MEET THE TEAM
OUR AMAZING GROUP OF LAWYERS AND STAFF . . .
SMART | EFFICIENT | FUN | AMAZING
Owner - Lawyer
Darren Richards, originally from Saskatchewan (yes - of course he's still a Rider's fan!), has called Alberta and Edmonton home since before we had the NHL (yes - of course he's an Oiler's fan). He started the firm Richards Wood Toogood (which over the years became Richards Hunter, Richards Hunter Toogood, and now: Richards + Company).
A graduate in science from Liberty University in Virginia and of law from the University of Alberta, he was admitted to the Law Society of Alberta Bar in 1993.
He has primarily limited his practice to Real Estate (both residential and commercial) and is now viewed as the premier Real Estate Lawyer in Edmonton. Corporate/Commercial Law is another specialty serving both small, medium and large owner-managed business in the Edmonton and surrounding region.
Darren has taught the Law Society of Alberta Bar Admission Course in the Real Estate Law Section and currently carries on a busy corporate, commercial and real estate practice. He is an advisor to REIN (the Real Estate Investment Network).
He is a past-president and board member of the South Edmonton Business Association and currently represents hundreds of businesses (corporations, sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited partnerships, and joint ventures) with respect to their wide range of legal needs. Mr. Richards also acts for major banking institutions and other lenders in relation to their commercial loan facilities and for large and small Franchisees.
Darren played some college hockey way way back in the day - and has enjoyed coaching his kids in hockey (atom through midget) and coaching some basketball as well. He is a former Elder at previous Baptist churches he attended. He has one married daughter who's a nurse now and married to a guy that played junior hockey and now plays college hockey at Liberty University just like Darren did. How cool is that!? He has two more kids in college and his youngest is in high school. Oh -and did we mention he's a Roughrider fan? Contact Darren HERE.
Associate - Lawyer
Chad's our veteran rookie - he has a huge long list of degrees to his credit - he's a theology junkie and former senior pastor of an evangelical church in Calgary. He has a wonderful wife and 3 cute kids. He works out and can bench way more than you. He worked for us for a couple of summers, loved us so much that he articled with us (that's the year after graduating with a JD where we get to really really boss him around). And now he's working for us as our newest "Barrister and Solicitor" (those are fancy terms for a 'lawyer: or more to the point, a litigation guy and a keep you out of litigation guy). He's an amazing guy and you can CONTACT HIM HERE - here's some more amazing stuff about Chad:
Chad graduated from the University of Alberta School of Law with his JD in 2019. As a student he:
played for the faculty’s western Canadian champions Golden Bearisters rugby team; Litigators hockey team (with Steven - see below); and the Learned Foot soccer team, managing to (largely) keep up with the 20-somethings;
was elected VP and then president of the Christian Legal Fellowship University of Alberta Student Chapter;
cohosted annual panels with Law Dean Paul Paton on “Faith and Practice” (2L), and” Faith and Legal Ethics” (3L) for the Faculty of Law;
volunteered for Student Legal Services criminal (1L) and civil (2L) programs; and
completed a year-long clinical placement at Legal Aid Alberta’s Family Law Office, assigned to make weekly family chambers applications and/or Emergency Protection Orders though EPOP.
Chad came to law school after a previous career in Christian ministry, spending ten years as a Minister in a Calgary. During law school he began to assist at Christ the King Anglican Church, where he serves as a non-stipendiary associate on the pastoral team.
Chad’s previous education includes:
BA (Taylor/U of Alberta);
Master of Divinity (Briercrest Seminary);
MA and Master of Sacred Theology (Liberty University, summa cum laude);
Graduate Certificates in Hebrew and Greek (Asbury Seminary); and
Doctor of Ministry, where he wrote on ethics-based leadership training (Southern Seminary, with distinction).
Chad is currently a member of:
the Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association;
the Christian Legal Fellowship;
the Evangelical Theological Society;
the national board for Christianity Explored Ministries Canada, and
the national board for Malachi Dads Ministries Canada (“MDMC”) A nationwide recognized program within Corrections Canada, focused on generational recidivism, MDMC provides spiritual guidance, education, support, career training, and mentorship to incarcerated fathers.
Chad is now seeking to develop a mixed solicitor and litigation practice at Richards + Company, working with entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. He continues to publish and to speak on law and faith and to conducts seminars on ethics-based leadership for various organizations: (eg recently keynote speaker for the RCMP Provincial Traffic Program AGM and upcoming Christian Medical & Dental Association). He coaches multiple youth sports and plays recreational hockey and soccer.
Here's a few words from the man himself:
While law can be abstracted, it has a fundamental impact on the lives of every person. My faith, my family, and my firm have helped me to appreciate how true this is. The law--particularly, the rule of law that we enjoy--is a beautiful inheritance.
My faith inspires me to love justice, and to seek the good of all people. As a Christian minister, I saw the impact that the law has on individuals of every background, and on churches, charities, and non-profits as they seek to make life better for those they are called to serve.
As a child I learned the nature of justice and people’s need for a legal system from my parents, especially my father, an RCMP officer. As a University student, I saw the passion my uncle always had for helping people fulfill their dreams, what he calls, “happy law.” My wife, Karmyn, and our children Abi, Titus, and Jonathan have walked with me on this journey. Karmyn was recently appointed Administrator of her aunt’s Estate, showing how valuable a good lawyer can be in a difficult time! My passion for the law is motivated by these experiences and by envisioning the future of my children made better by the preservation of the core legacy we all enjoy and by the changes in the world I want to see in the future.
Helping establish and navigating challenges with entrepreneurs, small businesses, non-profit societies, and young families under my principal, Darren, and with all the staff (my co-workers at Richards + Company who contribute so much to me) has been and I trust will continue to be immensely rewarding.
Steven Warawa, our articling student, grew up just one hour east of Edmonton. Most of his free time during the summer is devoted to helping his dad and brother on their family farm – that is, when he doesn’t sneak out to go golfing. He loves pretty much all sports and it is his personal goal to visit every baseball stadium in Major League Baseball (he has a looong way to go). He was very active in law school intramural sports - his big claim to fame, and really the main reason we hired him, was his record of winning back to back championships with the Litigators hockey team.
Steven attended the University of Alberta both for his finance degree and right after, his law degree. Before joining our team, he worked at an agricultural retail store near his hometown but when we came calling he quickly packed up and moved back to the big city. He likes to think it was a pretty big free-agent signing on our part. Now his main focus is learning as much as he can from Darren and Chad. He's doing pretty well with Roughrider history from Darren (almost has Ron Lancaster's stats memorized) but is having a heck of a time learning Chad's kettlebell routine.
If you drive past our office early in the morning you may even see him walking – he refuses to drive even when it is absurdly cold out, he says its something about not making enough to pay for gas - oh my goodness. Kids these days. Oh - and he just bought himself a new BBQ - well; not new - a used BBQ actually - because he has no money. So invite yourself over for some good 'ol Alberta beef this summer! You'll need to bring your own steak. He has no money (or did we mention that already). CONTACT HIM HERE
Real Estate | Commercial
Where to start . . . . a Packers fan (love them green and gold!), country music junkie, and mother of two. She's also Darren's personal legal assistant and probably the main reason so many clients think they like him. She can do computer stuff at lightning speed. Seriously. Plus she's always so dang nice about everything and willing to do whatever heavy lifting and complex paralegal work that's thrown at her. Her oldest is now playing hockey - and she somehow said 'yes' to him playing goalie! Please pray for her. Her and her husband recently got a new truck - so if you need help moving stuff . . . oh - and an RV . . . so if you need a place to stay . . . just sayin'. Contact her HERE
Real Estate | Probate
She does it all and keeps the gang motivated and happy. Everything that needs to get done she can do. From complex Wills drafting to booking that cool ridiculously fun Christmas party - or even more important, call that buddy of hers who's a golf pro to get a tee time when there's no tee times to get. Assisting Chad and Steve with Wills and Chad with Probate - and Darren with a tonne of stuff like Real Estate . . . . She still finds the time to bake bundt cake (or at least tell her daughter to bake bundt cake) for the office. Note, the bundt cake is NOT for client consumption. Only us - just trying to be totally clear and manage expectations. Also note: bundt is not spelled "bunt" - weird. Edith complains about her knees constantly - we're all sure there's a really cool sports injury story to go along with it - but it never comes. Also weird. Her hubby's story is that it has more to do with a phobia about snow shovelling and grass mowing. Edith loves her dog (but not the vet bills). And when her husband golfs (not really) with her boss (really). And sentences that start with 'and'. Contact her HERE
Ruth is our corporate specialist: Incorporations, amalgamations, annual returns. She does all that ridiculously difficult stuff that a busy corporate practice needs done and does it with a smile. Quite odd actually. But we've verified it - doing all that work with a smile, not being odd - last Tuesday actually- when she finally poked her head out from behind the stack of files on her desk. How on God's green earth does she manage all those files!? Oh man is she ever awesome!! We stole her from Manitoba. The Blue Bombers and Jets can survive without a fan or two. She has her CORES 3 certification. For those that don't know what that means, it means she's smarter than you. She's also a mom, a former Pastor's wife, a current prison chaplain's wife (yikes) . . . and she hosted her kid's wedding in her back yard this past summer. The rumour is she's taking new bookings for 2022 now!. Contact her HERE.
Admin | Reception
Peg and Darren's teenage boys are friends and played high school volleyball together. Now the boys play XBOX together all night when they're home from college. Ahh- they grow up so fast. Her husband Todd has a bike - with a motor - often called a motorbike - those dangerous Harley-like things that look so dang fun to drive but your wife won't let you have one . . . .except Peg is cool. So cool she's our (super duper friendly) doorkeeper. She's the first and last person you'll see when you drop by our office. So you really can't help but think we're awesome! Plus she does all the behind the scenes stuff that keeps a business like ours running. AND, now that we take Visa and MasterCard, there's a good chance you'll also deal with Peg when you pay our ridiculously small legal accounts! You can contact her HERE.
Wills + Estates | Corporate
She had nothing better to do during covid-19 so decided to take a deep dive into Wills and stuff . . .and wouldn't you know it - she took right to it! Plus she got our Online Wills App ready to roll - and in her spare time she decided to attack some corporate annual returns - so Ruth (see above) and Janet (see below) and Cheryl are our three corporate AR musketeers! Minus the swords. But somehow even that wasn't enough - so Cheryl decided to tackle some truly consequential stuff too . . . like keeping our kitchen stocked; baking cookies; organizing firm lunches. So if you make your appointment at just the right time of day you might just get to smell fresh baked cookies and cinnamon buns! You won't get any of course. But you'll smell them. You can contact her HERE.
Our newest addition to our office Real Estate crew - but a veteran at the Real Estate game; Fun fact: oh my goodness does she keep 'sign-here' stickies neatly organized on her computer monitor! It is freakishly amazing - some say a little more 'freakish' than 'amazing' but hey - not gonna judge. Our 'sign-here' sticky budget has been reduced in half since she arrived! She's a real estate conveyancer (aka a legal assistant or paralegal that does real estate law all day) - and her mom is a mortgage broker. So that's almost a true big time real estate dynasty! How amazing is that? She loves doing real estate transactions, loves her three cute kids, and loves her IT hubby (probably in that order). Expererience her amazing awesomeness if you hire us to do your real estate deal!! You can contact her HERE.
Wills + Estates
The important stuff: she used to work as a Golf Shop Agent at Riverside Golf Resort at Fairmont Hot Springs. So you can imagine how that impressed (some of) us - until we found out she couldn't get us discounts or even preferred tee times. But that's ok (kind of) - because now she's impressing us with her work ramping up our Wills department - including our new Online Wills App. We decided to use green folders for our Wills matters just to remind us of what 'could have been'. Sigh. Now we have her doing real estate reporting, some front desk support, and all sorts of stuff. Kinda like a good golf caddie - she can do it all. A mom of two and wife of one (hope we have that right) she manages a busy life as she helps you deal with your . . . uhm . . death. You can contact her HERE.
She's our new super duper newbie. Well kind of. She started a while back to help us part-time to clean up corporate stuff - but by unanimous consent and popular demand (and to keep poor Ruth sane) we decided to turn Janet into a locked-in part of our corporate legal team!! And we're loving' it! And you will too: if you're incorporating or dealing with your annual returns or just doing any other corporate work you'll likely be communicating with Janet. She has CORES III certification, AAPRES accreditation, Hotdocs, ProLaw, and Alf developer training, Bookkeeping training - and for heaven's sake - she's even on some sort of international registry for aircraft (whatever the heck that is) and does 3-D printing from home. Oh - and she can swim apparently. Something about competing at the national level back in the day. Gosh. And if all that isn't enough her husband can make just about anything out of wood you can dream of. It would not surprise me if he's an astronaut or something (eye-roll). - so if you want corporate work done - or a beautiful wood crafted chess set, reach out; You can contact her HERE.