Elin Sigurdson’s practice focuses on aboriginal and constitutional litigation and dispute resolution. She is committed to finding the most effective long-term solutions for her clients, and has throughout her practice been involved in complex matters of significant importance to her clients and to the public. Elin’s interest in the law is grounded in her commitment to finding legal solutions for people and groups seeking social justice. She has been honoured to work with First Nations to achieve their goals including recognition and protection of their rights, securing economic benefits, and achieving greater self-governance.
Elin’s experience has included mounting major Aboriginal Law, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Charter cases. She recently worked with a First Nation client, alongside a group of indigenous clients, environmental organizations and their counsel to challenge the approvals of the Northern Gateway Pipelines Project. She has worked with Aboriginal groups across Canada to advance both litigation and non-litigation strategies for attaining proper recognition of treaty rights. She has worked with First Nation governments to develop internal capacity and policies, and to develop strategies for the recognition and implementation of indigenous law and jurisdiction. Elin also works with clients in their efforts to ensure that the duty to consult owed to Indigenous peoples is carried out honourably by the Crown and assists in developing strategic approaches to the participation of First Nations in consultation and negotiation with the Crown and industry.
Elin has worked on matters in all levels of court in British Columbia and Ontario, the Federal Courts and the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as various tribunals such as the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, Property Assessment Board and National Energy Board.
Elin has studied in Canada, the United States and the Netherlands, and is interested in bringing global perspectives to the human rights and constitutional issues faced by indigenous peoples in Canada. Her masters in law at UC Berkeley focused on understanding the role of courts and litigation strategies in efforts to create social change. Elin speaks regularly at Law School and University classes and at conferences on topics ranging from developments in Constitutional law to the responsibility of lawyers to take up the Calls To Action articulated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Elin was called to the Bar in 2007 after she clerked at the British Columbia Court of Appeal in 2005-2006. She joined Mandell Pinder in 2016.
Outside of her work with Mandell Pinder, Elin’s passions include singing and playing music, riding her bike, travel and local adventures with her family and friends, and volunteering with her favourite community organizations on social justice and legal change projects.
Bachelor of Arts, University of British Columbia, Religion and Literature, 2000
Bachelor of Laws, University of British Columbia, 2005
Master of Laws, University of California, Berkeley, 2011
Professional Standing & Affiliations
Member, Law Society of B.C.
Member, Law Society of Alberta
Pivot Legal Society, Lawyers advisory committee, Sex work law reform committee
West Coast LEAF, Board Member, Member of legal committee
BC Civil Liberties Association, litigation advisory committee
Coach, UBC Faculty of Law Wilson Moot Team
Publications & Presentations
Allard School of Law Professional Ethics course, “The TRC Calls to Action, Legal Ethics and your Professional Responsibilities”, July 2016
Pacific Business and Law Institute, “Action is Required: what the TRC requires of all of us”, March 9, 2016
Allard School of Law Charter Litigation Seminar, “Sex Work Law Reform: Litigation and Law Reform Strategies”, January 2016.
Allard Law Centre for Feminist Legal Studies, “The fight for equal access to law school, the legal profession, and….the courts? The legal challenges involving Trinity Western, the Minister of Advanced Education, the Law Society, OUTLaws and Trevor Loke”, October 27, 2015
Kwantlen College, “Law and Social Justice”, June 7 2015