500 - 221 West Esplanade
North Vancouver BC V7M 3J3
Tel: (604) 988-5201
Fax: (604) 988-1452
- J.D. with a concentration in environmental law and sustainability - University of Victoria, 2012
B.A. (Hons), Geography - UBC, 2008
Emma works with indigenous peoples and communities to use the law to achieve their goals, including respect for their rights, protection of their lands and waters and the wellbeing of their communities.
Emma’s practice includes litigation, negotiation and strategic advice in the areas of Aboriginal, environmental and natural resource law. One of her main focuses is assisting clients grapple with proposed and approved industrial development in their territories using the best tools available. Emma has been counsel in numerous regulatory processes conducted by provincial and federal agencies, including the National Energy Board, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, BC Environmental Assessment Office and the BC Oil and Gas Commission. She believes in working closely with clients to develop and implement creative strategies to grapple with complex problems created by resource extraction and has experience working with experts and communities to ensure impacts are understood and avoided or otherwise mitigated, accommodated and compensated.
Emma’s litigation practice includes judicial reviews and general civil litigation matters. She has appeared as co-counsel before the BC Supreme Court, Federal Court of Appeal and Specific Claims Tribunal. She also assists clients develop communications strategies, resulting in coverage in The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, and Vancouver Sun, amongst others.
Before joining Ratcliff & Company LLP, Emma worked in public interest environmental law. She continues to work with non-governmental organizations, recently assisting Generation Squeeze intervene in support of the federal government’s constitutional authority to establish a price on carbon through the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, with funding from West Coast Environmental Law.
- Law Society of British Columbia, 2013
- Tsleil-Waututh Nation v Canada (AG), 2018 FCA 153 - Establishing that Canada failed fulfill constitutional obligations to the Coldwater Indian Band before approving the Trans Mountain Expansion Project along a route that puts the community’s sole source aquifer at risk.
- Huu-ay-aht v HMTQ, 2014 SCTC 7/2016 SCTC 14 - Finding of breach of fiduciary duty regarding the Crown’s mismanagement of on-reserve timber. These were the first Specific Claims Tribunal decisions to award historical compensation and bring that loss forward to present day. Compensation to the First Nation totaled over $15 million and Canada’s judicial review to the Federal Court of Appeal was discontinued.
- Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations v Rio Tinto Alcan et al (BCSC, ongoing) - Nuisance claim grounded in aboriginal rights and title in relation to Rio Tinto Alcan’s damming and diversion of the Nechako River.
- Torys Public Interest Internship Award (2010)
- Recognized for outstanding leadership in sustainability by UBC (2007-08)
- Millennium Scholarship awarded for academic excellence and active citizenship (2006-08)