Leah Pence Associate

Leah Pence

Phone: 604.566.8565
Fax: 604.681.0959
Email: leah@mandellpinder.com
Assistant: Nicole Chipman | nicole@mandellpinder.com

Posts by Leah Pence

Professional Summary

Professional Summary

Leah joined Mandell Pinder LLP in 2009 and quickly developed a diverse Aboriginal law practice. Her work includes advocacy, negotiations, research, and strategic advice. She has been involved in litigation involving Aboriginal rights, property and taxation, election codes and issues of self-governance, and a variety of environmental issues.  Leah is also involved in pursuing the settlement of First Nations’ historic grievances through negotiations and before the Specific Claims Tribunal. She was co-counsel in Williams Lake Indian Band v Canada (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development), 2018 SCC 4, a case dealing with the Crown’s breaches of its fiduciary obligations in failing to protect the Band’s village lands.

Leah grew up on Vancouver Island. Prior to attending law school she worked as managing editor of blue, an adventure travel magazine.  During law school, Leah participated in UVic’s co-operative education program, through which she worked for the Law Commission of Canada and with the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit. She also participated in the Environmental Law Clinic, and completed a directed study in Aboriginal law focusing on the concept of the honour of the Crown.

Leah believes in the possibilities of the law for advancing First Nations’ rights and prosperity and is committed to finding creative ways to assist her clients to meet their goals.

Outside of work, Leah enjoys playing the goofy games her toddler makes up.  Kitchen hockey anyone?

Publications & Presentations

Publications & Presentations

Williams Lake Indian Band v Canada (AANDC), 2018 SCC 4” presented at the Canadian Bar Association, Aboriginal Law – Vancouver Section Meeting, March 2018

“Williams Lake Indian Band Village Lands Claim: A Specific Claim at the Supreme Court of Canada” presented with Chief Ann Louie at the National Claims Research Workshop, October 2017

“First Nations Property Taxation” prepared for the Pacific Business & Law Institute’s Aboriginal Law 2016: Current Issues Conference, March 2016

“The Right to be Heard: A Principles-Based Review of the Specific Claims Tribunal Act” presented alongside Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and Jody Woods of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs to the AFN Specific Claims Review Panel, March 2015

“The Cohen Inquiry: Considering the Evidence” presented with Crystal Reeves for the Pacific Business & Law Institute’s Aboriginal Rights to Fish & Environmental Law Conference, March 2013

 “The ‘Who’ of Consultation and Accommodation” prepared for the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia’s Aboriginal Law Conference, June 2012 

Other Activities

Mooting coach, UBC Law, National Kawaskimhon Aboriginal Law Moot (2009-present)

Member, Specific Claims Tribunal Advisory Committee


LL.B University of Victoria, 2009

B.A. University of Victoria, 2002

Professional Standing & Affiliations

Member, Law Society of BC (2010)