Energy and natural resources: power in Canada
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP stands out for its depth across the full power sector supply chain. Highly sought after by public and private sector clients in all key industry areas, the group routinely advises on corporate, commercial and regulatory issues pertaining to power generation, transmission and distribution. The team is highly regarded for its senior regulatory expertise, and also houses significant transactional experience, where it leans on the firm’s corporate, tax and finance teams to offer full-service advice on sophisticated deal structuring. Toronto-based Shane Freitag heads the national practice and has developed a reputation in complex transactional and regulatory mandates, while Mark Rodger serves as Toronto regional chair of the electricity markets group. The national team is also well represented in Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal.
Shane Freitag; Mark Rodger; Randall Block; Sean Muggah; Vince DeRose; Sylvie Bouvette
Northland Power Inc.
Independent Electricity System Operator (formerly Ontario Power Authority)
Peterborough Utilities Group Ltd.
Oakville Enterprises Corporation
Alterra Power Corp.
National Bank Financial
EDF EN Canada Inc.
Potentia Renewables Inc.
- Advising the Government of Alberta on its first solar power procurement, worth C$100m.
- Advised Polaris Infrastructure, as sponsor, on the restructuring of Generación Andina’s senior debt in connection with the financing of the El Carmen and 8 de Agosto run-of-river hydropower projects in Peru.
- Advised Northwest Territories Power on its acquisition of part of the electricity distribution business that ATCO Power operates in the Northwest Territories, among other mandates.
- Acted for Fonds de solidarité FTQ and Fonds régionaux de solidarité FTQ on their C$70m investment in EBI, a Québec-based waste management and renewable energy production company.
- Advised Husky Energy on the negotiation of an energy services agreement related to the 85 MW cogeneration facility operating at Husky’s Rainbow Processing Plant in Alberta.
McCarthy Tétrault brings together market-leading capabilities in transactional and regulatory matters with renowned expertise in the renewable and nuclear sectors. Best known for its experience in project development and financing matters, the group is engaged by a range of project stakeholders, including lenders, developers, equity investors and equipment suppliers. In addition, the firm’s heavyweight corporate practice and strong global reputation also makes it an attractive choice for Canadian and international clients in cross-border M&A and corporate deals. Key names in Toronto include group head Seán O’Neill and David Lever, who heads the firm’s infrastructure practice. Also recommended is George Vegh, who is widely regarded as a leader in public utility and wholesale market regulation. The team also fields experienced partners in Calgary, Montreal, Quebec City and Vancouver.
The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife)
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.
Samsung Renewable Energy Inc.
Bruce Power Inc.
NextEra Energy Inc.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc.
Whitby Hydro Energy Corporation
- Advised NextEra Energy Partners on its $1.2bn sale of wind and solar generation assets to CPPIB.
- Advised Whitby Hydro Energy on its merger with Veridian Corporation.
- Advised Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution on its acquisition of Midland Power Utility Corporation.
- Advised Manulife on its sale of Regional Power to Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure, Desjardins and Certas.
- Advised Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, as lender, on the C$811m project financing of a 102 MW natural gas-powered cogeneration facility owned by Fengate Capital Management.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP has serious capabilities in regulatory and transactional matters, securing key roles in some of the market’s most transformative projects. The team has extensive experience in conventional, renewable and nuclear power, and can also draw on the firm’s capable environmental and Aboriginal law teams for support on approval processes. In the nuclear space, Toronto-based group head Rocco Sebastiano is advising Bruce Power on its C$13bn Major Component Replacement Program for the Bruce Power Nuclear Generating Station -- the world’s largest operating nuclear facility. On the regulatory front, Richard King and up-and-coming partner Elliot Smith in Toronto are instructed by clients such as the Independent Electricity System Operator.
Hydro One Limited
Bruce Power L. P.
Pattern Energy Group LP
Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)
NextBridge Infrastructure LP/NextEra Energy
Five Nations Energy Inc.
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL)
DIF Infrastructure III and IV
- Advised Bruce Power on the C$13bn Bruce Power Major Component Replacement Program, as part of the refurbishment of the Bruce Power Nuclear Generating Station.
- Advised Hydro One on its C$105m acquisition of the business and distribution assets of Peterborough Distribution from the City of Peterborough.
- Advised Hydro One on its proposed $6.7bn acquisition of Avista Acquisition, which was ultimately blocked by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.
- Advised Pattern Energy Group on the C$216m sale of its interest in the K2 Wind Project to a consortium of investors led by Axium Infrastructure.
- Advised the Independent Electricity System Operator on commercial matters related to the design of the Market Renewal Program, and also on the necessary amendments to over 100 long-term energy contracts with large generators to accommodate the changes necessitated by the program.
Torys LLP advises across the spectrum of power law, bringing together corporate, finance and regulatory expertise to provide a full-service sector offering. The group, which is equally adept at transactional and regulatory matters, also distinguishes itself through its experience advising all industry stakeholders, with developers, investors and generation, transmission and distribution companies all among its key clients. On the transactional side, Krista Hill is highly regarded for M&A and project development work. Also recommended are project finance expert Jonathan Weisz and Valerie Helbronner, who also focuses on project development. Charles Keizer is a key contact for administrative law and project development work. Named lawyers are based in Toronto.
Krista Hill; Charles Keizer
Ontario Power Generation Inc.
Province of Ontario
Alectra Utilities Corporation
Wataynikaneyap Power LP
Enmax Power Corporation
OMERS Infrastructure (formerly Borealis Infrastructure)
Toronto Hydro Utilities Inc.
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board
- Advised Ontario Power Generation on multiple transactional and regulatory matters, including on the renegotiation of its used fuel and nuclear waste agreements with Bruce Power LP, lessee of the Bruce nuclear facility.
- Advised OMERS Infrastructure on its acquisition of a 24% interest, together with PGGM, Alberta Investment Management Corporation and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, in Washington state energy utility, Puget Sound Energy.
- Represented Alectra Utilities Corporation on its rate application and related request for five years of incremental capital funding before the Ontario Energy Board recovered through a unit rate structure.
- Advised ENMAX Power Corporation on an application for approval to construct a new high voltage and underground transmission line through a densely populated and developed area including downtown Calgary.
- Acted for Suncor Energy on its application to build and operate a 403 MW wind power project and two collector substations, with 96 turbines on 58,000 acres of land.
Bennett Jones LLP’s national practice group has a strong track record in energy infrastructure projects, particularly in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. Notably, the firm’s strong relationship with the ATCO group of companies generates a steady stream of power-related mandates. Based in Calgary, transactional specialist David Macaulay has a strong profile for project development mandates, while Loyola Keough is a name to note for regulatory matters.
Other key lawyers:
ATCO Power Canada Ltd.
ATCO Electric Ltd.
ATCO Electric Yukon
Canada Trade Law Bureau (Government of Canada)
ATCO Power Canada Ltd.
- Represented ATCO Power Canada in commercial and contentious matters stemming from the government’s coal phase-out.
- Advised ATCO Electric on regulatory issues connected to its Eastern Alberta Transmission Line project.
- Represented the Trade Law Bureau of Canada in providing expert witness opinion advice on British Columbia electricity market regulation in a NAFTA arbitration involving Mercer International, BC Hydro and the Province of British Columbia.
- Advised ATCO Electric Yukon on a 25-year electricity purchase agreement with the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation for the acquisition of renewable electricity from the first nation’s solar energy project in the community of Old Crow.
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP is a top-performer in power projects and transactions across Canada, with notable expertise in acquisitions and divestitures, and project finance and development. The team also has a reputation for large international mandates, recent example of which have included an instruction from the Government of Gabon. The firm also stands out for its experience across all key sub-sectors of the electricity market, both conventional and renewable energy, with recent strong activity in hydroelectric and wind projects. In Calgary, Peter Keohane and Scott Clarke are the key contacts for transactional matters, while Bryson Stokes and Sébastien Vilder are names to note in Toronto and Montreal respectively.
Peter Keohane; Bryson Stokes; Sébastien Vilder; Scott Clarke
Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.
BluEarth Renewables Inc.
H2O Power Limited Partnership
Suncor Energy Inc./Suncor Energy Products Inc.
- Advised the Government of Gabon on the negotiation of power purchase agreements for the Ngoulmendjim 73 MW hydroelectric project and the Dibwangui 15 MW hydroelectric project in Gabon, worth over C$300m.
- Advised ENMAX Corporation on its $1.3bn acquisition of Emera’s interest in Emera Maine.
- Advised the lenders on the C$570.4m non-recourse financing of four operating wind farms.
- Advised BluEarth on its US affiliate’s acquisition of a 795 MW wind development portfolio located in Wyoming from Intermountain Wind.
- Acted as Canadian counsel to Heartland Generation, an affiliate of Energy Capital Partners in its C$835m acquisition of ATCO Power Canada, along with its assets and subsidiaries.
The power practice at Gowling WLG is distinguished by its specialist offerings in several core areas. On the nuclear side, Ahab Abdel-Aziz is globally recognized as a market leader; he advised Rosatom on its negotiations with the Egyptian government for the $30bn Rosatom El Dabaa Nuclear Power Project, one of the largest new-build nuclear power construction projects in the world. Associate Magdalena Hanebach is also noted for nuclear law. On the regulatory side, Ian Mondrow advises public sector clients and NGOs on energy policy and energy sector design, as well as complex regulatory proceedings. The sizeable national group also stands out for its strong involvement in renewable energy and indigenous law-related projects.
Paul Harricks; Ahab Abdel-Aziz; Thomas Timmins
‘This is the stand-out Canadian nuclear practice and the group is respected internationally for their work in and outside Canada — they have recently concluded market-leading negotiations on Egypt’s new nuclear facilities.’
‘Ahab Abdel-Aziz is an INLA board member and the key partner. Magdalena Hanebach has limitless energy and is an associate to watch.’
Alectra Inc. (formed through the merger of Enersource, Horizon Utilities and PowerStream [our long time and existing client])
Rosatom Overseas, JSC
Emera Inc./Nova Scotia Power
British Columbia Hydro
Industrial Gas Users Association (IGUA)
Brookfield Renewable Power
Henvey Inlet First Nation
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation
Association of Major Power Consumers in Ontario
Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
Anbaric Development Partners
- Advised Rosatom State Corporation, and its subsidiaries, on their successful negotiations with the Egyptian government for the $30bn Rosatom El Dabaa Nuclear Power Project.
- Advised Henvey Inlet First Nation on the development of an on-reserve 300 MW wind generation project and transmission line on Henvey Inlet First Nation lands and other reserve and traditional territory.
- Advised the Industrial Gas Users Association on numerous Ontario gas regulatory applications.
- Advised Alectra Utilities Corporation and Alectra Incorporated on the merger of its electricity distribution utility with Guelph Hydro Electric Systems.
- Advised Enwave Energy on its various energy services agreements with Brookfield Office Properties in relation to the Bay Adelaide Centre in Toronto.
Norton Rose Fulbright's national power practice has an emphasis on regulatory work, with strong experience in representing private and public sector clients and industry associations before regional regulators. The team also works alongside the wider firm’s projects, corporate and securities departments, both domestically and internationally, to advise on transactional matters. The group is particularly dominant in British Columbia, but also benefits from robust footholds in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. Up-and-coming regulatory specialist Matthew Keen is a name to note in Vancouver.
‘The firm has great knowledge of the energy sector in BC.’
‘Greg Lewis has extensive knowledge in this field; he negotiated significant contracts with BC Hydro and understands the legal landscape. Same for Matthew Keen who masters the regulatory prohibitions.’
Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO)
TransAlta Corporation / TransAlta Renewables Inc.
Toronto Hydro Corporation
Association of Major Power Customers of BC (AMPC)
Rio Tinto (RT)
SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.
NextEra Energy Canada, ULC
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Columbia Power Corporation and Columbia Basin Trust
Alberta Office of the Utilities Consumer Advocate (UCA)
Solargise Canada Ltd.
- Represented the Association of Major Power Customers of BC in proceedings before the BC Utilities Commission connected to the Government’s review of BC Hydro.
- Advised the Prince Rupert Port Authority on several recent issues, including negotiations with BC Hydro relating to transmission-level electricity service to its third-party industrial facilities located on its land.
- Advised ChargePoint on the British Columbia Utilities Commission’s inquiry into how ownership and operation of electric vehicle charging stations should be regulated in the province.
- Advised Ullico on its C$79m acquisition of four solar power generation projects owned by DIF Infrastructure III.
- Successfully defended Hydro-Québec before the Supreme Court of Canada against a claim brought by Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corporation seeking to increase the price paid by Hydro-Québec for electricity purchased from the Churchill Falls Power Plant pursuant to a contract entered into in 1969.
Stikeman Elliott LLP
Stikeman Elliott LLP's comprehensive national practice group advises on all stages of conventional and renewable power projects. Particularly highly regarded is the group’s regulatory practice, which is spearheaded by energy litigator Glenn Zacher and covers the full range of permitting issues to contentious matters. Up-and-coming partner Patrick Duffy, who co-heads the project development and finance practice, is another contact for regulatory matters. On the transactional front, the group can plug into the wider firm’s signature corporate offering for support on power-related M&A and joint venture transactions, while its project development and finance department is invaluable in complex financing matters. Named lawyers are based in Toronto.
Other key lawyers:
Toronto-based Aird & Berlis LLP has an effective power practice, which is widely recognized for its strength in Ontario regulatory matters. The multi-disciplinary group is structured around several standalone areas, bringing the wider firm’s infrastructure and real estate expertise together with the energy group's experience in energy contracting, electricity regulation, clean technology, renewables, and climate change. Group head Fred Cass specializes in energy regulation and has extensive experience in rate and toll cases and energy litigation.
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP continues to raise its profile in the power space, with recent mandates for a varied mix of developers, utilities, private equity funds and public sector bodies. The group has particular expertise in project finance and secondary market transactions, and is backed by strong cross-practice skill sets in commercial, environmental and regulatory law. Group head Nicholas Williams is recognized for his experience in project finance, where he routinely acts for borrowers and lenders.
Carol Pennycook; Nicholas Williams
‘The Davies’ team has very pragmatic and efficient approach to advising and problem solving, with a strong understanding of energy infrastructure especially from a lender’s perspective. Lawyers have excellent negotiating skills.’
‘The group possesses broad experience in all types of infrastructure and financing work, with very strong experience in the energy space. Often among the brightest in the room, and capable of efficiently providing high level of advice and strategic guidance.’
‘All of the individuals I deal with at Davies are professional, knowledgeable and respectful. Turnaround time with clients is critical and Davies is typically quicker at turning documents than most firms.’
‘Nicholas Williams, Anthony Spadaro, and Jenn Prieto are not only outstanding lawyers they are re outstanding individuals; personable and professional.’
- Acted for Axium Infrastructure and Manulife on their joint C$922m acquisition from AltaGas of a 35% interest in three hydroelectric projects in British Columbia, and also advised on their subsequent joint C$1.4bn acquisition of AltaGas’ remaining 55% interest in the same three projects.
- Advised Fengate Capital Management on its acquisition of the Heartland Petrochemical Complex’s Central Utility Block (CUB) cogeneration facility from Inter Pipeline and also on the project financing for the development, construction and operation of the CUB.
- Acted for Birch Hill Equity Partners on the financing of its C$101.6m acquisition of non-core midstream and power assets in Canada from AltaGas and also advised on its C$63.4m acquisition of a 13.3% interest in Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure from AltaGas.
- Advised Axium Infrastructure on the C$161m refinancing of four solar generation projects in Ontario.
- Advised the Independent Electricity System Operator on its amended agreement with Bruce Power for the refurbishment of six nuclear units at the Tiverton-based nuclear generation station.
At Dentons, the ability of the Canadian power team to plug into the firm's extensive global network has become an increasingly key differentiator. Indeed, the firm utilized large cross-office teams in several big-ticket power mandates over the past year. In one example, the Canadian team worked hand-in-hand with the Tashkent office to advise SkyPower on its $1.3bn investment in photovoltaic solar energy facilities in Tashkent, which marked the largest foreign direct investment by a Canadian company into Uzbekistan. Toronto-based transactional partner Vivek Bakshi co-heads the national power practice alongside regulatory specialist Bernard Roth. Helen Newland is also recommended in Toronto.
Vivek Bakshi; Bernard Roth
Other key lawyers:
‘Dentons’ team is very customer-oriented, professional and organized. They are a results-oriented team and focus on results in a cost-effective manner.’
EDF EN Development Canada Inc.
Ontario Energy Board
Public Utility Corporation (“PUC”)
Alberta Electric System Operator
Toronto Hydro Corporation
Index Energy Inc
- Advised Enbridge on its $1.7bn sale of a 49% interest in a portfolio of renewable power assets in North America and Europe to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
- Advised SkyPower on its $1.3bn investment in photovoltaic solar energy facilities in Uzbekistan.
- Advised Capital Power on the C$216m sale of its minority owned interest in K2 Wind to a consortium of investors led by Axium Infrastructure.
- Represented TransCanada Energy and TransCanada PipeLines in regulatory matters before the Quebec Energy Board.
Fasken brings a robust regulatory practice together with highly regarded Aboriginal and environmental law practices. A popular choice to advise on complex, and often contested, infrastructure projects, the team routinely manages environmental assessment, permitting and consultation processes. Calgary-based managing partner Peter Feldberg enjoys a strong reputation for his regulatory expertise, while Vancouver’s Ron Ezekiel is the key contact for commercial transactions. Also in Vancouver, regulatory partner Christopher Bystrom has been highlighted by clients as a future star.
Ron Ezekiel; André Turmel
‘The Fasken team is unique due to its strong ability to take an open and transparent approach to regulatory applications, which clearly communicates the client’s position and builds credibility and goodwill with the Commission and interveners.’
‘Fasken’s energy team in Vancouver is highly client-oriented and members go out of their way to understand the client’s needs, business and unique circumstances. They are quick to learn the nuances involved in the issues faced by the client and bring their wealth of knowledge and creativity to address those issues.’
‘Chris Bystrom is very knowledgeable on legal and regulatory issues and is a strong strategic thinker, who is able to identify angles that others may not think of and devise strategies to address complex problems.’
BC Hydro and Power Authority
EPCOR Utilities Inc.
Just Energy Group
AltaLink Management Ltd. (Berkshire Hathaway Energy Canada)
ENERCON Canada Inc.
Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Republic of Guinea
- Advised BC Hydro on the regulatory and Aboriginal law aspects of its flagship Site C Clean Energy Project, including contentious matters.
- Advised Tech Resources on a C$1.2bn commercial transaction, which involved the sale and leaseback of a partial interest in a hydroelectric facility by Teck to a regulated utility.
- Represented Manitoba Hydro before the National Energy Board in its application for a new 500 kV international power line from Winnipeg to the Manitoba-Minnesota border.
- Advised Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro on revisions to its network upgrade policy and related hearing.
- Represented Bitfarms before the Quebec Energy Board in relation to Hydro-Québec’s request to the Board to set rates and service conditions specifically for enterprises involved in cryptocurrency mining as a result of increased electricity demand from cryptocurrency miners.
Lawson Lundell LLP
Lawson Lundell LLP’s power practice is distinguished by its expertise in regulatory matters, from permitting and environmental issues to appearances before provincial and federal regulators. The service group also benefits from the firm’s complementary offerings in climate change, clean energy and technology. Litigator Jeff Christian, who splits his time between Vancouver and Calgary, has a strong focus on the energy and regulated utilities spheres.