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Andrea M. Urquhart

Over the last decade Andrea (Andi) Urquhart has built a reputation as a powerful and effective advocate for her clients. Providing a smart and strategic approach to each of her client’s cases Andrea has established herself as one of the preeminent defence lawyers in her field.

Andrea’s experience is extensive. She has successfully defended her clients against a wide range of criminal charges including murder, substantial drug offences, gun charges, sexual assaults, and domestic assaults. She is routinely counsel on high profile, serious and complex cases with some of her arguments and cases being featured by prominent provincial and national media outlets such as the CBC, the Calgary Herald, the National Post and Vice Magazine.

Andrea also defends cases before various professional bodies in diverse professional disciplines, including regulated professional bodies such as accountants (CPA Alberta), realtors and mortgage brokers (Real Estate Council of Alberta), doctors, nurses (Health Professions Act), teachers and engineers (APEGGA).

Andrea graduated on the Dean’s List in 2010 with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Calgary. Before starting her career in criminal law she served as a Law Clerk to the Provincial Court of Alberta from 2010 to 2011 where she was articled to the Honourable Judge A.A. Fradsham.

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Cases of Interest


R.v. B, May 2020 (Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench)
Counsel: Andrea Urquhart
Outcome: Ordered released on the charge of first degree murder

The accused was charged with first degree murder. A lengthy show cause hearing was conducted in the Court of Queen’s Bench where the Crown argued for the accused’s detention on the basis that the Accused was a risk to reoffend in the community and that his detention was necessary to maintain the public’s confidence in the administration of justice. After lengthy submissions were made by Andrea attacking the strength of the Crown’s case and arguing that the release plan addressed the Crown’s concerns Justice Mahoney ordered the Accused released.

Media Coverage Linked

R v. A.A., September 2019 (Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench)
Counsel: Andrea Urquhart
Outcome: Ordered released on the charge of first degree murder

The young person was charged with first degree murder. The Crown argued that the young person should remain in custody pending the conclusion of her trial given the seriousness of the offence and concerns about her being released into the community. Lengthy submissions were before Justice Millar who ultimately agreed with Andrea that her client could be released in the community.

Media Coverage Linked


R. v. JY July 2021 (Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench)
Counsel: Andrea Urquhart & Kirsten Lancee
Outcome: Not Criminally Responsible

The Accused was charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault. The Defence argued that the Court should find the Accused not criminally responsible as a result of a mental disorder. Specifically it was argued that he was suffering from a mental illness at the time of the attack that made it impossible to form the requisite intent. In July 2021 Justice Hall found the Accused not criminally responsible and directed that he appear before the Alberta Review Board for further assessment.

CBC- Media Coverage Linked

R v. A.A. April 2021 (Court of Queen’s Bench)
Counsel: Andrea Urquhart & Jeanine Zahara
Outcome: First degree murder charge withdrawn

A.A was charged with first degree murder. The allegation was that she planned and participated in a murder when she was 15 years of age. Before the commencement of trial a number of pre-trial motions were made where Andrea argued that key pieces of evidence including a journal and statement made by the RCMP were obtained in violation of the young persons rights. The Court agreed and excluded from evidence a journal and a statement A.A had given to the RCMP. After the evidentiary rulings Crown counsel agreed to withdraw the charge of first degree murder if the young person entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit murder. The young person was ultimately sentenced to time served (1 year in custody plus probation).

The Canadian Press – Media Coverage Linked

R v CH June 2020 (Court of Queen’s Bench)
Counsel: Andrea Urquhart & Kirsten Lancee
Outcome: Not guilty of second degree murder, guilty of manslaughter

CH was charged with second degree murder with respect to the death of a patron in a nightclub in downtown Calgary. After trial Justice Wilson found the Accused not guilty of second degree murder and convicted him of the lesser offence of manslaughter.

Calgary Herald – Media Coverage Linked and here

R v JH February 2020 (Court of Queen’s Bench)
Counsel: Andrea Urquhart
Outcome: Not guilty of conspiracy to commit murder

The Accused was charged with conspiracy to commit murder. At the beginning of the trial Andrea argued that the statement obtained by the RCMP violated her clients rights under section 10 of the Charter. The Justice agreed with Andrea and excluded the statement made by her client to the RCMP. During the trial the Crown sought to tender a “KGB statement” made by a witness to an RCMP officer as the witness was not willing to testify in Court. It was successfully argued that the statement could not be relied on by the Crown. As a result of both of these evidentiary rulings Andrea’s client was found not guilty of conspiracy to commit murder.

Calgary Herald – Media Article Linked

R v HN May 2018 (Court of Queen’s Bench)
Counsel: Andrea Urquhart & Tonii Roulston
Outcome: Not guilty of conspiracy to commit murder

The Accused HN was charged with conspiracy to commit murder. After a lengthy trial Justice Hughes found HN not guilty of conspiracy to commit murder.

HN was also charged on a separate file with possession of a loaded handgun. The handgun was seized after the police executed a search warrant on his residence. A Charter notice was filed by Andrea arguing that the search warrant was improperly obtained as the police left out key details in their application for the warrant. Shortly before trial the Crown Prosecutor withdrew the charges against HN.

Calgary Sun- Media Coverage Linked

R v DC May 2017 (Alberta Provincial Court)
Counsel: Andrea Urquhart
Outcome: Murder charge withdrawn against her client. Plea to the offence of robbery was tendered.

The Accused was originally charged with second degree murder in relation to the shooting death of Tyler Sanderson. After discussions with the Crown prosecutor regarding the weaknesses in the Crown’s case the Crown prosecutor agreed to accept a plea to an offence of robbery and in exchange withdrew the murder charge against her client.

CBC – Media Coverage Linked


R. v LT June 2021 (Alberta Provincial Court)
Counsel: Andrea Urquhart
Outcome: Stay of Proceedings

The Accused was charged with carrying a loaded 9 mm handgun. He was arrested by the Calgary Police Service. At the time of his arrest the handgun was located in the Accused’s waistband. During the arrest CPS utilized a police dog to apprehend the accused. The police dog caused significant injury to the Accused’s arm. The Accused while in police custody asked repeatedly to see a doctor. His requests were ignored for hours by Calgary Police Officers. At trial it was argued that the Accused’s Charter rights were breached as a result of the treatment of the Accused by multiple members of the Calgary Police Service. In agreeing with the argument of the Defence Judge H.A. Lamoureux found that CPS demonstrated a “lack of empathy toward a fellow human being, a lack of professionalism and ultimate disregard of their duty to protect the accused while he is in their custody”.

CBC Media Articles linked here and here

Calgary Sun Media Article linked

Vice Magazine Media Linked

Educational background

Andrea completed an Honours Degree in Political Science from the University of Alberta where she focused her studies on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canadian Politics. In 2010 she graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor in Laws. In her graduating year Andrea was on the Dean’s List, an academic ranking generated by the Faculty of Law, that recognizes the top 10 students in each year for their academic achievement.

While in the Faculty of Law Andrea volunteered at Student Legal Assistance, a non-profit legal assistance clinic, that provided legal services to economically disadvantaged individuals. In 2010 she was elected by her peers to the role of Student Director of the organization. In 2010 she was also awarded with the Provincial Court Judges Award for her work with SLA.

Professional Affiliations

Andrea is a member of a number of professional organizations including the Law Society of Alberta, Canadian Bar Association, Alberta Criminal Defence Lawyers Association and the largest organization for Criminal Defence lawyers in the United States the National Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers (NACDL). Through these organizations Andrea attends numerous conferences to learn innovative ways criminal cases are being defended in both Canada and the United States.

Recent criminal cases

R v S.W. [Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench]

The client was found guilty of 1st degree murder. Tonii Roulston and Andrea Urquhart represented the client. Despite a Mr. Big confession, the jury took 3 days to render their verdict.

The matter is currently under Appeal.

R v R. H. [Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench]

Homicide: 3 counts of First-Degree Murder Withdrawn

The client was charged with 3 counts of First-degree murder for shooting and killing 3 people in a restaurant. Tonii Roulston and Andrea Urquhart filed numerous motions on behalf of the client for trial. The Crown agreed to withdraw all 3 First–degree murders and the client plead guilty to 1 second-degree murder. The client was eligible for parole at 17 years as opposed to a 3 x 25 year life sentences.

R. v. S.P. [Lethbridge Provincial Court]

The client was charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. Andrea Urquhart represented one of the co-accused and Robin McIntyre represented the other co-accused. The Crown prosecutor brought an application alleging that Robin McIntyre and Andrea Urquhart were in a conflict of interest. Robin McIntyre and Andrea Urquhart successfully argued that there was no conflict of interest. Both counsel were able to continue representing their respective clients.

R. v. T.P. [Cochrane Provincial Court]

T.P. was charged with arson in connection with a fire at the Morley Recreation Centre gymnasium.  The value of damage was estimated at 1 million dollars.  Crown counsel was opposed to T.P.’s release. Ms. Urquhart argued that T.P should be released on strict conditions particularly in light of what she described as a weak Crown case against her client.  

Result: The Judge agreed with submissions of Ms. Urquhart and ordered her client’s release on a no cash bail pending his trial.

R. v. J.L et al. Court of Queen’s Bench (Calgary)

Client charged with production of a controlled substance, possession of cannabis for the purposes of trafficking, possession of cannabis resin for the purposes of trafficking and possession of a machete for a dangerous purpose.  

Result:  At the preliminary inquiry Ms. Urquhart successfully argued to have her client discharged of the production of a controlled substance offence.  On May 29, 2015 shortly before the weeklong Court of Queen’s Bench trial was set to commence, Crown counsel stayed the remaining charges against her client.