Heather Ferg was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. Her lifelong passion for education led her to pursue two undergraduate degrees (one in Political Science and one in English), which she completed at the University of Calgary in 2006. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Ferg enrolled in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law program where she obtained her LL.B. in 2010.
Building on the foundation of her law degree, Ms. Ferg articled under the guidance and direction of Ian McKay of Dunn & McKay and Karen Molle. In 2012, Ms. Ferg was welcomed as an Associate at Evans Fagan Rice McKay.
Ms. Ferg is an accomplished criminal litigation lawyer who practices exclusively in the area of criminal defence. She specializes in legal research and analysis (with a focus on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms). Ms. Ferg’s unique experience and understanding of the Charter makes her an invaluable resource not just to individuals charged with criminal allegations, but also to the greater legal community. Ms. Ferg often assists other counsel with their research and trial strategy.
Ms. Ferg has prepared written submissions for and appeared in all levels of Court in Canada (including the Supreme Court of Canada).
Her experience in numerous areas of criminal litigation includes:
- Property offences
- Crimes of violence & sexual offences
- Impaired driving
- Drug offences (including trafficking, production, importation and criminal organization)
- Fraud & Economic crimes
- Wiretap & Proceeds of crime
- Appeals (which includes Summary Conviction Appeals in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Conviction and Sentence Appeals in the Alberta Court of Appeal and Leave Applications and Appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada)
Ms. Ferg’s areas of written advocacy include:
- Legal Opinions
- Research Memoranda
- Charter Notices & Written Arguments
- Sentencing Submissions
- Appellate Facta
- Law Society of Alberta
- Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer's Association
- Criminal Trial Lawyer's Association
- Current Member of the Calgary Defence Lawyer's Association Policing Committee
- AIDWYC case reviewer (Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted).
Heather Ferg's Selected Cases
R v A.B.
After a major drug investigation in Saskatchewan, A.B. was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to traffic in cocaine and marijuana, directing a criminal organization, possession of proceeds of crime and a number of weapons related offences. Mr. McKay was immediately retained for the purposes of securing his release and to defend A.B. on the merits.
The police investigation involved approximately 22 warrants to seize various items, 2 authorizations to intercept private communications (wiretap orders) and numerous police and civilian witnesses. Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg ran a preliminary inquiry during which a number of key police witnesses were cross-examined. At the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry, the Crown decided that they would not proceed on the conspiracy to traffic in marijuana charge and the various weapons charges. Shortly thereafter, the Crown also decided not to proceed on the criminal organization charges.
The first pre-trial motion was conducted over two weeks and involved challenging the legality of 7 searches. These searches were critical as they formed the foundation for the later wiretaps and numerous production orders. All of these searches were ruled illegal as they breached A.B.’s section 8 Charter rights. As a result of the successful motion, the Crown agreed to withdraw all of the remaining serious charges and the matter was resolved.
R v O.V.
O.V. was charged with various offences related to child pornography found on his computer. This case involved complex and nuanced technical and legal issues. The technical aspects included expert evidence on computer forensic analysis, peer-to-peer programs, computer memory and specialized software. Legally, the case involved numerous search and privacy issues.
Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg represented O.V. at preliminary inquiry and trial. At trial, O.V. was found not guilty of accessing and trafficking in child pornography but guilty of possession. This conviction was appealed and a 3-member panel of the Alberta Court of Appeal unanimously agreed that O.V. should not have been convicted. The conviction was quashed and the Court entered an acquittal. The Crown was not pleased with this outcome and has appealed the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.
R. v. H.L.
Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg were retained to represent H.L. who was charged with numerous counts of fraud, extortion and criminal harassment. This 4-week trial involved an Alberta precedent setting decision as it relates to seizure of banking records from financial institutions. In addition, it involved issues surrounding the complex interplay between historical financial records and the professional affiliations of the client.