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Michelle Awad

Michelle Awad QC


Tel: 902.444.8509
Fax: 902.425.6350



Michelle leads McInnes Cooper’s manufacturing, processing and sales industry group. She provides advice and representation to businesses and business leaders in the areas of risk management, dispute avoidance strategies and litigation/dispute resolution. She is client-focused and results driven. Her practice involves commercial matters, including contract issues, securities disputes and regulation, shareholder oppression, products liability, professional liability, construction law, defamation and injunctions. Michelle also has expertise in the areas of commercial insurance and bonding, life and disability insurance, and professional regulation. Michelle has appeared in all levels of Court in the Atlantic Provinces and in the Supreme Court of Canada. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys running, skiing and tennis.



  • One of the top 25 Women in Litigation in Canada, Benchmark Canada, 2014 and 2015
  • Halifax Insurance Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers, 2014
  • Leading Woman Lawyer in Canada, Lexpert Zenith Award, 2013
  • Atlantic Litigator of the Year finalist, Benchmark Canada, 2013 (the only female finalist)
  • Atlantic Canada Female Litigator of the Year, Benchmark Canada, 2012
  • Recognized annually in Best Lawyers in Canada in the areas of corporate and commercial litigation, product liability insurance law and personal injury litigation
  • Listed in Lexpert’s “Guide to the Leading U.S./Canada Crossborder Litigation Lawyers”, 2007
  • Twice named twice in Lexpert’s list of Canada’s Top 40 Lawyers Under 40, 2004 and 2006


Memberships and Associations


  • McInnes Cooper’s Board of Directors, Member
  • The Advocates’ Society Board of Directors, Member and Chair of National Standing Committee
  • Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society Governance and Nomination Committee, Member

  • Foundation for Legal Research, Chair
  • Supreme Court Advocacy Institute, Member
  • Nova Scotia Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, Past President
  • Canadian Defence Lawyers Association, Member
  • Construction Association of Nova Scotia, Member
  • Dalhousie University’s Board of Governors, Member, Executive Committee Member, Honourary Treasurer
  • Dalhousie University’s Operations Committee, Chair
  • Dalhousie University’s Human Resources Committee, Member
  • Dalhousie University Alumni Association, Former Board Member
  • Previously served on the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society’s Bar Admission Course and Annual Meeting Committees


  • J.D., University of Toronto (1991)
  • B.Comm.(Hons.), Dalhousie University (1988)
Legal Alert: NS Court of Appeal Cuts Punitive Damages by 88% in Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. v. Brine
November 20, 2015

On November 17, 2015 the NS Court of Appeal made it clear that the quantum of damages to be awarded to an insured for breach of the duty of good faith has limits when it reduced the global damages the trial judge had awarded by 75%.  The punitive damages award was reduced by 88%.  The

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Legal Update: Court Delivers Clear Ruling on Renewal, Amendment and Disability Plan Limitation Periods in Thornton v. RBC General Insurance Company
August 13, 2014

Recently, the NS Supreme Court decided to dismiss three motions by an insured – and grant the insurer’s Motion for Summary Judgment – offering a helpful review of both the NS Civil Procedure Rules for amending and renewing actions, and limitation periods applicable to disability plans:   Renewal of Notice of Action and Statement of

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Legal Alert: NS Court of Appeal Agrees – Insured’s Misrepresentations in Application Were Fraudulent
November 12, 2013

On November 8, 2013 the NS Court of Appeal upheld a decision that a disability insurance policy is void from the get-go because of the insured’s fraudulent misrepresentations in his application form. Furthermore, the insured was not totally disabled because of Bipolar II disorder during the time the insurer paid him benefits under the policy

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Experts: The Role of Chartered Business Valuators in Litigation
September 18, 2009

“Experts: The Role of Chartered Business Valuators in Litigation” (co-presenter with Michelle Awad and Jane O’Neill), Atlantic Institute of Business Valuators, Halifax, September 18, 2009

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Bar Admissions

Nova Scotia (1992)

Michelle Awad named one of Benchmark’s Top 25 Female Litigators in Canada
July 22, 2015

McInnes Cooper is proud to congratulate Partner Michelle Awad, QC on being named one of Benchmark’s Top 25 Female Litigators in Canada.   Michelle, who is appearing on this list for the second year in a row, was also voted 2014 Halifax Insurance lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyer and voted Female Litigator of the

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McInnes Cooper’s Michelle Awad, QC recognized by Benchmark Canada as one of the Top 25 Women in Canadian Litigation 2014
July 24, 2014

On July 18, 2014, McInnes Cooper Partner Michelle Awad, QC was recognized by Benchmark Canada as one of Canada’s top 25 women litigators in Benchmark’s inaugural Top 25 Women in Canadian Litigation list. Benchmark determined the winners of this honor through its research process for the 2014 edition of Benchmark Canada, which extended from October 2013 to January 2014.

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Michelle Awad, QC recognized with 2013 Lexpert Zenith Award: Celebrating Women Leaders in the Legal Profession
September 24, 2013

McInnes Cooper is delighted to announce that Michelle Awad, QC has been recognized with a 2013 Lexpert Zenith Award: Celebrating Women Leaders in the Legal Profession. The awards honour female lawyers in Canada who demonstrate leadership for their clients, firm, profession or community. Michelle has also received national recognition as a top litigator in Atlantic

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Michelle Awad and George MacDonald recognized by Benchmark Canada as Atlantic Canada’s top litigators
February  8, 2013

On February 7th, 2013, Michelle Awad and George MacDonald were nationally recognized by Benchmark Canada, a publication of Euromoney Legal Media Group and Institutional Investor, as Atlantic Canada’s top litigators.   In addition, six other McInnes Cooper lawyers recognized for their litigation capabilities include: Doug Skinner, Jim Thistle, Peter Driscoll, Chris Robinson and Tom O’Neil.

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