Emily Elder

Lawyer, she/her/elle


A committed advocate for women’s rights and social justice, Emily Elder brings a keen attention to detail, strong language skills and a breadth of activist experience to advancing the interests of unions and working people.

Working in both French and English, Emily practices labour law, pay equity, human rights and constitutional law, civil litigation and professional discipline and regulation law. She represents clients in private arbitration proceedings and before tribunals and courts including the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal, professional regulatory colleges, Superior Court, the Divisional Court and the Federal Court of Appeal.

After completing both an appellate clerkship and her articles, and practicing at another leading union-side labour firm, Emily joined UPFH in 2017. Her advocacy has been informed by her academic studies in feminism and anti-racism as well as her significant professional experience serving as a coordinator, developer, trainer and counsellor for feminist anti-violence and youth health organizations. Her understanding of the issues and conditions her clients face makes her an effective advisor and litigator.

Emily has guest-lectured on judicial institutions and civil procedure at McGill University’s Faculty of Law, as well as on labour law at both McGill and Concordia Universities. She holds her LLB and BCL from McGill as well as a BA in Women’s Studies from UBC and an M.Phil in Diversity Studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Decisions of Interest

Safaa El Bialy, and Nermine Youssef v. Support Staff University of Ottawa/Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (SSUO/OSSTF), 2022 CanLII 108753 (ON LRB)

  • In this preliminary motion on a duty of fair representation application, Emily successfully navigated the complex area of settlement privilege to ensure that, in order to defend itself against certain allegations, the federation could rely on communications between counsel despite those being
    marked “without prejudice.”