For Raymond (Ray) Purdy, Q.C. – Counsel, the practice of law has always been about thoroughness, hard work, and a results-oriented, client-first approach.
Born in Barrhead, Alberta, Ray was raised on a farm in the County of Lac Ste. Anne. Farm life did not lend itself to meeting many lawyers, but Ray was fortunate to be introduced to Brownlee through his father, who was a County Councillor. His father would speak about the highly regarded lawyer that the County retained, Alan M. Brownlee, and the firm that he then led, Brownlee Fryett. When Ray was attending law school, he continued to hear good things about Brownlee. The firm was known for its tradition of excellence and its leadership in several practice areas, especially municipal law.
Ray joined the firm as an articling student in 1980 after graduating that year.
“It was apparent that the firm had the respect of some of the most important municipal and rural organizations in the province,” Ray says.
Brownlee provided Ray with an excellent articling experience, from which his core values concerning the practice of law were formed. He learned that nothing replaces carefully listening to a client’s legal problems, along with hard work and focused preparation. Ray has continued this Brownlee tradition when mentoring students and associates.
“Be helpful to your contemporaries at the firm, let your word be your bond, never compromise your integrity for the purpose of “winning,” and keep a four-part balance in your life concerning the firm, the firm’s clients, your family and yourself,” he says.
Ray was called to the Alberta bar in 1981, joined the partnership of the firm in 1983 and was called to the Northwest Territories bar in 1998. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2000.
Ray provided legal services to a number of the firm’s client groups, including utilities, municipalities, insurers and health care professionals. His dedication to the practice of law, his steady hand, his hard work and his ability to relate to people rewarded him the respect of the firm and the firm’s clients. Ray was Brownlee’s Managing Partner for nearly a decade-and-a-half. Under his leadership as Managing Partner, the firm expanded substantially, established its Calgary office, and became the Brownlee LLP that exists today. Although Ray retired from the partnership in 2015, he remains committed to Brownlee and its values, and has assumed a Counsel role with the firm.
While Ray devoted a large part of his professional time to the leadership of the firm and the needs of the firm’s clients, he has also given back to his community by participating in the political process at all levels of government, and as a volunteer member of governing boards with organizations such as the United Way, the Edmonton Public Schools Foundation, his church, and several political constituency associations. Ray is first and foremost a husband and father.