Megan Rehill Ellis KC
Megan Rehill Ellis KC is a senior British Columbia lawyer with more than thirty years’ experience. She has extensive experience in trial and appeal work, including appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada. She has advanced precedent-setting cases in both family law and civil claims for sexual abuse and assault.
She assists clients to better understand their rights, obligations and options, so that they can make informed decisions about how to proceed to a fair resolution. Ms. Ellis is a skilled negotiator and encourages her clients to pursue out of court settlements when possible. Where clients are unable to come to an agreement, she provides effective courtroom representation.
Ms. Ellis’ family law experience resulted in her being asked to participate in a select panel of senior family law lawyers that was consulted by the Ministry of the Attorney General of BC on development of the new Family Law Act. In 2014 she was admitted as a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers.
Ms. Ellis was one of the first lawyers in Canada to devote a significant part of her practice to pursuing claims on behalf of adult survivors of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse. Drawing on her background working in rape crisis centres, she was counsel in a number of groundbreaking cases which challenged evidentiary, procedural and substantive impediments to abuse victims obtaining redress for their injuries.
In 1992 she was co-counsel in the first case in Canada to acknowledge that limitation periods should be extended to accommodate the particular challenges faced by sexual abuse victims, opening the door to claims being brought by adults abused as children. This case led to amendments to the BC Limitation Act which removed the limitation period for victims of sexual abuse and assault, placing BC at the forefront of legal developments in this area.
For more three decades Ms. Ellis has successfully represented women and men pursuing claims against family members, neighbours, teachers, doctors, priests, associations, churches, and governments. She has also advised estates in relation to claims brought against deceased persons.
She was a member of the Project Committee on Civil Remedies for Sexual Assault for the BC Law Institute, and of the Institutional Abuse Study Panel for the Law Commission of Canada which produced the report Restoring Dignity: Responding to Child Abuse in Canadian Institutions.
Ms. Ellis is adept at developing creative legal arguments to address unique circumstances, and her courtroom advocacy skills have resulted in some of the largest damages awards for this type of personal injury in Canada.
Megan Ellis & Company has earned a place in Best Lawyers International® as a well-respected personal injury law firm and Megan Ellis KC has been recognized by Lexpert and the Best Lawyers in Canada® as a leading personal injury lawyer.
In 2020 Ms. Ellis completed the ADR Institute of B.C. Arbitrator Training Court through Royal Roads University, and in 2021 was Certified as a Family Law Arbitrator by the Law Society of British Columbia.
Year of call
- 1988, British Columbia
- 2020 ADR Institute of B.C. Arbitrator Training Course
- 1984 - 1987, LL.B., University of British Columbia
- 1975 - 1976, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
- 1974 - 1975, University of Reading, England
- 1973 - 1974, McGill University, Montreal
Awards and Honours
- Admitted as a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, 2014
- UBC Law Alumni Award of Distinction, 2012
- Appointed Queen’s Counsel, 2008
- Trial Lawyers’ Association of BC Bar Award, 2004
- Consistently recognized in Best Lawyers International® as a leading Canadian personal injury lawyer
Lectures, Addresses and Workshops
- Presenter, “Children’s Rights to Medical Privacy”, Canadian Bar Association Children’s Law Section, Vancouver, October, 2019.
- Panelist, “Truth Be Told: Redressing Historical Wrongs Through the Legal System,” 7th Pro Bono Conference Canada, Vancouver, October, 2018
- Guest lecturer, “Tort law, sexual assault and consent”, Allard School of Law, October, 2017
Professional and Community Development Past and Present
- Member, Board of Governors, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, 2021-present
- Trainer, Direct and Cross-Examination, RISE Women’s Legal Clinic, 2017 – 2020
- Member, Trauma Informed Practice Project Working Group, 2016 – 2017