Miller Thomson sets precedent in Alberta Court

March 3, 2014 | Jeffrey N. Thom | Calgary

Jeffrey N. Thom, Q.C. of the Miller Thomson office in Calgary was recently successful in obtaining an order against the Province of Alberta to fund the legal defence costs of a client facing quasi criminal charges under the Securities Act (Alberta). Mr. Thom acting pro bono brought what is known as a Rowbotham application to obtain a court order for government funded legal counsel. The application was opposed by the Alberta Securities Commission and the Alberta Attorney General. The Court granted the application and ordered a stay of the charges until the government funds the defence.

This is the first time a court has granted a Rowbotham application for defence costs of a prosecution under a provincial Securities Act. The Provincial Court of Alberta stated in its reasons: “This Court views that mounting a successful defence requires not only extensive knowledge of securities law, case law, Commission rulings, but also knowledge of the affirmative defences, their legal definitions and the rules of evidence… ”  R. v. Nason, 2014 ABPC 33.

Our firm is pleased that Jeffrey has been recognized for his expertise in the defence of securities law offences, and for his effective representation of an otherwise impecunious client of the firm, whose right to a competent defence to such serious charges was recognized under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.