University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, LLM - major in dispute resolution


University of Alberta, LLB


University of Calgary, BSc - chemical engineering

ADR Institute of Alberta

ADR Institute of Canada

Calgary Bar Association

Canadian Bar Association

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Law Society of Alberta

Litigation Counsel of America

Western Canada Commercial Arbitration Society

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Canada Branch 2017 - present
Member of Branch Executive Committee

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Alberta Chapter 2017 - present
Chair of the Chapter Executive Committee

Legal Education Society of Alberta 2012 - present
Member of Board of Directors

Certus Strategies and Canadian Dispute Resolution Corporation 1997 – 2004, 2006 - 2008
Included on roster of mediators

Law Society of Alberta 2004
Insurance Committee Member

Resicare Society of Calgary 1994 - 2003
Member of Board of Directors (including several terms as President)

Law Society of Alberta 2000 – 2003
Conduct Committee member

Alberta Energy Regulator 2003 - present
Included on roster of mediators

Alberta Justice Provincial Court 1998 - 1999
Included on roster of mediators, Civil Claims Mediation Program

Better Business Bureau 1996 - 1998
Included on roster of mediators, Mediation Program

Ad hoc advisor (1999 – 2002), Community Advisory Board: member (2002 – 2006), Chairperson (2006 – 2013), and co-author of two Internet course units

Mount Royal University Forensic Studies Program 1999 - 2013

Guest Lecturer, Civil Procedure (Arbitration)

University of Calgary: Faculty of Law, 2018

Instructor, Advocacy

Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education, 2012

Guest Instructor, Advocacy

Legal Education Society of Alberta: Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop, 2009 & 2011

Sessional Instructor, Civil Procedure

University of Calgary: Faculty of Law, 2003 - 2010


Legal Education Society of Alberta: New Lawyer Experience Seminar (2009)

Guest Instructor, Trial Advocacy

University of Calgary: Faculty of Law - Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009

Regular Guest Speaker, Nursing and Healthcare in Forensic Populations

University of Calgary: Faculties of Nursing and Continuing Education, 1997 - 2002

Guest Lecturer, Civil Procedure

University of Calgary: Faculty of Law, 2002

Guest Lecturer, Remedies

University of Calgary: Faculty of Law, 2000

Theatre Junction 1996 - 1999
Member of Board of Directors

2014 - 2021

Best Lawyers
Alternative Dispute Resolution


Best Lawyers
Corporate and Commercial Litigation


Best Lawyers
Labour and Employment Law


Best Lawyers
Lawyer of the Year, Calgary
Alternative Dispute Resolution


2014 - 2020

Benchmark Litigation
Litigation Star


Queen's Counsel Recipient


University of Calgary, Faculty of Law
Howard Tidswell Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence (Nominee)


Avenue Magazine
Top 40 Under 40

Sabri M. Shawa QC, FCIArb

In the nearly three decades Sabri has practiced law in Calgary, he has represented and advised thousands of parties in matters before the courts, a wide variety of administrative and regulatory boards and tribunals, at arbitrations, and in mediations. He is also an arbitrator, mediator and negotiator.

In 2012, Sabri was appointed Queen’s Counsel.

In 2014, Sabri was admitted as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, an internationally recognized dispute resolution organization. Sabri is also on the executive board of the Canadian branch of the Institute and the chairperson of its Alberta chapter.

Sabri has long been listed by Best Lawyers and was named by it as Lawyer of the Year in Calgary for 2020 for Alternative Dispute Resolution. He is also listed as a Litigation Star by Benchmark Canada for arbitration and dispute resolution, among other things, and has been for many years.

Sabri is a member of the Western Canada Commercial Arbitration Society and a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.


Jensen Shawa Solomon Duguid Hawkes LLP 1995 – present:
Firm Chairman 2008 - 2014
Managing Partner 1997 - 2004
Founding Partner 1995

MacKimmie Matthews 1990 – 1995:
Articling Student and Associate, Litigation Department

Sabri’s current practice is comprised primarily of:

Arbitration, Mediation, and Negotiation
The broad scope of Sabri’s litigation practice over the years has allowed him to develop a good understanding of many businesses, industries, and endeavours. That familiarity, coupled with Sabri’s training in dispute resolution, equips him to serve as an independent arbitrator and mediator in a wide variety of disputes. As part of his relevant formal training Sabri has studied arbitration, international commercial dispute resolution, mediation, and international trade law.

Sabri has been appointed as arbitrator on dozens of occasions, in both administered and ad hoc arbitrations, including through the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, with respect to:

  • construction and engineering projects
  • natural resource ventures
  • shareholders, franchise, and partnership agreements
  • various other commercial contracts
  • insurance claims and coverage
  • lease renewal rates
  • employment and labour relations
  • umpire determinations under s. 519 of the Alberta Insurance Act

As counsel, Sabri has represented parties in many more arbitrations, concerning a wide variety of maters, both domestic and international, administered and ad hoc. He has appeared as counsel at the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce. Sabri also has experience drafting submission agreements and arbitration clauses, and has provided advice and opinions on enforceability of arbitration provisions, and appeals and enforcement of awards.

Sabri has been retained to mediate hundreds of disputes and represented parties in many others, including with respect to:

  • personal injury
  • insurance claims
  • shareholder and partner relationships
  • plant and facilities disasters
  • construction and project management
  • professional negligence
  • employment
  • medical malpractice

Sabri has also been hired to negotiate a variety of professional services agreements and related arrangements, including large agreements covering hundreds of individuals.

General Commercial Litigation as well as Administrative and Regulatory Proceedings with an emphasis on Engineering, Energy, and the Environment
Sabri is regularly retained to provide advice and representation in respect of claims (in both litigation and arbitration) and regulatory proceedings concerning:

  • engineering and design faults and failures
  • construction deficiencies and delays
  • oil and gas operating and royalty agreements, as well as ownership and rights issues
  • misappropriation of proprietary technology and data
  • environmental contamination, nuisance, and remediation and reclamation
  • electrical transmission and generation
  • pipelines
  • contractual disputes and negligence claims involving industrial parties
    insurance, including coverage

Employment and Business Relationships
As counsel in litigation, and as an advisor to employers and employees, Sabri provides representation in employment and professional matters, particularly with respect to executives, involving:

  • wrongful and constructive dismissals
  • employment issues in restructurings and succession planning
  • employee misfeasance and misconduct
  • breaches of confidentiality as well as non-competition and non-solicitation obligations
  • breaches of fiduciary duties
  • injunctions
  • professional negligence claims
  • professional misconduct and discipline proceedings
  • admission to professional associations

Sabri negotiates, drafts, and provides advice with respect to:

  • employment, executive compensation, and independent contractor agreements
  • services and partnership agreements
  • employment policies

In addition, Sabri investigates, reports, and advises, on complaints against directors, officers, and employees.

Other Experience
Sabri also has significant experience with:

  • administrative law
  • shareholders’ disputes
  • personal injury claims for both plaintiffs and defendants, including catastrophic injuries
  • medical malpractice claims for plaintiffs and defendants, and other health care related litigation and proceedings 


“Civil Procedure Update”

Halsbury’s Laws of Canada, First Edition 2011, Alberta Rules of Court, Cumulative Supplement Release 14, LexisNexis

“Mandatory Mediation Under the New Alberta Rules of Court”

Law Matters, Canadian Bar Association, 2011

“Informed Consent Most Difficult”

Lawyer’s Weekly: Medical Negligence Issue, 1998

Speaking Engagements

Arbitration Pitfalls & Misconceptions”, ADR Institute of Alberta Luncheon, 2019

Arbitration Pitfalls & Misconceptions”, Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association (Calgary and Edmonton), 2019

“Basics of Arbitration and Making the Most of Mediation”, Derer Lutz, No Longer Alternative Dispute Resolution Symposium, 2019


Limitation Periods of Arbitration, ADR Institute of Canada: ADR to the Rescue of Justice Conference, Montreal, QC, 2018

Limitation Periods of Arbitration, Canadian Bar Association: Calgary Branch - ADR Subsection, Calgary, AB, 2018

Arbitrating the Construction Dispute, York University, Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development: Certificate of Construction Law - Western Canada Edition, 2016

Arbitration, Canadian Bar Association: Calgary Branch - ADR Subsection, Calgary, AB, 2015

Mediations: Games People Play”, Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association: Litigation Potpourri, 2015

“Arbitration”, Central Bar Association, 2015

Evidence Law Refresher (the Rule of Browne v Dunne and Evidence Not Called: The Adverse Inference, Legal Education Society of Alberta, 2014

How to Establish a Successful Litigation Practice, Canadian Bar Association: Alberta Law Conference, 2014

Candid Conversations with Men in Law Round Table Discussion, University of Calgary, 2014

Thinking Outside the Box to Realize ALL Potential Benefits of Commercial Arbitration, ADR Institute of Canada/International Chamber of Commerce Canada Gold Standard in ADR Conference, Toronto, ON, 2013

Panelist and Workshop Instructor
Evidence for Litigators Seminar, Legal Education Society of Alberta: Advocacy Series, 2011

Financial Experts in ADR, ADR Institute of Canada: Peak Performance in ADR Conference, Vancouver, BC, 2011

“Selection, Appointment and Jurisdiction of the Arbitrator,” “Scope and Composition of the Award,” “Enforcement of Domestic and International Awards,” Legal Education Society of Alberta, Arbitration Seminar, 2011

Medical Care for the Gravely Ill - Who Calls the Shots?, Calgary Medical Legal Society, 2008

Interviewed about an injunction I obtained in respect of a comatose patient in respect of whom a do-not-resuscitate order had been made, The National at Six, CBC TV, 2007

Interviewed about an injunction I obtained in respect of a comatose patient in respect of whom a do-not-resuscitate order had been made, Calgary Eyeopener, CBC Radio, 2007

Elective C-Sections - Latest Challenges and Complications, Insight Information Co.: Obstetric Malpractice and Risk Management Conference, Vancouver, BC, 2004

Sexual Torts Panel, Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association: Sexual Torts Workshop, 2004

Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association: Section B Auto Insurance Workshop, 2003

Building the Plaintiff’s Case, The Canadian Institute: Litigating Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries Conference, Toronto, ON, 2003

Regular Guest Speaker
Nursing and Healthcare in Forensic Populations, University of Calgary: Faculties of Nursing and Continuing Education, Calgary, AB, 1997 - 2002

Use of Experts in Accident Reconstruction, Canadian Institute: Claims Litigation Conference, 2002

Regular Speaker
Legal Liability, Insurance and Screening Practices for Not-For-Profit Organizations, Volunteer Calgary, Calgary, AB, 1997 - 2000

National Dispute Resolution Conference: Conflict Solution, 2000

Standard of Care, Consent and Limitation Period Issues, Lexpert: Medical Negligence Conference, 1998

Informed Consent”, Canadian Bar Association: Health Law Subsection, 1998