Alan Riddell was born in Ottawa South, attended Lisgar Collegiate Institute and has lived part of his adult life in Ottawa South. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto Law School, and France’s prestigious Institut d’ Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences-Pol) where he successfully completed graduate studies in International Relations, on scholarship.
While completing these studies, Alan worked as summer student in the Prime Minister’s Office, where he advised on Justice Policy issues, and in the Senate of Canada, where he helped draft a report on Canadian Policy towards the Middle East for the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
Alan is fluently bilingual, and practices law in both official languages. Since 1997, he has been a partner at Soloway Wright, one of Ottawa’s oldest and most respected law firms, where he specializes in employment law, commercial litigation and appellate advocacy. He is currently head of that firm’s Labour and Employment Law Group.
During his career as a lawyer, Alan has successfully argued a number of high profile constitutional and administrative law cases in the Supreme Court of Canada, including Canada’s first case interpreting the rights of Federal government employees under the Access to Information and Privacy Acts (Dagg v. Minister of Finance), in which he defended the access to information rights of public servants. He was also counsel before that Court on the seminal cases of Donahoe v. CBC, and BellExpress-Vu v. Rex, where he defended the rights of minority language groups to receive satellite TV signals in their native languages.
In addition to his practice as a lawyer, Alan teaches the Employment Law course at Algonquin College and has published several legal articles in both English and French in the fields of employment law and constitutional law.
As co-founder and first Co-Chair of the Party’s National Debater’s Forum, he was one of the first public advocates for the merger of the Progressive Conservative and Reform parties, and chaired the first nationally televised debate on the mechanics of accomplishing this merger in 1997 (between Hugh Segal and David Frumm).
Alan has been deeply involved in local community affairs in Ottawa for a number of years. He is a longstanding member of Le Club Richelieu d’Ottawa, L’Association des Juristes d’expression francaise de l’Ontario, the County of Carleton Law Association and the Advocates’ Society. He has also been active in the United Way.