Born and raised in rural and small-town southern Alberta, James Swanson is a self-admitted science and technology nerd and a former professional musician (piano, organ, keyboards, synthesizers).  He is well-known and respected as a leading technology and intellectual property lawyer with 36 years of experience in the practice of law in Alberta.


His clients range from large publicly-traded companies to early-stage and start-up businesses to individuals including scientists, authors, composers, musicians, creators, programmers, engineers and inventors.  Many of his clients are in fact other law firms, who outsource specialized legal work to Swanson Law, and who value our "no poach" policy.


  • BASc, University of Lethbridge

  • JD (Juris Doctor), University of Alberta Law School (Dean's Honours List, highest grade in Real Estate)

  • Advanced Graduate Diploma in Management, Athabasca University

  • MBA (focusing on information technology), Athabasca University (With Distinction)

  • Certificate in Entertainment Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University

  • Canadian Securities Course


  • Member Law Society of Alberta

  • Registered Trade-mark Agent (Canada)


  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada since 2008:

    • Technology Law 

      • Lawyer of the Year - Technology Law for Calgary for 2017

    • Privacy and Data Security Law

      • Lawyer of the Year - Privacy and Data Security Law for Calgary for 2020

Best Lawyers is a leading peer review publication for the legal profession.  "Lawyer of the Year" is awarded to the one lawyer receiving the highest overall feedback for that year from their peers in their practice area for their region. ​

  • Athabasca University Faculty of Business, 2019 Hall of Fame Award


  • Law Society of Alberta

  • Canadian Bar Association

  • IPIC (Intellectual Property Institute of Canada)

  • CAN-TECH (Canadian Technology Law Association)

  • INTA (International Trademark Association)

  • IAPP (International Association of Privacy Professionals)

  • PACC (Privacy and Access Council of Canada) - board member

  • Alberta Council of Technologies (ABCTech) - board member

  • The Sedona Conference, Working Group 7, Sedona Canada (founding member, former national co-chair, Canada)

  • Lecturer, Business Law, Athabasca University MBA program

  • Lecturer, Osgoode Hall Law School, Certificate Programs: e-Discovery, Records Management, Information Governance and Privacy (2014), e-Discovery, Information Governance and Privacy (2019)

  • Contributing author, e-Discovery in Canada (LexisNexis)

  • Presenter on multiple occasions on topics including copyright law, trademark law, patent law, privacy, electronic records and evidence, e-discovery, computer forensics, cloud computing, Internet law, information governance, cybersecurity, IP litigation, blockchain, AI,  technology outsourcing, online commerce, etc.

Best Lawyers - Lawyer Logo.jpg