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Our Team

In 1977, Rhodie Mercer, Gordon MacNab, and James Vavasour founded the law firm of Mercer MacNab and Vavasour by combining their practices with the practice of Isaac Mercer, Q.C. The intention of the partners was to establish a diversified legal practice to provide a broad range of legal services to its clients, concentrating on Real Estate, Family Law, Estate Planning and Administration, Corporate and Commercial, Personal Injury, and Civil Litigation.


Anne M. Fagan, K.C. joined the firm in 1986 upon the retirement of Isaac Mercer, Q.C. and Sheilagh M. Murphy, K.C. joined us in 2017. This further enhanced the ability of the firm to expand its client base.


Building upon the solid foundation established in 1977, MacNab Fagan & Murphy continues to provide reliable professional legal services to our wide range of clients. In keeping with the desire to offer cost-effective and efficient professional services with a personal touch, we elected to remain small in terms of numbers. With our 136 years of combined experience, we continue to attract a wide range of clients. Our extensive practice now includes most legal areas including Real Estate, Family Law, Estate Planning and Administration, Corporate and Commercial, Personal Injury and Civic Litigation. In addition, we are proud to offer Alternative Dispute Resolution Arbitration and Mediation Services.


R.A. Gordon MacNab, K.C., Anne M. Fagan, K.C. and Sheilagh M. Murphy, K.C. are all members in good standing with the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and members of the Canadian Bar Association. The firm is a Member of the St. John’s Board of Trade Business.


Call us today to sort out your legal matters. Related to real estate law, family law, surrogacy, business law, and more.




Gordon MacNab was admitted to the Newfoundland Bar in January, 1973. Prior to admittance to the Bar, he received a Liberal Arts Degree from Colby College, Waterville, Maine, U.S.A. in 1969 and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of New Brunswick in 1972. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1991.

Mr. MacNab has a general practice with emphasis today on Commercial and Corporate Law, Telecommunications Law, Real Estate, and Marine Law. He also has e
xtensive experience in the Newfoundland Supreme Court, primarily in the are
as of Marine, Environmental and Fisheries Law, including a case defining the fishing rights of the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. He also conducted the last substantive charge under the Official Secrets Act.

Mr. MacNab is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, and is a volunteer and director for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.



January 19, 2024

A giant fell this week.

Gordon MacNab was a friend, a mentor, and consummate professional.

He is deeply and profoundly missed by his partners, staff, colleagues, friends, clients, family, and all who knew him.

Very few lawyers are so devoted to the law that they practice it for more than fifty years. Being trusted counsel was Gordon to his core. And he was very good at it.

Gordon was the steady hand for those who sought him out.  An excellent listener, a thoughtful tactician, and contemplative planner, he approached all matters with the cool head of the long game.  Never sharp, never rude, he focused on resolving matters professionally and well, to the benefit of his clients.   Always, he added a dash of humour and a twinkle in his eye.

We will miss his guidance, knowledge, and grace.  Most of all, we will miss his laugh and the burst of positive energy that happened every time he walked through the door.

We wish him fair winds and following seas.

R. A. Gordon MacNab, Q.C.


Telephone – 709-726-8844 


Legal Assistant (Real Estate) -  Jessica Hunt -

Legal Assistant (All other matters) - Selena Bowles -


Family Law

Wills, Estates, and Elder law


Real Estate


Anne Fagan was admitted to the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar in April, 1986, having received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1982, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of New Brunswick in 1985. She furthered her education in 1996 by receiving Certificates in Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution from the University of Windsor. Ms. Fagan was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2011.

Ms. Fagan has extensive litigation experience and practices in the areas of elder law, Wills and estates, real estate, family, corporate, commercial, personal injury, product and manufacture liability, fisheries, environmental, and marine law. Her professional practice also includes alternative dispute resolution and mediation. Ms. Fagan is counsel for the Public Prosecutions Service of Canada.

Ms. Fagan was appointed as Counsel to the Commissioner of the Offshore Helicopter Safety Inquiry in 2009 and served until 2011. This Inquiry was established after the crash of Cougar's Sikorsky Helicopter Flight 491 on March 12, 2009, while enroute to the Sea Rose Oil facilities offshore Newfoundland.

Ms. Fagan is currently a member of the Disciplinary Panel of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. She has been a volunteer for the Canadian Bar Association and has held the positions of president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer of the Newfoundland branch. She was a member of the national board of directors and has chaired several committees. Ms. Fagan was also a member of the board of directors, a member of the management board, and has chaired a number of committees for the Canadian Bar Insurance Association. She has also served on the Rules Committee of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Ms. Fagan is a member of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Canadian Bar Association, the Atlantic Provinces Arbitration and Mediation Institute, Canadian Maritime Law Association, and the Business Association of Newfoundland and Labrador.


Litigation and Personal Injury

Anne M. Fagan, Q.C


Telephone – 709-726-8844 


Legal Assistant (Real Estate) -  Jessica Hunt -

Legal Assistant (All other matters) - Selena Bowles -


Mediation & Arbitration

Independent Workplace Investigations

Civil Litigation

Real Estate

Wills and Estates

Personal Injury


Sheilagh is a graduate of Memorial University (B.Sc., 1995, B.A., 1995) and the University of New Brunswick (LLB, 1998) and was called to the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar in 1999. Sheilagh articled and practiced with a multi-service law firm in St. John’s until 2012, then served as full-time chair of the Labour Relations Board until 2018.  She returned to private practice in August 2018 and has been a partner with MacNab, Fagan & Murphy ever since. 


Her civil practice focuses on the provision of neutral labor, employment, and adjudication services as an arbitrator, mediator, and independent workplace investigator. In addition to her private practice, Sheilagh presently serves as an external adjudicator for the Canada Industrial Relations Board, and as chair of the NL Standing Fish Price-Setting Panel. 


Sheilagh volunteered on the executive of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) NL Branch from 2000-2008 (President in 2006).  She served as a member CBA’s National Board of Directors in 2006-07, and chaired the CBA’s national Membership Committee and Canadian Legal Conference committee. Sheilagh volunteered on the board of the Canadian Bar Insurance Association (now Lawyers Financial) from 2008 – 2021, completing her tenure as Chair of the Board from 2017 – 2019.  In addition to serving as a Governor with the Law Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, she also serves as a Bencher with the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Sheilagh M. Murphy, Q.C
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