Elisa Penn

Elisa Penn

Elisa brings her unique experience in regional and urban community planning to her current legal work with First Nations at Mandell Pinder. She helped develop the pilot project for First Nation comprehensive community-based planning now implemented across Canada, and continues to work collaboratively with communities to develop constitutions, election codes, membership codes and other governance tools.

Elisa uses a community-based approach to governance work, developing practical structures that reflect the current needs of the community as well as their Indigenous legal traditions. Her practice includes advocacy, governance, specific claims, rights and title litigation, negotiations, regulatory processes, consultation and accommodation, and commercial transactions.

Legal Administrative Assistant
Donna Ward
604.681.4146 ext. 245 donna@mandellpinder.com


Elisa was called to the bar in 2013 and joined Mandell Pinder LLP in 2017.

Judicial Law Clerk, B.C. Supreme Court (2012-2013)

J.D., University of Victoria (2012)

M.Sc., Regional and Urban Planning Studies, London School of Economics (2007)

B.A.& Sc. (Honours), McMaster University (2006)

Appeared at the BC Supreme Court, BC Provincial Court, the National Energy Board, and the Specific Claims Tribunal.

Drafted and negotiated settlement of several specific claims.

Negotiated settlement of road takings through reserves and additions to reserve process.

Develops and implements co-operative engagement strategy for municipality, province and first nation toward emergency planning and flood mitigation planning.

Worked on the legal team representing the Indigenous appellant in Southwind v. Canada, 2021 SCC 28.

Worked with several First Nations in Saskatchewan and Northern Alberta to develop community plans as well as a regional strategy for community planning.

Member, Law Society of B.C.

Member, Canadian Bar Association

Administrative Law in the Aboriginal Law Context (Guest Lecture in Administrative Law Class) – UBC, 2015-2017

Municipal Planning and Aboriginal Law (Course) – Langara College Applied Urban and Rural Planning, Spring 2015

Places of law and lawlessness in the Wild; An exploration of law and geography through film (Lecture) – Association of American Geographers Annual Conference, Spring 2012

Practice Areas