Orlagh O'Kelly
Orlagh O'Kelly
News + Views + Events
Client Stories

Orlagh is a public law lawyer with extensive experience advising and representing both government and private clients.

At Field Law Orlagh has a largely broad public sector practice, with an emphasis on federal and Indigenous matters. Prior to joining Field, she worked the better part of a decade with the Department of Justice in Ottawa. She has a keen understanding of government, representing and advising the Attorney General, various ministries, federal tribunals and high level clients within the bureaucracy, including assistant deputy ministers.

Orlagh is a confident advocate. She has successfully represented clients before all levels of Court in Ontario and Alberta, the Federal Court trial and appeal divisions, the Tax Court and various federal tribunals, including the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and the Federal Public Service Labour and Employment Relations Tribunal. Orlagh has experience with diverse matters including:

  • Election Law
  • Government Procurement
  • Public and Administrative law
  • Indigenous governance
  • Aboriginal and Treaty claims
  • Labour and Employment Adjudication
  • Constitutional/Charter
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Misfeasance in public office
  • Criminal Defence
  • Refugee and Immigration

Value to Clients

Clients appreciate Orlagh's ability to cut to the heart of legal issues and explain them precisely. She consistently finds pragmatic and collaborative solutions to complex problems and is always driving towards the best outcomes for her clients. In doing so, Orlagh never loses sight of the human dimension to her clients’ problems, especially when confronting government actors.

Outside the Office

(Prior to COVID) Orlagh was always running. Whether it be in the river valley on the weekend, or through the city on her way home, or after her three boys once she gets there. Orlagh is in constant motion. Whenever she does sit down, she plays the harp or piano, but these days she mostly listens to Canada's great homegrown talent. In her previous life, she was a proud member of two varsity swim teams: the University of Toronto (co-captain) and the University of Calgary (national team champions).

Edmonton Bar Association
Canadian Bar Association
Canadian Bar Association, Alberta North Administrative Law
Executive Member
Advocate's Society
Criminal Lawyers Association
Edmonton Community Legal Clinic (Immigration/Civil)
Day Clinic Lawyer
Canadian Bar Association
Co-Chair, Women's Lawyer Forum, Alberta
Canadian Bar Association
Executive Member, Administrative Law/Immigration Law, Alberta
University of Calgary Trial Advocacy Course
Bertrand v. Acho Dene Koe First Nation, 2021 FC 287
R v Jissink, 2021 ABQB 102
County of Vulcan v. Genesis Reciprocal Insurance Exchange, 2020 ABQB 93
R v Sylvester, 2020 ABPC 12
1395804 Ontario Ltd. (Blacklock's Reporter) v. Canada (Attorney General), 2017 FCA 185
1395804 Ontario Ltd. (Blacklock's Reporter) v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 FC 1400
1395804 Ontario Ltd. (Blacklock's Reporter) v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 FC 1255
Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) v. Runsewe, 2016 FC 974
Vakurov v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2016 FC 859
Canada (Attorney General) v. Tepper, 2016 FC 307
Federal-Mogul Canada Limited v. President of the Canada Border Services Agency, AP-2012-034
Plato v. Canada (National Revenue), 2015 FCA 217
Bri-Chem v. President of the Canada Border Services Agency, AP-2014-017
Evergreen Ecological Services Inc. v. President of the Canada Border Services Agency, AP-2014-027
Southern Pacific Resource Corp. v. President of the Canada Border Services Agency, AP-2014-028
McCready v. Canada (Revenue Agency), 2015 FC 887
Kassian Estate v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 ONCA 544
Andrews v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 FC 780
Plato v. Canada (National Revenue), 2014 FC 1230
Babinski v. Canada (Attorney General), 2014 ONSC 6493
Dorsey v. Canada (Attorney General), 2014 ONSC 6525
Wall v. Canada (Attorney General), 2014 ONSC 6524
Awadh v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2014 FC 521
Plato v Canada Revenue Agency, 2013 FC 348
Ali c. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2013 FC 335
Kassian Estate v. Canada (Attorney General), 2013 ONSC 892
Lakic v. Canada (Attorney General), 2013 FCA 4
Mohammad v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), 2013 FC 24
Monterra Lumber Mills, Ltd. v. President of the Canada Border Services Agency, 2012 CanLII 85175
Kassian Estate v. Canada (Attorney General), 2012 ONSC 4951
Curve Distribution Service Inc. v. President of the Canada Border Services Agency, AP-2011-023
Grusas v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2012 FC 733
Canadian Tire Corporation Ltd. v. Canada Border Services Agency, 2012 CanLII 36825
Williams v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2012 FC 119
Zakhour v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2011 FC 1178
Chaaban v. Canada (Correctional Service), 2011 FC 1033
July 5, 2021
National Chief Candidate Involved in Lawsuit Over Cancellation of Muskowekwan Election
May 2021
Alberta-based Non-profit Fights to Hold First Nation Chiefs and Band Councils Accountable
Global News
April 2021
Federal Court Judge Rules in Favour of Acho Dene Koe First Nation Member's Complaint about Election Delay
CBC Radio-Canada
February 24 + March 10
2020 - A Year in Review Webinar Series
Did you miss the Field Law Labour + Employment Group's annual Year in Review? The recordings are now available! Is employer-friendly OHS legislation coming to a worksite near you? What are the impacts of COVID-19 on employment legislation a...
November 2020 - 5 min read
Court asked to intervene over Acho Dene Koe election
Cabin Radio
November 2020 - 5 min read
European Influence and the Modernization of Canadian Privacy Law: Is Alberta Next?
Canada’s privacy laws have arguably lagged behind the European Union for years. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has incorporated a human rights-based approach to privacy within its data protection legislati...
September 2020 - 7 min read
Immigration Update: What Changed Over the Summer?
It comes as no surprise that amidst all of the chaos and changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian and US immigration landscapes changed in many ways over the summer, both big and small. Processing of all types of immigration applicati...
August 2020 - 4 min read
Workplace Investigations: Fairness is Key
Employers have an obligation to investigate allegations of employee misconduct. While employers are often aware of their obligations to take allegations of employee misconduct seriously, it is equally important that workplace investigations are fair to...
June 2020
Exceptions, Resumptions and Some Restrictions: Canada-US Border Update
With proclamations and Orders-in-Council slowing down to a trickle, we can now take stock and note some trends in the new era of immigration law. While the Canada -US border will remain closed until at least June 21, 2020, Canada continu...
May 2020
A Call to Action for a Better Normal
CBA National
April 2020
Top 10 Immigration Questions Answered
In the current state of the world where travel is essentially non-existent, employers who rely on any foreign workers are lost in a sea of unanswered questions.  Field Law’s Immigration lawyers have many of the same queries and in an effort ...
March 2020
COVID-19 Impact on Immigration and Travel Ban
Less than a month ago, we wrote about business travellers who had their phones arbitrarily searched at the border. Two weeks ago, we wrote about travel insurance for those looking to travel for business or even (gasp) pleasure....
March 2020
Canadian border officials halt most deportations in face of COVID-19
March 2020
Lock Down! Tips for Employers + Businesses Facing the Inevitable
The advice from Canadian public health officials is trending in one direction: increasing self-isolation. Not less.Calgary and Red Deer announced states of emergency earlier this week. Today, Ontario...
March 2020
Travelling soon? Here’s your Coronavirus Round-Up
Your much awaited vacation to Asia or Europe is fast-approaching and suddenly you’ve started to take notice of the non-stop coronavirus coverage. Should you cancel? What are your options? Does your insurance cover you? Field Law&rs...
February 2020
Can Border Officers Search Your Phone?
A few months ago, and despite widespread criticism, the Canadian government passed legislation allowing US border officers to conduct warrant-less searches on Canadian soil.  The Pre-Clearance Act implemented a bilateral treaty betw...
Winter 2020
2019 - A Year in Review Seminar Series
Join the Field Law Labour + Employment Group for our annual seminars featuring legal updates and practical challenges for management and employee groups.Part 1 has been approved for 1.75 CPD hours and Part 2 has been approved for 2.25 CPD hou...
January 2020
Spies and the Supreme Court: Charting a New Course for the Standard of Review
On December 19, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada released its long-awaited trilogy of decisions that will significantly shift administrative law.Administrative law encompasses legal challenges to regulatory or government action, ranging from cabinet a...
December 2019
Cross-Border Workforce Trends in 2020
Workwise Newsletter
As we approach 2020, employers have increasing options for bringing skilled workers into Canada, while opportunities for employees to head south, to the United States, are increasingly limited. Field Law's Immigration Group projects three trends to...

"As a former Peace Officer I was subjected to a disciplinary investigation after making several disclosures against senior executives and other Peace Officers. Facing reprisal, it became apparent that I needed a law firm that managed higher profile law enforcement cases, information pertaining to whistleblowers, adjudications, civil litigation, and understood the inner workings of the Federal Government. Upon searching I became familiar with Field Law. 
Working with Orlagh O’Kelly I found she has the depth and expertise I specifically needed. Orlagh took the time to internalize my case and take action to immediately protect my interests. She consulted and weighed options in preparation for court matters and shared critical information with me. I never need to worry if she is prepared. She takes extraordinary steps to help ensure my rights are upheld. I know I am represented to the fullest extent possible. Orlagh takes a 360 approach in managing all the varied facets of my case and it’s not uncommon to receive emails from her on weekends and late in the evening regarding my case. 
To this day Orlagh offers assistance to ensure not only my rights are protected but that I remain healthy during and after this process. It is a human side that helps me and my family through this difficult time. For instance, after being diagnosed with a serious psychological workplace injury, Orlagh continually shared information and resources to help me get medical attention."


University of Toronto, Trinity College, 2007, Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
University of Calgary, 2010, Bachelor of Laws