Sara A. Levine, Q.C.

T 604-877-1057 ext. 104 M 604-351-5917 E slevine@alliancelex.com

Practice Areas

  • Privacy and Freedom of Information
  • Health Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Business Law and Planning

Sara practices privacy, freedom of information and health law, serving clients in the business, regulatory, non-profit, education and health sectors.

Her privacy work includes privacy compliance assessments, compliance program development and implementation, strategic advice during privacy breaches, drafting and negotiating information-sharing and information-protection agreements, and ongoing advice and support. Her freedom of information work includes acting for applicants and public bodies in making or responding to access to information requests, drafting and negotiating data linkage and information-sharing agreements, plans, policies and procedures, and related legal compliance issues. 

In her health law practice, Sara works with research entities on data sharing and data protection agreements, ethical issues, and privacy compliance; and with professional associations on health policy issues, strategy, assisting with consultations and commenting on legislation, and policy development.  

Sara is committed to public education around privacy and freedom of information issues. Her work in this area includes creating two public education websites about privacy rights in BC, co-authoring a leading reference work on privacy law and policy, and presentations to various groups interested in privacy rights and obligations in BC.

Sara serves on the Boards of several voluntary organizations and speaks frequently at conferences and in the media on privacy issues.

Sara was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2014.   

Community Contributions

  • Director, South Coast BC Transportation Authority Police Services Board (Transit Police) (Governance Committee, HR Committee) 2011-Present
  • Past Co-Chair, CBABC Privacy and FOI Subsection 2014-2016; and 2011-2013; Executive Member 2007-2013
  • Member, Canadian Advisory Board, International Association of Privacy Professionals 2011-2014
  • Co-President (Past), Board of Directors, Richmond Jewish Day School 2012 - 2014; Executive Member 2006-2010
  • Honorary Permanent Member, Board of Advisors, Freedom of Information and Privacy Association

Media

Speaking Engagements

  • Panellist, Matchmaking, Relationships and The Perils of Online Dating, Cambridge House Vancouver Women’s Conference, November 12, 2016
  • Speaker, Conducting Privacy Impact Assessments, 12th Managing Privacy Compliance Conference, Federated Press, Vancouver, November 5 & 6, 2015
  • Speaker,  New Issues in Privacy,  CGA-BC  Computer Users Group (Vancouver) Meeting, October 15, 2015
  • Speaker, Privacy and Tribunals, BC Council of Administrative Tribunals, 2015 Conference, Vancouver, October 5, 2015
  • Co-Chair,  CBABC Freedom of Information and Privacy Professional Development Conference, Vancouver, May 13, 2015
  • Speaker,  Information Security Breaches  at the Lexpert Information Privacy, Data Protection and Access Law Conference, Vancouver, March 31, 2015
  • Speaker, Conducting Privacy Impact Assessments, at the 10th  Managing Privacy Compliance Conference, Federated Press,  Vancouver, November 4-5, 2014
  • Speaker, Health Care Consent or Privacy Consent – What You Need and When you Need It at the British Columbia Pharmacy Association Annual Conference, Whistler, May 23, 2014
  • Speaker, Document Retention and Destruction: Key Privacy Issues at the Lorman Education Services Document Retention and Destruction Seminar, Vancouver, September 24, 2013
  • Speaker, Document Retention and Destruction: Key Privacy Issues at the Lorman Education Services Document Retention and Destruction Seminar, Vancouver, September 24, 2013
  • Course Co-Chair, Privacy Update 2013,  at the Canadian Bar Association –BC/Continuing Legal Education BC Full Day Course, Vancouver, May 1, 2013
  • Speaker, Case Update:  BCLC v. Skelton at the CBA-BC Privacy Subsection Meeting, April 10, 2013
  • Seminar Leader, Privacy 101: Presentation to BC Federation of Labour Financial Officers and Administrators Seminar, January 31, 2013
  • Speaker,  Cross Border Customers, Operations and Services Providers: Key Privacy Issues at the Osgoode Professional Development Webinar Series: Key Issues in Privacy and Information Management, November 21, 2012
  • Speaker, Information Law & Government 2.0: Changes to the FIPPA, at the BC Information Summit 2012, hosted by the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, September 19, 2012
  • Speaker, Canadian Bar Association Section Executive Orientation at the Law Courts Inn, Vancouver, September 5, 2012
  • Speaker, Privacy 101 for the CGA-BC  Computer Users Group (Vancouver) Meeting, June 21, 2012
  • Speaker, Lawyers Advising their Clients in the Cloud, Canadian Bar Association – BC Branch, Continuing Legal Education Webinar, Vancouver, May 2, 2012
  • Speaker, Maintaining Privacy Controls in the Cloud, PIPA Conference 2011: Privacy, Its Your Business, hosted by the Information and Privacy Commissioners of BC and Alberta, Vancouver, October 13-14, 2011
  • Speaker,  Privacy Compliance in British Columbia: The Year in Review, at The Canadian Institute, Privacy Law and Compliance Conference in Toronto, September 20-21, 2011
  • Speaker, Privacy Issues and Cloud Computing, at the Canadian Bar Association 2011 Legal Conference and Expo, Privacy In Practice Session, Tuesday, August 16, 2011
  • Speaker, Maintaining Privacy Compliance in Cross-Border, Outsourcing and IT Transactions at The Canadian Institute, WesternForum on Privacy Law and Compliance conference in Calgary, January 20-21, 2011 
  • Speaker, Managing Emerging Privacy Issues in Policing, at The Canadian Institute, The Law of Policing 2010 in Vancouver, November 24, 2010
  • Panelist, Getting to Know You – BC’s New Era of Services and  Surveillance at B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association Information Summit: Transparency Turnaround, in Vancouver, September 29, 2010
  • Speaker, Behavioral Marketing - Tracking Consumers Online, at the PIPA Conference 2009, hosted by the Offices of the Information and Privacy Commissioners for B.C. and for Alberta, in Vancouver, October 15-16, 2009. 
  • Moderator, Best Practices Managers are Using to Combat ID Fraud,  B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association Privacy and ID Theft Conference, 2008, Vancouver, November 24-25, 2008
  • Instructor, Privacy of Medical Information - Everything You Need to Know About Collection, Use, and Disclosure, Lancaster House full-day workshop, June 10, 2006
  • Instructor, The Nuts and Bolts of Privacy Compliance in Canada Interactive Forum at The Canadian Institute ''Privacy Compliance'' Conference in Toronto, May 8-10, 2006 (½ Day)
  • Speaker, Managing Your Agents to Protect Patient Privacy, The Canadian Institute, Implementing PHIPA conference in Toronto, May 8-10, 2006
  • Speaker, Corporate Liability for Identity Theft: The Next ''Big Hit'' to the Bottom Line? at the Manitoba Bar Association - Corporate Counsel Section Dinner Meeting in Winnipeg, March 15, 2006
  • Speaker, Canadian Privacy Laws and Health Research, Ontario Hospital Privacy Officers’ Forum, in Toronto, March 2005
  • Moderator, Privacy Law for Law Clerks, Law Society of Upper Canada CLE, Teleconference Seminar (over 300 attendees), in Toronto, February 2005
  • Speaker, Privacy Laws In Canada, International Association of Business Communicators International Conference, in Calgary, November 2004
  • Speaker, Pensions and Benefits - Privacy Issues, Canadian Institute Conference Containing Health Benefits Costs, in Toronto, November 2004
  • Speaker, Health Privacy Compliance for Health Organizations: The Lock Box, Fundraising and Research, Fasken Martineau Privacy Legislation Seminar, in Toronto, September 29, 2004
  • Speaker, IVR (Interactive Voice Technology) and the Impact of Privacy Laws, Society for Consumer Affairs Professionals, June 15, 2004
  • Instructor & Seminar Leader, Privacy Compliance in Health Care, Insight Conference May 17-18, 2004
  • Instructor, Privacy Law for Litigators, Law Society of Upper Canada Teleseminar, May 12, 2004
  • Conference Co-Chair and Speaker, Privacy Compliance for Law Firms, Ontario Bar Association Conference, All-day CLE in Toronto, May 6, 2004
  • Speaker, The New Privacy Legislation- Impact on the Health Care Sector, at Health Law and Medical Malpractice - Essential Decisions, Ontario Bar Association Conference, in Toronto, March 30, 2004
  • Speaker, Bill 31: the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004, at Hospitals and Foundations in Transition: Issues and Opportunities, Fasken Martineau Seminar Series, in Toronto, January 2004
  • Speaker, Privacy and Consumer Services, Society for Consumer Affairs Professionals (''SOCAP''), in Toronto, October 2003
  • Speaker, Privacy and Human Resources, Canadian Manufacturing Compensation Association (''CMCA''), in Toronto, October 2003
  • Speaker, Provincial Approaches to Regulating Health Care Privacy: An Overview, at Insight Conferences Annual Privacy Law Conference, September 23, 2002
  • Instructor, Bar Admission Course – Civil Litigation section, Law Society of Upper Canada, September 10-14, 2001 (5 days)

Submissions to Government

  • In person and in writing, Special Committee to Review the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act,  Legislative Assembly of BC, in Vancouver, Monday, November 9, 2015
  • Co-author, On behalf of the Canadian Bar Association-BC Branch Privacy and Freedom of Information Subsection, written submissions to Special Committee to Review the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act,  Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, January 2016
  • Co-author, On behalf of the Canadian Bar Association-BC Branch Privacy and Freedom of Information Subsection, written submissions to Special Committee to Review the Personal Information Protection Act, Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, September 2014

Writer and Teacher

  • Author - public education website on health information privacy   Detailed educational site about health information privacy rights in British Columbia. Topics covered include confidentiality, consent, who can see your health information, health research (launched March 2011). http://www.healthinfoprivacybc.ca/ 
  • Author - online 8-chapter Privacy Handbook  Topics covered include access and privacy rights, health privacy; employment privacy, FOI matters, privacy and the criminal law, and policy issues related to the impact of government programs on privacy rights (posted May 2009). http://bccla.org/publications.html   
  • Teacher - Common Law for Foreign Business Lawyers  (January 2008)  Developed and taught thirty-five hour course in Common Law covering contracts, torts, remedies, securities, fiduciary and directors/officers duties and contract drafting.
  • Co-Author Privacy Law in the Private Sector: An Annotation of the Legislation in Canada (Canada Law Book:  Fall 2007)   Completed the major portion of a leading Canadian two-volume reference book covering most major private sector privacy law and policy issues in Canada.    

Selected Articles

  • Author, Recycling Practices May Lead to Privacy Breach: Clear Standards for Information Disposal Enunciated by Ontario Privacy Commissioner, Canadian Privacy Law Review, Vol. 3, No. 4, January 2006.
  • Co-Author, Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner Reprimands Law Firms for Lack of Attention to Impact of Privacy Laws,  Internet and E-Commerce Law in Canada, Vol. 6, No. 7,September 2005.     (Also published in Personally Yours , Ontario Bar Association Privacy Law Section Newsletter, Volume 6, No. 1 - October 2005)
  • Author, Outsourcing in British Columbia and the USA-PATRIOT Act: A Primer, in Personally Yours, Ontario Bar Association Privacy Law Section Newsletter, (10 pages), April 2005
  • Co-Author, “Consent to Treatment and Consent Requirements in Bill 31’s the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004''  Insight Conference May 17-18, 2004
  • Co-Author, Canadian Privacy Laws: Countdown to January 1, 2004, The American Bar Association’s Canadian Law Newsletter, Vol. XXXIX, No. 2, Fall 2003
  • Co-Author, The Safe Harbor: Privacy in the United States, in Personally Yours (Ontario Bar Association, Privacy Law Section Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 3), May 2003
  • Co-Author, The Impact of Canadian Privacy Legislation on Civil Litigation, presented at ''Are You Ready for 2004?'', OBA Institute of Continuing Legal Education, March 20, 2003