Catherine Christensen (Lawyer, Call Sign: Empress)
Catherine Christensen is the owner and founder of Valour Law. When she studied military law in law school, the Lt Colonel who taught the course encouraged her to work with military families since she “got it” even as a civilian.
She brings a wealth of life experience to her law practice that gives her an insight into the realties and solutions twisted up in any legal issue. Catherine’s biggest joy from being a lawyer is getting closure for her clients so they can move on with their life. She gives clients the options to get to their “clean break” and she makes a complicated situation less complicated for everyone involved.
Her clients appreciate her open mind, quick wit and no-nonsense, non-judgemental approach. Catherine is known as a strong advocate for her clients in Court and up the Chain of Command when it is needed to defend a soldier. Her military clients love that she understands their lingo—from the recce to the intel to knowing that situational awareness is messed up without situational understanding when planning the best tactics to use in the battle.
Catherine has represented members of all the branches of the Canadian military. She has dealt with the issues of the troops in the ranks and people in the officer corp. It is not uncommon for her to take on cases where a former partner wants to move the kids to the other side of the country, claims from former spouses for an extra cut of a soldier’s biggest asset—the pension—and extracting troops from messy domestic situations where the ex is trying to use military service as a parenting liability to deny them parenting time with the kids.
She has gone as high as the Court of Appeal to fight for a soldier dad. She also deals with VAC to assist veterans with their disability claims. One client thought he had a knee claim and after a review—he actually had 8 claims related to his service. Catherine passionately goes for what a military member wants should they be badly hurt or killed — documents properly done are essential in a military career and the one page garbage handed out in deployment briefings doesn’t cut it..
Catherine is an active supporter of the military community. Valour Law often donates items for fundraising auctions as well as the whole team attending charity events to support such causes as the PPCLI Foundation, Heroes Hockey Challenge and the Yellow Ribbon Gala. She has been a House Ambassador for Valour Place, a “home away from home” for military families needing medical care. She has also been a frequent presenter and advisor at the Edmonton Garrison working with the MFRC where she provides military families with the information they need for their unique family law matters and estate planning needs for deployments around the world.
When not practising law, Catherine likes to travel and read trashy novels. She also likes to follow the latest archaeology news from around the world. She lives in the St. Albert area with her grown up son and her Bernese Mountain Dog, Miles (yeah, he hangs out at the office a lot of days to share his sweet personality with our clients). She looks forward to her son’s career as an airline pilot so he can fly his great mom all over the place (he hasn’t convinced her to buy him his own plane and runway… yet).
Naomi Auber (Paralegal, Call Sign: NOVA)
Naomi is an ex-pat Brit who is here in Alberta (which she fondly refers to as “the Arctic Tundra” — she refuses to acclimate) with her retired Patricia, actively looking for ways to enjoy this land a bit more – please send her any staycation referrals.
When not at the office (or home office) you can find her walking with her Rottweiler, sipping tea, or trying to corral her miniature charges (they’re worse than no-hook privates lost on base).
She volunteers her time as a vigilante veteran aide, and makes all the referrals to appropriate mental health and community resources if needed (shoot her a message and she’ll be happy to help where she can).
Catherine scooped her up and introduced her to the legal industry in 2016. She enjoys the many perks of her job, including working closely with clients and editing the hell out of documents.
She’s happy to serve those that have and continue to serve our nation
Kal Kuyzk (Finance Department/Paralegal)
Kal is our client accounting guru and his military background (and his experience with seeing soldiers marrying often) make him very relatable to our clients!
After some crazy, adventure-filled years, Kal wanted to do something more meaningful in life so he enlisted in the military. He went to basic in Cornwallis NS and then to Wainwright and Borden for training. In September 1990 he went on his first Military tour to Quinayirah, Syria till March 1991. At that time the Gulf War was in full force. He came back to Canada and found his house empty. (Apparently, he got separated and divorced and didn’t know it.)
Kal did tours of duty in Visoko, Bosnia-Herzgovinia and Bosnia. Before he went on tour he had also attained his Jump wings and went to Bosnia with the Parachute Company. He came back to Canada worked at the Airborne Centre.
When he got back to Canada he was posted to Winnipeg. His next tour was to a nice, dry place, where he tried to get a tan. He went to Kandahar, Afghanistan right after 9/11– in January 2002 and returned to Canada July 2002. He came back and hung out in Trenton, Borden, and on to Edmonton in 2013. Currently he is at 1VP PPCLI finishing off his 37 plus years stint in the military (they are trying to keep him in despite his attempts to escape) and he works part time for a group of cool people at Valour Law.
Kal has varied interests with an intense interest in medieval history. He enjoys his free time doing research on different topics and taking his little puppy Tank for his walks. He is a member of the Morinville Legion and a Freemason soon to find a Mother Lodge. He hopes his next career is uneventful and boring as his previous job was hectic, busy and dangerous. *NB he has left out a great deal of his military history due to classified missions
Nette came to St. Albert in July 2015. Worked her way from service crew to managerial position at McDonald’s in about a year. Won awards too. Which doesn’t surprise us as she is great at managing the lawyers (okay, so we can cause chaos with our demands) in our office.
Nette has done the Legal Assistant Program in 2018 to make a better life for her and her kids. She started with us as a student and then held the fort upon graduation as lockdown hit and the lawyers worked from home.
When we let her get away from the office, she has 3 wonderful kids and loves hanging out with them. She loves being in the kitchen cooking for them. Nette can also be found volunteering at local city events.
Nick (Crankshaft; Intern)
Nick is currently a full-time member of the Canadian Forces specializing in the restoration of museum pieces (commonly referred to as a vehicle technician repairing the fleet of the Canadian military).
When he is not swearing at the antiques, he can be found glued to his computer screen at MacEwan University where he is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in anticipation of entry into law school.
He has been posted to Edmonton since 2006, following training in St. Jean and Borden and has never looked back (apparently the air here is better).
Nick entered the legal field in 2018 via trial by fire following what likely amounted to a mid-life crisis, also known as his decision to enter law.
He enjoys anything from drafting documents to pondering complex legal conundrums (unbeknownst to him, legalese is his second language).
He has always been driven and motivated to help his fellow soldier, now volunteering his time at the firm to do so.
Kingsley (Top Dog in the Office)
Most days our office has the friendliest Rottweiler on the planet hanging out and looking for petting opportunities (and treats… don’t forget the treats).
He’s up for joining in on meetings and being that quiet support on tough days.
When he’s off duty from the demands of a busy law firm, he looks after his retired Patricia and his wife, plus baby boy who has joined the family.
Miles (Top Dog in the Office in Training)
Miles is our latest puppy addition.
His Mum and Dad are therapy dogs so this puffy ball of fur and energy loves to make people smile even on their bad days.
He’s especially keen to trade love for treats (might have learned that from Kingsley…hmmm).
When he’s not at the office, he hangs out at the Boss’ house contemplating the Universe from his podium in the backyard.