Tess Layton


e: tlayton@rmrf.com
p: 780.497.3305
f: 780.429.3044

2008 – Dip, British Columbia Institute of Technology
2011 – B.Sc., Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (Summa Cum Laude)
2015 – J.D., University of Alberta
2016 – Admitted to the Alberta Bar
2019 – Admitted to the Northwest Territories Bar
2021 – Admitted to the Nunavut Bar

Practice Areas

Constitution & Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Media & Defamation Law, Litigation, Municipal Law, Professional Regulatory, Corporate & Commercial


Tess carries on a litigation practice that involves media and defamation, constitutional law, commercial litigation and administrative law. She also carries on a solicitor’s practice involving commercial transactions. Prior to commencing her articles with the firm, Tess clerked at the Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton.

Tess has experience defending media organizations of all sizes, ranging from small news outlets to major national broadcasters. She has also been involved in commercial litigation matters concerning large public companies.

Tess has appeared at all levels of Court in Alberta. At the Court of Appeal of Alberta, she has advocated for the right of the media to receive notice of applications to restrict publication and access, and to determine the meaning of publication as it relates to the internet.

In addition, Tess has experience with broadcasting law and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada three times respecting media law issues. In one instance, Tess was a member of RMRF’s team relating to an injunction brought against a major national broadcaster respecting articles posted to its website containing information subject to a publication ban. In another instance, Tess acted for the Canadian Media Lawyers Association (CMLA) in relation to the right of the public to access transcripts of Court of Appeal proceedings. In the third instance, Tess advocated for the right of the media to have advance notice of applications to restrict public and media access to court documents.

Tess teaches Communications Law at MacEwan University, and frequently presents to clients and the legal community on issues related to media law and privacy law.

Tess is also a trained pilot and retains her private pilot’s license.

Associations & Memberships

  • Edmonton Bar Association
  • Northwest Territories Bar Association
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Canadian Media Lawyers Association (Ad Idem)

Educational Leadership

  • Communications Law – Grant MacEwan University

Awards & Achievements

  • Merv Leitch QC Leadership Award
  • Alumni & Friends of the Faculty of Law Scholarship
  • Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Excellence in Law
  • Canadian Owner’s & Pilots Association ab initio Scholarship
  • First prize factum, Wilson Moot (University of Alberta Team)

Community Involvement

  • Member, Women’s Legal Forum Committee – Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers’ Association
  • Member, Rosa Legal Advisory Board