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Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Work +1 416 362 2111
Fax +1 416 862 6666
Calgary, Montreal, New York, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver

Martin Ignasiak

Work 403.260.7007
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Work Department

Partner, Regulatory, Environmental, Aboriginal and Land


Martin is the national Co-Chair of Osler’s Regulatory, Environmental, Aboriginal and Land Group. He has extensive experience in developing and executing strategies for obtaining necessary regulatory approvals for large scale industrial projects, including oil sands facilities, coal mines, pipelines and electric generation facilities. In his capacity as a regulatory lawyer, Martin has negotiated numerous impact benefit agreements. Martin also has extensive experience in electricity market regulation. Martin has appeared before all levels of court in Alberta and before the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal. He has also appeared before, among others, the National Energy Board, the Energy Resources Conservation Board, Alberta Utilities Commission, Joint Review Panels established under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board, the Mackenzie Valley Review Board and Land and Water Board and the Nunavut Water Board.


Bar Admission: Alberta, 1999; Northwest Territories, 2012; British Columbia, 2014




Canadian Bar Association; Calgary Bar Association; Alberta Chamber of Resources


University of Alberta, LL.B. University of Alberta, B.Comm.



Within: Environment

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP is valued for ‘knowing when a deep dive into the law is necessary or when things can be done more cost-effectively’. The team, which is mainly split between Calgary and Toronto, is particularly well versed in project development-related matters and it also handles environmental litigation and due diligence. In Calgary, regulatory heavyweight Shawn Denstedt QC ‘takes time to understand the business implications’. Denstedt jointly chairs the national practice alongside Calgary-based Martin Ignasiak; together they advised De Beers Canada on all environmental permitting issues concerning the new Gahcho Kué diamond mine. The team is also assisting De Beers with the ongoing management of the Snap Lake Mine. In Toronto, ‘very capable’ up-and-coming partner Jennifer Fairfax represented Rowbry Holdings in a C$10m contaminated lands claim.

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Indigenous law

Within: Indigenous law

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s regulatory, environmental, Aboriginal and land practice is led jointly by Toronto-based Richard King (‘a very good environmental and Aboriginal law specialist’) and Calgary-based Martin Ignasiak (‘a commercially-minded lawyer with great expertise’). The ‘very capable’ national group also draws upon the senior experience of renowned regulatory expert Shawn Denstedt QC and litigator Maureen Killoran QC — both of whom are based in Calgary. The firm continues to advise Teck Resources on Aboriginal law issues connected to its C$15bn Frontier Oil Sands project. Kinder Morgan Canada, Prosper Petroleum and TransCanada are also key clients.

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Canada: Energy and natural resources

Energy and natural resources: oil and gas

Within: Energy and natural resources: oil and gas

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s group, which comprises ‘excellent lawyers’, stand out for its ‘great transactional expertise', and also packs a punch in regulatory matters. Sector specialist Janice Buckingham jointly leads the practice and led the firm’s advice to ConocoPhillips on the C$17.7bn sale of its 50% interest in FCCL Partnership and certain Deep Basin assets to Cenovus Energy. Buckingham also acted alongside seasoned expert Robert Desbarats Desbarats QC to advise Canadian Natural Resources on its C$975m acquisition of upstream oil and gas assets in the Greater Pelican Lake region, and other assets in northern Alberta, from Cenovus Energy. On the development front, infrastructure co-chair Paula Olexiuk is advising PetroChina on various matters, including advising on its two oil sands projects and its partnership with TransCanada Corporation to construct and operate the Grand Rapids pipeline system. Shawn Denstedt QC is highly sought after for his regulatory expertise and represented Kinder Morgan Canada on regulatory, environmental and aboriginal matters related to the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. Martin Ignasiak is also recommended for regulatory matters, while Craig Spurn — who joined recently from McCarthy TĂ©trault — is another key name for energy transactions.

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