Nancy Rubin, QC


“If you want to run with the big dogs, you’ve got to learn to pee in the tall grass.”
- Mark MacDonald, 1997

Specialized expertise.

Developers want shovels in the ground. Media clients want access to information. Industrial companies want to manage electricity costs. There are legal problems and there are business problems – Nancy understands both. Due to the nature of her practice, accessibility, responsiveness and judgment are critical.  It’s better to call her before than to regret it later. 

Representative matters

Nancy’s diverse group of clients includes developers, print, and broadcast media, insurers, electricity consumers and renewable energy generators. Nancy has acted as counsel before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, New Brunswick Queen's Bench, Federal Court, private arbitration tribunals and the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB). Her practice includes:
  • Administrative tribunal work at the UARB on land use planning and development matters, expropriations, municipal annexation/amalgamation.
  • Regulatory work relating to electricity and natural gas utility rate hearings, renewable energy and cost of service, efficiency programs, feed-in tariffs, payday loans, liquor licensing and petroleum products pricing.
  • Pre-publication advice, access to information, privacy and reputation management. Specific litigation results include striking out unconstitutional sections of legislation that closed disciplinary hearings, confirming a qualified privilege in defamation law, resisting publication bans, securing access to court records.
  • Commercial litigation including professional liability, breach of contract, and insured claims. 

Areas of practice

  • Property Development - Land Use Planning/Municipal
  • Energy – Electricity; Renewable; Regulated Industries
  • Litigation - Corporate-Commercial; Class Actions 
  • Media, Advertising & Marketing
  • Media, Defamation & Reputation Management
  • Privacy
  • Health
  • Insurance


Nova Scotia, 1992


Nova Scotia Barristers' Society


University of Ottawa, LL.B. (magna cum laude), 1991
Dalhousie University, B.Sc., 1987




  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Member, Partnership Board, Stewart McKelvey, 2017 - present
  • Chair, Supreme Court Liaison Committee, Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, Member, 2002 - 2012; Chair, 2013 - present
  • Past President, Ad IDEM/Canadian Media Lawyers Association, 2015 - 2017
  • Member, Media Liaison Committee, Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, 2005 - present
  • Standards Council, Advertising Standards Canada, 1999 - 2018
  • Past chair, Municipal Law Section, Nova Scotia Branch, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Canadian Defence Lawyers
  • Part-time faculty, Civil Trial Practice, Dalhousie Law School, 1998-2001
  • Guest lecturer, Media Law, School of Journalism, University of Kings College, 2003-present
  • Past member Marketing Committee, Students Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, Stewart McKelvey
  • Mentor, Schulich School of Law, 2009-2010
  • Board Member, Phoenix Youth Programs, 2012 - 2017


English, French


Litigation - Defamation and Media Related


BV Distinguished®

Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.


  • Benchmark Canada, local litigation star (General Commercial), 2015-2018
  • Best Lawyers 2015 Defamation and Media Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Halifax
  • Best Lawyers 2013 Energy Regulatory Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Halifax
  • Best Lawyers: Corporate and Commercial Litigation, 2009-2019
  • Best Lawyers: Defamation and Media Law, 2006, 2008-2019
  • Best Lawyers: Energy Regulatory Law, 2008-2010 and 2012-2019
  • Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada, Defamation and Media Law, 2013, 2018



  • Panelist, "The Public's Right to Know & The Media's Right to Ask", Media & the Law: Working Together to Improve Access & Public Trust, 2018
  • Presenter, "Practice at the NS Utility and Review Board", CBA Municipal Law Section, 2018
  • Presenter, "Land Use Planning for Legalization", Licensed Professional Planners Association of Nova Scotia - Cannabis Legalization, Community Impacts Conference, 2017
  • Panelist, "Principles of Open Court - Media & Criminal Law", Annual NS Crown Fall Education Conference, 2017
  • Panel member, Demand Management - A Blessing or a Curse?, CAMPUT, 2016
  • Panel member, Forging Your Own Style: Creating Confidence and Embracing Your Voice, Atlantic Women in Litigation conference, 2016
  • Panel moderator, Copyright - Fair dealing/Fair Use, "Hot news" and other topics, CMLA/Ad IDEM national conference, 2015
  • Panel member, Production Orders - Bill C-13 Amendments to the Criminal Code, and Is Resistance Futile?, CMLA/Ad IDEM national conference, 2015
  • Panel member, Fair use of images and video online, CAJ conference, 2015
  • Panel member, #YouKnowHerName, Nash 77 Conference, 2015
  • Presenter, How to Write the Story Without Getting Sued, Nash 77 Conference, 2015
  • Panel member, Maintaining Service Quality in Tough Times, CAMPUT, 2014
  • Co-Presenter on access to court records, pub bans and privacy issues for journalists and media lawyers, CMLA/Ad IDEM National Conference, 2012
  • Seminar, Privacy Issues for Educators, School Insurance Program, 2012
  • Co-presenter with Ernst & Young, Getting the Information Needed to Quantify Business Losses for Damages, NSBS, March 2011
  • Presenter, Cyber-Libel:  How to Take a 17th Century Tort into the 20th Century, NSBS, May 2008
  • Volunteer Chambers Judge, Discovery Practice, Nova Scotia Barristers' Society Bar Admission Course, 2005-present
  • Privacy Seminar, Insurance Brokers of Nova Scotia, November 2003
  • Zoning and Land Use in Nova Scotia, Jurisdictional Issues - What Council Can Regulate And What The NSUARB Is Permitted To Do On Appeal, Lorman Seminar, August 2003
  • Freedom of Information and Municipal Practice, Canadian Bar Association, Professional Development Conference, January 1999
  • Volunteer Member of The Speakers Bureau, Nova Scotia Public Legal Education.  Presented topics including nursing liability, officers’ and directors’ liability and issues relevant to the Epilepsy Association, 1992-1997
  • Prepared papers and presented at the annual Stewart McKelvey Insurance Day Seminar.  Topics included "How to Advance a Small Claim in Court," "Section B Expenses," "Occupier’s Liability," and “Fatal Injuries Actions”, 1992-present

Suite 900
Purdy's Wharf Tower One
1959 Upper Water Street
Halifax, NS, Canada
B3J 3N2

P 902.420.3337
F 902.420.1417

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Leona Clements

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