Roy Millen
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-4220

Roy carries on a diverse practice with particular experience in aboriginal law, commercial litigation and international trade. Clients appreciate Roy's ability to provide prompt, straightforward and business-savvy advice in areas of the law that are complex and continually evolving.

In aboriginal law, Roy advises private-sector clients across Canada on the development of energy, mining and other major projects. He negotiates commercial agreements, impact benefit agreements, consultation protocols and other arrangements with First Nations. He also assists clients in navigating the regulatory processes necessary to secure project approval and defends proponents from litigation challenges brought by aboriginal groups and individuals.

Roy has succeeded in all levels of courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as arbitration and administrative tribunals. In addition to regulatory matters, he represents clients in construction litigation, contract disputes, injunctions and disputes involving claims of fraud, negligence, defamation, breach of trust and misrepresentation.

Roy joined the Firm in 2000, shortly after clerking for Chief Justice McLachlin at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Roy provides legal services through Roy Millen Law Corporation.

  • Advising and representing LNG Canada on its project to export LNG from Kitimat, B.C., including negotiating agreements with First Nations, successfully defending challenges in the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal to the National Energy Board approval of the project, and assisting in obtaining the environmental assessment certificate for the project

  • Counsel to Seabridge Gold Inc. since November 2010 on its regulatory strategy including engagement with five different aboriginal groups and the negotiation of impact benefit agreements, in connection with Seabridge's approved C$5-billion Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell project, one of the largest potential gold-copper mines in northern British Columbia

  • Advising a large energy corporation concerning a dispute and negotiations with a multi-community Indigenous People concerning a historic settlement agreement and recent impacts resulting from the operation of the most complex energy system in the jurisdiction

  • Advising a major international mining corporation with respect to its projects in Saskatchewan, negotiating agreements with multiple First Nations and addressing litigation brought by one First Nation

  • Counsel for a major North American building supplier, defending a claim that the materials supplied to a B.C. mine were defective; following court hearings and a mediation involving the supplier, building erector, prime contractor and owner, a settlement was achieved involving payment by the supplier of a small portion of the claimed amount

  • Counsel for a leading Western Canada university, defending a claim by a general contractor, subcontractor and supplier in connection with the replacement of a university facility; significant work was done, including involving the university's contracted architectural and engineering firms, resulting in a settlement of the claim for a limited contribution from the university

  • Canada (Attorney General) v. Federation of Law Societies of Canada, 2015 SCC 7 - Counsel for FLSC, challenging federal legislation that would have required lawyers to record and retain client information in aid of potential criminal investigations. All levels of court found the provisions unconstitutional

  • Cascade Divide Enterprises, Inc. v. Laliberte, 2015 BCSC and 2013 BCSC 263 - Counsel for Cascade, obtaining on short notice an order for the appointment of a receiver over the defendants' business, to be put in place unless the defendants paid forthwith the outstanding amounts owed under certain agreements with Cascade, along with a package of restraining and other orders to compel the defendants' compliance with the agreements

  • Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc. v. Canada Border Services Agency, 2015 FC - Counsel for Stork Craft, an importer of baby furniture, challenging and virtually eliminating C$3.3-million in penalties assessed by CBSA following an audit

  • Catalyst Paper Corporation v. North Cowichan (District), 2012 SCC 2 - Counsel for Catalyst, challenging a municipal bylaw that the Supreme Court of Canada upheld but stated was "harsh" and imposed a "grossly disproportionate part of the District's tax levy" on Catalyst

  • Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. v. Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, 2010 SCC 43 - Counsel for the Independent Power Producers Association of B.C., intervening to address the duty to consult Aboriginal Peoples regarding non-physical effects of energy purchase agreements


Roy is recognized as a leading lawyer in the following publications:

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2018 (Aboriginal Law, Administrative and Public Law, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, International Trade and Finance Law, and Municipal Law)

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business 2018 (Aboriginal Law)

  • The Legal 500 Canada 2018 (Aboriginal)

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys - 2017 Edition (Litigation Star: Aboriginal and General Commercial)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory ("Repeatedly Recommended" in Aboriginal Law - 2014-2017)

  • Lexpert magazine, November 2014 ("Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers under 40")

Show Past:
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Blakes Bulletin on Sanctions & Export Controls, November 7, 2017.
Blakes Bulletin on International Trade, December 15, 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, September 20, 2016
Blakes Bulletin on Aboriginal Law, Energy - Regulatory, and Environmental, July 4, 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Environmental & Aboriginal and Mining, May 24, 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Financial Services Regulatory and International Trade, April 7, 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Litigation & Dispute Resolution, March 14, 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on International Trade, February 8, 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Environmental & Aboriginal, January 19, 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Aboriginal Law, November 18, 2015.
Western Investor, Page B8, September 2015.
Contributor: British Columbia's New North: How to Build Your Business, Respect Communities - and Prosper
Melram Press, 2015
Blakes Bulletin on Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, June, 2015.
Author: Key legal considerations for developing business partnerships with First Nations
Business in Vancouver, April 28 - May 4, 2015
Co-author: More EA scrutiny in wake of Mt Polley
Mining Journal, April 10, 2015.
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Speaker: How Can the Current Environmental Regulatory Framework be Improved?
Aboriginal and Environmental Law 2017: Legal Reforms and Nation to Nation Consultations, Pacific Business & Law Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia, October 10, 2017.
Moderator: Exploring New Chapters - Private Sector Opportunities for Clean Energy in BC
2017 Spring Conference, Clean Energy BC, Vancouver, British Columbia, June 1, 2017.
Presenter: Blakes Annual Aboriginal Law Update
Blakes Business Class Seminar, Vancouver, B.C., and Calgary, Alberta, February 23 and 28, 2017.
Presenter: Consultation and Accommodation: Update on Key Recent Cases
Aboriginal Law Conference 2016, British Columbia Continuing Legal Education. Vancouver, BC, November 25, 2016.
Presenter: Accommodating Multiple Users and Managing Overlapping Claims
Cumulative Effects and the Future of Natural Resource Management, CI Energy Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, March 3, 2016.
Presenter: Looking Back, Looking Forward
Blakes Annual Aboriginal Law Update, Blakes Business Class Seminar, Calgary, Alberta and Vancouver, BC, February 17 and 18, 2016.
Presenter: Update on Procurement and Construction Law - Examining the Latest Developments in Cases from the Past Year
Managing Risk in Construction Contracts, The Canadian Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia, January 20, 2016.
Speaker: Understanding and Navigating Today's Environmental Risks
Blakes Business Class Seminar, Vancouver, BC, November 19, 2015.
Co-presenter: An Introduction to Canada's Trade Remedy Laws
Blakes Business Class Seminar, Vancouver, British Columbia, November 6, 2015.
Speaker: Legal Update - Environment and Permitting
Generate 2015: Think Bigger, Clean Energy Association of B.C., Vancouver, November 4, 2015.
Presenter: Aboriginal Issues in Project Development in Canada
Stampede Investment Forum, Calgary, Alberta, July 7, 2015.
Speaker: The Development of Anti-Money Laundering Law Society Rules in Canada
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Summer Meeting, Quebec City, Quebec, June 18, 2015.
Speaker: The Impact of the Financial Action Task Force 40 Recommendations on Federation of Law Societies of Canada v. Canada (Attorney General)
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Summer Meeting, Quebec City, Quebec, June 19, 2015.
Presenter: This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land. Wait a Second, Whose Land Did We Say This Is?!? The Clash Between Native Rights and Resource Extraction
American Bar Association Section of International Law, Washington, D.C., April 29, 2015
Moderator: 'Leaves to Appeal' and Interventions at the Supreme Court of Canada - A View from the Bench of Final Appeal
CBA L.@.W. Series, National webinar, February 4, 2015
Presenter: Aboriginal Law 2015: Learning from Last Year's Developments
Blakes Business Class Seminar, Calgary, Alberta and Vancouver, BC, February 11 and 19, 2015.
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Quoted: Supreme Court of Canada confirms First Nations have no veto power over resource projects
Article by Nelson Bennett, Business in Vancouver, July 28, 2017.
Quoted: Is there a duty to consult in the legislative processes?
Article by Justin Ling, CBA/ABC National Magazine, May 2017.
Quoted: Supreme Court shuts door on warrantless searches
Article by Cristin Schmitz, The Lawyers Weekly, March 31, 2017.
Quoted: Supreme Court reins in warrantless searches
Article by Cristin Schmitz, The Lawyer's Daily, March 17, 2017.
Mentioned: Big Suits
Lexpert Special Edition on Litigation, December 2015.
Quoted: First Nations Developments
Article by Sandra Rubin, Lexpert Special Edition - Mining, September 23, 2015.
Quoted: Iran nuclear deal: Feds non-committal on lifting sanctions
Embassy News (Online), July 22, 2015.
Mentioned: Big Suits Lexpert magazine
June 2015.
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