A Sylvan Lake woman has been honoured by the provincial government with the title of Queen’s counsel.
Sharon J. Crooks, of Rowanoak Law Office LLP, was one of the 144 recognized by Alberta Thursday for their exceptional service to Albertans and the legal community.
“The appointees receiving the Queen’s counsel designation this year help set the standard for service to Albertans through our justice system,” said Tyler Shandro, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.
“Their hard work is vital to providing essential legal services that make a difference in the lives of so many in our province, and it is a pleasure to grant them this well-deserved honour.”
Crooks has been a managing partner at Rowanoak Law for 15 years and is one of the more senior family lawyers in Central Alberta, according to her bio on the office’s website.
She currently practises primarily family, divorce and children’s law. She is regularly appointed as counsel for children in child and family services matters.
Crooks is a member of many boards and groups including the Red Deer Collaborative Law Group of Central Alberta, Sylvan Lake Rotary Club, Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Alberta Family Mediation Society and the Central Alberta Bar Society.
The history of the Queen’s counsel designation traces its origins to the Elizabethan era in England, with Upper Canada admitting its first appointees in 1841.
Appointees must have been called to the bar for at least 10 years and demonstrate exceptional competence, professionalism and integrity while contributing to the administration of justice in Alberta.
In Alberta, candidates are screened by a committee of judicial officials, legal representatives and representatives of the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General and his department. Appointment recommendations are then submitted to the minister for consideration.
In accordance with the Queen’s Counsel Act, the minister has discretion to identify additional names for appointment, which has happened historically and again this year. The final list is then submitted to cabinet for consideration and approval. Recipients for 2022 include both public and private sector lawyers who have practised in communities across the province.