Partner Dan Peskett, who heads up Brownlee’s commercial litigation department, cares passionately about each client’s file.
“We will take the time to understand their case, and at an early stage we’ll come up with a game plan with the client to achieve the result they want,” says Dan, whose practice area is commercial litigation, covering a broad range of non-personal injury law.
With more than 20 years of experience as a litigator, Dan has appeared in the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeal, as well as in mediations and arbitrations. He handles everything from contract disputes, construction issues and security enforcement, to insolvency and restructuring, shareholder disputes, lease disputes and product liability claims.
“I feel the firm has a really good team approach, such that we can fully serve all clients. We ensure the right lawyers with the right experience are assisting clients with their issues. We do a very good job of servicing a broad client base in this community, providing high quality service at reasonable rates,” he says.
Born in Edmonton and raised in the Edmonton area, Dan graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1988 and a law degree (LL.B.) in 1992. He was called to the bar in 1993, and has been with Brownlee from the time he was an articling student.
Dan chose law as a career because he enjoys the analysis, strategy and problem solving skills that are required to resolve his clients’ issues. “I like the strategic aspect of that process,” he explains. “I have a righteous element to me, and I want to ensure that my clients’ rights are not violated. Having a law degree is a very powerful tool to assist people in our society. I advance my clients’ commercial interests in a manner consistent with what they are entitled to under the law.”
What motivates him daily, is helping his clients. “When you’re in a profession, you have a certain ethical responsibility to the people who are relying on you to assist them,” he explains. “It’s a trusting, fiduciary-type relationship, and you want to make sure you do everything in your power to return the faith that someone puts in you.”
Dan thinks a good lawyer needs to have a caring personality, “especially in litigation. You’ve got to care about their situation and be prepared to listen to them.” Other characteristics of any good lawyer, he adds, are discipline and focus.
For first year associates or law students, Dan emphasizes that the first three to four years in a law career will be critical to their development. “It’s hard work to be a good lawyer, so you’ve got to be disciplined and, like the Nike slogan, just do it – put the time in to understand the issues, do the research and make the critical analysis,” he says.
“If you do the hard work in the first few years, all of a sudden it gets much easier, and you become much more efficient.”
Looking ahead, Dan sees Brownlee continuing to provide its clients with a high level of service at reasonable rates. And the firm’s commercial litigation department will continue to develop and mentor young lawyers, so they can eventually take on a leadership role in the firm and continue to help clients.
Dan is chairman of the board of Kids Kottage Crisis Nursery, a charitable organization that offers emergency respite to families in crisis.
Along with other Brownlee lawyers, Dan also volunteers at the Edmonton Community Legal Centre, which provides pro bono legal advice to low to moderate income people in the Edmonton area.
- Member, Canadian Bar Association
- Member Creditors Rights and Construction Subsections
- Edmonton Community Legal Centre Volunteer