Offering coast-to-coast coverage, Bennett Jones LLP provides comprehensive legal services covering all environmental issues arising from project development, M&A, financing transactions, and insolvencies. The practice, which is frequently retained by clients from the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors, is particularly well-placed to assist with environmental regulatory compliance, prosecutions under provincial and federal environmental legislation, class actions and crisis management. The team is a go-to destination for companies from the oil and gas and infrastructure segments seeking advice on environmental impact assessments for the regulatory approval of projects. In Toronto, environmental specialist Leonard Griffiths has a wealth of experience in brownfield redevelopment and contaminated sites. Brad Gilmour, who sits in the Calgary office, leads on regulatory compliance work and is also often involved in environmental litigation and project approvals. Vancouver-based Radha Curpen brings together expertise in project permitting, ESG and transactional mandates. David Bursey, whose experience covers environmental issues pertaining to the mining, forestry, energy and transport sectors, is another name to note in Vancouver. Based in Toronto, Sarah Gilbert is a contact for matters involving the transportation of dangerous goods, waste management, air emissions and contaminated properties.
Environment in Canada
BC LNG Alliance
Business Council of British Columbia
Canadian Natural Resources Limited
Capital Regional District
Conuma Coal Resources Limited
Global Container Terminals
Mining Association of British Columbia
Pacific Traverse Energy
Polaris LNG Ltd.
Vancouver Airport Fuel Facility Corporation
- Advising VAFFC, a consortium of domestic and international airlines, on a new aviation fuel delivery project to Vancouver International Airport, which comprises a marine terminal, a storage tank farm, and delivery pipeline.
- Canadian counsel to Stone Canyon Industries Holdings LLC (SCIH) and Kissner Group Holdings, in their US$3.2bn agreement to acquire K+S Aktiengesellschaft’s North and South American salt business, including advising on all environmental and regulatory aspects.
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP enjoys a strong reputation in the market, given its preeminent role in precedent-setting environmental cases and some of the most significant transactions and projects in Canada. Covering all aspects of environmental law, the firm is a trusted adviser to a range of clients operating in environmentally-sensitive industries involved in contentious matters arising from spills, environmental incidents and contaminated sites. Apart from its strength in litigation, the team also demonstrates broad capabilities in regulatory compliance, corporate transactions, financings, project approvals and investigations. National department head Jonathan Kahn, who sits in Toronto, has been particularly active advising on the environmental aspects of domestic and cross-border acquisitions and mining projects. Based between Toronto and Montréal, Charles Kazaz is recommended for environmental matters pertaining to the mining, industrial and waste management sectors. Tony Crossman steers the Vancouver natural resources and environmental team on an array of regulatory, compliance and litigation mandates. In Calgary, Terri-Lee Oleniuk is noted for her extensive experience in project-related environmental issues across the oil and gas, mining and power segments. Janice Walton retired from practice in December 2020.
With longstanding experience in the field of environmental law, McCarthy Tétrault advises on cutting-edge environmental matters, including climate change and emissions trading. The team is particularly recognized for its impressive track record in handling environmental aspects of transactions and projects, and is also proficient in regulatory, compliance and enforcement matters. Contentious matters involving contamination issues also feature on the practice’s portfolio. Based in Vancouver, Paul Cassidy is routinely engaged by international investors, helping them navigate the regulatory environment for doing business in Canada. His practice encompasses project development across North America, litigation and policy issues. He jointly oversees the nationwide group with Gordon Nettleton in Calgary and Cindy Vaillancourt in Montréal. The latter focuses on remediation issues, environmental compliance, permitting and due diligence.
Rayonier Advanced Materials
Canadian National Railway Company
Business Council of British Columbia
QSL Canada Inc.
Glencore Coal Canada
Suncor Energy Inc.
Railway Association of Canada
- Advised the Business Council of British Columbia on various legislative reform initiatives such as the federal Environmental Assessment Acts, Fisheries Act, and UNDRIP.
- Advised Suncor Energy Inc. in connection with the environmental protection order issued by Alberta Environment and Parks against Suncor Energy Inc. (Suncor) pursuant to Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act in connection with historical contamination at a former Sears Canada Inc. gas station located at the North Hill Shopping Mall in Calgary.
- Advised Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. in the C$92.8m non-recourse construction and term project financing with The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company for the construction of the Innavik hydro project, including determining the organization’s compliance with permitting requirements for the project.
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP is adept at developing commercially minded solutions to environmental issues arising in M&A transactions, corporate finance, real estate investments and project development at the domestic and international level. Handling environmental liabilities in the context of renewable energy transactions is a core strength for the practice, while the team is also skilled at assisting with regulatory matters, environmental permitting and litigation. Based in Toronto, Sarah Powell advises on transactional and contentious matters, including deals involving energy assets and contaminated sites. Compliance issues in sectors such as manufacturing, food, and pulp and paper are key areas of expertise for Alexandria Pike, who sits in the same office. Pike also brings to the table considerable experience in remediation orders. Marie-Claude Bellemare is the main point of contact in Québec; she focuses on environmental permitting and the management of contaminated sites.
‘I work routinely with Alexandria Pike. Her knowledge of legal matters is a given, but she has a great ability to translate this into commercial advice.’
‘Marie-Claude Bellemare is an experienced lawyer. She is practical and works for her client.’
Axium Infrastructure Inc.
Barrick Gold Corporation
Canadian Malartic GP
Hostess Brands Inc
Manufacturers Life Insurance Company
Northleaf Capital Partners
Pattern Energy Group Inc.
Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investment)
RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust
Fasken fields a well-established environmental law practice that is skilled at managing environmental risks in the context of transactions, infrastructure projects permitting and beyond. The team leverages its close ties to other practice groups within the firm, such as regulatory and indigenous law, to assist clients from the natural resources and energy sectors with the environmental assessment of new and large-scale projects. Also noteworthy is the group’s climate change and carbon markets expertise, as well as crisis management, contaminated sites and environmental litigation capabilities. Rosalind Cooper co-leads the practice from Toronto, focusing on the defense of environmental prosecutions and disputes before all levels of court. Fellow co-head Pierre-Olivier Charlebois is sought after by clients for his deep knowledge of the energy and mining sectors, environmental regulations and climate change issues; he is based in Montréal. In Vancouver, Kai Alderson is proficient in the permitting of major projects and in the handling of environmental liabilities in commercial transactions.
Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
Hexion Canada Inc.
- Acting for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority in connection with the environmental assessment and permitting of its proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project.
- Advised Hexion on legal aspects related to a complex contaminated site related to a former manufacturing facility located in Vancouver, BC.
Gowling WLG is well positioned to handle high-exposure environmental litigation across the country, including regulatory appeals, civil matters and prosecution defense. In addition to its contentious caseload, the team also assists public and private-sector clients in relation to environmental assessments, regulatory issues, corporate risk and permitting matters. Toronto-based Rodney Northey is regularly seen acting for natural resources, waste management and energy clients in regulatory approvals and challenges. Also in Toronto, Harry Dahme is fully devoted to environmental law; his experience covers corporate environmental due diligence, brownfield redevelopment, chemical regulations and waste management matters. In the same office, Jennifer Danahy excels in both transactional mandates and environmental litigation at the municipal, provincial and federal level. Based in Vancouver, Wally Braul is a notable name in Western Canada for his work at the intersection of energy, indigenous law and environmental issues. Adam Chamberlain heads the practice.
Other key lawyers:
‘Expertise is the key. They understand the content and the process. ’
‘Knowledge of process and content. ’
‘I believe what makes Gowling WLG stand apart from other firms is their accessibility, their trustworthiness and their compassion. If I need advice about legal matters, I know it’s just a matter of picking up my phone or sending an email to get clear advice in a very short time. I know that any advice I get from Gowling WLG can be trusted as being in my best interests. Gowling WLG is not your stereotypical, “ambulance chasing” bunch of lawyers. They truly care about the people they are working with. ’
‘Previous experience and strength and in the environmental/brownfield site field was a key capability for our file. ’
‘Harry Dahme has excellent field/industry practice experience and rapport, including with other legal counsels, mediation, provincial regulatory agency, and Environmental Review Tribunal representatives. Very effective in guiding file agenda and strategies both internally and with external parties.’
Regional Municipality of Halton
Corporation of the City of Burlington
Corporation of the Town of Halton Hills
Corporation of the Town of Milton
Corporation of the Town of Oakville
Government of Alberta
Kirby Offshore Marine LLC
University of British Columbia
City of Mississauga
Romandale Farms Limited
Hamilton Beach Brands Canada, Inc.
Tŝilhqot’in National Government
Kivalliq Inuit Association
Canadian Public Health Association
- Counsel to the Regional Municipality of Halton and four Halton local municipalities with respect to a proposal by CN Railway to establish a major new road-rail facility in the Town of Milton.
- Counsel to the Government of Alberta Department of Environment and Parks and a compliance director working for the department with respect to a complex civil action related to contamination caused by a former wood treatment processing facility.
- Counsel to the University of British Columbia defending an environmental prosecution brought by the federal Crown pursuant to the Fisheries Act (Canada), related to the spill of a substance into a storm drain by a contractor.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Litigation is at the core of the regulatory, environmental, Aboriginal and land group at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. The practice is adept at representing clients in civil and class actions, regulatory proceedings and administrative hearings. Environmental matters related to natural resources projects is a key area of focus for the department that showcases strength in the oil and gas, mining, renewable energy and power sectors. The team is jointly headed up by energy and indigenous law specialist Richard King in Toronto and Calgary-based Martin Ignasiak , who has extensive experience in the obtaining of regulatory approvals for large-scale industrial projects. Other noteworthy practitioners include Jennifer Fairfax , who is seasoned in environmental assessments, permitting matters, contaminated lands and regulatory compliance, and Patrick Welsh, who is a contact for brownfields redevelopment, hazardous waste and air emissions. Both lawyers are based in Toronto.
Torys offers the entire scope of environmental law services, covering both non-contentious matters and litigation. The group is especially well versed in handling the environmental aspects of commercial transactions and major project permitting, demonstrating particular strength in seeking environmental approvals for projects in the infrastructure, renewable and conventional energy sectors. ESG disclosures and climate change issues are growing areas of focus for the practice which is also engaged in the defense of environmental disputes throughout Canada. Dennis Mahony specialises in environmental approval processes and litigation. He leads the Toronto-based group that also includes climate change policy and regulation expert Tyson Dyck, who focuses on environmental issues arising from energy, mining and infrastructure projects. Michael Fortier also has a wealth of experience in these sectors, often advising on project-related environmental issues.
‘The Tory’s environmental team did an excellent job handling an environmental regulatory charge our company faced. Michael Fortier’s past experience with the regulator and his detailed expertise in these matters proved exceptionally helpful in reaching a very good outcome for our company.’
‘Michael was very easy to work with, very responsive and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend Michael.’
‘The Torys LLP Environment team is characterized by their dedication and sense of teamwork and shared purpose. The team’s focus is always on the client’s needs and goals, and how best to fulfil them. The Torys team blended seamlessly with the client’s multi-disciplinary team of in-house and consultant experts and specialists, promoting a collaborative approach, without the kind of competitive turf-war that so often characterizes and degrades cross-functional teams. The Torys team appears to support each other and to be genuinely interested in each other’s and their clients’ success. Torys has the depth necessary to efficiently field a team with all the necessary subject-matter expertise and the ability to give the client confidence in every venue, from the boardroom to the court room.’
‘In my 30+ years as a strategic environmental consultant, helping clients navigate complex environmental regulatory processes and issues, I’ve had to work with many environmental lawyers across Canada. There is no one I would want in my corner – or my clients’ corner – more than Dennis Mahony and his colleagues at Torys. They have proven to be far superior in bringing a pragmatic and strategic lens to complex challenges (not limited to legal ones), grounded in deep understanding of the legislative landscape and political climate within which project development occurs today.’
‘I have worked primarily with Dennis Mahony, who leads Torys’ environmental practice. Dennis is a master strategist, in a field where strategy must be looked upon as a team sport. Blending some of the best attributes of coach, teammate, and cheerleader, Dennis is able to clearly articulate and share a vision of what needs to be done, assess the team’s skills and leverage them to advantage, build the team’s capacity and confidence, and know when it’s time for the tough call or the motivating celebration. Dennis routinely looks beyond the narrow question of a specific legal matter to see the big picture, to identify risks and opportunities often missed by others, and to map out an integrated and practical strategy for his clients’ success. Thoughtful and deliberative, he is benignly artful in building support and advancing the team across the finish line for the win. And importantly, he is a pleasure to work with – good-humoured and affable, considerate and conscientious, without hubris or conceit. Working with Dennis, you feel like he’s on your side and you’re glad of it.’
‘I have had occasion also to collaborate with Michael Fortier, Tyson Dyck, among others. All have been highly professional and demonstrated superior expertise and knowledge of their respective areas of practice.’
Canadian National Railway
Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV) and its subsidiary, Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation
Nation Rise Wind Farm Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of EDP Renewables
Dowa Metals & Mining Co. Ltd.
DP World Canada Investment Inc.
Wataynikaneyap Power LP
Windlectric, an Algonquin Power and Utilities company)
Kyoei Steel Ltd.
- Acted as lead counsel to Canadian National Railway Company on its Milton Logistics Hub Project, a major new rail facility proposed for one of Canada’s most populous regions, including representing the client in the complex, multi-year federal environmental approval process and high-profile public hearing.
- Assisted Norbord in its C$4bn sale to West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., to create a diversified wood products leader.
- Represented EDP in the high-profile and contentious development of the 100 MW Nation Rise Wind Project near the township of North Stormont in eastern Ontario, one of the largest wind projects currently under development in North America.
The environmental law practice at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP offers legal support to clients operating in a variety of sectors, including transport, manufacturing, energy and waste management, on a multitude of business transactions, regulatory matters and in litigation. Contentious issues are a key strength for the group, which is equipped to handle civil environmental claims, contaminated sites litigation, administrative proceedings and judicial appeals. Rick Williams oversees the national team from Vancouver; the practice head is singled out for his experience in environmental issues pertaining to project development and permitting, with a special emphasis in the oil and gas segment. He receives key support from other practitioners based in Vancouver: Dionysios Rossi has a strong track record in federal and provincial environmental assessment processes and pollution-related matters, while Graham Walker leads on tort cases. Jonathan Cocker, who focuses on environmental compliance issues, recently joined from Baker McKenzie.
With multidisciplinary expertise that cuts across corporate, regulatory and Aboriginal Law, Dentons is particularly noted for its ability to assist with environmental issues in the context of project planning, especially in the natural resources sector. Clean fuel standards, renewable energy and ESG issues are areas of recent growth for the department which already boasts strong credentials in the fields of climate change and emissions management. The firm houses a Global ESG Steering Group that brings together cross-discipline expertise across more than 80 countries to help clients find solutions to complex ESG challenges. Based in Calgary, Alex G MacWilliam acts as counsel to clients from the energy, mining, transport, chemicals and real estate sectors in relation to regulatory approvals, contaminated sites and compliance issues.
‘The team has the required knowledge of specialized legislation , an awareness of the regulators and their preferences and issues, as well as experience with technical consultants who work in the jurisdiction to support the legal process.’
‘Alex MacWilliam has great all-around knowledge.’
‘The strength of the team lies in its incredible pool of legal experts in different spheres of activities that concern us which cannot be found in other firms.’
Alberta Conservation Association
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Great West Life Realty Advisors
Syncrude Canada Inc.
World Fuel Services
Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo
Rocky Mountain Equipment
- Advising Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo on environment, health and safety matters relating to all aspects of the Municipality’s operations, including potable water system, wastewater treatment system, solid waste landfills and engineering operations.
- Providing ongoing advice on all aspects of DUC’s Alberta business, with a particular focus on habitat protection and wetland redevelopment.
- Providing ongoing advice on all aspects of ACA’s business, with the particular aim of securing new conservation sites.
Lawson Lundell LLP provides integrated services in regulatory, environmental and indigenous law, fielding a deep bench of experts who are well equipped to assist with project development and environmental permitting matters in North and Western Canada. Besides its project management expertise, the team is also routinely instructed by clients from the oil and gas, mining, infrastructure and real estate sectors to advise on environmental risk assessment and allocation in M&A transactions and financings, and regulatory proceedings. The practice is under the joint leadership of John Olynyk and Brad Armstrong; the latter has a wealth of experience in civil litigation and regulatory approvals. Both practitioners are based in Vancouver. Sitting in the same office, Laura Duke represents clients in administrative hearings, environmental assessments and contaminated lands cases.
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation
Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
Agnico Eagle Mines Limited
TMAC Resources Inc.
New Gold Inc.
Cheetah Resources Corp
Pure Environmental Waste Management Ltd.
McLennan Ross LLP
With specialists in energy, environmental law and regulatory matters, McLennan Ross LLP has a strong profile for enforcement, regulatory proceedings and contaminated lands litigation. A preeminent player in the Alberta legal market, the firm is regularly sought after by energy and natural resources clients in relation to the environmental assessment of projects at the provincial and federal level. Sean Parker, who is based in Edmonton, is routinely engaged by governments and corporations in contaminated sites and brownfield matters. In the same office, Ronald Kruhlak has been involved in a variety of high-profile environmental cases before tribunals and courts throughout Canada. In Calgary, Michael Barbero focuses on project approvals and litigation. Former practice head JoAnn Jamieson left the team to establish her own firm Jamieson Laurin + Co. in January 2021.
‘Excellent value, strong emphasis on client relationships, particular rare depth and breadth in linear utility expertise.’
‘Environmental lawyers with good technical knowledge of the subject matter. Ron Kruhlack and Sean Parker are terrific lawyers and litigators in the field of Environmental law.’
‘A broad base of experience and excellent use of junior lawyers and research staff. They are quite willing to push the work to the correct level in order to reduce costs. Their juniors are quite good.’
‘Ron Kruhlak has a wealth of experience and knowledge. He has a positive outlook and seeks to find accommodations that lead to positive outcomes. Michael Barbero is a hard-working and capable lawyer with good experience with large involved hearings and document management.’
Cherokee Canada Inc.
Bow City Power Ltd.
City of Calgary
Northwest Territories Power Corporation
EQUS REA LTD.
Government of Alberta – Alberta Transportation
Total E&P Canada Ltd.
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency/Impact Assessment Agency of Canada
- Representing Cherokee Canada, a significant brownfield developer, in resolving a series of regulatory and civil proceedings relating to a major brownfield redevelopment project, including obtaining an unprecedented cost award against the regulator totalling more than $1,500,000.
- Represented Bow City Power in matters including water use authorizations for the development of a major photovoltaic power plant estimated to be worth $110m.
- Represented The City of Calgary in several major utility rate proceedings valued at over $3bn.
BCF Business Law LLP houses a multidisciplinary team of lawyers capable of handling environmental litigation and non-contentious matters. The firm enjoys a strong presence in Québec, where clients operating in the mining, oil and gas, forestry, pulp and paper, waste management and real estate sectors seek assistance with class actions, contaminated site management and regulatory compliance. Practitioners are also equipped to advise on the environmental risks of business transactions, financing deals and construction projects. Eric Ouimet oversees the Montréal-based litigation group, while Stéphan Charles-Grenon leads on litigation matters handled by the Québec City office. Jean Piette is a renowned environmental expert in Québec; his areas of expertise include climate change and carbon credits.
‘Really focused on their clients’ success.’
‘Their openness and efficiency in harnessing the skills of other professionals for the benefit of their clients is noteworthy.’
‘Anne-Frederique is knowledgeable and takes the time to explain terminology and offer solutions.’
Suncor Energy Products LLP
Alliance Magnesium Inc.
Citizens of the City of Shannon
Fortress Speciality Cellulose Inc.
Oriens Technologies Inc.
Société en commandite le Terroir de Boucherville and Société en Commandite le Montbrun
3563308 Canada Inc
- Acting on behalf of Alliance Magnesium Inc. in a $145m financing of its commercial demonstration facility for magnesium production from serpentine mine tailings.
- Representing Fortress Speciality Cellulose, a pulp and paper company, in a dispute against the ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques to challenge the decision to impose an administrative monetary penalty against the company.
- Acting on behalf of real estate developers Société en commandite Le Terroir de Boucherville and Société en commandite Le Montbrun regarding a disguised expropriation claim brought against a municipality and the ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques.
DLA Piper (Canada) LLP
The environmental group at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP acts for private and public-sector clients from key industries, including natural resources, energy, and waste management, and advises them on a host of regulatory issues, contentious matters and real estate transactions involving significant environmental implications. Recent activity showcases the team’s strength in regulatory compliance, contaminated lands litigation, and brownfields redevelopment. The department is jointly led by managing partner Robert Seidel QC and Lana Finney . The latter stands out for her experience of remediation issues, environmental liabilities and approvals processes. Named practitioners are based in Edmonton and Toronto, respectively.
Other key lawyers:
‘Lana Finney and her DLA Piper team are excellent partners for us on many environmental issues.’
‘Lana Finney is an outstanding lawyer and communicator/strategist that is a huge asset on multiple legal files for us. She is involved heavily throughout many years of work of some files and is brilliant at working strategies to solve cases.’
‘High level of expertise in all areas of environmental law. Extremely knowledgeable advice in litigation matters including moving file forward, recommending courses of action, analyzing information.’
7-Eleven Canada, Inc.
Assured Automotive (2017) Inc.
Emissions Reduction Alberta
Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta
Imperial Oil Limited
Pinnacle Resources Ltd.
Quantum Murray LP
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd.
Toronto Community Housing Corporation
- Acting for Imperial Oil Limited in contaminated lands litigation relating to a former Imperial Oil bulk plant in Georgetown, Ontario.
- After acting for the shareholders of Assured Automotive in the 2017 sale of the Assured collision repair business to the Boyd Group Income Fund, DLA Piper continues to regularly act for new entity, Assured Automotive (2017), in its acquisition of new collision repair locations.
- Facilitated the creation of Emissions Reduction Alberta (“ERA”) as a delegated administrative organization, to whom the firm provides a wide array of legal services on an ongoing basis.
Goodmans LLP‘s environment team is particularly proficient in matters concerning regulatory permitting and brownfield redevelopment (with a particular focus in the mining and infrastructure sector), given the firm’s longstanding experience in land use planning and real estate. Besides advising clients on project approval processes, the team’s expertise also covers soil and groundwater contamination, transactional work, climate change issues and renewable energy. Catherine Lyons is the main point of contact in the team; she advises public and private-sector clients from the mining, natural resources and manufacturing industries in an array of environmental mandates, such as litigation, permitting and transactional issues.
Other key lawyers:
Newmont Mining Corp.
Brookfield Group of Companies
Cott Corporation (Aquaterra Corporation)
Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Ltd.
HudBay Minerals Inc.
Voyant Beauty, Inc.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.
Stikeman Elliott LLP
Stikeman Elliott LLP supports domestic and international clients in a multitude of environmental matters relating to corporate deals, real estate transactions and property development. Led by Larry Cobb in Toronto, the team is proficient in contamination and remediation matters, management of hazardous waste, and negotiations with governmental authorities relating to environmental permits. Also in Toronto, Patrick Duffy focuses on project development. Myriam Fortin, who is based in Montréal, is another name to note for environmental litigation, regulatory and transactional matters.