Catherine Fagan, Managing Partner, is based out of St. John’s and Montréal and is a member of the Barreau du Québec, the Law Society of Newfoundland & Labrador and the Law Society of Manitoba. She works exclusively with Indigenous clients in the areas of Aboriginal law, constitutional law and environmental law.
Catherine has particular expertise negotiating self-governance agreements, as well as various types of environmental agreements, including the creation of parks and protected areas.
Catherine works extensively with her clients to develop laws, particularly in areas of governance, environmental protection, land use planning and housing. She is especially interested in working with communities to revitalize their traditional Indigenous laws and to incorporate them into modern legal structures.
Catherine has worked on cases at all court levels, including several Supreme Court of Canada cases. She is experienced in treaty compliance, Aboriginal rights and title claims, requirements to consult/obtain consent for resource development projects, endangered species and forestry.
Catherine is the Vice-President of the Board of Directors for First Light, St. John’s Native Friendship Centre. She has also volunteered for many years with Lawyers Without Borders Canada, working particularly with Indigenous nations in Central and South America. She previously worked with the United Nations Secretariat for the Convention on Biodiversity, as well as the Maori Waikato-Tainui Tribal Council in New Zealand. She is also a member of the Conseil d’école of the École des grand vents, in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Catherine works in both English and French. She is a member of the Inuit community of NunatuKavut in Labrador.
Catherine is recognized in the 2019 and 2020 editions of the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as among Canada’s top practitioners in Aboriginal Law. Her work has also been recognized by her peers, who have voted to include her in the 2021 publication Best Lawyers in Canada in the area of Aboriginal Law. In 2019, Lexpert recognized Catherine as one of Canada’s “Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40”.