Bennett Jones LLP

Energy, Projects, Environmental & Aboriginal Law Department

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What the team is known for Acclaimed energy law firm, highly sought after for its solid regulatory advice and boasting ample experience of major oil and gas transactions. Also stands out for its strength in the power market in Alberta, as well as in Ontario, where the group advises on significant commercial projects and offers additional expertise in renewable energy and construction. Advises energy industry clients on their Aboriginal law interests, primarily in relation to large project development and offers notable strength in litigation relating to Aboriginal rights. Enjoys a stellar reputation for environmental law and offers the full gamut of services, from environmental assessment to regulatory compliance, contaminated site management and the transportation of hazardous substances.

Strengths A client highlights the firm's "broad subject matter expertise, responsiveness and high-quality work product," continuing: "They are a pleasure to deal with."

"The results we get from Bennett Jones are excellent and they understand our business very well," another client remarked.

"When Bennett Jones match up against other firms in negotiations, they are formidable," reports one impressed client.

Work highlights Acted for Capital Regional District on its duty to consult with First Nations affected by its plans to upgrade the wastewater system in Victoria, BC.

Represented ATCO Electric Yukon in connection with a 25-year electricity purchase agreement with the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation for the acquisition of electricity from a solar energy project in the community of Old Crow.

Represented Schlumberger Production Management in its CAD1.3 billion purchase of the Palliser Block oil and gas assets in Alberta from Cenovus Energy.

Notable practitioners

Brad Gilmour is praised as "very knowledgeable and very thoughtful"  by commentators. His practice straddles environmental and energy regulatory law, frequently advising on the environmental aspects of major energy projects. He is also noted for his experience handling site remediation and environmental prosecution matters.

Market commentators praise David Bursey for "offering very valuable, helpful advice." He is noted for his experience in the development of energy projects between First Nations and infrastructure companies. One client said: "He represented us brilliantly and did not interfere with our responsibility to make our own decisions."

The wider market recognises David Little 's "extremely good" proficiency and activity representing public authorities in social infrastructure projects in BC. His practice covers construction, PPPs, procurement, project development and service delivery. Little recently joined Bennett Jones from Fasken.

The "highly strategic" David Macaulay is "very good at looking at all possible outcomes and discussing the risks associated with each one," say sources. He heads the firm's power and renewable energy team and is noted for his work with energy sector clients in connection with a broad array of project development matters.

Donald Greenfield QC is noted for his abilities in corporate and commercial law, utilising this skill set to assist clients with major energy transactions. His long-standing experience includes oil sands and LNG development, facility construction and asset sales.

Lawrence Smith QC offers considerable expertise in the energy regulatory space, having appeared before numerous federal and provincial regulatory bodies. He is particularly well versed in pipeline, offshore and LNG rate and project proceedings.

Leonard Griffiths is highlighted as "the highest calibre" by impressed market sources, with one noting: "He is the most outstanding attorney I have dealt with." He is highly regarded for his extensive experience advising clients on complex environmental regulatory and compliance issues in both Canada and the USA.

Sources praise Loyola Keough for his knowledge in regulatory matters, including applicable government codes and issues concerning intervener proceedings. Interviewees agree that he is "a strong practitioner" and attest to his "knowledge and experience with regulatory law." He acts for a broad client base on both a provincial and national level.

The hugely respected Patrick Maguire garners praise for his ability to "quickly grasp key issues and deal with them." He has considerable strength in asset and project acquisitions, in addition to joint ventures for LNG projects. "He is no-nonsense and has a great grasp of the business," said one interviewee.

Paul Blundy advises on project finance and delivery, as well as construction law. He has acted on various PPP and AFP transactions oriented in the power, oil and gas, mining, healthcare and transportation industries.

Radha Curpen is recognised as an influential figure in Vancouver, where she serves as the firm's office managing partner. She is highly regarded for her expertise in an array of environmental matters, particularly contamination issues and the transportation of dangerous goods. Market sources report: "She is extremely knowledgeable and has a really deep understanding of the current legal framework in Canada."

Robert Booth QC leverages his skill in commercial law to counsel clients on a broad range of oil and gas transactional mandates. He represents both domestic and international clients in business sale and purchases, joint ventures and M&A activity.

Vivek Warrier enjoys a solid reputation in the oil and gas market and is highlighted for his "high-level and sophisticated" work in the space. He offers particular strength in project development matters in the oil and gas sector, and also impresses with his handling of energy M&A deals.