Joseph F. Burke

Joseph F. Burke

Legal Assistant

Joe is a partner with Cox & Palmer’s Halifax office and practises primarily in the areas of insurance and general litigation.  A proud native of St. Peter’s, Cape Breton, Joe joined the firm in 2006 after spending several years in private practice with a large firm, acting as in-house counsel for a major insurer and then working as an aide to a minister in the federal government.

A resident of downtown Halifax, Joe is actively involved in his community and takes an interest in a variety of issues and organizations. Among other roles, Joe recently served as national Vice-President of Development & Peace, the Canadian arm of Caritas Internationalis, which is the world’s second largest international development and humanitarian relief organization.  He has also served in a number of senior leadership positions within the firm.


Over a 20+ year career, Joe has provided advice to major insurers, utilities, municipalities, and other commercial and institutional clients, appearing before all levels of court.  He routinely deals with all types of property and casualty claims, coverage issues, and other matters of strategic interest to the insurance industry. He has successfully negotiated numerous settlements both informally and through mediation.


Bar Admission

  • Nova Scotia (2002)

Law School

  • Dalhousie University


  • Mount Allison University (BA First Class Honours in History and Political Studies, 1997)
  • Dalhousie University (MPA and LLB, 2001)

Professional Activities & Affiliations

  • Canadian Defence Lawyers
  • Insurance Bureau of Canada Property & Casualty Panel (2012-2022)

Activities Within Firm

  • Coordinator, Art in the Office project
  • Chair, Halifax Insurance Practice Group (2017-2022)
  • Member, Regional Insurance Steering Committee (2017-2024)
  • Chair, Halifax Articling & Recruiting (2010-2012)

Community & Volunteer Activities

  • Advisory Council for Responsible Ministry, Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth
  • Vice-President & National Council member, Canadian Catholic Organization for Development & Peace/Caritas Canada (2015-2021)
  • Steering Committee, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Young Patrons’ Circle (2010-2018)
  • Steering Committee, Halifax Stadium Analysis Project (2011-2012)
  • Past President, Halifax Citadel Liberal Association
  • Past member of the Board of Directors, 2b Theatre Company
  • Past member of the Board of Directors, Coverdale Centre
  • Past member of the Board of Directors, Halifax Community Learning Network
  • Past member of the Board of Directors, Destination Richmond

Lectures & Presentations

  • Numerous presentations to insurance industry groups on Nova Scotia’s minor injury legislation and other Insurance Act amendments, Case Law updates, Civil Procedure Rules, and other topics
  • HRM v. The Queen: Payments in Lieu of Taxes and the Halifax Citadel – Canadian Bar Association (NS Municipal Law section)
  • Getting the Jump on Coverage and Liability: A Review of 2013’s Most Notable Cases – Webinar presentation, national Canadian Bar Association Insurance Law section
  • Stay Ahead of the Curve: 2014’s Most Notable Insurance Cases and Developments From Across Canada – Webinar presentation, national Canadian Bar Association Insurance Law Section
  • Payments in Lieu of Taxes and the Halifax Citadel:  The Latest (and Hopefully Final) Round – Canadian Bar Association (NS Municipal Law section)
  • What is a Car? – Webinar presentation, Risk Management Counsel
  • Leading 2015 Insurance Cases and Developments from Across Canada -Webinar presentation, national Canadian Bar Association Insurance Law section

Law Society Memberships

  • Nova Scotia Barristers' Society
  • Canadian Bar Association


  • English