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Partner David Pick, of Brownlee’s Calgary office, is an insurance lawyer representing specialty and property and casualty (P&C) insurers in both the domestic and international markets. His practice area mainly focuses on construction defects, professional liability, bad faith advice, errors and omissions (E&O), cyber claims and first party coverage disputes.
David also has an employment law practice, acting for municipalities as a member of Brownlee’s municipal practice group. He represents the firm’s municipal clients in employment matters – including collective bargaining sessions, grievance arbitrations and judicial review applications.
Additionally, he conducts presentations on insurance-related topics – such as cyber liability, as one example – for insurance companies, risk managers and professional associations.
David, who has been practising insurance law from the time he started his career, brings considerable experience in court to his practice. “My goal is to effectively market myself as the go-to trial lawyer for insurance defense claims,” he says. “If you’ve got a file that needs to go to trial, I want to be the guy you think of.”
“I have a binder full of 24 years of written decisions that I take great pride in,” he says. “I’ve been in the Court of Appeal. I’ve had victories – I call them my palmares (a road cycling term, used to describe a significant record of achievement). If you’ve got a matter that really needs to go to trial and you’re not willing to settle or resolve it short of a trial, then you want a lawyer who’s got trial experience. I will take your case to court. I’ve had the experience of over 20 trials behind me – I know my way around a courtroom.”
Born and raised in Calgary, David earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics and history (Honours) in 1989, and a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B.) in 1992, both from Queen’s University. He was called to the bar in 1993 and two years later joined Brownlee, where he has spent most of his career.
David went to law school to be a trial lawyer. His passion is litigation: cross examining witnesses on the stand and engaging in legal discourse. “That’s what gets me up in the morning,” he says.
What makes a good lawyer?
“In one word, preparation,” David says. “It’s a lot of hard work, and the devil is in the details.”
His advice to first year associates and law students is to be aware of the considerable preparation and time that a law career requires. “Don’t go into the legal profession half-hearted – otherwise you may have a job, but you won’t have a career,” he says. “This is not a lifestyle career. There are a lot of sacrifices in order to make a good career for yourself, and to be a successful lawyer you’ve got to be prepared to give up a lot.”
Looking forward, David sees Brownlee expanding its presence in Calgary to the same extent that it’s reached in Edmonton, with the firm growing its Calgary office by another five legal team members to reach approximately 20 lawyers by 2021. And he wants Brownlee to continue developing the lawyers it already has, “making this a fertile environment for young people to succeed in the profession.”
In terms of his own career goals, David’s objective is to do more trials. “My goal is to effectively market myself as the go-to trial lawyer for insurance defense claims,” he says. “If you’ve got a file that needs to go to trial, I want to be the guy you think of.” David has also served as a guest instructor and judge for the University of Calgary Law School Trial Advocacy program in 2019.
Outside of his family life, David’s passion is road biking. He travels to Europe each year to cycle, and has ridden in the great mountain ranges of France, Spain and Italy, in the Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites.
- Insurance Defence including Bad Faith Claims
- Environmental Liability
- Construction Defects and Professional Liability
- Secondary Area of Employment Law from a Management Side
- Canadian Bar Association
- Calgary Bar Association
- PLUS Canada
Seemed like a good idea at the time if I wanted to be The Prime Minister.