Paul Drager, QC
Paul Drager devotes his practice to matters relating to international trade law, government relations and international resource issues.
Since 1989, Mr. Drager has acted as outside counsel for a number of energy and natural resource companies negotiating projects in the former Soviet Union. Such projects included the first oil joint venture by a major Canadian producer with the new Russian government. He has travelled extensively throughout Eastern and Western Europe on behalf of clients and has experience in negotiating international commercial agreements in a variety of foreign jurisdictions. He has worked on major mining and natural resource projects.
Under Mr. Drager’s direction, Macleod Dixon (one of the predecessor firms of our Canadian practice) received the first formal accreditation of a Canadian law firm by the Russian government and established the first branch of a Canadian law firm in Moscow in 1990. The office, now integrated into our global practice, developed into one of the premier Western law firms in Russia, advising clients, including the Russian government and international multinationals, on both public and private international law issues. The Moscow office expanded to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where Macleod Dixon was the first Canadian firm to establish a permanent office in 1995. Mr. Drager was also instrumental in further expansion into Caracas, Venezuela (1997), acting as chair of international operations from 1992 to 2007.
Mr. Drager has served as a Canadian diplomat on commercial and legal matters at the Canadian embassies in Moscow, USSR (1986 to 1989) and The Hague, Netherlands (1980 to 1984). As a foreign service officer in trade and legal matters in Ottawa with the Department of Foreign Affairs Canada, he has had considerable experience in bilateral and multilateral international trade law issues and negotiations, including international claims and commodity agreements. Prior to joining Foreign Affairs, Mr. Drager worked in Montreal for Alcan (now Rio Tinto Alcan), a large multinational aluminum corporation, from 1974 to 1978, and another major Canadian law firm, from 1978 to 1979.
Mr. Drager has also been active in trade and political matters, having been a delegate at international conferences such as The World Petroleum Conference and a member of missions including Team Canada, as well as a candidate in the 1997 federal election on behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada in the constituency of Calgary South West.
Year of call
LL.B., McGill University, 1978
B.C.L., McGill University, 1977
B.Com., McGill University, 1974
- “Employees Working in Foreign Countries: Personnel Concerns and Other Issues Relating to Expatriates,” prepared for seminar on employment and labour law in Alberta, Lorman Education Services, December 1999.
- “Foreign Corrupt Practices Legislation,” Canadian Bar Association conference, August 2007.
Mr. Drager has also addressed numerous international and Canadian conferences on international legal and business issues.
- Mr. Drager is often interviewed and quoted by the media on such issues as international economic development and the political and energy scenes.
Rankings and recognitions
- Appointed Honorary Consul in Western Canada for the Republic of Kazakhstan, January 2013
- Leadership Award, Alberta Export Awards, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Alberta Government, 2010
- Appointed Queen’s Counsel (QC), January 2008
- Celebrating Excellence Award, University of Calgary, 2005
- Recognition Award, Faculty Association, University of Calgary, 2004
- Distinguished Service Award for Service to the Community, Law Society of Alberta/Canadian Bar Association, 2003
- Hal Godwin Award for Excellence in International Business, Faculty of Management, University of Calgary, 2002
- President’s Internationalization Achievement Award, University of Calgary, 2001
Memberships and activities
- Canadian Bar Association
- Law Society of Alberta
- Chairman, CARE Canada
- Vice-Chair and Director, CARE International
- Chairman, International Business Advisory Board, University of Calgary
- National Director and Calgary Director, Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association (CERBA)