Lawson Lundell LLP

Energy, Projects, Environmental & Aboriginal Law Department

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What the team is known for Strong Vancouver-based team that leverages the firm's offering in corporate/commercial, environmental and Aboriginal law to assist clients with national energy projects. With a strong resources-focused practice, the group offers substantial experience of LNG, oil sands, mining and pipelines work. Represents industry clients in their negotiations with Aboriginal stakeholders, as well as advising on regulatory and court proceedings. Experience cuts across a wide range of sectors including transportation, mining and forestry. Also provides valuable litigation expertise, with experience representing clients in environmental law matters before the British Columbia Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Canada. Clients benefit from the firm's additional offices in Calgary and Yellowknife.

Strengths"Their lawyers stay current of government policy changes Canada-wide and convey their latest knowledge to their clients," enthused one interviewee.

One client reported: "The firm's performance is excellent. The attorneys I work with have deep knowledge about environmental law and are very responsive."

"The group works together cohesively and they are experts in the field," said another client, adding: "I take comfort in the depth of skill in the team."

Work highlights Represented Western LNG in negotiations with the Haisla First Nation, concerning Western's proposed floating LNG facility next to Haisla-owned land.

Acted for NuVista Energy on its CAD625 million acquisition of Cenovus Energy's assets in Pipestone, Alberta.

Notable practitioners

Sources praise Brad Armstrong QC for his strength in providing high-level strategic advice. His well-established practice incorporates both Aboriginal and environmental law; he frequently advises on environmental assessments as well as consultations with First Nations in the mining and oil and gas sectors.

Clifford Proudfoot QC is a well-known practitioner, recognised for his significant experience handling complex environmental litigation for clients in a range of industry sectors. He is also highlighted for his strength advising on regulatory compliance and investigations.

Vancouver-based Jeff Christian leverages his strength in litigation to represent power sector clients before a number of regulatory bodies and administrative tribunals. He handles such matters as part of a broader practice that also sees him act for insurance, manufacturing and retail clients in dispute resolution matters.

Jeff Scobie is based in Calgary and possesses considerable experience of working with Qatari clients in the oil and gas sector on high-profile corporate and commercial transactions. He is particularly knowledgeable of the LNG sector.

Calgary-based John Olynyk is highlighted by clients for his ability to provide solutions for issues that arise throughout all stages of negotiations with First Nations. He offers particular expertise in self-government and treaty agreements. One source enthused: "He is a versatile and fast thinker who can capture both the corporate side of issues as well as Indigenous concerns."

Keith Bergner garners praise for providing "practical, solutions-oriented" advice that is "timely, succinct and effective." He leverages his strength in environmental law to counsel clients on matters such as impact and benefit agreements. One source said: "He is entirely client-focused, with excellent value-added input."

Lana Shipley is well versed in impact and benefit agreement negotiations and the duty to consult in the mining and power industries. Sources highlight her "encyclopedic memory" and say she is "strongly experienced in the drafting of language for partnership agreements."