After a distinguished career as a scientist Colin attended the University of Manitoba and attained a law degree in 1980.  He was admitted to the Manitoba bar in 1981 and the Saskatchewan bar in 1987.

He was an Associate with Taylor Brazzell McCaffrey (1981 - 1982). He was a Partner with Taylor McCaffrey (1983 - 2007), serving as Managing Partner in 1988 to 1989. He was Senior Counsel with the firm from 2007 to 2010.

His main areas of practice were: aboriginal, constitutional, environmental, indigenous and space law.

He served as Adjunct Professor with the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Manitoba (2000 - 2007).


Much of his work as a lawyer was for aboriginal clients, often pro bono. He negotiated or litigated settlement of claims against  a hydro-electric utility and the governments of Manitoba and Canada. He was involved in settling a class action against paper companies and governments for mercury poisoning of tribes in Ontario.

He was counsel to multi-national corporations on environmental licensing. He was strategic counsel to a company that built the world’s first commercial spaceport and bought launch vehicles from the Soviet Union.

He learned from tribal elders the existing constitutions of two indigenous peoples and their governments and helped them bring them up to date.

He worked on as many cases in the Supreme Court of Canada as some full-time litigators. They include the case on whether the federal government could unilaterally patriate the constitution of Canada from the United Kingdom.

He pursued a special interest in aboriginal child protection.

Leading cases:

The unilateral patriation case (Man. C.A. and S.C.C.)

The Bilodeau case (s. 27 of the Manitoba Act) (Man. C.A. and S.C.C.)

The Air Canada et al. sales tax case (S.C.C.)

Westco Storage Ltd. v. Inter-City Gas Utilities Ltd. (C.A.; S.C.C. leave denied)

Old St. Boniface Residents Association v. City of Winnipeg (C.A.; S.C.C.)