Melissa Saunders is an Associate in our St. John’s office, with a diverse litigation and dispute resolution practice. She has experience advising clients on a variety of commercial and civil matters, including taxation disputes, product liability, administrative and aboriginal law matters. Committed to advocating for her clients, Melissa has appeared before the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Federal Court of Canada.
Melissa has particular skill in estates and trusts, representing beneficiaries, trustees and executors (including government agencies and institutional trust companies) on will challenges, contested passings of accounts and breach of trust claims as well as providing advice to executors and beneficiaries with respect to ongoing estate administration matters. She also has experience providing counsel on contentious guardianships and power of attorney disputes.
In addition to advocacy, Melissa regularly assists clients in obtaining Letters of Guardianship, as well as in succession planning, including the drafting of wills and trusts, powers of attorney and advance health care directives. Working closely with her clients, she provides sound judgement to advance her clients’ interests.
Melissa is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and is the current section chair for the Wills, Estates and Trusts section for the Newfoundland and Labrador Branch. Melissa graduated from the Schulich School of Law in 2013 where she was a recipient of the Schulich Scholarship. Prior to her return home to Newfoundland, Melissa articled and gained three years of practice experience at an international law firm in Toronto.
Outside of her practice, Melissa is very active in the community. She is a member of the fundraising committee for the Tuckamore Festival and is on the Board of Directors for the Suzuki Talent Education Program (STEP).
- Newfoundland and Labrador (2017)
- Ontario (2014)
- Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law
- Dalhousie Schulich School of Law (JD., Law 2013)
- Bader International Study Centre, Global Law Program, International Public Law
- Memorial University of Newfoundland (Bachelor of Music, 2007)
Professional Activities & Affiliations
- Chair, Canadian Bar Association, Wills, Estates and Trusts Section, Newfoundland and Labrador Branch
Law Society Memberships
- Law Society of Ontario
- Law Society of Newfoundland & Labrador
- Canadian Bar Association
- Significant Development in the Law of Guardianship in Newfoundland and Labrador
- Update: The Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador Clarifies Probate Fees Payable for Pre-June 2015 Estates
- The Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador to clarify probate fees payable pursuant to the Services Charges Act