Sandra Hawes is a civil litigation lawyer and one of Miller Thomson’s leading insurance specialists. She is the Managing Partner of the Edmonton office and a member of the National Executive Committee. Sandra’s practice is focused primarily on insurance defence litigation including defence of life, disability, and critical illness insurance claims; professional errors and omissions claims in a construction context; commercial insurance claims; and insurance coverage issues. Sandra also acts for her clients in contested estate matters.
Sandra has represented clients in a variety of litigation disputes appearing at all levels of court in Alberta. She also has experience in resolving disputes through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms including arbitrations, mediations, and judicial dispute resolutions.
Sandra has continued her legal education through the completion of the Intensive Trial Advocacy Course and received leadership training through the Queen’s School of Business. Sandra has also been involved in delivering legal education as a volunteer instructor and evaluator of principal negotiations for the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education and as an instructor for the Insurance Institute of Canada teaching “Insuring Against Liability.” Sandra is also a sessional instructor at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law teaching professional responsibility.
Professional achievements & leadership
- The Best Lawyers in Canada – Insurance Law, 2017-2019
- “The Artificial Intelligence Revolution and Reshaping of the Insurance Industry”, August 22, 2018 – The Lawyers Daily
- “AI Revolution and the Insurance Industry”, July 2018
- “Lack of Consent = No SEF 44 Coverage”, March 2018
- “Will Ontarians be Permitted to Traffic in Life Policies – Bill 162, Insurance Amendment Act (Life Settlements), 2017”, December 2017
- Speaker, “The Business of Running a Law Practice”, Legal Education Society of Alberta, October 2017
- “Mental Injury and Negligence Law – Recognized Psychiatric Illness Not Required”, August 2017
- “Litigation in the “New” Alberta – Plunging Oil Prices and More Robust Environmental Regulation Has Created the “Perfect Storm” for Increased Risk and Disputes”, February 2016
- “The “Beast”, Its Cost to the Insurance Industry and the Need for Greater Risk Management”, July 2016
- Speaker, Insurance Seminar Series – Privileged Communications, June 2014
- Chair, Advanced Advocacy Panel, Canadian Bar Association – Alberta Law Conference, February 2013
- Speaker, Institutional Responsibility for Preventing Sexual Abuse, Marsh Insurance Canada, October 2012
- Negotiation Instructor and Evaluator, Bar Admission Course/CPLEDs, Legal Education Society of Alberta, 2005 – Present
- Faculty, “The New Rules of Court: A Seamless Transition”, Legal Education Society of Alberta, September 2010
- Speaker, Judicial and Regulatory Decisions Across Canada, Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, September 2010
- Privilege Over Adjusters’ Files and Surveillance, Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association, 2012
- Missed Life Premium Payment – No Relief from Forfeiture, Canadian Journal of Insurance Law, Vol. 28, No. 4, 2010
- United on Whyte United Church – Chair of Trustees, 2018
- Board Member, Salvation Army Advisory Board, 2015 – Present
- Sessional Instructor at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Law teaching Professional Responsibility, 2013 – Present
- Fundraising Committee Member, St. Stephen’s College, 2015
- Fundraising Committee Member, A “Pursenal” Mission, STARS Foundation, 2012
- Board Member, Knox-Metropolitan United Church, 2005 – 2017
- United on Whyte United Church – Chair of Trustees
- Member, Canadian Bar Association, Insurance and Civil Litigation Sections
- Member, Law Society of Alberta
- Member, Edmonton Bar Association
- Member, Canadian Defence Lawyers
- Member, DRI
- Member, IADC International Association of Defense Counsel
- Member, Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association
Bar admissions & education
- Alberta Bar, 1997
- LL.B., University of Alberta, 1996
- Faculty of Arts, Department of English, University of Alberta, 1993
- B.Sc., Biological Sciences / Chemistry, University of Alberta, 1991
Miller Thomson lawyers recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2019
In the just released 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada, 144 Miller Thomson lawyers from across the country have been recognized for their expertise in 47 areas of law. This includes 6 lawyers who were awarded “Lawyer of the Year” in...
Miller Thomson lawyers recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2017
126 Miller Thomson lawyers from across the country and in numerous areas of law have been recognized for their expertise in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada. This result is up from 122 lawyers ranked last year....
Sandra Hawes presents ” Judicial and Regulatory Decisions” as part of a panel at the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Legal Section Conference in Ottawa on September 22-24, 2010.
Managing Risk in Construction
Miller Thomson hosts a 1 hour breakfast seminar on June 24, 2016. Topics discussed include insuring against risk in construction projects and judicial consideration of exclusion clauses found in contracts of insurance. Date: Friday, June 24, 2016 Time: 7:30 a.m. –...
Managing Risk in Construction
Miller Thomson hosts a 1 hour breakfast seminar on June 22, 2016. Topics discussed include insuring against risk in construction projects and judicial consideration of exclusion clauses found in contracts of insurance. Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 Time: 7:30 a.m. –...
Privilege Over Adjusters Documents & Files
Sandra Hawes and Mark Alexander present Part II of the Insurance Seminar Series. Location: Calgary Petroleum Club Time: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Privilege Over Adjusters Documents & Files
Sandra Hawes and Mark Alexander present Part II of the Insurance Seminar Series. Location: Delta Edmonton South Time: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Artificial Intelligence Revolution and the Insurance Industry
The information revolution has had an undeniable impact on society, as did the industrial revolution before it. Now artificial intelligence is poised to be the next revolution that will have an immense impact on our society from our personal lives...
Lack of Consent = No SEF No. 44 Coverage
In the recent case of Cardinal v. Alberta Motor Association Insurance Company, 2018 ABCA 69 (CanLII), the Alberta Court of Appeal overruled the lower court, determining that an injured passenger was not covered under an SEF No. 44 Family Protection...
Will Ontarians be Permitted to Traffic in Life Policies
Bill 162, Insurance Amendment Act (Life Settlements), 2017
Life settlements, also known as trafficking or trading in life insurance policies, involve the disposition by the insured of all rights under a life insurance policy to a third party in exchange for a cash payment. This payment is frequently...
Mental Injury and Negligence Law – Recognized Psychiatric Illness Not Required
In the recent decision of Saadati v. Moorhead, 2017 SCC 28 (CanLII), the Supreme Court of Canada rejected the argument that claims for mental injury are subject to a different test than claims for physical injury, holding that the law...
Fort McMurray Fire Loss Update: The “Beast” – Its Cost to the Insurance Industry and the Need for Greater Risk Management
Fort McMurray, Alberta is a northern urban community within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. It is situated in the middle of the Athabasca oil sands and is nestled in a valley surrounded by boreal forest. With a population of...
Privilege Over Adjusters’ Files and Surveillance
Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association
Missed Life Premium Payment – No Relief from Forfeiture
Canadian Journal of Insurance Law, Vol. 28, No. 4
This article was published for the Miller Thomson Insurance Law Newsletter, May 2010, and featured in the Canadian Journal of Insurance Law in July 2010. To view the article, click here.