28th November 2023

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Following Ontario’s lead, the Law Society of Alberta has disbarred a lawyer whose misconduct included impregnating a 17-year-old client.

In a notice posted on its website Friday, the governing body for lawyers in this province announced Gavin McNeill Grant can no longer practise in Alberta.

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The Law Society said it convened a special meeting of its Benchers on Wednesday and determined Grant should be disbarred “effective immediately.”

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Grant, who resides in Thailand, has practised in both Alberta and Ontario, the notice said.

“On Nov. 30, 2021, Mr. Grant was disbarred by the Law Society of Ontario … for professional misconduct including: propositioning a potential client as she tried to retain his legal services; sexually harassing an employee; purchasing cocaine from a client and subsequently consuming it with the same employee who had been subject to harassing; hosting parties at his office outside of business hours during which he provided alcohol and drugs to minors; engaging in sexual acts with a former client and her friend, who were both minors; and assaulting his domestic partner,” it said.

Five years ago Grant, then 49, consented to have his Ontario licence to practise suspended until a full disciplinary hearing could be convened.

At that hearing it was revealed the Owen Sound-area lawyer was addicted to cocaine and engaged in a drug-fuelled threesome with a 17-year-old client and her intellectually challenged girlfriend.

Discipline Counsel Elaine Strosberg outlined allegations against Grant, including sexually and physically assaulting a former, 42-year-old girlfriend-client in Florence, Italy, in the spring of 2018 and rampant cocaine use.

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The 17-year-old gave birth to their baby son on March 29, 2017, after Grant had acted as duty counsel and obtained her release in June 2016 in Owen Sound. Grant was later confirmed as the father.

The hearing heard Law Society of Ontario investigator Brian Borg interviewed Grant’s former 42-year-old girlfriend-client who had an on-again, off-again, four-year relationship with the lawyer that started when she sought legal advice in 2014.

Their relationship ended on May 31, 2018, when, while vacationing in Florence, the woman became upset at him for asking a waiter for cocaine.

The couple returned to the hotel where he wanted to have sex but she didn’t. Violence erupted and the woman suffered a dislocated jaw, sprained ankle and a body “covered in bruises,” Borg alleged.

Grant admitted struggling with cocaine addiction for years and had his Alberta licence suspended for a year for drug use between 2005 and 2010, when he returned to Ontario.

— With files from Sam Pazzano

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X: @KMartinCourts

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