Partner Angela Kos is a litigator whose practice focuses on insurance defence, including product liability, defence, construction, coverage disputes, fire, occupier’s liability and personal injury.
She also has experience with various forms of alternative dispute resolution, including mediations and judicial dispute resolutions.
“We approach files as unique,” Angela says. “With our background knowledge, we’re looking for different ways of handling a file to get it to completion. Our goal is not to approach every file with the same strategy, but to approach each file as unique.”
Born and raised in Edmonton, Angela graduated from the University of Alberta in 2005 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, and a Bachelor of Laws in 2008, earning both degrees with distinction. She articled at Brownlee in 2008, and was called to the bar in 2009.
Angela became a lawyer because she enjoys and is challenged by the approach to problem solving that the legal profession requires. She chose her particular area of law because she appreciates the wide variety of files that it allows her to work on.
“In an insurance practice, you learn about various industries, practices, systems, processes. You have to understand the background to the claim before applying the law,” she says. “It’s very fact-specific. There is not always one answer to any question, and not every file is going to be exactly the same. You could have a very similar set of circumstances on two files, and if just one fact is different, it could result in a completely different outcome.”
Angela enjoys litigation because of the human element that it involves.
“While there is a lot of paper, it’s not ‘just’ paper,” she notes. “There is a person behind all of this. It’s somebody’s business that you are dealing with, or a personal loss that has been suffered.”
Angela believes that a good lawyer is forthright, sees both sides to every situation, and is objective and open with clients in appreciating both strengths and weaknesses. She is motivated daily by a desire to produce good work, continuously improve, and to learn something new.
For first year associates or law students, she recommends taking nothing for granted.
“When you’re practising, you have to be very confident in what you know. At the same time, you also have to realize there is a lot that you don’t know.
It’s a balance between being confident, and being conscious of how the differences in files, the application of new case law and areas of the law you may not be familiar with will impact how you handle a file.”
For clients, Brownlee’s team approach offers a diversity of strengths, Angela says.
“Our lawyers have developed strong, diverse practices. When a new file comes in, chances are, the handling lawyer will have the benefit of another’s experience to assist in developing their strategy,” she explains. “It means you’re not hiring one lawyer – you’re hiring a team of lawyers. You’re not just getting one person’s experience and background, you are getting everybody’s input.”
Looking ahead, Angela wants to continue growing within the firm. She would also like to help mentor the next generation of young lawyers by volunteering with the Alberta Law Society and University of Alberta Faculty of Law – “young lawyers need to have a practical perspective on what the practice of law is actually like,” she explains. “It’s not just all books and academics. There is more to being a lawyer than just knowing the law.”
Angela gives back to the community by volunteering with the Edmonton Community Legal Centre.
Primarily on insurance defence litigation including occupiers’ liability, municipal defence, motor vehicle collision, property damage, and professional liability claims.
- Edmonton Insurance Association, Member
- Edmonton Bar Association, Member
- CBA Civil Litigation, Member
- CBA Insurance, Executive
The process of finding an answer to a question has always been more interesting to me than the actual answer. Realizing it would allow me to learn about various paths of life, careers, processes, techniques and issues made it all the more interesting to me. It also helped that neither math nor science ever really stuck.