Commercial disputes in the energy sector are being driven by national and international interest, intense competition and strong regulation. Canada’s strength within the sector has placed a spotlight on energy-related activity across the country, from production, transportation and marketing of oil, natural gas and electricity to federal and provincial regulation. National expertise, driven by experience in energy and natural resources, is what has secured Canada’s place as a leader within this sector.
At Blakes, our Energy Litigation group has one of the leading practices in Canada with more than 100 energy law practitioners across the country and internationally. Through strong technical expertise and client service, we work with energy-sector clients to help reduce litigation risk, explore methods of dispute resolution and litigate when appropriate. We have represented clients in different jurisdictions, at all levels of courts, in arbitrations and mediations and before provincial and national regulatory tribunals.
Our dispute resolution specialists have a thorough understanding of the energy industry, spanning all phases of the business. Specifically, we act for exploration and production companies, mid-streamers, facility and pipeline owners and operators, commodity traders, distributors of energy products, industrial users, service companies and industry financiers. We have similar knowledge of the electricity industry, having represented generators, transmission companies and local service providers.
A small but representative sample of recent energy-sector disputes in which we have advised clients include:
- Counsel to Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality North America and a large group of international underwriters in an international arbitration over an C$800-million claim made by Western Oilsands Inc. for insurance coverage and the resulting denial based on allegations of material non-disclosure. Significant issues relating to the right of discovery in an international arbitration were litigated in the courts, all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. These decisions are of significance to the arbitration process worldwide.
- Counsel to CEDA International Corp. on its C$100-million multinational arbitration involving its confidential and proprietary software used throughout the world in oil and gas refineries for loading catalyst.
- Counsel to Suncor Energy Inc. on a variety of construction matters, including one in which Suncor has sued a contractor for C$65-million relating to cost overruns and delays in construction of part of its oil sands facility.
- Counsel to UTS Energy Corporation seeking court approval of an arrangement involving UTS, Total E&P Canada Ltd and Silverbirch Energy Corporation.
- Counsel to ENMAX Energy Corporation in successfully defeating a C$30-million class action brought by a consumer group in connection with ENMAX’s billing practices.