50th Anniversary page

Catherine A. Coughlan

Prothonotary Catherine A. Coughlan was raised in Edmonton, Alberta. She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Alberta and was admitted to the Bar of Alberta in 1985.

Madam Prothonotary Coughlan articled with the Department of Justice Canada in Edmonton, where she remained throughout her career. As a civil litigator, she appeared in courts across Canada at both the superior and appellate levels. While the recent emphasis on her practice was in the area of class actions, she dedicated much of the last 15 years to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, widely regarded as the largest class action settlement in Canadian history. Prothonotary Coughlan had the privilege of assisting in the negotiation of the settlement and remained lead counsel for Canada in the decade-long implementation of its terms. During that time, she sat as a member of the National Administration Committee charged with oversight of the Agreement. Through the Agreement, she has had the good fortune to meet and collaborate with counsel from across Canada, many of whom are now friends.

Prothonotary Coughlan has been a guest lecturer at continuing legal education events and law schools. She enjoys collaborating with and mentoring younger counsel in her office. She also volunteers in the community as a member of the board of a nonprofit social services agency.

Prothonotary Coughlan and her husband, Angus, are the proud parents of Caitlin and Thomas.

She was appointed Prothonotary of the Federal Court on August 4, 2021.

Date modified: 2021-08-10

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