Joe Chivers brings a wide spectrum of experience as a litigation lawyer to his clients.
A partner in Brownlee’s litigation group, Joe’s practice areas include insurance defence, acting for insurance companies; and municipal liability defense, acting for municipalities. He also does immigration law.
“Solving problems is what I enjoy doing. With civil litigation, each file has its unique issues,” Joe says. “I find it challenging and rewarding to help my clients solve the problem they’re dealing with. It’s something I enjoy helping my clients through.”
Another strong distinguishing asset is Joe’s track record in dealing with mediations, both private and judicial. “I have a lot of experience working with a mediator or a judge to settle claims, and a track record of success in getting claims resolved favorably for my clients,” he says. In civil litigation, this is an important trait that clients should be looking for in a lawyer, he notes, “because most claims settle before going to trial – they either go to mediation or they’re negotiated between the lawyers privately.”
“On a personal level, I get along with almost everyone,” he adds.
Born in Edmonton, Joe grew up in St. Albert. He graduated from the University of Alberta in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminology and a law degree (LL.B) in 1998. He has been practising as a lawyer since 1999. He was called to the bar in Alberta (1999) and the Northwest Territories (2008).
Joe’s interest in a legal career was sparked early on, when he took a law class in high school; and while he was articling, he found that civil litigation intrigued him. “I enjoyed figuring out what was at the heart of a dispute – what were the facts, and when the facts weren’t lining up,” he recalls. “Figuring out exactly what happened, applying the law to what I thought had happened, and helping clients solve their problems – I enjoyed all of that.”
His advice for a first year associate or law student, is to learn as much as they can, early on. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There is a steep learning curve when you’re starting out, so don’t get discouraged – it does get easier over the years.”
Joe describes a good lawyer as a good listener and communicator, creative, curious, detail-oriented, analytical, and an out-of-the-box thinker.
When he joined Brownlee in 2000, it was “mainly because of the people,” he recalls. “I was looking for a large law firm. Brownlee was a good fit, both in terms of the kind of work they had, as well as the people.”
Brownlee’s team approach allows each person on the team to focus on what they need to do, Joe says. “Having the resources that are available to you and being able to focus on the most important aspects of a file are definitely the strengths of Brownlee’s team approach,” he explains.
Looking forward, Joe sees Brownlee expanding geographically to become more of a western Canadian firm, while continuing to serve its current clients.
In terms of his own career goals, Joe wants to become known as one of the top insurance lawyers in Alberta. He sees himself continuing to do the same type of work – “just becoming that much better, with more experience and knowledge,” he says. “It’s really striving to be the best lawyer I can be, always maintaining excellence in what I do. That’s what keeps me learning, moving forward, and it’s what keeps me motivated.”
Joe volunteers with the North Glenora Community League, and at the Edmonton Community Legal Centre, which provides free clinics for people who otherwise can’t afford legal help.
Joe and his wife have one son.
- Insurance Law
- Municipal Law
- Health Law
- Canadian Bar Association
- Blue Goose International
- Volunteer – Edmonton Community Legal Centre
- Active Member of the North Glenora Community League
I was always fascinated with the application of laws to complex facts as well as the ability to help people in need of legal assistance. I was initially interested in criminal law, but my interests expanded once began law school.