Partner Lorne Randa, Brownlee’s practice group leader for access to information and privacy, is doing the kind of law he has a great interest in.
“It’s part of the roots of democracy, and the accountability and transparency of government,” he says. “I feel that we’re making a difference to these communities, helping them get through their legal issues, and protecting their interests.”
Working with clients in both Alberta and Saskatchewan, Lorne assists public bodies, including municipalities, school boards, and health organizations, on access to information and protection of privacy matters under both Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP Act) and Saskatchewan’s Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (LAFOIP Act). He also works with companies and other organizations on privacy-related issues under Alberta’ Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
Municipal law is another one of his major practice areas, with a focus on planning and development issues. This includes development agreements, offsite levies, cost contributions and other infrastructure cost recovery mechanisms, subdivision approvals, and development permits.
Lorne also works in health information, and assists another partner in expropriation matters. Additionally, he has worked with clients in the utilities and telecommunications fields.
Lorne thinks the team approach at Brownlee provides an additional value-added service to its clients.
“You are getting somebody who has experience in a particular area of law, which is very beneficial to any given client,” he says.
With Brownlee’s team-based approach, “clients will be getting the lawyer with the most suitable background and skill set to do the work, somebody who is very familiar with that particular area of law – and that provides efficiency for the client and a good quality product at the end of the day.”
The second strength of Brownlee’s team approach, he adds, is an internal benefit to the firm: “We get to practice in the area of law we enjoy, so it helps feed our passions and our interests. We are passionate about the type of law we do, and we really care about helping out all of our clients.”
Born and raised in Edmonton, Lorne attended the University of Alberta, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2000, majoring in political science and minoring in economics and philosophy; and a law degree (LL.B.) in 2005, earning both degrees with distinction. He was called to the bar in Alberta (2006) and Saskatchewan (2016).
During law school, Lorne was a summer student at Brownlee; he articled at Brownlee, and has been with the firm ever since. “I’m a lifer,” he says with a smile.
Even before law school, Lorne had a background in municipal government and law. After his first degree, he worked for the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues, and in Ottawa, he worked on the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Urban Issues.
His advice to a first year associate or law student: “Find what interests you. Law is more than just a job, and you’ve got to find that area that really speaks to you and just go for it.”
Looking forward, Lorne sees Brownlee continuing to strengthen both its experience and its strong relationships with clients, with opportunities for growth throughout western Canada and the territories.
“With the lawyers and junior associates that we have, and the articling students coming up, we will continue to develop our bench strength as we continue building our team.”
In his own career, Lorne wants to continue playing a key role in the firm’s partnership, in particular on Brownlee’s municipal team. “I’m very fortunate that I’m here, and I hope to finish my career here,” he says.
Lorne is married with two boys. He is a former Scout Leader, former soccer coach with the St Albert Soccer Association, and former head coach and past president of the North Edmonton Minor Football Association.
- Municipal Law (planning and development, development agreements, offsite levies, expropriations, and other infrastructure and utility cost recovery mechanisms)
- Privacy and Access to Information Law
- Contract Law and Administrative Law
- Canadian Bar Association (CBA)
- Chair of the Privacy and Access Law Section (CBA Northern Alberta)
- Member of the Municipal Law Section (CBA Northern Alberta)
- Chair of the National Privacy and Access Law Section (CBA)
- Former Editor-in-Chief of the Alberta Law Review
- Past- Senator of the University of Alberta Former President
- Director and Coach with the North Edmonton Minor Football Association
- Former Vice President of the Capital District Minor Football Association
- Former Soccer Coach with St. Albert Soccer Association
- Former Scout (Cub) leader with 2nd St. Albert Scouts
Law and government were an interest of mine since elementary school. I recall watching election debates and Parliamentary debates on laws as a young child with my Dad, always wondering about the importance and significance of what these debates meant for Canadians Then in grade 9 being given an assignment to write about what a career or job that I wanted and what I needed to do to get there. My answer was a lawyer. In pursuing these interests, I studied political science, economics and philosophy in my undergrad, then had the opportunity to work in jobs involving municipal government and Parliament. After this, I continued onto to Law School – just as I had researched in school.