Frances Mahon is committed to protecting human rights and civil liberties. She provides criminal defence, refugee, immigration and human rights litigation services in Vancouver, British Columbia. Frances also represents applicants and interveners in constitutional and public interest litigation.

Frances is frequently recognized as a leader among her peers. In 2016, she was honoured to receive the Emerging Leader Award from Out On Bay Street (now Start Proud), in recognition of her leadership on issues involving fundamental human rights and constitutional principles. Frances is often invited to speak on criminal law, Charter and human rights issues, and in 2014 she appeared as a witness before the Senate on Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act.

Frances received her Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2013. While at  Osgoode, she worked on Bedford v. Canada, a landmark Supreme Court of Canada case involving the safety and security of sex workers. Before starting her own firm, Frances practiced in the criminal and constitutional law groups of top litigation boutiques in Toronto and Vancouver.

Frances is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia and the Law Society of Upper Canada. She belongs to the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia, the Criminal Lawyers’ Association (Ontario), the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers. She is Member-At-Large of the National SOGIC Chapter of the Canadian Bar Association.

Frances is particularly committed to serving the LGBTQQ2SIA+ community, and is sensitive to the systemic and intersecting challenges our community faces when dealing with government, police and corrections, and seeking access to health care.

Practice Areas

Criminal Law

Advice and representation for individuals and corporations facing criminal charges and allegations. Frances is available to assist with all stages of the criminal process, including pre-charge advocacy, bail hearings, trials, sentencing and appeals.

Frances focuses on achieving your best possible outcome. She takes a holistic approach to the resolution of your case, while minimizing impacts on employment and relationships.

Refugee Law and Admissibility Hearings

Assistance for families and individuals seeking refugee status in Canada. Frances has particular expertise in helping persons considered inadmissible to Canada, or at risk of being denied refugee status on the basis of criminal- or national security-related concerns.

Human Rights Complaints

Legal advice and representation for individuals who have experienced discrimination under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including employment, housing, or accessing services or programs.

Constitutional Litigation and Police Accountability

Representation for individuals and non-profits in constitutional and public interest cases engaging Charter rights and values. Frances also assists individuals and families seeking accountability from the police through formal complaints, representation at inquests, and civil litigation.

Frances is proud to have represented a number of non-profit organizations as interveners at all levels of court in Canada, including the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, Start Proud (formerly Out On Bay Street), Pivot Legal Society, the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), and the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights.


February 3, 2018 – Frances Mahon will be representing the family of Tony Du alongside Pivot Legal Society at a Coroner’s Inquest on February 5, 2018. On November 22, 2014, Mr. Du was walking near the intersection of Knight Street and 41st Avenue when he was shot and killed by a Vancouver police officer. The fatal shots were fired “within minutes” of police arriving on scene, according to a witness.

Mr. Du was a man living with mental illness, described by his friends and family as loving and kind, and with a generous spirit. Ms. Mahon will be pushing for meaningful change to the ways in which police respond to calls involving someone experiencing a mental health event. In the words of Tony Du’s supporters, “disability must not be a death sentence.”

Ms. Mahon provides many services to individuals and families who have suffered police brutality, including representation at inquests, making police complaints, and civil suits. Contact Frances Mahon Law to find out how she can help.

December 1, 2017 – Frances Mahon appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada today, providing the perspective of LGBTQ+ law students and legal professionals on behalf of Start Proud and the OUTlaws in Trinity Western University v. the Law Society of Upper Canada.


Frances’ submissions were featured on Xtra.ca:

“Breaches of the covenant for sexual misconduct may be punished by suspension or expulsion,” OUTlaw’s Frances Mahon told the court. “And whether or not students have actually been expelled is irrelevant — the power is there and it creates a chilling effect for prospective students.” 

Read more about Start Proud and the OUTlaws’ contribution to the case here.

September 11, 2017 – Start Proud and the OUTlaws were featured in today’s Globe and Mail on their intervention in Trinity Western University v. the Law Society of Upper Canada: “Start Proud and OUTlaws, say in a joint filing that the Community Covenant means LGBTQ persons, including married ones, “can never be their authentic selves while attending TWU. … No one should be forced to renounce their dignity and self-respect in order to obtain an education.” Read the entire article here.

Frances Mahon Law is proud to bring the perspective of LGBTQ+ law students and legal professionals to the issue of equal access to education in Canada. The case will be heard at the Supreme Court of Canada on November 30 and December 1, 2017.

July 31, 2017 – Start Proud and the OUTlaws have been granted leave to intervene in Trinity Western University v. the Law Society of Upper Canada, an important case about equal access to law school for LGBTQ+ students. The Chief Justice of Canada (in an unprecedented move) varied the original Order of Justice Wagner denying leave to intervene for Start Proud and the OUTlaws and many other LGBTQ+ organizations. The Chief Justice’s order allows for two days of hearing on November 30, 2017 and December 1, 2017, and all applicants were given the right to intervene.

Start Proud and the OUTlaws are represented by Frances Mahon, Marlys Edwardh and Paul Jonathan Saguil. See the recent Press Release from the Supreme Court of Canada describing the rationale for varying the original Order here. Read about Start Proud and the OUTlaws’ contribution to the case here.



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