Ian McKay’s expertise in defending those charged with a criminal offence is in high demand. Not only does his busy practice take him throughout Alberta but he has been retained on matters in Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Manitoba, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Further, he is amongst a select few criminal defence lawyers who has argued a case in the Supreme Court of Canada.
Ian McKay is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan where he was awarded a Bachelor of Commerce (Distinction) in Finance, and a Bachelor of Laws. He has been an instructor at the Trial Advocacy Course at University of Calgary Faculty of Law and he also lectures at the Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law in Kamloops, British Columbia. In addition, Mr. McKay is honoured to be one of two case reviewers in Alberta for the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (“AIDWYC”). In this role, Mr. McKay is tasked with reviewing the case files of individuals convicted of murder to ascertain whether a potential wrongful conviction has occurred.
Ian McKay inherited his love for law from his father, Ian McKay, Q.C., a well-known defence lawyer in Regina. While in law school, he won the prestigious Chief Justice Brian Dickson award as the top advocate in Canada at the Gale Cup Moot competition in Toronto, Ontario. This victory foreshadowed the eventual success he would have as a top criminal defence lawyer.
Early in his career, Ian McKay worked as a litigation lawyer in both Regina and Calgary. While in Calgary, Ian McKay accepted a position as a litigation associate at a national law firm, Miller Thomson LLP, and later at one of the top construction law boutiques in Canada. From there, his love for criminal law led him to accept a position as a Crown Prosecutor in Calgary, Alberta. As a Crown Prosecutor, he was involved in prosecuting hundreds of matters ranging from mischief to major sexual assaults and murders. This experience exposed him to every possible scenario that could arise in a criminal prosecution and has been invaluable to him as a defence lawyer.
Ian McKay has been practicing exclusively as a criminal defence since he left the Crown Prosecutors office in 2006. He has defended many individuals charged with murder and almost every other charge in the Criminal Code or the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Mr. McKay does not limit his practice to the defence of those charged in Alberta. He has also represented clients charged with serious criminal offences in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. Further, he has consulted on a matter where his client was charged in the State of Colorado.
Ian McKay has developed an expertise in the defence of complex criminal prosecutions. Whether it be arguing in the Supreme Court of Canada in the evolving area of electronic search limitations under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, litigating complex drug prosecutions under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, or defending those charged with corporate crimes, Ian McKay has been sought out as to go to person for the defence of complex criminal defences.
Ian McKay has practiced with some of the top criminal lawyers in Canada. Prior to forming McKay Criminal Defence LLP, he practiced with the legendary C.D. Evans, Q.C. , Patrick C. Fagan, Q.C. and A. Clayton Rice, Q.C. at the firm Evans Fagan Rice McKay.
Ian McKay's Selected Cases
R v A.B.
A.B. was charged with aggravated assault in relation to a jail fight. The complainant had serious injuries and the matter was scheduled for a multi-day trial. While the initial resolution offer from the Crown involved a guilty plea and jail time, after pre-trial negotiations and a defence disclosure request for internal jail records, the matter was stayed.
R v M.A.
M.A. was pulled over by the police and charged with impaired driving and driving with a blood alcohol level over 08. The matter was withdrawn within a month.
R v C.L.
C.L was charged with impaired driving and driving with a blood alcohol level over .08 after being found unconscious in a vehicle on the side of the road. The case involved a seizure of bodily evidence using a blood demand. After discussions with the Crown about the Charter violations that occurred when C.L’s blood was seized, the matter was stayed.
R v T.C.
T.C. was charged with robbery with a firearm, possession of a weapon for the purpose of committing an indictable offence and breaching a court order. While T.C. was facing several years in jail (particularly in relation to the robbery), Mr. McKay was able to reach a non-custodial resolution prior to trial. T.C. entered a plea to a lesser charge, the original counts were withdrawn and T.C. received a suspended sentence with 12 months of probation.
R v T.P.
T.P. was charged in a major fraud investigation in relation to allegedly false credit cards. After extensive negotiations and discussions about the Crown’s evidentiary burden, the matter was stayed the day prior to a week-long trial.