Wendy E. Best, Q.C.

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About

Wendy has a well-established family law practice and has earned ongoing recognition as a leading family law practitioner since being called to the bar in 1980.

Wendy joined Dunphy Best Blocksom in 1982 and became a partner in 1986. Wendy was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1994. She acts primarily for high net worth individuals and families. While she settles most matters, Wendy’s practice includes litigation.

She was inducted as a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers in 2008. She has been selected by Best Lawyers in Canada annually since 2006 and was recognized as the Calgary Family Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in Canada, in both 2010 and 2017. She has been named annually in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a recommended leading practitioner in Family Law. In 2018, she was awarded both the Canadian Bar Association/Law Society of Alberta Distinguished Service Award for “Service to the Profession” and the Women in Law “Leadership Award for Leadership in the Profession (Private Practice)”.

Wendy is a sought-after speaker for many organizations, including the National Judicial Institute, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, the Canadian Tax Foundation, the B.C. Supreme Court Judges Education Program, the Alberta Queen’s Bench Judges Education Program, the Newfoundland & Labrador Supreme Court Judges Education Program, the Advocates Society, Federation of Law Societies, Calgary Bar Association, Canadian Bar Association, Jewish Family Services, Alberta Trial Lawyers Association, and the Legal Education Society of Alberta. She has also published dozens of related papers.

Wendy was appointed to the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee for Alberta from 2017 until 2019. She was on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family (CRILF) for 22 years, including serving as President from 2009 until 2016. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Heritage Park Society, serving on the Audit and Risk Management Committee and the Finance Committee.

Wendy served as a member of the Alberta Securities Commission for six years and on the Law Society of Alberta’s Family Law Advisory Committee for five years. She was on the Board of the University of Calgary’s Student Legal Assistance for 11 years. Wendy was a member of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Council and served on several of its committees.

Wendy balances her busy practice with regular cycling trips to countries with good food and wine.

Education

University of Calgary, LLB 1979
University of Calgary, B. Comm. 1975

Called to the Bar

Alberta - 1980
  • Family law
  • Fellow, International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • 2018 Women in Law Leadership Award for “Leadership in the Profession (Private Practice)”
  • 2018 CBA/Law Society of Alberta Distinguished Service Award for “Service to the Profession”
  • 2017 Lawyer of the Year in Calgary in Family Law by Best Lawyers in Canada
  • 2010 Lawyer of the Year in Calgary in Family Law by Best Lawyers in Canada
  • 2009 Law Day’s Top 56 Leading Lawyers in Canadian Family Law
  • Appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1994
  • Biennial B.C. Family Law Conference, Vancouver, "Tips & Traps in Spousal/Partner Support", 2019
  • National Judicial Institute ("NJI"), Vancouver, "Family Law and Social Media", 2019 The Advocates Society, "The Resilient Litigator: Practical Skills for Professional Happiness", 2018
  • Alberta Queen's Bench Judges Education Program "Financial Literacy in Family Law", 2018
  • Federation of Law Societies National Family Law ("NFL") Conference "Unusual Property", 2018
  • The Advocates Society, "Being an Unstoppable Litigator", 2018
  • NJI (Quebec City) "Family Law: Financial and Property Issues", 2018
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court Judges Education Program, "Follow the Money: Financial Disclosure and Guideline Income Determination", 2017
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Law Society Continuing Legal Education, "Family Law Update", 2017
  • NFL Conference, "How To Organize A Family Law File" and "Hot Topics in Custody", 2016
  • NJI Toronto, "Creative Ways to Settle a Custody Case" and "What Judges can do to Encourage Civility in Family Cases", 2016
  • Alberta Queen's Bench Judges Education Program, "Support Orders, Property Orders and Bankruptcy", 2016
  • NJI (Banff) "Tax Issues in Family Law", 2015
  • NFL Conference, "Plenary: Ethics Panel" and "Plenary: Cross Country Check-up", 2014
  • Alberta Queen's Bench Judges Education Program, "Understanding Financial Statements", 2014
  • National CIBC Wood Gundy Investment Advisors, "Relationship Breakdown Issues & Myths", 2013
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners ("STEP"), "Tips & Traps on Relationship Breakdowns & Estate Planning", 2013
  • Tiger 21, "Implications of the McCain Decision", 2013
  • NJI (Vancouver) "Conditions in Custody Orders", 2013
  • NJI (Halifax) "Judicial Assistance to Self Represented Parties in Family Law", 2012
  • NJI (Toronto) "Case of the Year", 2012
  • Calgary Family Services, "Taking Charge of Your Separation/Divorce", 2011
  • NFL Conference, "Dissipation" and "Lessons for Lawyers from Appeals", 2010
  • STEP, "Protecting the Family Fortune from Matrimonial Claims", 2010
  • Calgary Family Services, "Separation and Divorce", 2010
  • Estate Planning Council of Calgary, "Family law & Estate Issues", 2010
  • NJI (Toronto) "Attachment Theory", 2010
  • B.C. Supreme Court Judges Education Program, "High Conflict Custody", 2009
  • Canadian Tax Foundation Conference, "Family law Issues and Estates", 2009
  • NJI (Victoria) "Limitations of the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines", 2009
  • NFL Conference, "Spousal Support Guidelines" and "Business Valuations", 2008
  • Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Judges Education Program, "High Conflict Custody", 2007
  • NJI (Victoria) "Custody/Access and Non-Parents", 2007
  • STEP, "Prenuptial & Cohabitation Agreements", 2006
  • NJI (Edmonton) "High Conflict Custody Cases", 2006
  • NFL Conference, "Income Determination Issues", 2006
  • Jewish Family Services, "Separation and Divorce", 2003
  • STEP, "Estates and Family Law Issues", 2001
  • Alberta Queen’s Bench Judges Education Program, "Civility in the Courts", 2000
  • NFL Conference, "The Top 20 Cases of the 20th Century and 21 Issues to be Resolved", 2000
  • NFL Conference, "Retirement & Support", 2000
  • Jewish Family Services, "The Impact of Separation & Divorce", 1997
  • Alberta Trial Lawyers Association, "Mediations & Mini-Trials", 1996
  • International Client Counseling Competition, "Gender Issues and Client Interviewing", 1993
  • Calgary Legal Guidance, Family and Estate Law Lectures, 1982 – 1993
  • Calgary Board of Education, "Women and Marriage in the 90’s", 1991
  • Calgary Legal Secretaries Association, "The Divorce Act", 1987
    • Family Law Section, "Civility", 2016
    • Family Law Section, "Trial Tips", 2015
    • Senior Lawyers Section "Radio Babies, Baby Boomers and Gen-X & Y", 2011
    • Annual Alberta Family Law Conference, "The Interplay of Contract Law & Family Law", 2010
    • Annual Alberta Law Conference, Wills & Estates Panel, 2008
    • Family Law Section, "The Pro’s and Con’s of the Spousal Support Guidelines", 2005
    • Senior Lawyers Section, "Women in the Law", 2003
    • Family Law Section, "Adult Interdependent Relationships Act", 2003
    • Wills & Trusts Section, "Update on Estates and Family Law", 2002
    • Family Law Section, "The Evolving Definition of Spouse", 2001
    • National Annual Meeting, "The Three R’s of Successful Transitions: Recruitment, Revitalization and Retirement", 2001
    • Wills and Trusts Section, "Estates & Family Law", 2001
    • Family Law Section, "Unified Family Court", 2000
    • Family Law Section, "Child Support Guidelines", 1997
    • National Annual Meeting, "Cross-Examination of Experts", 1995
    • Mid-Winter Meeting, "Spousal Support", 1993
    • Mid-Winter Meeting, "The Maintenance Enforcement Act", 1986
    • “Drafting Pleadings, Affidavits and Orders: The Pleading Edge", 2016
    • Family Refresher Course, "Family Money: Gifts vs. Loans" and "Dissipation & Vices", 2009
    • "Property in Family Law", 2007
    • "Appellate Advocacy", 2007
    • "Managing High Conflict Custody & Access", 2007
    • "Advising Blended & Non-Traditional Families", 2006
    • "Pre-Nuptial Agreements", 2005
    • "Adult Interdependent Relationships Act", 2003
    • "Civility and Collegiality" and "Property", 2001
    • "Common Law Relationships", 1998
    • "Child Support", 1997
    • "Update '96", 1996
    • "Update ’94", 1994
    • "Family Law for Legal Assistants and Secretaries", 1991
    • "Family Law, Practice Pointers", 1989
    • "Chambers Applications in Domestic Matters", 1986
    • "Matrimonial Property Act", 1983

Contact Assistant

Sharon Melanson
T 403.750.1149
melanson@dbblaw.com