History of John Edward Brownlee & Brownlee LLP

Brownlee LLP’s founder, John Edward Brownlee, Q.C., LL.D., studied law at the University of Toronto. He commenced his articles in Calgary in 1909 and from the time of his call to the Alberta Bar built a successful law practice. He served as Attorney General for the Province of Alberta from 1921 to 1925 and as Premier from 1925 to 1934. Undoubtedly Mr. Brownlee’s most significant achievement as Premier was negotiating the transfer of ownership of natural resources from federal to provincial ownership. After leaving public life in 1935, Mr. Brownlee re-established his law practice in Edmonton. Mr. Brownlee’s strong work ethic, dedication to community and public service, and commitment to legal writing and speaking are part of the present firm’s tradition.

While in office as Premier, Mr. Brownlee had the vision, as well as the considerable determination, to seek out, negotiate and secure the transfer of ownership of natural resources from the government of Canada to the Province of Alberta. This important event has resulted in the level of prosperity Albertans enjoy, and today and will share with generations to come.

Whether performing his roles and responsibilities as Attorney General, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, Premier of Alberta, President and General Manager of the United Grain Growers of Alberta, or the head of the law firm he built, John E. Brownlee was and remained a student of the law and a dedicated representative and voice for others. This dedication to protecting the rights and interests of those he represented has shaped Brownlee LLP as much as it has shaped the Province of Alberta as we now know it. Just as John E. Brownlee’s passion and innovation eventually expanded beyond the boundaries of Alberta, so too has the passion, innovation and impact of Brownlee LLP continued to expand. Today, our lawyers traverse Western Canada including the Territories on a daily basis, carrying on the traditions and building upon the innovations of John E. Brownlee.

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