Vincent Calderhead

Vince's practice is focused on systemic litigation that presents law reform possibilities for the poor. This will typically involve social assistance and housing cases, often with a human rights or Charter of Rights dimension.

Vince is excited at the opportunity to bring his decades of experience and litigation expertise in working with people in poverty to Pink Larkin, which sees this as an opportunity for a crucially important contribution to the advancement of the rights of the poor.

His services are offered on a pro bono basis. This enables him to undertake work without charge for appropriate cases that meet the profile.

Vince arrives at Pink Larkin after 31 years with Nova Scotia Legal Aid where his practice focused on income support and housing issues. Over the course of his career at Legal Aid, his work encompassed a wide range of poverty-related issues, including (criminal law – fine default – and cohabitation as fraud), refugee issues, social assistance, EI and Canada Pension issues and residential tenancy. However, his nationally and internationally recognized expertise is in the area of social and economic rights where his advocacy work has ranged from everyday lawyering on behalf of social assistance recipients, advocacy before appeal boards to appearances before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Vince has been involved in dozens of cases before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court and Court of Appeal representing people living in poverty.

For over 25 years, Vince taught “Poverty Law and Human Rights” at Dalhousie’s Schulich School of Law. In 2008, the Canadian Bar Association awarded him the John Tait Award of Excellence given to public sector lawyers for his accomplishments in the pursuit of the social and economic rights of the poor.

Vince has, since 1995, frequently appeared before the United National Human Rights treaty bodies in New York and Geneva advocating for the better protection of social and economic rights in Canada.

Between 2009 and 2011, Vince was on leave from legal aid and acted as County Director for the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists in Nepal during that country’s negotiating of its new constitution in the wake of a 10-year civil war.

Vince was featured in a recent article in The Lawyers’ Daily. Please see attached.


Year of Call
Nova Scotia, 1986

Law School
LL.B., Dalhousie, 1985

M.A., Queen's University, 1981
M.A., Concordia University, 1979
B.A. (Hons) New University of Ulster, 1978

Human Rights