Patterson Law Welcomes New Associate Sarah Emery


Patterson Law might be a partnership but it is a family business for Sarah Emery, the firm’s newest associate. Emery’s father, Alan MacLean, has been a partner for more than 30 years, and her maternal grandfather, GI (Ike) Smith, was a founding partner who would later become Nova Scotia’s premier and then a senator.

Sarah has been with Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP in Toronto since 2011, focusing on both class actions and environmental law.

“It’s an opportunity to work in a mid-sized firm that has large firm capabilities with a small firm culture,” says Emery when asked about the opportunity at Patterson Law. “I grew up in this firm, literally. You’ve got a large group of talented people doing really exceptional work. It’s going to be a great place to be mentored and build my practice.”

Sarah’s practice is a unique mix. According to her, she pursued these areas as a way of working with some of her firm's most talented lawyers, but soon fell in love with the unique balance they offered. Where class action claims tend to last for years, environmental law offers shorter timeframes between advising and resolving issues. “So I get the balance of long range files on the one hand and the satisfaction of shorter term accomplishments and lots of direct work with clients on the other,” says Sarah.

George White, managing partner at Patterson Law, is excited for the value Sarah will bring to the firm. “Her experience with class action claims and environmental law add bench strength to our already successful litigation team, says George. “The fact that she’s a part of our family already is a really nice coincidence for us.”

A chance opportunity to spend her maternity leave at her family’s cottage in Nova Scotia refocused Sarah on the opportunities to return to Nova Scotia full time. As time went on, and Sarah and her husband enjoyed all the family connection and support, they realized it would be difficult to give that up. “So I started looking for opportunities here,” says Sarah. “Of course, my first choice was Patterson Law.”

Sarah is looking forward to growing in her new professional home and connecting with the community when time allows. She formerly volunteered for the Pro Bono Law Society of Ontario, handling small claims work for those who could not afford representation. She is also an avid singer, hoping to join a choir in the Halifax area.

Sarah will be working from our Halifax office.


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