Sam Adkins
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3393

Sam is a corporate commercial lawyer primarily serving clients in the resource sector, with a strong focus on aboriginal and project development matters. His practice is national in scope, acting for clients across Canada on a wide range of aboriginal law issues, including consultation, negotiation and the regulatory process.

Sam has significant industry expertise in the energy and mining sectors, and has represented clients on commercial and transactional matters across all project phases.

Before joining Blakes, Sam held a senior position with an international energy company overseeing all aboriginal-related matters on a proposed liquefied natural gas project in Kitimat, British Columbia. Previously, he was a partner in another leading national law firm.

Sam provides effective, timely and practical advice informed by his experience working both for and within industry.


Sam's experience includes the following:

  • Negotiating and drafting all manner of commercial agreements involving aboriginal groups (e.g., funding agreements, impact benefit agreements, joint ventures, etc.

  • Negotiating and drafting all manner of commercial and operational contracts specific to the mining sector, including contractual and corporate joint ventures, options and earn-ins, royalties, and similar agreements

  • Providing strategic advice on aboriginal-related legal matters, including consultation and regulatory processes, construction and procurement issues, and litigation and disputes

  • Providing transactional support on aboriginal-related issues arising from mergers and acquisitions, financings and other corporate transactions

  • Advising on project development on First Nation lands, including with respect to land claim agreements, historic and modern treaties, and federal land management regimes (e.g., Indian Act, First Nations Land Management Act, etc.)

  • Advising on international standards as they relate to aboriginal issues in Canada, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, anti-corruption and bribery obligations, and extractive sector policies and standards

  • Providing strategic advice and support on engaging aboriginal groups, regulators and other governmental agencies

  • Advising on environmental assessments, permitting and tenuring (particularly mineral and coal), land use and access issues, overlapping tenures, and disputes

  • Advising on corporate transactions and commercial activities, including share and asset purchases, business formations, limited partnerships, and negotiating and drafting complex commercial contracts

  • The Legal 500 Canada 2020 (Indigenous Law)

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2019 (Aboriginal Law)

  • The Legal 500 Canada 2019 (Aboriginal Law)

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2019 (Aboriginal Law)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2019 (Indigenous Law)

Show Past:
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Author: Calculating the Incalculable: Principles for Compensating Impacts to Aboriginal Title
Alberta Law Review, Energy Law Edition, Vol. 54, No. 2, December 2016.
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Speaker: Regulation and the Resource Sector
2019 BC Legal Innovation Forum, Vancouver, B.C., November 5, 2019.
Speaker: The regulatory process and the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal peoples
CAMPUT, Canada's Energy and Utility Regulators 2019 Energy Regulation Course, Kingston, Ontario, June 19, 2019.
Speaker: Duty of Regulators to Consider Impacts on Indigenous Rights in Decision Making
2019 Canadian Energy Law Forum, Lake Louise, Alberta, May 8-9, 2019.
Speaker: Blakes Annual Aboriginal Law Update
Blakes Business Class Seminar, Calgary, Alberta and Vancouver, British Columbia, February 13-14, 2019.
Speaker: Connecting voices: working within the BC mineral tenure system
2017 Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference, Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., January 26, 2017.
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