and grow the team in the Calgary office as well as maintain a great work-life balance. This position will be of interest to those with excellent interpersonal and communications skills looking for a challenging position in a fast-paced and self-motivated environment.

Key Accountabilities

Note: This section is not intended to be an exhaustive list of duties and responsibilities – other duties and responsibilities may be assigned.

1. Litigation

  • Develops and coordinates litigation strategies and timelines on litigation files, and also assists junior lawyers in regard thereto.
  • Assesses and adjusts internal reserves as necessary through until conclusion of litigation.
  • Meets with and advises clients, witnesses and expert witnesses (both internal and external) in relation to procedural and substantive aspects of their testimony at discovery, at the Appeal Commission or at trial.
  • Directs and conducts further investigations in order to obtain further evidence in support of the litigation.
  • Prepares pleadings (claims and defences as necessary).
  • Obtains, organizes and vets documents for legal production.
  • Attends court and conducts any necessary interim application required to facilitate orderly resolution of the litigation.
  • Conducts discovery and other court procedures in advancing and defending the corporation's or insured's legal position.
  • Conducts mediation, informal settlement negotiations and judicial settlement conferences and advises clients in relation to settlement issues.
  • Conducts and prepares all necessary court documents for trials on claims files.
  • Assists the legal team in coordinating and organizing legal precedents and provides a supervisory role with the paralegals in matters relating to recovery actions or Small Claims.
  • Conducts more complex litigation and more detailed litigation across a broader range of issues than either the Counsel or Associate Counsel classifications. (The file count typically exceeds 120 files.)
  • Concludes litigation files with a settlement authority of up to $200,000.                                       

2. Research/Opinions

  • Conducts in-depth legal research and prepares legal briefs on files and provides guidance and support in research methodology to junior lawyers.
  • Conducts general research at the request of General Counsel or Associate General Counsel on any matter tangential to the practice of law as it affects the business operations of the corporation.
  • Provides ad hoc oral and written legal advice to internal customers on an as needed basis independent of direction and supervision of the Associate General Counsel.
  • Coordinates and maintains both legal precedents and legal opinions prepared by the Legal department.
  • Analyses and interprets legislation, contracts and insurance policy wordings and business practices.

3. Corporate Matters

  • Assists the Associate General Counsel and General Counsel in the preparation, review and vetting of any contracts entered into between the corporation and its external clients.
  • Analyzes and reviews company agreements or proposed agreements focusing on the implications of moderately or complex legal issues.

4. Corporate Management and Leadership

  • Actively contributes to and supports a culture of a high performing workforce.
  • Participates in divisional succession plans, ensuring ongoing professional and career development and supports development in others.
  • Supports a culture of leadership and accountability to effectively deliver on strategic and corporate strategies.
  • Is actively committed to leadership development across the company, supporting team and workforce readiness through mentoring, training and developmental opportunities.
  • Enables the success of programs and policies that are in alignment with corporate, strategic and divisional strategies. 

Education, Experience and Knowledge

The ideal candidate will have a minimum of 7 years mid-level experience in the general practice of law with a focus on litigation. Must be a member in good standing of the Alberta Bar or a similar designation in another Canadian province. The incumbent of this position will also have the following skillset and experience:

  • Strong Knowledge of substantive and procedural laws.
  • Knowledge of the Insurance Act and related legislation and regulations in the applicable jurisdiction.
  • Knowledge of all acts in the applicable jurisdiction that directly or indirectly impact on the corporation's core business.
  • Strong file management skills
  • Knowledge of insurance claims litigation is an asset.
  • Knowledge of insurance practices and, in particular, the legal aspect which impact on the corporation's lines of business.
  • Ability to critically analyze moderately complex multi-dimensional litigation across a broad range of legal issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently in an effective and productive manner.
  • Proven written and verbal communication skills with the ability to understand, utilize and communicate very complicated, or highly technical legal concepts/ theories/practices and the ability to distill these complex concepts and present them in layman parlance.
  • Ability to coordinate, prepare and advocate moderately complex matters or legal principles.

Behavioral Requirements

  • Accountability – Enables Performance Across Teams/Business Units
  • Business Acumen – Formulates Departmental/Divisional Plans in Relation to Internal and External Environment
  • Change Agility – Defines Areas for Change and Follows through
  • Leadership – Leads the Department/Division

This role will appeal to an individual that is looking for an opportunity to continue the dynamic and challenging work that litigation has to offer while not worrying about the stress of billable hours and where work-life balance is encouraged. This individual will have a tremendous opportunity to work both independently and be an integral part of leading and growing the local team.

If you feel you have the de­monstrated background and are interested in learning more about this career opportunity, please forward you resume to **.*******@***.** or call 778.374.2133.           

We thank all interested applicants, however; only those selected to move forward will be contacted.

Apply now! network