University of Alberta, LL.B.
University of Alberta, BA (honours)
Darel practices widely in the area of significant commercial litigation and dispute resolution. He combines his love of the law with a pragmatic and creative approach to problem solving.
While Darel prefers to keep a low profile, he is sometimes referred to as a “lawyer’s lawyer.” He has been retained to give evidence before foreign courts as an expert on Alberta substantive law and practice. He has successfully represented Canada’s largest oil and gas company at the Supreme Court of Canada. He was recently chosen to prepare the written argument for 27 defendants, represented by 10 different Calgary law firms, in a common issue trial which consolidated 25 separate actions.
Darel joined JSS Barristers as counsel in 2020.
For almost 40 years Darel has represented his clients in the Supreme Court of Canada; the Federal Court of Canada; all Alberta Courts; and various regulatory boards, commissions and tribunals.
Darel has a diverse clientele and regularly acts for oil and gas companies and small business owners. That said, his practice is characterized more by his being retained to apply his legal skills and practical analysis in a wide variety of complex and challenging situations.
Some of his cases involve:
- Business and share valuation (including a shopping centre, a vineyard in California, and several restaurants and retail stores)
- Commercial agreements of all sorts
- Constitutional law
- Construction disputes
- Corporate divorce (including disputes between partners or shareholders, and the oppression remedy)
- Corporate transactions, corporate finance, and corporate governance
- Energy cases (including the ownership, transportation and marketing of oil, gas, electricity, coal, and coalbed methane)
- Environmental issues (including Alberta’s largest pipeline spill and the remediation of a large refinery site)
- Freedom of information and the protection of privacy
- Indian land claims
- Intellectual property
- Insurance (including business interruption and fire loss)
- Land titles and real property, and appraisal
- Will and estates (including estate freezes and family trusts).
After graduating from law school, Darel clerked for the Alberta Court of Appeal. He then joined a leading Calgary litigation firm (Fenerty, Robertson, Fraser & Hatch, now Dentons Canada LLP), and practiced there as a student, associate, and partner. Then, after a brief hiatus to sample life as a stockbroker, he joined Blake, Cassels and Graydon LLP, a marquis Canadian-based international law firm, as counsel.
Prior to attending law school, Darel managed a cattle ranch near Stavely, Alberta.
Publications and Presentations
Darel has presented papers and participated in seminars on a variety of subjects related to substantive law (such as fiduciary duties and arbitration clauses), advocacy, negotiation, legal research and alternative dispute resolution.