Balfour Der, K.C.
Balfour Der has been described by the Calgary Herald as “arguably Calgary’s top defence counsel.”
Balfour has consistently received the preeminent 5 out of 5 peer rating from lawyers and the judiciary.
Balfour has been called upon to defend people from all walks of life including professional athletes, police officers, lawyers, soldiers, firefighters and politicians. His 37 years of criminal law experience make Balfour the choice of many people whose livelihood and reputation depend on the positive outcome of their case. Balfour’s clients know they can rely on him to represent their interests without exception. When he takes on a case, he does so to achieve the best results regardless of the seriousness of the charge or the circumstances of the client.
Balfour was a senior trial counsel for the Crown Prosecutor’s Office in Calgary from 1981 to 1990. During that time he honed his skills by handling hundreds of criminal prosecutions. In 1988 Balfour was asked to join the appellate division of the Prosecutor’s Office where he was one of five counsel who handled all the appeals before the Alberta Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.
In 1990 Balfour left the Prosecutor’s Office to enter private practice. He has continued to practice exclusively in criminal law. Balfour has successfully defended people who have been charged with the most minor of offences to the most serious. There is no area of criminal law that Balfour Der has not been involved with. He has defended people in several provinces and territories and his experience extends to areas outside of strict criminal offences such as tax evasion, Customs Act offences, military court martials and traffic offences.
While Balfour Der’s main work is in the trial courts he regularly argues appeals at both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. At the Supreme Court Balfour has appeared on precedent setting cases dealing with involving jury instructions on reasonable doubt, lost evidence and double jeopardy.
In addition to his work in the courts, Balfour Der teaches criminal law and is the author of two criminal law text books as well as numerous papers and articles for seminars and lectures. He has been on the faculty for the Canadian Police College in Ottawa and the Bar Admission Course of Alberta. As he says, “I eat, drink and sleep criminal law.”
Balfour is a former Junior A hockey player and marathoner. He is now a triathlete and a single digit handicap golfer.