Environment in Canada

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP’s comprehensive environmental law practice is distinguished by its broad practice scope, with strong skill sets in project development, operational matters, transactional support and litigation. Leveraging the wider firm’s premier oil and gas practice, the group is particularly recognized for its experience in energy and natural resources-related work but it also handles matters in the real estate, infrastructure, food processing and manufacturing spheres, among others. Go-to Toronto-based specialist Leonard Griffiths co-heads the national department alongside Vancouver managing partner Radha Curpen. The deep bench also draws on Calgary-based regulatory lead Brad Gilmour; Toronto-based climate change co-head Sarah Gilbert, whose practice spans a mix of environmental, and health and safety issues; and Calgary-based energy regulatory specialist Martin Ignasiak, who recently joined the team from Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.

Responsables de la pratique:

Leonard Griffiths; Radha Curpen

Autres avocats clés:

Brad Gilmour; Sarah Gilbert; Shawn Munro

Principaux clients

Global Container Terminals

Kissner Group

Mining Association of British Columbia

TriWest Private Capital Growth Fund

Canadian Pacific Railway Company


Loblaw, Wittington Leaseholds and Wittington Leased Properties

Husky Oil Operations

Greater Vancouver Sewerage & Drainage District

Oxford Properties Group

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Global Container Terminals on its proposed investment to expand its existing Deltaport Container Terminal by adding a fourth berth.
  • Advised Stone Canyon Industries Holdings and Kissner Group Holdings on all Canadian legal matters relating to its $3.2bn acquisition of K+S Aktiengesellschaft’s North and South American salt business, including Morton Salt and Windsor Salt.
  • Advised the Mining Association of British Columbia on Indigenous relations, Aboriginal law, environmental and regulatory matters.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP 's extensive national coverage and ability to draw on resources from across the wider, full-service firm marks it as a popular choice for large-scale or complex matters, from major project approvals through to environmental incidents. The team also handles day-to-day environmental law issues, including advising on environmental assessments, transactional support matters and risk management. Toronto-based Jonathan Kahn spearheads the department and is sought after for his record in major mining projects and high-stakes environmental law disputes. Other senior names include Charles Kazaz, who splits his time between Montreal and Toronto and is noted for his experience in the mining, industrial and waste-management spheres; Tony Crossman, who fronts the Vancouver environmental and natural resources practice; Toronto-based Lana Finney, who handles a mix of advisory and contentious matters; and Calgary-based Terri-Lee Oleniuk. Counsel Anne-Catherine Boucher recently left to join CN Rail.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jonathan Kahn

Autres avocats clés:

Charles Kazaz; Terri-Lee Oleniuk; Tony Crossman; Lana Finney

Principaux clients

CRH Canada Group

Enel Green Power North America

Imperial Oil

Elemental Energy

Individual Investment

RWE Renewables Canada Holdings

Stella Jones

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Blackrock on its investment in Environmental 360 Solutions, a company in the waste management and treatment business operating across approximately 120 sites in Canada.
  • Advised Imperial Oil on multiple contaminated lands actions commenced by neighbouring property owners.
  • Advised Stella Jones on a challenge to a purported ban on certain pesticides by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency by way of judicial review.

McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault houses a full-spectrum environmental law practice, which routinely acts for a varied mix of Canadian and multinational organizations and government bodies. From its platforms across the country, the group is well versed in a range of regulatory, transactional support and contentious matters, with strong experience before provincial and federal agencies. Calgary-based Kimberly Howard focuses on environmental, energy and regulatory law and co-heads the national team together with Cindy Vaillancourt, who splits her time between Montreal and Quebec City, and Vancouver-based litigator Nicholas Hughes. The department was additionally boosted in May 2023 with the hires of Vancouver-based Una Radoja and Toronto-based Laura Weingarden, who joined from Harper Grey LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP respectively. Selina Lee-Andersen left in January 2023, while Joanna Rosengarten departed in March 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Nicholas Hughes; Kimberly Howard; Cindy Vaillancourt

Autres avocats clés:

Una Radoja; Laura Weingarden

Les références

‘When compared to other law firms, McCarthy Tétrault’s environmental law practice is able to better anticipate potential issues or hurdles that need to be cleared. This provides meaningful execution certainty.’

‘McCarthy’Tétrault has an exceptionally strong alternative fee arrangement process, where it is willing to modify billings to reflect transaction risk; where the team shares some risk with the client by billing less at early stages, etc., which was appreciated.’

‘Kimberly Howard paid significant attention to detail and mapped out the work from start to finish, which allowed us to consider an approach that would reduce hurdles or other issues that could arise.’

Principaux clients

Canadian National Railway Company

Clean Harbors Canada


Lightening Grid Québec

Shell Canada

Peace River Hydro Partners

LNG Canada

Gold Fields

Neptune Terminals

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP’s practice frequently supports the firm’s transactional teams to handle the environmental aspects of financings, public offerings, M&As and other transactions. However, it is equally adept at assisting with significant compliance issues and risks, including advising on environmental management systems, administrative law proceedings and project development approvals. In Toronto, Sarah Powell is acting for Algoma Power on the proposed development of a new power system in Ontario, which will include approximately 50km of distribution line rebuild and a new 44 KV regulation substation. Powell co-heads the department together with Toronto-based Alexandria Pike and Montreal-based Marie-Claude Bellemare.

Responsables de la pratique:

Sarah Powell; Alexandria Pike; Marie-Claude Bellemare

Autres avocats clés:

Robyn Barabash; Zachary Silver

Principaux clients


Axium Infrastructure

Barrick Gold Corporation

Cominar REIT

Canadian Mass Media/Great Pacific Enterprises

Northleaf Capital Partners

Pattern Energy

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust

Manufacturers Life Insurance Company

Leaseweb Global

The Blue Mountain Watershed Trust Foundation

The Public Sector Pension Investment Board




Therme Group

Principaux dossiers

  • Acting for Windstream Energy on a supplementary expert report to address the regulatory framework for permitting wind projects in Ontario, and the increased development of offshore wind generally, in a NAFTA arbitration between Windstream and the Government of Canada regarding offshore wind energy in Lake Ontario.
  • Acting for Algoma Power on the proposed development of a new power system north of Wawa, Ontario, which will include approximately 50km of distribution line rebuild and a new 44 KV regulation substation.
  • Advising Interfor Corporation on its C$325m acquisition of 100% of the equity interests of Kilmer Group-backed Chaleur Forest Products entities.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG’s generous national network supports its involvement across a wide range of regional environmental law matters. In particular, the group is routinely engaged to handle environmental litigation — where it enjoys strong links with municipal clients — as well as environmental assessments, transactional support work, and regulatory issues. Department head Adam Chamberlain is based in Toronto but is additionally admitted to practice in the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut; he specializes in environmental and Indigenous law issues. The group also includes Toronto-based Rodney Northey, who focuses on regulatory approvals and strategies, and Toronto-based Jennifer Danahy. Senior partner Harry Dahme recently retired, while Wally Braul and Joshua Jantzi departed the firm in 2022.

Responsables de la pratique:

Adam Chamberlain

Autres avocats clés:

Rodney Northey; Jennifer Danahy; Mark Youden

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s practice routinely acts alongside its dominant projects offering to specialize in environmental law matters concerning natural resources and infrastructure projects. Other strong suits include environmental litigation, including disputes resulting from environmental incidents, as well as regulatory compliance and corporate support work. Toronto-based Jennifer Fairfax leads the environmental disputes, investigations and enforcement team and is sought after for her record in complex, business-critical issues. Richard King, also in Toronto, co-chairs the regulatory, Indigenous and environmental law group and contributes broad energy experience. In Calgary, Sander Duncanson, who co-heads the department, and seasoned specialist Shawn Denstedt are noted. Former department co-head Martin Ignasiak departed in September 2022, while Patrick Welsh left in January 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Richard King; Sander Duncanson; Jennifer Fairfax

Autres avocats clés:

Shawn Denstedt

Principaux clients

Rowbry Holdings

De Beers Canada


Colacem Canada

Government of Alberta – Transportation

Liricon Capital

Enterprise Holdings

Imperial Oil


Prosper Petroleum

Teck Resources

Wheatland Wind Projects

Zebra Technologies


A results-oriented, pragmatic and reliable group’,  Torys strikes the right note with sources for being ‘consistently strong on strategic insight’. Mainly based in Toronto, with an additional platform in Calgary, the group is active across the country on environmental law matters, as evidenced by its recent work for clients such as Alberta-based Enbridge and Quebec-headquartered CN Rail, among others. Go-to expert Dennis Mahony spearheads the practice and is highly regarded for his work across the full spectrum of environmental law matters, from regulatory compliance to high-stakes litigation. Other recommended specialists include Michael Fortier, who stands out for his nuclear expertise, and Tyson Dyck, who has an emphasis on energy, climate change and ESG issues.

Responsables de la pratique:

Dennis Mahony

Autres avocats clés:

Tyson Dyck; Michael Fortier

Les références

‘Torys is consistently strong on strategic insight, helping its clients to anticipate, prepare for, and manage risks — not just the obvious and immediate legal risks, but other risks arising from stakeholder engagement, public relations and other matters that could have legal implications down the road.’

‘Torys is highly collaborative across disciplines, within both its own team and the client’s team, bringing to bear the relevant expertise at the right time to address client needs. Torys is the country’s best legal team for navigating complex environmental regulatory processes and related litigation.’

‘ There is no one I would want in my corner – or my clients’ corner – more than Dennis Mahony.’

Principaux clients

Canadian National Railway

Ontario Power Generation

IMEA Canada, a specified subsidiary of ITOCHU Corporation

Mitsubishi Corporation

Cenovus Energy

Enbridge and Enbridge Gas

Nuclear Waste Management Organization

TD Securities

Hackman Capital Partners

Birch Hill Equity Partners Management

BMO Financial Group

Pembina Pipeline Corporation

Wataynikaneyap Power

HPS Investment Partners

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Canadian National Railway on a variety of mandates across the country, including on the federal approval process for its Milton Logistics Hub.
  • Advised Ontario Power Generation on several matters, including on the Darlington Small Modular Reactor project.
  • Advised Ontario Power Generation on a number of Clean Energy Credit (CEC) matters, including on the negotiation of a 10-year CEC purchase agreement with Microsoft Canada.

BCF Business Law

Split between Montreal and Quebec City, BCF Business Law’s environmental law group acts for regional and national clients across a broad range of industry sectors, with notable experience in the real estate, transportation, manufacturing, and energy and natural resources spheres. A 50-year veteran in environmental law, Quebec City-based Jean Piette co-heads the department alongside Montreal-based administrative and constitutional law specialist Simon Pelletier. Montreal-based Anne-Frédérique Bourret, who has focuses on administrative and regulatory law, is also a key contact.

Responsables de la pratique:

Simon Pelletier; Jean Piette

Autres avocats clés:

Anne-Frédérique Bourret

Principaux clients

Alliance Magnesium

Gaspé Énergies and Ressources Utica

Roxboro BauVal Group

Oriens Technologies

Specialized Packaging Group

Epsilyte Holdings

Société en commandite le Terroir de Boucherville and Société en Commandite le Montbrun

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising Alliance Magnesium on environmental matters associated with a C$145m financing for the construction of a commercial demonstration plant for the production of magnesium from mine tailings.
  • Representing Oriens Technologies in filing an environmental law claim before the Superior Court of Quebec.
  • Acting for Consolidated Uranium on the environmental due diligence aspects of its acquisition of a 100% undivided interest in the high-grade Matoush Uranium Project.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP houses a robust environmental law practice, which is particularly recognized for its activity in energy, mining and Indigenous law-related matters. From its broad base of offices across the country, the group is equipped to handle environmental disputes, regulatory issues, and transactional support work. Vancouver-based Rick Williams fronts the department and is well versed in both contentious and non-contentious work, but he is primarily noted for his experience in project development, permitting and operations in the energy and natural resource sectors. Toronto-based Gabrielle Kramer is also recommended.

Responsables de la pratique:

Rick Williams

Autres avocats clés:

Dionysios Rossi; Gabrielle Kramer; Jonathan Cocker; Graham Walker

Principaux clients

Kirby Corporation

British Columbia Railway Company

The Corporation of the City of Markham

Cenovus Energy

Ontario Waste Management Association

Hy2Gen, Northland

Pan American Silver Corp

Ivanhoe Cambridge



Dentons’ integrated environmental law offering leans into the firm’s Indigenous law, corporate and regulatory law practices to provide full-service coverage of related issues, particularly in the natural resources sphere. Calgary-based counsel Alex MacWilliam heads both the environment and natural resources group and the climate change strategies practice; he frequently represents Canadian and multinational clients on an array of environmental law matters, from regulatory approvals and compliance, through to emergency response and crisis management. Mira Gauvin is a key contact in Montreal. Mai Rempel recently retired.

Responsables de la pratique:

Alex MacWilliam

Autres avocats clés:

Mira Gauvin; Hazel Saffery; Colin Lipsett


Principaux clients

Alberta Conservation Association

Ducks Unlimited Canada


Great West Life Realty Advisors

Orkin Canada


Syncrude Canada

World Fuel Services

Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

Rain Carbon

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo on environmental matters relating to all aspects of its operations, including potable water system, wastewater treatment system, solid waste landfills and engineering operations.
  • Advising EPR Properties on its acquisition of the Village Valcartier hotel and water park complex, together with the Calypso Park waterpark complex, including contractual and environmental matters.
  • Advising Air Products Canada on existing contamination issues concerning the investigation and acquisition of a property, for the purposes of construction and operation of a hydrogen plant just outside of Edmonton, Alberta.


Fasken’s environmental group often works in tandem with its regulatory and Indigenous law teams to provide holistic support on the environmental assessments of new projects — the firm’s premier mining offering is also a significant attribute in this regard. Other key areas of activity include contaminated sites, M&A-related issues and environmental litigation. Toronto-based Rosalind Cooper is a go-to expert in the area and co-heads the department alongside Montreal’s Pierre-Olivier Charlebois. Vancouver-based energy co-head Ron Ezekiel is also recommended. Environmental litigator Kinji Bourchier recently joined the Vancouver office from Lawson Lundell LLP.

Responsables de la pratique:

Rosalind Cooper; Pierre-Olivier Charlebois

Autres avocats clés:

Ron Ezekiel; Kinji Bourchier; Kai Alderson; Jean-Philippe Therriault

Lawson Lundell LLP

Distinguished by its record in resource development-related matters, Lawson Lundell LLP’s environmental law group is noted for its ability to provide seamless project support to domestic and multinational clients on regulatory, environmental and Indigenous law issues. Particularly recognized for its extensive expertise in mining-related work, the group’s recent engagements additionally span the forestry, agriculture, aquaculture, energy, transportation, manufacturing and real estate spheres, among others. Vancouver-based Brad Armstrong and Calgary-based John Olynyk co-head the department. Other key names include Vancouver’s Christine Kowbel and Calgary-based next-generation partner Shailaz Dhalla.

Responsables de la pratique:

Brad Armstrong KC; John Olynyk

Autres avocats clés:

Christine Kowbel; Shailaz Dhalla; Laura Duke; Jennifer Nyland

Principaux clients

Pure Environmental Waste Management

Canadian Natural Resources

Chevron Canada Resources and Woodside Energy

TMAC Resources

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

The ‘very organized and professional team’ at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP received a major boost during 2022/23 with the arrival of a trio of experienced partners. New department co-heads Wally Braul and Joshua Jantzi joined in Vancouver and Calgary respectively from Gowling WLG, while Max Collett joined in Vancouver from Norton Rose Fulbright. The growing group now draws on ten partners with significant environmental law expertise. Key areas of activity include energy-related issues, environmental litigation, Indigenous law and real estate-related matters.

Responsables de la pratique:

Wally Braul; Joshua Jantzi

Autres avocats clés:

Max Collett; Robert Seidel KC; Dan Misutka

Les références

‘When I considered DLA Piper for my environmental litigation needs, several unique attributes caught my attention: exceptional expertise, litigation excellence, tech-savvy approach, emphasis on collaboration and transparent billing.’

‘Robert Seidel KC brings a remarkable depth of expertise to every case. What sets him apart is his ability to simplify complex legal terminologies. This is invaluable for clients like me, who need to be well-informed without being overwhelmed. His proactive approach also distinguishes him from peers.’ 

‘Joshua Jantzi is the epitome of diligence. I’ve always been impressed by his meticulous attention to detail and his knack for identifying nuances that could be crucial to a case. More importantly, his client-first approach ensures open communication, making me feel valued and understood.’

Principaux clients

7-Eleven Canada

Emissions Reduction Alberta ‎

Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta

Imperial Oil

Government of Alberta

Carbon Neutral Royalty

Groupe Touchette / Groupe Touchette Real Estate

Principaux dossiers

  • Represented the Groupe Touchette companies in environmental and health and safety administrative appeals before Alberta’s Safety Codes Council, and in defence of prosecutions brought in the Alberta Court of Justice.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright’s environmental group maintains a broad sector focus but it is arguably best known for its activity in the energy and transportation spheres. Calgary-based Alan Harvie heads the department and has a significant energy dimension to his practice. Up-and-coming Vancouver-based litigator Michael Manhas is also noted. Former department co-head Max Collett departed in June 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Alan Harvie

Autres avocats clés:

Michael Manhas

Principaux clients

American Chemistry Council, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the Plastic Industry Association

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

Eight Alberta Irrigation Districts (Bow River Irrigation District, Eastern Irrigation District, Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District, Raymond Irrigation District, St. Mary River Irrigation District, Taber Irrigation District, United Irrigation District and Western Irrigation District)

Innergex Renewable Energy

Groupe Marcelle

Municipalité de Saint-Thuribe

Principaux dossiers

  • Acting for the American Chemistry Council, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the Plastic Industry Association on an intervention into a case challenging the Government of Canada’s addition of “plastic manufactured items” to the List of Toxic Substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
  • Advising Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, together with the New York office, on the acquisition and subsequent development of the 465 MW Travers solar power project in southern Alberta.
  • Acting for eight Alberta Irrigation Districts in connection with the funding, financing and structuring agreements for the Alberta Irrigation Project.

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Stikeman Elliott LLP’s formidable corporate offering is reflected in its environmental law practice, which is typically engaged to advise on the environmental aspects of major transactions. It additionally handles permitting, regulatory compliance and contentious work. Larry Cobb and Myriam Fortin co-head the department from Toronto and Montreal respectively. Other key names in Toronto include Patrick Duffy, who co-heads the projects and infrastructure practice, and Patrick Welsh, who recently joined from Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.

Responsables de la pratique:

Larry Cobb; Myriam Fortin

Autres avocats clés:

Patrick Duffy; Patrick Welsh

Principaux clients


Scotts Miracle-Gro Company




PF Résolu Canada

Terrapure Environmental

Redpath Sugar

wpd Canada Corporation

Dominion Diamond Corporation