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Biography

Spotlight

Sheila is particularly well known for her experience of parliamentary privilege and constitutional law. "She's extremely personable and very passionate about the area of law in which she practises and to which she brings enthusiasm and genuine interest," say clients. 

- Chambers Canada, 2018 Guide

Sheila is the most senior civil litigator in our Yellowknife office. She has experience in all levels of court in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut and has appeared before a number of boards and tribunals. She routinely advises and represents both the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Nunavut on legal issues before courts. She is presently the Law Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories.

Sheila has considerable experience in the area of parliamentary privilege, legislative drafting and interpretation and constitutional law, much of that arising out of her experience with the Legislative Assembly stemming back to 1988. She has advised, and continues to advise, a number of boards with respect to their legal obligations. She has appeared in complex litigation matters in both Nunavut and the NWT. She is counsel for the Government of Nunavut on child protection cases and, as such, appears before the Nunavut Court of Justice on these matters on a regular basis.

Professional Activities

  • Federation of Law Societies of Canada, President, (2017-2018)
  • Named to the Advisory Board tasked with providing the Prime Minister with a short list of candidates for the Supreme Court of Canada justice position in 2017
  • Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission (effective April 2015)
  • 1st Vice President and President Elect, Federation of Law Societies of Canada 
  • Association of Parliamentary Counsel in Canada, President (August 2011)
  • Law Society of the Northwest Territories, President (2010 to 2011)
  • Law Society of the Northwest Territories, Member, Discipline Committee (1998 to 2009, 2012 - ongoing)
  • Law Society of the Northwest Territories, Member, Admissions Committee (1990-93 and 1998 to 2009)
  • Canadian Bar Association - 1988 to present, Member
  • Law Society of the Northwest Territories, Member of the Executive (1993-1997 and 2009 to 2011)
  • Law Society of the Northwest Territories, President (1997)
  • CBA subsection on Family law, past Vice Chair
  • Project Law Blog, Contributor

Community Activities

  • Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation (2006 to 2009)
  • Legal Services Board of the NWT (2002 to 2009)
  • Yellowknife Day Care Society (2001 to 2007)

Recognitions & Rankings

Recognitions & Rankings

  • Best Lawyers in Canada: recognized for Family Law and Personal Injury Litigation
  • Chambers Canada: recognized in the General Business Law: Northern Canada and Arctic category
  • Lexpert Zenith Award 2017Recognized for the advancement of women in the legal profession
  • Fellow of The Litigation Counsel of America

Experience

Experience

  • Law Clerk to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories 
  • Has (and continues to) act as counsel on matters involving constitutional challenges in the area of child protection legislation, disability issues and custom adoption
  • Acted as legal counsel in numerous cases involving issues of parliamentary privilege and parliamentary law
  • Significant practice in acting as counsel for the Director of Child and Family Services for Nunavut on matters relating to child protection proceedings
  • Has extensive experience in the realm of litigation involving same sex rights

News & Publications

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagements

Sheila has extensive experience in organizing and delivering the NWT Intensive Trial Advocacy Program (2007, 2009, 2011 and 2017) as well as being a guest instructor at the Legal Education Society of Alberta's Trial Advocacy Program (2007) in Calgary. The Program is a four day program of very intense advocacy training for junior lawyers.

Sheila MacPherson, Lawson Lundell Photo
Yellowknife
t 867.669.5522
f 867.920.2206

Assistant Contact

Bar Admissions

  • Northwest Territories (1988)
  • Nunavut (1999)

Education

Carleton University (BA. Honours, 1982)

Dalhousie University (LL.B., 1987)

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