Pat has been a partner with Dunphy Best Blocksom since 1990. She is a skilled senior matrimonial lawyer and her practice emphasizes negotiation, mediation and arbitration resolutions to complex property, support, and custody settlements.
Pat’s current practice focuses on mediation, arbitration in the family and estate law. She also advises on and prepares pre-nuptial, cohabitation and post-nuptial agreements.
She has been a co-instructor for the Legal Education Society of Alberta on mediation training in the area of family disputes from 1996 to 2017. In 2006, she received the John Haynes Memorial Award from the Alberta Family Mediation Society for excellence in mediation.
Pat received her appointment as King’s Counsel in 1998. She was inducted as a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers in 2001, which is an international organization dedicated to improving international family law practice throughout the world.
Pat is involved in international human rights and poverty issues and has been a director on three Canadian charitable foundations: Partners in the Horn of Africa, which funded sustainable development in Ethiopia, and Future Generations Canada, which supported community-based programs in health care, education and rebuilding civil society in Afghanistan. She has traveled extensively throughout rural Ethiopia to work on projects that focus on alleviating poverty by water development, education, HIV prevention and support, reforestation, and orphan fostering. Since 2017, Pat has been a director of CUPS which is a Calgary not-for-profit organization that helps individuals and families overcome the challenges of poverty and attain self-sufficiency.
In 2011, Pat was inducted by the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta into the Alberta Order of Excellence—the highest honour the Province of Alberta can bestow on a citizen. This award recognizes Albertans who have made a difference, who have served Albertans with excellence and distinction, and whose contributions will stand the test of time. Pat is the first female lawyer in Alberta to receive this prestigious award.
Also in 2011, Pat received the Canadian Bar Association Touchstone Award for her outstanding accomplishments in promoting equality in the Canadian legal community. In 2017, she received the Lilian Ruby Clements Trailblazer Award for advancing equality issues for women in the legal profession. In 2019, she received the Women in Law and Leadership Award for service to the community.
In 1991, Pat was appointed by the Canadian Bar Association as a founding member of their National Task Force on Gender Equality in the Legal Profession. In 2012, she was appointed to the National Action Committee on Access to Family Justice in Canada. You can download the final report here.
In 2022 she received the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal to recognize her significant contribution to the Province of Alberta. She has also been recognized as a leader in family law in L’Expert Directory to Canadian lawyers.
She is a frequent speaker and sessional lecturer at the University of Calgary and at provincial, national and international family law conferences. She has authored and co-authored papers on mediation, equality issues, child and spousal support and business valuations.
Outside of work, Pat’s passions include philanthropy, cooking, photography, and travel. From June 2013 to June 2014, Pat took a leave of absence to spend a year living in Florence, Italy.