Founder, Chief Innovation Officer
Donna Purcell QC Law
As a civil litigator in Red Deer, Alberta, Donna Purcell Q.C. spent a quarter of a century at a mid-size firm while taking on leadership roles within various community and legal organizations. Being in a smaller remote centre entailed extensive travelling, and to be able to juggle her professional and volunteer roles along with raising a family, Purcell turned to a hybrid remote practice when her first daughter was born. As a result, a transition to a fully remote practice during the Pandemic was seamless for her and her staff. She then pivoted to dealing with the emergent access to justice issues. This included the formation of COVID-19 Emergency Response Teams within the Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association (ACTLA) and Central Alberta Bar Society. She organized a Canadian Bar Association Webinar Keeping Small and Solo Firms Going in Uncertain Times days after the declaration (and a follow up National Podcast on remote practice). At the suggestion of Chief Justice Moreau, she was part of a small working group which drafted the Alberta Protocol for Remote Questioning. Concurrently, she organized innovative leaders from the Bar and Bench, and produced a weekly free virtual litigation series. Having been a founding director of the Central Alberta Legal Clinic Foundation, she formed a small group which enlisted incredible legal talent for a provincial access to justice fundraiser and awareness campaign: Lawyers vs. Talent, A2J : Virtual Edition, raising awareness for access to justice issues both pre-existing and created by COVID-19. With two grown daughters who intend to pursue careers in law, and knowing how difficult it is to achieve equality, diversity and inclusivity in the profession, Purcell believes the profession has proven it is ready to pursue the disruptive innovation that can attract and retain more lawyers to serve clients through alternative service delivery models. In July of 2020, she established a fully cloud-based hybrid bricks-and-mortar/virtual client first law firm “Donna Purcell QC Law “with offices in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer. She added two internationally trained law lawyers who required Canadian articles. Purcell continues to advocate for the adoption of technology to maximize the profession's ability to remain effective service providers while enjoying life outside of work, spending valuable time with family and contributing to the community in these challenging times. She completed the Harvard Business Analytics Program so she can continue to innovate within a court system and society undergoing disruptive transformation.