Staff changes at the ELC

May 20, 2016 – Twenty years after founding the ELC with a group of visionary UVic law students, Professor Chris Tollefson has stepped down from the role of Executive Director. The ELC Board wishes to express deep appreciation to Chris for his vision and decades of leadership in the ELC, home to Canada’s largest public interest environmental law clinic.

Chris will continue to support the ELC’s work as a staff lawyer alongside Calvin Sandborn, and Deborah Curran, with Anthony Ho continuing as the Litigation Associate/Student Team Leader and Holly Pattison continuing as Paralegal Administrator.  ELC Project Director Deborah Curran will step in as Acting Executive Director.

This change in roles will enable Chris to explore the potential for establishing a separate non-profit society that promotes legal education through public interest environmental litigation. The ELC looks forward to collaborating with Chris and others to provide strong legal capacity to BC communities for the environment while continuing to inspire, mentor and train UVic law students as the next generation of public interest environmental lawyers.


Acting Executive Director

Deb-Curran-2011Deborah Curran is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law & School of Environmental Studies. Focusing primarily on land use law, Deborah has significant experience in analyzing and making recommendations on how local governments approach regulation and planning for environmental protection, particularly in the context of smart growth and ecosystem integrity. For real estate, land use and sustainability law news, follow Deborah on Twitter @DeborahLCurran. (See Deborah’s UVic Law Biography.)

Contact: dlc [at]


Legal Director

Sandborn-Calvin_HPP0087Calvin Sandborn is one of BC’s most experienced public interest environmental lawyers. Former counsel to West Coast Environmental Law Association and the Forest Practices Board, Calvin was Associate to the historic Commission on Resources and Environment. He has successfully litigated many high profile cases (particularly in the areas of forestry and endangered species) and instigated broad law reform. In 2011, Calvin was named an Honourary Citizen of the City of Victoria and received the Andrew Thompson Award, BC’s top prize for Environmental Advocacy. (UVic Law Biography )

Contact: csandbor [at]


Staff Lawyer

Tollefson-Chris_4807Chris Tollefson is a Professor at UVic Law and one of Canada’s leading environmental law scholars. The ELC’s founding Executive Director, he is a former President of the Sierra Legal Defence Fund (currently Ecojustice) and a founding director of EAGLE. (UVic Law Biography )

Contact: ctollef [at]



Paralegal Administrator

Pattison-HHolly Pattison joined the ELC as its first full-time Paralegal/Program Administrator in 2006 after years of working in law firms and studying writing and photography at UVic. As the hub of the ELC wheel, she teaches file management in the clinic, manages day-to-day operations and communications, maintains the Society’s records, organizes events, and edits and desktops various reports, publications and applications. Part of her role is to share information about public interest environmental law issues with the general public, which she especially likes to do through writing, photography and film.

Contact: elc [at]


Hakai Litigation Associate

Anthony HoAnthony Ho has been working at the Environmental Law Centre since 2012 as an intensive stream  clinic student, co-op student, articled student and now as an associate lawyer. He works primarily on environmental law cases involving regulatory hearings and judicial reviews. A graduate of UVic’s joint JD/MPA program, he also holds a B.Sc. in environmental sciences and B.A. in political science from UBC. Outside of law, he is a part-time amateur wildlife photographer and a full-time Trekkie.

Contact: anho [at]