Patricia Johnston is the executive vice president, legal and general counsel of the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER). She leads a branch of 13 lawyers responsible for providing legal and business advice to all AER business branches and field offices.
Ms. Johnston is regularly consulted by the chairman and directors on corporate governance– related issues, including enterprise risk management, issues regarding the conduct of board meetings, annual financial statement review and disclosure, statutory and common law duties and liabilities of directors, and recruitment and appointment of directors. She was instrumental in helping to draft the Governance Charter and corporate governance–related materials and is the AER’s liaison with the Alberta Public Agencies Governance Secretariat as well as the Chair of the AER’s Ethics Committee. Additionally, she is responsible for authoring and presenting the training and orientation materials for newly appointed directors and hearing commissioners. Also, the AER law branch is responsible for drafting and approving all AER administered legislation and regulations.
Prior to joining the AER, Ms. Johnston spent three years in private practice before holding various leadership and general counsel positions—at FirstEnergy Capital Corp., ATB Investor Services, the Alberta Securities Commission, and The Alberta Stock Exchange— with roles that included legal, managerial, and corporate functions. She’s also been involved in several industry and professional associations, most notably sitting on the Alberta Securities Commission Securities Advisory Committee, and chairing the Canadian Bar Association (Alberta Branch) Securities Law Section.
Ms. Johnston is a published author, having authored two books, Alberta Securities Law Simplified (in its 6th edition), Ontario Securities Law Simplified (in its 3rd edition) and several publications about Canadian securities and law and corporate governance requirements, and corporate restructuring transactions. For several years, she also instructed courses in securities law and regulation through the Canadian Securities Institute, Bow Valley College, and SAIT.
Ms. Johnston holds an LL.B. from the University of British Columbia and was admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1988. She has also completed a number of courses at the Canadian Securities Institute as well as being an institute-certified director (ICD.D) by the Institute of Corporate Directors.