Sara A. Levine, QC

Counsel
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Sara A. Levine, QC

Sara A. Levine, QC

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Biography

Sara advises clients on all aspects of privacy and data protection, access to information, health research, the law related to pharmacy and other regulated health professions, and risk management. Her privacy practice includes advising on the privacy implications of service agreements, data sharing arrangements, consent requirements, employee privacy and surveillance. Sara has many years of experience conducting privacy assessments, developing and implementing policies, compliance programs and training. Her health professions practice includes advising on medical clinic and pharmacy ownership requirements, billing, consent to treatment, electronic records ownership rights, data management and lobbying. Her access to information practice includes making and responding to access requests, requests for review, mediations and administrative proceedings before the Information and Privacy Commissioner. 

Sara brings a broad-based knowledge of law and policy, sophisticated strategic planning skills and real-world experience to her work. She spent her early days in Ontario as a civil litigator, before turning her focus to health and privacy law.  She served over four years as a privacy officer at one of the largest law firms in Canada, where she learned the value of finding practical solutions for business problems. She has extensive experience working closely with large professional associations, leading health research entities, professional regulatory bodies, medical clinics, hospitals, health information start-ups, large manufacturers, railways, and government.   

Sara has made many written and oral submissions to legislative committees in Ontario and BC on privacy and health legislation, co-authored a leading privacy text and created a public education website on health information privacy rights. She has served on a number of volunteer boards and committees throughout her career and is currently the chair of the Metro Vancouver Transit Police Board.


Professional experience

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J.D.,  Queen's University, 1996
B.A., University of British Columbia, 1989
  • British Columbia 2005
  • Ontario 1998

Ms. Levine has over 20 years of experience  five years of litigation and over 15 years as corporate-side privacy and health law counsel:

  • Strategic counsel to clients to identify the broader, longer-term risks and benefits of their decisions on their organization's objectives
  • Counsel to large research organization, advising on, negotiating and drafting data sharing structures and agreements, to meet privacy and ethics requirements
  • Substantial experience conducting privacy assessments ranging from whole-enterprise to project specific; substantial experience writing policy and guiding clients through implementation of necessary operational changes
  • Substantial experience in dealing with, commenting on and lobbying in respect of pharmacy sector legislation, regulation and policy;  and a strong understanding of the strategic issues in the pharmacy sector and broader health sector
  • Substantial experience commenting on proposed privacy legislation and policy; strong understanding of privacy risks and new developments
  • Appointed Queen's Counsel, 2014
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Privacy and Data Security Law, 2021
  • Privacy Law in the Private Sector: An Annotation of the Legislation in Canada (contributing author), Canada Law Book:  2002 (looseleaf service)
  • "Privacy Update 2018" (co-chair), full-day course, Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, Vancouver, May 31, 2018.
  • "Video Surveillance in Long-Term Care Facilities," Canadian Centre for Elder Law 2017 Conference Vancouver, November 3, 2017.
  • "Social Media, Privacy and the Workplace," BC Pharmacy Association Annual Conference, Whistler, Saturday, May 27, 2017.
  • "Conducting Privacy Impact Assessments," 12th Managing Privacy Compliance Conference, Federated Press, Vancouver, November 5 & 6, 2015.
  • "Privacy and Tribunals," BC Council of Administrative Tribunals 2015 Conference, Vancouver, October 5, 2015.
  • "CBABC Freedom of Information and Privacy Professional Development" (co-chair), full-day conference, Vancouver, May 13, 2015.
  • "Information Security Breaches," Lexpert Information Privacy, Data Protection and Access Law Conference, Vancouver, March 31, 2015.
  • "Conducting Privacy Impact Assessments," 10th  Managing Privacy Compliance Conference, Federated Press, Vancouver, November 4-5, 2014.
  • "Health Care Consent or Privacy Consent – What You Need and When you Need It," British Columbia Pharmacy Association Annual Conference, Whistler, BC, May 23, 2014.
  • "Privacy Update 2013," full-day course, Canadian Bar Association –BC/Continuing Legal Education BC, Vancouver, May 1, 2013.
  • Chair, Metro Vancouver Transit Police Board
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association Privacy Subsection (BC 2007-2016, including two terms as co-chair;  Ontario 2001-2005)
  • Member, International Association of Privacy Professionals