James Heelan has extensive experience in a broad range of litigation and regulatory matters. He has been recognized as a leading lawyer in the areas of corporate commercial litigation, employment law, medical negligence and professional liability by Lexpert and was named in Lexpert's Special Edition on Canada's Leading Litigation Lawyers and in Lexpert's Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross Border Litigation Lawyers. Most recently, James has been named 2023 Edmonton Lawyer of the Year in Bet-the-Company Litigation by Best Lawyers and was recognized by Chambers Canada.
His practice has a particular focus on:
- Corporate/Commercial disputes;
- Representation of financial institutions and investment advisors;
- Employment matters;
- Professional negligence and regulatory matters for a variety of professionals including accountants and lawyers with a particular emphasis on assisting physicians; and
- Assistance to Public Office holders and officials in navigating election laws, conflicts of interest and ethics matters. In this regard, he has acted on matters before the Alberta Ethics Commissioner and Elections Alberta. He has also assisted Public Office holders in defamation matters.
James has appeared before all levels of courts in Alberta and courts in several other provinces. He has also appeared before various arbitration panels, public inquiries and regulatory bodies, including the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, Securities Commissions, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), the Mutual Funds Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) and the Alberta Human Rights Commission.
James has extensive mediation experience and acts as a mediator. As a further commitment to his work as a mediator, he completed training in Mediation and Conflict Management through Harvard Law School in 2022.
As a former managing partner of the Edmonton office of Bennett Jones, James brings considerable management experience and a business perspective to client issues.
He has served as a Governor of the University of Alberta, a Director with Covenant Health, a Director of the Friends of the Jubilee Auditoria, a Governor of Newman Theological College and a Director of Prospects Literacy Association.
He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2005.