Bruce Power

Bruce Power

Bruce Power is an Ontario-based limited partnership that operates the Bruce A and Bruce B nuclear generating facilities on the shores of Lake Huron, approximately 250 kilometres northwest of Toronto. Bruce Power is undertaking a massive refurbishment project that will commence in 2020 and run until 2033, which will extend the operational life of the generating stations until 2064. The Bruce Power law division supports the diverse legal needs of the company and includes seven lawyers and four support staff. The general counsel, Lynn Mahoney, a former Bay Street litigation partner, not only manages the law division but is also responsible for any litigation matters, indigenous affairs and immigration, and provides legal oversight for the refurbishment project. John Martelli, assistant general counsel, handles the labour, employment and occupational health and safety needs of the company. Len Arnold, assistant general counsel, is the corporate secretary of the company and, in addition to corporate governance duties, focuses the majority of his time on various major projects that support the long-term goals of the company, including the refurbishment project. Bill Schnurr, assistant general counsel, supports the legal requirements of various divisions within Bruce Power, including the power trading, finance, pension, environmental and regulatory groups. The three other lawyers in Bruce Power’s law division, Dela Avle, Ford Thompson, and Rachel Stack mostly focus on commercial matters, including contracts that support the refurbishment project, IT agreements and supply chain issues. Mahoney explains that, ‘the law division’s support staff not only provides assistance to the lawyers, but also assists the law division and the company as a whole in other ways, including involvement as assistant corporate secretary, law department budgeting, immigration assistance and participation in Bruce Power’s emergency response team’. To better understand the business of the company and thereby contribute to its success, a number of Bruce Power’s in-house lawyers have, both in the past and currently, gone on secondments or made permanent moves to, among other areas, the commercial services department, the IT department and the code of conduct office. Given the critical importance of the refurbishment project to the company, the secondment of lawyers on the commercial side of the contract negotiation has benefited both the law division and the projects team, and will be of significant value for future phases of the refurbishment project. The law division is currently assessing different technologies, including contract automation, to create efficiencies in contracting on standard terms and give it more time to focus on more strategic contracts. Mahoney also identifies that, ‘in an attempt to be more proactive, the law division issues a quarterly “Legal Briefs” publication that focuses on practical tips and noteworthy issues that may impact the company’s business. In addition, each of the lawyers presents legal topics on a periodic basis to different departments to highlight key issues that may have a direct impact on their specific businesses’.