About Melanie

Melanie is an experienced litigator in our Halifax office. Beyond her general litigation practice, she is an integral member of both the Construction and Energy practice groups. Her passion for the law and dedication to excellence are the cornerstones of her practice and she enjoys achieving results that will not only advance clients’ goals but will exceed their expectations.

She has a wealth of experience litigating complex commercial and construction disputes, including claims brought under builders’ lien legislation. Beyond litigation, she provides corporate advice to clients in the construction sector, and regularly drafts and negotiates contracts in relation to large-scale construction projects across Atlantic Canada. Additionally, she advises utilities and private clients operating in the energy sector on matters such as energy policy and regulation, environmental regulation, electricity rate design, and the development of renewable energy projects.

Melanie has represented clients at all levels of court in Nova Scotia, including before the NS Court of Appeal, the NS Supreme Court, the Federal Court, the NS Small Claims Court, and the NS Provincial Court. Melanie has also represented clients before the NS Utility and Review Board and the Canada Energy Regulator and has represented clients in relation to construction arbitration proceedings.

As a member of MC’s Business Development Committee and Co-Chair of the Environmental section of MC’s ESG Working Group, Melanie strives to be a leader in the firm and in the industries she serves. She is a member of the Atlantic Hydrogen Alliance Renewable Electricity Task Force, and a regular instructor for the Construction Association of Nova Scotia.

Melanie has authored legal articles published in a variety of notable publications, including the Journal of the Canadian College of Construction Lawyers, Energy Regulation Quarterly, and the Annual Review of Civil Litigation. She has also been featured as a source for ESG-related articles published in the Financial Post. In June 2019, Melanie completed the week-long CAMPUT Energy Regulation Course, and in December 2021, she completed the Osgoode Certificate in ESG, Climate Risk & The Law, through the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University.

In her spare time, Melanie enjoys playing soccer, sailing, hiking, travelling, and singing/songwriting.

Papers & Presentations

Gillis, M., & MacDuff, J. (2020). When Climate and Construction Collide: How Net Zero Legislation Might Be Used to Challenge High-Emitting Infrastructure Projects. Energy Regulation Quarterly, 8(4).


  • B.A. (Political Science and Sustainability), Dalhousie University (2013)
  • J.D., Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University (2016)

Bar Admissions

  • Nova Scotia (2017)


  • English