Emily Lewsen

Lawyer, she/her/hers


Emily Lewsen is an experienced, insightful criminal litigator and labour advocate, who brings a deep understanding of the law and the challenges her clients face to defending the interests of working people and people facing criminal charges.

Emily practices criminal law before courts at the appellate and trial levels. She represents clients charged with a range of offenses. Emily remains always acutely aware of the devastating life-impact a criminal charge can have for a person accused. She also practices labour law before the Ontario Labour Relations Board and in arbitrations. As a labour lawyer, Emily advocates for unions in sectors such as transit and education.

Since joining the firm as an associate in 2019, Emily has worked collaboratively with the UPFH criminal law group on criminal matters ranging from a successful appeal of a murder conviction to the defence of protesters charged with mischief and offences against the Railway Safety Act. Her commitment to criminal defence is reflected in her volunteer work as duty counsel with the Summary Conviction Appeals program at the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario. On the labour side, she has served as co-counsel for unionized transit and educational workers in a number of labour arbitrations and other proceedings.

Emily has taught Legal Research and Writing as an adjunct professor for three years at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. She also has a number of publications in refereed journals on issues such as minority language rights in education, student privacy rights and opt-out provisions on ancillary fees at colleges and universities. 

Emily is a member of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, the Ontario Bar Association and the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers. She holds a JD from Osgoode Hall Law School, an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of London (SOAS) and an honours BA in English and history from McGill University.

Decisions of Interest

R v. Quinton, 2021 ONCA 44

  • A successful appeal of a murder conviction in which, as co-counsel, Emily helped persuade the court that the trial judge erroneously admitted the appellant’s confession having failed to conduct the necessary preliminary examination (voir dire) beforehand.