Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Energy, Projects, Environmental & Aboriginal Law Department

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What the team is known for Highly regarded energy team with substantial regulatory and transactional strength heavily involved in significant infrastructure projects across Canada. Regularly called on by some of the major players in the conventional and renewable energy sectors to provide commercial and project finance advice. In addition to handling upstream M&A and infrastructure work in the oil and gas patch, the practice has a strong midstream component. Offers a full-service Aboriginal law practice with a particularly strong presence in Western Canada as well as frequently advising on matters in Ontario and Québec. Advises on a broad range of environmental matters including project development, compliance, chemical and waste regulation and endangered species law.

Strengths A client attested that the team's core strengths include "extreme thoroughness, depth of knowledge and experience, and ability to provide advice and direction beyond strictly legal matters."

The team is well regarded by service users, one of whom described it as "battle tested" and "a frontrunner."

Clients report: "Their performance is first-rate; they are very knowledgeable about environmental law, very well prepared and practical."

Work highlights Represented Kinder Morgan in its CAD4.5 billion sale of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and Trans Mountain Expansion Project to the federal government.

Assisted Bridging North America General Partnership in relation to the Gordie Howe International Bridge project connecting the cities of Windsor and Detroit.

Acted on behalf of Linamar regarding the allocation of environmental liability in connection with its CAD1.2 billion acquisition of MacDon Industries.

Notable practitioners

Montréal practice head Alain Massicotte is active on project finance and PPPs, advising on infrastructure projects, concession agreements and delegated management of utilities. He frequently counsels governments from a range of Eastern European, West African and North African countries.

Cather ine Doyle has a broad base of experience advising on asset-based financings, operating and term credit facilities, leasings and structured financial products. Her expertise cuts across sectors ranging from alternative energy and power to healthcare, social infrastructure and transportation.

Charles Kazaz regularly acts on behalf of major mining companies to advise on critical environmental matters. His areas of expertise also include enforcement, prosecutions and commercial transactions. He practises in both Ontario and Québec.

Duff Harper is well regarded for his experience handling an array of environmental concerns, particularly in relation to brownfield site redevelopment. He is also recognised for his experience advising oil and gas sector clients.

Janice Walton is adept at handling a broad range of commercial and contentious environmental mandates. She is also an expert in endangered species law.

Head of department Jonathan Kahn is recognised as "one of the top environmental practitioners in Canada" by impressedmarket sources, who also highlight: "He is experienced, very well prepared, practical and efficient." His significant experience includes advising on a wide range of municipal, provincial and federal transactional and contentious matters.

Judy Wilson is described by clients as a "PPP specialist" who is "extremely knowledgeable." Her practice covers the full spectrum of public procurement and infrastructure matters, ranging from project structuring and risk management to contract documentation and transactions engaging the private sector.

Lars Olthafer is respected for his expertise in land issues related to oil and gas pipelines. Clients highlight his strength in handling complicated regulatory and environmental matters. He leverages his engineering background to provide industry insight to clients.

Marianne Smith assists clients with commercial agreements for the construction, financing and maintenance of infrastructure, and is also active on the public procurement side. She is well liked by clients for her "very bright" and "no-nonsense" nature.

Mungo Hardwicke-Brown is a respected market player with long-standing expertise in energy transactions. He represents some of the industry's most significant companies, assisting them with high-profile project sales and interest acquisitions.

Ben Rogers has a wide-ranging transactional practice, encompassing matters such as M&A, joint ventures and project development in the oil and gas space. He offers noted experience of both domestic and international matters.

Roy Millen "takes the big picture into consideration and understands the sensitivity of issues," said one source. Clients praise his engagement with both small and large projects, adding: "He provides very pragmatic counsel concerning the breadth of jurisprudence in Aboriginal law."

Peers consider Sam Adkins to be a "fine solicitor" who is "a rock star in this area." He counsels both Aboriginal and private sector clients in the energy and mining sectors. One client enthused: "He provides strategic, practical support with awareness and sensitivity to risk that is very much appreciated."

Tony Crossman offers extensive experience advising clients from a wide array of industry sectors on complex environmental operational and regulatory matters. He is also noted for handling issues arising in relation to contaminated sites.