Jonathan Denis, Q.C. Photo

The Honourable, Jonathan Denis, Q.C.

Founding Partner
  • Profile
  • Practice Areas
"I have spent my career in service to others in both the public and private sector. I look on each matter as if I were the client and how I’d feel in that situation."

Born in Regina, Saskatchewan as the son of a Canadian soldier and a teacher, Jonathan graduated with degrees in business (finance/marketing) and law at age 24. Jonathan moved to Calgary after graduation and was called to the Alberta bar in 2001 and quickly became a key member of one of Canada’s top ten national law firms.

Jonathan served two terms as an Alberta MLA and served in five senior cabinet roles, most notably as Alberta’s 23rd Minister of Justice, Attorney General, and Solicitor General and as Government House Leader. Since returning to the private sector, Jonathan founded Guardian Law Group LLP in 2016.

Educated in Canada and in the United States, Jonathan carries a global perspective on many issues. His experience often described as the intersection between law, business, politics, and communications, people trust Jonathan to resolve complex matters and achieve the best results.

A recognized authority in politics and governance, Jonathan is frequently invited as a guest speaker to organizations and charities. Jonathan has received numerous accolades in his career, including being named to the Queen’s Counsel of Alberta and one of Avenue Magazine’s “Top 40 under 40” (when he was under 40).

Jonathan has a rare practice in campaigns and elections law. He has acted as lead counsel on several judicial recounts and his clients have included sitting Members of Parliament, Members of the Legislative Assembly, and city councilors.

Jonathan is married to Liisa (the love of his life).

Education

  • Bachelor of Administration – University of Regina (1997)
  • Juris Doctor – University of Saskatchewan (2000)
  • ICD.D Director’s Education – Rotman School of Business – University of Toronto (2018)
  • Master of Laws (LL.M.) – University of Arizona (2022, 3.9 GPA)

Date Called to Bar

  • 2001

Date Obtained Q.C

  • 2010

Professional Associations

  • Law Society of Alberta
  • Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers’ Association
  • Institute of Corporate Directors
  • Executive Council of Alberta (honorary life member)

Political Achievements

Some of Jonathan's accomplishments while in the provincial government include:

  • Introducing a new set of Rules of Court;
  • Funding new police positions to Alberta cities;
  • Reducing department spending by 39% while still achieving ministry goals;
  • Passing civil forfeiture legislation for the seizure of proceeds of crime;
  • Improving access to justice by raising the limit at Provincial Court (Civil Division) to $50,000.00;
  • Amending election statutes to require better public disclosure of contributions; and
  • Passing legislation to crack down on impaired drivers.

Areas of Practice

Jonathan has appeared in contested matters in courts throughout Canada, including:

  • Federal Court of Canada
  • Federal Court of Appeal of Canada
  • Provincial Court of Alberta
  • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
  • Court of Appeal of Alberta
  • Ontario Superior Court
  • Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench

Jonathan has been involved as a participant or as counsel in numerous reported articles and decisions across Canada, including:

  • - R. v. Gerlitz 2014 ABQB 247 (CanLII) – relating to the constitutional validity of the Income Tax Act;
  • - Nammo v. Canada (Justice and Attorney General) 2015 ABCA 389 (CanLII) – defense on an appeal to strike an action
  • - R. v. Blanchard 2017 ABQB 369 – relating to the removal of televisions from individual jail cells
  • - Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner Order F2019-30 2019 CanlII 83500 (AB OIPC) – proper disclosure of access requests made
  • - Nammo v. Canada (Justice and Attorney General) 2019 ABQB 300 – dismissal of an action by motion
  • - Rattan v. Her Majesty in Right of Canada 2020 ONSC 8193 – elections and campaign law
  • - Nammo v. Canada (Justice and Attorney General) 2021 ABCA 245 (CanLII) – successful defense on an appeal striking a pleading
  • - Thobani v. Chahal 2021 ABQB 919 – criteria for setting aside a default judgment
  • - Thobani v. Chahal 2022 ABQB 159 – costs to a successful applicant to set aside a default judgment
  • - Pyke v. Calgary (City) 2022 ABQB 198 – traffic accident fatality where liability to the City of Calgary was found

Recognitions

  • Former two-term MLA
  • Former senior cabinet minister, most notably as Minister of Justice & Solicitor General

In the Media

Awards

Community Involvement

  • Fundraiser for the local charities
  • Instructor of Articling Students – Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED)

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