In a testament to their exceptional skill and unwavering commitment to the legal profession, Pitblado Law is proud to announce that four of its distinguished lawyers have been bestowed the designation of King’s Counsel (K.C.). Sandra Kliman, Joe Barnsley, Jason Bryk, and Bryan Schwartz have received this prestigious honour, signifying their outstanding contributions to their areas of practice and the community.


The King’s Counsel designation is an honourary title bestowed upon lawyers by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, following recommendations made by the Attorney General after consultation with an advisory council. This distinction is reserved for lawyers who have exhibited exceptional merit throughout their careers including outstanding practice, unwavering integrity and leadership, and the promotion of excellence within the profession and justice system.


Photo of four lawyers


Sandra Kliman, K.C.

Sandra practices family law including alternate dispute resolution, spousal and co-habitational agreements, and enforcement of the rights of spouses and children. Sandra is a trained collaborative lawyer, mediator, arbitrator, and parenting coordinator and provides these services to those desiring alternative dispute resolution services. Sandra is a proponent of helping her clients find collaborative solutions to their domestic issues while protecting their interests and those of their families.


Sandra’s appointment as King’s Counsel recognizes her exemplary legal skills, and her dedication to her clients has consistently earned her the respect of her peers. She has been named to the Best Lawyers® in Canada for the last eight consecutive years. Sandra’s commitment to fostering excellence within the profession is evident through her dedication to upholding the highest ethical standards.


Joe Barnsley, K.C.

Joe brings tremendous business and practical insight, as well as legal expertise to the table. He works intimately with his clients, often being trusted to advise on critical decisions and to lead business transformation. While Joe has handled deals of all types, he is especially knowledgeable about the insurance and transportation industries.

Joe has devoted much of his free time to helping others, chairing both Winnipeg and Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, serving as Honourary British Consul for 16 years, and leading Manitoba and Canadian Bar Association Transportation and Air & Space Law Sections as well as numerous industry and community organizations.  He was awarded Queen Elizabeth’s Golden and Platinum Jubilee Medals for Community Service.

With a remarkable five decades of legal practice, Joe has consistently demonstrated his commitment to excellence in every aspect of his life.


Jason Bryk, K.C.

Jason Bryk is a real estate lawyer who assists clients across Canada with Manitoba matters. Jason provides his services to commercial real estate developers, homebuilders, a wide range of businesses, condominium developers, apartment owners, lenders, and borrowers.  His ability to navigate complex legal matters has made him an invaluable asset to Pitblado Law.


In addition to Jason’s practice, Jason has long held the position of Chair for the Manitoba Bar Association’s Real Property Subsection Committee, he is the Designated Representative for Manitoba Real Property for the Canadian Bar Association, a Manitoba Bar Association Council Member, a Public Member of the Association of Manitoba Land Surveyors, a mentor to two lawyers at Pitblado and, was recently appointed to the Board of Governors for The Manitoba Museum.  His dedication to mentoring others and sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience enriches the legal community.


Bryan Schwartz, K.C.

Bryan has decades of experience as a practicing lawyer as well as an academic and arbitrator. He holds a LL.B. from Queen’s University and a Master’s and Doctorate in law from Yale Law School. He has appeared and advocated in forums ranging from the Supreme Court of Canada to the House of Commons to public hearings. He has also served on arbitration panels at the provincial, national, and international levels. Bryan has advised governments on policy and law reform, including provincial, territorial, and Indigenous governments as well as the government of Canada.


Bryan is an author/contributor of 33 books and has over 300 publications in all and has been co-editor in chief of the Manitoba Law Journal since 2010. Over the years he has received numerous awards and honours for teaching, research, and community service.


Bryan’s extensive knowledge of the profession at all levels and active involvement in teaching highlight his dedication to being a tremendous lawyer and asset to the industry.


“This is a well-deserved recognition of excellence for four of our Pitblado lawyers. It rewards our culture, and our commitment to the profession, clients, and community. Sandra, Joe, Jason, and Bryan join six other Pitblado K.C.s, providing support and inspiration for all of us,” Karen Poetker, Chair of the Board, Pitblado Law.


Congratulations to Sandra Kliman, Joe Barnsley, Jason Bryk, and Bryan Schwartz on this well-deserved honour; may their continued contributions to the profession inspire future generations of lawyers.