Sheena Owens is a commercial litigation lawyer. She provides practical, timely, strategic, and client-specific advice to clients in the areas of oil and gas, construction, engineering, civil fraud, shareholder disputes, and professional negligence. Her strategic thinking and advocacy skills complement her specific legal and business knowledge to make her an effective advocate. Sheena has experience at all levels of Alberta courts and with mediations and arbitrations.
Sheena is also an experienced employer-side employment lawyer. She acts for a wide variety of employers in industries such as energy, construction, financial and professional services. In 2019, she was ranked in Chambers Canada as up and coming in Labour and Employment. In 2018, Sheena was the only associate in Alberta to be ranked in Chambers Canada as an “Associate to Watch” and one of only two associates in Canada. Over the course of her career, Sheena has built trusted relationships with in-house counsel and human resources managers through assisting them with the employment issues their organizations face. She acts as a workplace investigator when allegations of harassment and discrimination are raised. She has provided advice on Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, Personal Information Protection Act, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and the Health Information Act.
Sheena’s client experience and areas of interest include:
- Commercial landlord and tenant disputes
- Restrictive covenants and property disputes
- Breach of contract claims
- Obtaining pre-trial injunctive relief
- Commercial construction claims including defects, delay and builders’ liens
- Representing institutions and individuals who have been defrauded of their assets, including obtaining tracing orders and freezing orders to identify and preserve assets before trial
- Debt recovery claims
- Condominium property disputes
- Fraud claims
- Shareholder disputes
- Representing employers in civil court actions involving issues such as wrongful and constructive dismissal, breach or enforcement of restrictive covenants, breach of fiduciary duties and employment theft
- Advising employers regarding their human rights obligations to their employees and representing employers before human rights tribunals
- Representing employers in relation to other employment-related administrative proceedings such as workers’ compensation hearings and appeals, employment standards complaints, and privacy complaints
- Conducting and overseeing workplace investigations
- Providing advice to employers with respect to employee recruitment, hiring, management, discipline, and employee terminations
- Drafting and reviewing employment documents including employment and independent contractor agreements, non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements, severance documents and agreements, workplace handbooks, and policies including drug and alcohol policies
- Delivering educational and training seminars for employers on a variety of employment topics including workplace harassment and compliance with employment legislation and common law requirements
- Acting as independent legal counsel to professional disciplinary panels
- Defending professionals in disciplinary proceedings brought by their governing body and defending them in professional negligence claims
In 2010, Sheena was featured in Lexpert’s Law Student and Associate Recruitment Guide in the article “Profiles of Success: Junior Associates Winning Kudos Early On”.
Prior to joining Miller Thomson, Sheena summered, articled, and worked as an associate at two other international law firms. In 2011, she completed a secondment with one of Canada’s largest oil and gas companies.
Sheena is a volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross and assists with disaster and humanitarian relief efforts. She volunteers with the Personal Disaster Assistance Team, Emergency Response Team, and the Be Ready Team. Respectively, providing assistance to individuals impacted by house fires and other disasters; responding to larger scale disasters; and educating the public about emergency preparedness. She also serves as the volunteer President of her condo board of directors.
Professional achievements & leadership
- Chambers Canada, 2019, Ranked as “Up and Coming” in Employment and Labour
- Chambers Canada, 2018, Ranked as an “Associate to Watch” in Employment and Labour
- Lexpert, 2010, featured in “Profiles of Success: Junior Associates Winning Kudos Early On” Law Student and Associate Recruitment
- University of Alberta Francis Feehan Memorial Scholarship for excellence in academics and athletics
- Memorial University Endowment Scholarship for excellence in academics
- Lead counsel on successful defence of a company against $17 million law suit for wrongful dismissal
- Lead counsel on a successful opposition of a stay of proceedings (681210 Alberta Ltd. v. 1335422 Alberta Ltd., 2016 ABQB 407)
- Lead counsel on a successful summary judgment application for a $3 million debt holder claim
- Lead counsel on the successful opposition of an injunction application to block the $4 million sale of a pharmacy due to an alleged first right of refusal
- Lead counsel on two successful Federal Court appeals relating to trademark expungement and trademark opposition matters
- Lead counsel on a successful application to stay proceedings against a former employee alleged to be in breach of a non-competition and non-solicitation agreement
- Lead counsel to an international engineering company acting on the client’s employee terminations and arising litigation
- Lead counsel to international oil and gas services company acting on the client’s terminations and arising litigation
- Junior counsel on a successful summary judgment application to dismiss claims against physicians facing allegations of medical malpractice (Grivicic v. Alberta Health Services (Tom Baker Cancer Centre), 2015 ABQB 811)
- Junior counsel on a 6-week tax trial to successfully defend well servicing companies from paying PST on well-cementing services (Husky v. Saskatchewan et al, 2014 SKQB 116)
- Junior counsel on a successful application to obtain and extend an order to freeze the defendant’s assets based on allegations of fraudulent conduct (1007374 Alberta Ltd. v. Ruggieri, 2013 ABQB 278 and 2013 ABQB 420)
- Lead counsel on a 3-day trial involving assault and battery (Fernandez-Hodelin v. Sequi, 2012 ABPC 358)
- Junior counsel on a two-week trial to successfully defend a physician facing allegations of medical malpractice (Anderson v. Greene and Abdulhafid, 2010 ABQB 676)
- Junior counsel on a $60 million construction arbitration concerning the design and construction of a sulfur recovery plant
- Client Seminar, Harassment and Internal Investigations in the Workplace, November 29, 2017
- Client Seminar, Green Eggs and Spam: Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation After Three Years, May 10, 2017
- Client Newsletter, No Employment, No Vesting, No Bonus: Alberta Court of Appeal Overturns Controversial Bonus Award in Styles v. AIMCo., January 5, 2017
- Client Seminar, Terminations in Turbulent Times, September 8, 2016
- Client Newsletter, WCB Premiums May Not Exempt Employers from Liability for Injures Workers, June 2016
- Client Seminar, Courts Gone Wild: Recent Decisions of Interest, April 27, 2016
- Client Seminar, Co-Presenter, When Good Employees Go Bad, October 17, 2013
- Client Newsletter, Co-Author, Not on the Rink in My Backyard: Ontario Court Rejects Bid to Enforce Ecuadorian Judgment Against Chevron Corp., May 21, 2013
- Client Seminar, Co-Presenter, Sobriety, Safety, and Salvation: Alcohol and Drug Testing in the Workplace
- Co-Author, Causation: Navigating Through a Fool’s Paradise, March 10, 2011
- Volunteer, Canadian Red Cross
- Volunteer, Board of Directors, The Terrace Condo Corporation (President)
- Past Coach, Health Law Moot
- Volunteer, Member of Canada Association of Counsel to Employers Advocacy Committee
- Member, Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners
- Member, Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers (CACE)
- Member, The Advocates’ Society
- Member, Canadian Bar Association
- Member, Calgary Bar Association
- Spanish (Beginner)
Bar admissions & education
- Alberta Bar, 2010
- Legal Education Society of Alberta, Intensive Trial Advocacy Course, 2015
- The Advocates’ Society Civil Trial Advocacy College, 2013
- LL.B., University of Alberta, 2009
- B.A. (Honours), Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2006
Miller Thomson earns top rankings in Chambers Canada 2019
Miller Thomson earned a top “Band 1” ranking for two practice areas in the 2019 Chambers Canada Guide. Our Charities and Not-For-Profit group is regarded as being “leaders in the charitable sector,” and praised for their ability to “help find solutions in complex situations.” Our Agribusiness group...
Miller Thomson continues strategic growth
Miller Thomson recognizes that the complexities of today’s business landscape increasingly call for legal solutions that span multiple disciplines and jurisdictions. With a continued focus on building our national platform, we are pleased to welcome the following lawyers who have...
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