Emily MacKinnon

Emily MacKinnon

Partner, Litigation

Contact Information


tel: 604.692.2705



Emily MacKinnon is a litigator in Vancouver, BC. Her practice includes high-level commercial disputes as well as constitutional and public law matters. An experienced oral advocate, Emily has argued at the Supreme Court of Canada and at all levels of court in British Columbia, Manitoba, Alberta, and Ontario.

As a trusted advisor to her clients, Emily provides practical advice on company law disputes and regulatory matters. Emily excels in matters involving complex statutory and contractual schemes, with particular expertise in class actions and constitutional law. Emily has also acted in a wide variety of appeals with issues ranging from tort law to constitutional law, taxation, and criminal law.

Emily maintains an active pro bono practice. She sits on the board of directors of the UBC Allard School of Law Alumni Association, the Association des juristes d’expression française de la Colombie-Britannique, and the Vancouver Opera Foundation. Emily also works as a legal officer for the Canadian Forces Reserves.

Emily received her JD from the University of British Columbia in 2012, where she graduated as the gold medalist and as a Wesbrook Scholar. Following her graduation from law school, she clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada for Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin.

    • Vigil Health Solutions in its $12.55 million acquisition by ASSA ABLOY
    • Mobify in its acquisition by Salesforce
    • Urgent appearances for corporate clients to obtain relief from statutory obligations made necessary by COVID-19
    • Canadian National Railway Company, Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC v. British Columbia: acted for Canadian railway companies before the Environmental Appeal Board, challenging the constitutionality of British Columbia’s attempt to obtain safety and security-sensitive information
    • Walter v. British Columbia, 2019 BCCA 221: acted for the intervenor Community Legal Assistance Society challenging the constitutionality of the Attorney General’s discretion to set the remuneration of the British Columbia Review Board
    • Reference re Environmental Management Act (British Columbia), 2019 BCCA 181: acted for the Railway Association of Canada in a landmark case concerning the constitutionality of BC’s proposed legislation
    • Létourneau c. JTI-MacDonald Corp., 2015 QCCS 2382, 2019 QCCA 358: acted for a defendant group in this product liability class action claiming damages for failure to warn of the risks of smoking
    • Growthworks Commercialization Fund Ltd. v. Growthworks WV Management Ltd., 2019 ONCA 371, 2018 ONCA 233, 2017 ONSC 5009: acted for the successful petitioner in disputes over the interpretation of articles and contractual arrangements
    • Godfrey v. Sony Corporation, 2016 BCSC 844, 2017 BCCA 302, 2019 SCC 42: acted for a defendant group in this competition class action claiming damages arising from an alleged conspiracy to fix the prices of optical disk drives
    • Her Majesty the Queen v. Rothmans Inc., 2019 NBQB 44: acted for the successful moving parties in a motion concerning the interpretation of novel statutory provisions permitting sampling of documents
    • Re Solicitor-Client Privilege of Things Seized, 2019 BCSC 91: acted for the intervenor Law Society of British Columbia in a case concerning electronic disclosure
    • British Columbia v. Philip Morris International, Inc., 2018 SCC 36, 2016 BCCA 203, 2015 BCSC 844: acted for the respondent in a case concerning novel statutory discovery provisions
    • Sekhon v. Royal Bank of Canada, 2017 BCSC 497: acted for the defendant Toronto Dominion Bank in successfully opposing certification of this proposed class action
    • British Columbia (Securities Commission) v. Clozza, 2017 BCSC 419: acted for the petitioner Securities Commission in a complex case concerning the Commission’s ability to compel testimony and documents
    • Shah v. LG Chem, Ltd., 2015 ONSC 6148, 2017 ONSC 2586: acted for a defendant group in this competition class action claiming damages from an alleged conspiracy to fix the prices of lithium-ion batteries
    • Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. University of Calgary, 2016 SCC 53: acted for the intervener British Columbia Freedom of Information and Privacy Association in a case concerning the interpretation of provincial statutes protecting privileged information from disclosure
    • Canada (National Revenue) v. Thompson, 2016 SCC 21: acted for the respondent Duncan Thompson in a case concerning the interpretation of provisions of the Income Tax Act requiring disclosure of privileged records
    • Wakeling v. United States of America, 2014 SCC 72: acted for the intervener British Columbia Civil Liberties Association in a case concerning the international sharing of information obtained through wiretap

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Litigation: General Commercial (British Columbia)
  • Lexpert Rising Stars: Recognized as a Rising Star (2021)
  • Best Lawyers: Recognized as “One to Watch” in Corporate and Commercial Litigation
  • The University of British Columbia Young Alumna Award 2014
  • University of British Columbia Wesbrook Scholar 2012
  • Law Society of British Columbia Gold Medal, University of British Columbia 2012

  • Canadian Forces Reserves, Legal Officer
  • University of British Columbia Allard School of Law Alumni Association, Treasurer
  • Association des juristes d'expression française de la Colombie-Britannique, Board Member
  • Vancouver Opera Foundation, Trustee
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto

  • Law Society of British Columbia
  • Law Society of Ontario
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Advocates’ Society
  • Vancouver Bar Association

Media Mentions


  • Valuation in mining cases: Lessons from the Re Nord Gold SE dissent proceeding, Mining in the Courts Vol IX, March 2019
  • The SCC versus the ‘culture of complacency’: R. v. Cody, Canadian Appeals Monitor, July 2017
  • You and Your Robot Are Welcome Here: Canada’s Friendly Drone Laws, Canadian Privacy Law Review, September 2015
  • Certify Now, Ask Questions Later (with Caroline Zayid and Pierre-Jérôme Bouchard), 2015 Lexpert / American Lawyer, January 2015
  • Lawyers and the Media (with Simon Potter and Emira Tufo), Canadian Bar Association Legal Conference, August 2014
  • The Executive Branch: Defender of Canadian Liberties (with Simon Potter), Canadian Bar Association Constitutional and Human Rights Conference, June 2014
  • The Gender of Lying: Feminist Perspectives on the Non-Disclosure of HIV Status (with Constance Crompton), University of British Columbia Law Review, July 2012
  • Prostitution and the Law in Canada: Constitutional and Social Crossroads, Prostituzione e Diritto Penale, October 2014
  • Prostitution and the Law in Canada: Constitutional and Social Crossroads, Università di Parma International Law Seminar, Parma, Italy, June 2012
  • R v. Mabior and R v. DC: Rethinking the Criminalization of HIV Non-Disclosure in the SCC (with Isabel Grant), UBC Law at Allard Hall Colloquium, February 2012