Brian A. Beresh, Q.C.

Brian A. Beresh, Q.C.

Founding Partner

  • EducationB.A. University of Saskatchewan 1989
    LL.B. University of Saskatchewan 1975
  • BarSaskatchewan 1976
    Alberta 1980
    Yukon 1986
    Northwest Territories 2008
  • Accolades

    On October 18, 2006, in the 2006 edition “The Best Lawyers in Canada,” Mr. Beresh was selected and named by his peers in the defence bar as one of Canada’s top criminal lawyers.

    In 2012 he was named by Martindale-Hubbell Top Lawyers as one of the top lawyers in Canada.

  • Professional Memberships

    Criminal Trial Lawyers Association

    National Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers- Life Member

  • Media
    Travis Vader Trial Interview

    Brian Beresh Green Peace News Conference
  • Publications Authored chapter in Tough Crimes: True Cases by Top Canadian Criminal Lawyers

Brian A. Beresh, Q.C. B.A., LL.B.

selected and named by his peers in the defence bar as one of Canada’s top criminal lawyers. Named by Martindale-Hubbell Top Lawyers as one of the top lawyers in Canada.

Brian A. Beresh Q.C., is the senior and founding partner of the law firm of Beresh Cunningham and has been practicing law for almost 40 years. Born and raised on a farm near Kipling, Saskatchewan, Mr. Beresh received his Bachelor of Arts with Distinction (with a major in Political Science and minor in Economics) in 1972 from the University of Saskatchewan, Regina campus and later earned his Bachelor of Laws in 1975 from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon campus. Mr. Beresh was called to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1976 and the Alberta Bar in 1980.

Mr. Beresh is a much sought after criminal defence and human rights lawyer. He has been described by peers as “one of, if not the busiest lawyer in Canada.” A major client once publically described the benefit of Mr. Beresh’s defence as follows: “If Beresh is in your corner you are a winner”. During the span of his lengthy career, he has been defence counsel in over 140 jury trials and has represented over 125 people charged with murder/manslaughter, some of whom have been individuals charged with multiple counts of murder. He has defended numerous individuals charged with sexual assault, drug offences and weapons offences. He has defended numerous complex white-collar fraud and theft allegations including the defence of a bank manager alleged to have stolen $16 million. He defended on appeal but not at trial the youngest woman declared to be a Dangerous Offender in Canada, and through his tireless efforts the trial decision was reversed entirely by the Alberta Court of Appeal (see R. v. Neve, [1999] A.J. No. 753).

He has also defended numerous companies, and individuals, charged with offences arising from the workplace, including occupational health prosecutions, where multiple people have been injured or died at their place of work.

Mr. Beresh has appeared as counsel on numerous occasions before the Court of Appeal in Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and the Yukon and before the Supreme Court of Canada. In 1992, he appeared as counsel on the Milgaard Reference before the Supreme Court of Canada. It was only the third such Reference before that court and the longest in Canadian history. Mr. Beresh also appeared as counsel on the Nerland Inquiry in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and most recently on the David Milgaard Inquiry in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The great demand for Mr. Beresh’s services as a premier criminal defence lawyer have taken him to trials and appeals in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the Northwest and Yukon Territories.

RECOGNITION

His accomplishments in criminal law were recognized in 2006, when he was requested to present the prestigious annual Bernard Cohen Lecture at the Law School at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario. That lecture is included in the second volume of Bernard Cohen Lecture’s textbook.

In 1998, Mr. Beresh was invited to travel to the Ukraine to lecture and the Law Schools in Kiev and Melniski in relation to Canadian criminal law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENTS

As a senior criminal lawyer, and past president of the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association (1984–1985), he is a much sought after speaker and has lectured on numerous topics including criminal law, criminal procedure, advocacy, narcotics issues and constitutional law for numerous groups some of which include Student Legal Services, Canadian Bar Association, Saskatchewan Trial Lawyers Association, Alberta Trial Lawyers Association, Criminal Trial Lawyers Association, and the Universities of Alberta and Saskatchewan. He also made a number of presentations at the University of Saskatchewan Law School during the Silas Halyk Advocacy Forum.

Mr. Beresh became a member of the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association in 1980. This Association is Edmonton based and is the second largest and powerful criminal defence lawyers’ Association in Canada. He has served the Association as a member and has chaired a number of its committees and in 1984 served as its president. In addition, he is a Criminal Law Consultant for the Canadian Mental Health Association, Native Counselling of Alberta, and has served as a legal columnist for CBC AM radio.

In 2005, Mr. Beresh was elected for a three-year term as a Bencher of the Law Society of Alberta by the members of his profession. His nomination for the position of Bencher was overwhelmingly endorsed by the record number of votes he received on his election to the position. This body governs the conduct of the 8500 lawyers practicing in the Province of Alberta. During his term as Bencher, he served on numerous committees, and chaired and participated in numerous hearings, where misconduct was alleged against other members of the profession. Prior to that election, he had represented numerous lawyers who faced disciplinary proceedings before the Law Society. He presently represents a number of lawyers who face disciplinary proceedings before the Law Society.

To remain current with international legal developments and to maintain a North American network for his clients, Mr. Beresh in 1993 joined the National Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers as a Life Member. This preeminent organization consisting of 12,000 direct and 35,000 affiliate members is the largest criminal defence lawyer association in the world. Given migration and travel between Canada and the United States, it is imperative that contact with the American defence Bar be maintained and enhanced. Mr. Beresh is in constant contact with American colleagues in relation to legal developments on both sides of the border, and in relation to clients who find themselves in difficult situations in either jurisdiction. He has worked on a number of cases arising from or having a direct connection to a number of jurisdictions in the United States.

In 2009, he was retained by Greenpeace Canada to represent their interests throughout Alberta. After one Greenpeace activity near Edmonton, the Premier of Alberta, and other government officials, condemned the Greenpeace activists. Mr. Beresh came to their defence by speaking publically against political interference from the steps of the Alberta Legislature. His challenge of the Provincial Government resulted in public condemnation of the Government’s position, and he was publically praised both provincially and nationally, for the stance he took against the Government.

Mr. Beresh enjoys the practice of criminal law and is dedicated to providing his clients with the highest standards of professional service in the defence of their cases. He is admired by his peers and trusted by his clients and the courts. In the vigorous defence of his clients, he takes the approach that “The Defence Never Rests.” He is routinely referred to as “liberty’s last champion” for his tireless work in protecting his clients’ interests.

EDUCATIONAL AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

A renowned sessional lecturer at the Law School of Alberta continuously since 1988, Mr. Beresh continues to teach classes in the areas of criminal trial procedure, advocacy and advanced criminal law. He presently teaches Advanced Criminal Law to senior law students at the University of Alberta Law School. In 2009, he was nominated as one of the top sessional lecturers at the Law School.

Despite his hectic work schedule, Mr. Beresh still finds time to volunteer his services to various community groups and efforts. He is a strong and major supporter of a number of charitable organizations, and has been lauded for his continued support of organizations such as the YMCA, CKUA Radio and the Stollery Children’s Hospital. In September of 2008, his personal challenge was to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in East Africa, the height of almost 20,000 feet. To encourage the assent, and benefit society, Mr. Beresh raised in excess of $15,000 for the Medicine Hat College in Medicine Hat, Alberta. A scholarship in his older brother’s name received the funds and is now able to assist many students in the future in achieving their academic goals. He continues tirelessly to be an organizer in his own personal community.

In February of 2011 he ascended Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the western and southern hemisphere (in Argentina) and, as a result of those efforts, he raised in excess of $60,000.00 for the YMCA and Edmonton Strong Kids Campaign.

If you would like a FREE CONSULTATION with Mr. Beresh, contact him now:

Phone: 780-421-4766 (Edmonton and area)  |  Toll free 1-877-277-4766
Email: beresh@libertylaw.ca

  • EducationB.A. University of Saskatchewan 1989
    LL.B. University of Saskatchewan 1975
  • BarSaskatchewan 1976
    Alberta 1980
    Yukon 1986
    Northwest Territories 2008
  • Accolades

    On October 18, 2006, in the 2006 edition “The Best Lawyers in Canada,” Mr. Beresh was selected and named by his peers in the defence bar as one of Canada’s top criminal lawyers.

    In 2012 he was named by Martindale-Hubbell Top Lawyers as one of the top lawyers in Canada.

  • Professional Memberships

    Criminal Trial Lawyers Association

    National Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers- Life Member

  • Media
    Travis Vader Trial Interview

    Brian Beresh Green Peace News Conference
  • Publications Authored chapter in Tough Crimes: True Cases by Top Canadian Criminal Lawyers

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