“The best way to get a deal done is to really focus on what both parties want to achieve,” says Erika about her role as a legal advisor. “It’s essential to understand my client’s goals and expectations in any business deal, and how those fit into the bigger picture.”
That may seem like obvious advice. But clients can struggle to recognize that a contract doesn’t accurately reflect their goals, says Erika. “Working on a contract is really like working with a piece of clay that you mould into what they want to see.”
Over the years working for Simplex clients, Erika has perfected her expertise in drafting commercial contracts, particularly in supporting the procurement function of different organizations.
A writer at heart, Erika excels at matching words to what business clients want to accomplish and identifying how their agreements may play out down the road. She uses her experience as a litigator, her talents as a wordsmith, and her knowledge of contractual terms and commercial realities to give clients her best strategic advice and help them understand their agreements. “No one enters a business deal expecting things to go wrong. But if there’s one thing my time as a litigator taught me, it’s that addressing potential problems upfront helps avoid costly disputes down the road.”
In her spare time, Erika is an outdoors enthusiast and can be found exploring all that her home province of Alberta has to offer – that is, if she’s not working on her next story or novel.
Having completed her law degree in 2000 at the University of Victoria, Erika returned to Calgary in 2000 to join Bennett Jones LLP. There she focused her practice on commercial litigation, shareholder disputes, medical malpractice, and personal injury files. After six years at Bennett Jones, she decided to pursue her passion as a fiction writer, before returning to practice as in-house counsel for Simplex Legal’s clients. She was the firm’s first hire. Erika is a member of the Law Society of Alberta.
Clients I’ve worked with seem to be very happy with our services and have enthusiastically recommended Simplex to their colleagues. When telling our story, the responses I most often receive are: “There are definitely times we could use something like that!” and “What a great idea!”.
I would say I’ve chosen a different path than most lawyers. After practicing as a litigator for close to six years at a large, Calgary firm, I left law to pursue my passion for writing and editing. But when the opportunity arose to practice law in a new way with Simplex Legal Services, I jumped at the chance. Not only did it allow me to change my focus from litigation to corporate/commercial work, I now have the time and energy to pursue both of my passions–writing and law. Couple that with the fact that I get to work with great people and fantastic clients, and I couldn’t be happier—I even get outside from time to time.
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