Michelle M. Kelly, KC


Michelle Kelly is a partner in the Halifax office of Cox & Palmer and practices in the area of complex commercial litigation and insurance defence.  Prior to joining the firm in 2003, Michelle completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at Queen’s University and received her Law Degree from the University of New Brunswick.  Michelle received her Queen’s Counsel (now King’s Counsel) designation in 2021.  She is fully bilingual in English and French.


Michelle advises her clients on contract disputes, property litigation, construction litigation, commercial claims, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims. She also has experience in expropriation cases having worked for both the expropriating authority and the land owner. Michelle has appeared at all levels of court in Nova Scotia and has been involved in many successful mediations and commercial arbitrations.

With respect to insurance defence work, Michelle was successful in having the Court of Appeal uphold a Supreme Court trial ruling limiting general damages under the Minor Injury Legislation in Nova Scotia and litigated one of the first disclosure motions dealing with a Facebook user’s usage history.

Michelle is currently chair of the Gender Equity Committee for the Nova Scotia Barristers Society.  She also holds the portfolio of Diversity & Inclusion on the Halifax Executive Committee for Cox & Palmer.  She is the recent past-chair of The Coalition of Provincial and Territorial Advisory Councils on the Status of Women consisting of advisory bodies from across the country working together to advance women’s issues on a national level.


King's Counsel

  • 2021

Bar Admission

  • Nova Scotia (2004)

Law School

  • University of New Brunswick


  • Queen’s University (BA, 2000)
  • University of New Brunswick (LLB, 2003)

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Chair, Gender Equity Committee for the Nova Scotia Barristers Society (2019 – )

Activities Within Firm

  • Co-Chair, Regional Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee (2022 – )
  • Halifax Executive Committee Member (2021 – )
  • Halifax Diversity & Inclusion Partner (2021 – )
  • Halifax Executive Committee Member (2014 – 2016)
  • Halifax Finance Partner (2015 – 2016)

Community & Volunteer Activities

  • Chair, The Coalition of Provincial and Territorial Advisory Councils on the Status of Women (2017 – 2020)
  • Chair, NS Advisory Council on the Status of Women (2017 – 2020)
  • Past Chair, Alice Housing Board of Directors
  • Volunteer Lawyer, reachAbility

Law Society Memberships

  • Nova Scotia Barristers' Society
  • Canadian Bar Association


  • English