Former Hard-hitting CFL All Star / Grey Cup Champ Trent Brown now calls the plays for Personal Injury Victims. Trent was born and raised in Edmonton. While attending the University of Alberta, the two-time CIAU All-Canadian cornerback played for the Alberta Golden Bear football team. After university, Trent was a hard hitting all-star safety with the Edmonton Eskimos (1990 - 1999) - he earned a Grey Cup ring in 1993. Brown called the plays on the field for the CFL’s top defence for 6 seasons.
Numerous concussions led to Trent’s retirement from football in 1999. It also inspired him to pursue a law career. He completed his Bachelor of Laws at the University of Saskatchewan before being admitted to the Alberta Bar. Trent now calls the plays at James H. Brown & Associates, one of Alberta’s leading Personal Injury law firms.
My Business Magazine caught up with Trent Brown to talk about his life after football and to explore how the Grey Cup Champ and CFL All-Star (1997 and 1998) has built a champion, hard hitting, precedent-setting, legal team.
MBM: How have you managed the transition from a successful football career to running one of Alberta’s leading personal injury law firms?
TRENT: Managing a law firm is not unlike running a championship sports team. If you want to be the best, you need to surround yourself with a winning team. Every person on the team must share a common vision and work together to reach the common goal.
We have hand-picked a team of experienced professionals, including several former insurance defence lawyers who are committed to assisting injured people and their families.
In football, as well as in law, preparation is half the battle. We have the largest team of lawyers, experts and support staff and leave no stone unturned in seeking compensation for people who suffer catastrophic injuries.
We have earned a reputation for going the extra mile to assist injured parties and their families. We spend more time, more resources and extend more effort on our clients’ files than do any of our competitors.
Our lawyers don’t back down. We explore all avenues of compensation and are not intimidated by insurance companies or their lawyers.
And, our philosophy and approach appear to be working – our clients have received some of the largest settlements in Alberta.
MBM: What makes a good personal injury lawyer?
TRENT: I believe experience and results are the two most important factors to look at. Our lawyers have more than 200 years of combined experience working for injured clients and have achieved Alberta’s leading injury settlements. Our experience and results speak for themselves. I challenge anyone to compare our experience and results with any other personal injury law firm in Alberta. No one can beat us.
You should also always look for a personal injury law firm with the resources to maximize your claim – Our clients have consistently received some of Alberta's Largest Injury Settlements including Alberta’s leading brain injury and spinal cord injury settlements. ( https://www.jameshbrown.com/results.html )
When we agree to represent you, James H. Brown & Associates will cover all of the expenses of advancing your file. We approach each claim as if it’s going to trial and, paradoxically, this can often prevent a trial. We leave no stone unturned, and always hire the best experts.
We work on a percentage of the funds recovered on your behalf and only get paid when your case is concluded. Our clients pay nothing unless we recover money for them.
MBM: What do your clients say about working with you?
TRENT: We pride ourselves on client satisfaction and go the extra mile to ensure our clients are informed about the claims process. Our clients come from all walks of life and many of them have never dealt with a lawyer before. They appreciate our plain speaking and down to earth approach to their claim. There are many client testimonials on our website http://www.jameshbrown.com and we encourage our clients to stay in touch even after the claim has been settled.
MBM: Can you tell us a little about your family’s winning tradition, championship history and relationship to sports in Edmonton/Canada?
TRENT: My grandfather Buster Brown (of Edmonton) won a gold medal for Canada in the 4 x 100 relay at the 1930 British Empire Games (now the Commonwealth Games). He was also a member of the world championship hockey team, the Edmonton Superiors.
My father, James H. Brown, was a member of the 1963 Edmonton Oil Kings that won the Memorial Cup. His dream of a professional hockey career came to an end when, at age 19, he suffered a broken neck in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. My dad’s struggle back to health taught him how much a devastating injury can affect someone's life and was the driving force, almost 25 years ago, behind the establishment of the firm that still bears his name.
I earned a Grey Cup ring as a defensive back with the 1993 Edmonton Eskimo football team. All three generations have been inducted into Alberta or Edmonton Sports Halls of Fame.
I am also a third generation Edmonton Eskimo on my mother’s side. My great uncle Bill Hortie played for the Eskimos, followed by my uncle Edward Molstad, and then myself. I am very proud of my roots and family history of success.
MBM: How has your connection to sports helped you do your job?
TRENT: Whether you work in business or sports, you can’t succeed without a good team. We have handpicked the best, most talented, and the most committed individuals to join the James H. Brown & Associates team. Our 12 lawyers bring clients more than 200 years of experience assisting seriously injured persons and their families. We have a support staff of about 50 people that are second to none. Staff work hard together to ensure maximum compensation for our clients.
I also think having a competitive and winning attitude is critical. This translates into results, and results mean happy clients.
MBM: Has James H. Brown & Associates received any Awards?
TRENT: James H. Brown & Associates greatly appreciates the awards and acknowledgements we have received from professional associations and various charitable organizations over the past two decades. Some of the more recent ones include:
2017 – Community enrichment award
2016 - Brain Care Centre honours James H. Brown for two decades of support.
2014 - Champion of Justice Award - awarded by the Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association. This award is given to a member of the community who has championed the causes of justice, thereby protecting and furthering the rights of the individual.
2009 - Corporate Leadership Award - awarded by the Canadian Paraplegic Association.
2009 - Celebrate Excellence Role of Honour Award - awarded by the Alberta Association of Fundraising Executives.
Unlike many personal injury law firms, we never pay marketing or logo licensing fees associated with so-called "Top Consumer Choice" awards. We have been approached by many of these outfits - but we typically respectfully decline.
MBM: What charities do you/your firm support?
TRENT: Over the years, the firm has given millions of dollars to local charities and non-profits. I try to follow the legacy my father started by giving back to the community that has been so good to us.
There are too many to name them all but a few of the organizations we sponsor and support are: The Brain Care Center, The Canadian Paraplegic Association, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, University of Alberta Hospital Foundation, Multi Cultural Family Resource Center, Hope Mission, MADD, RADD, Salvation Army, Santa’s Anonymous, Camp He Ho Ha, Habitat for Humanity, Eskimo Alumni Association, Edmonton Oil Kings Alumni Association, etc.
I have always valued the importance of giving back and during my time with the Eskimos I was the honourary spokesman for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Edmonton. I was also an integral part of the Eskimo’s “Stay in School Initiative,” and worked with the Ronald McDonald House, United Way, Carnival of Champions, Alex Taylor Community School, the D.A.R.E. program and Kids with Cancer.
There is no better feeling than being able to give back and help out with worthy causes and people in need.
SF: What about your personal life and what do you do in your spare time?
TRENT: In terms of my personal life in my spare time I work out, hike, ski and travel with “my three girls” whenever I can. My wife Erin and I are the parents to our healthy, happy and beautiful child Brooklynn Sage and our dog Ocean. My “girls” are the loves of my life. I feel truly blessed to have the family and life I have today.
Suzen Fromstein is the author of Suits and Ladders, Ten Proven Ways to Keep Your Job Safe - with a few jokes thrown in. Suits and Ladders was an Amazon Best Selling Book in the Career Guides Category.
James H. Brown & Associates 2400 Sun Life Place 10123 - 99 Street Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3H1