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Expertise / Practices / Environmental
[The firm's] depth of resources is among the top in Canada. Its environmental law group, in particular, is ​first-rate.
Blakes ranked Band 1 for Environmental Law, Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business

Complex environmental regulations exist at all levels of government in Canada and, in one form or another, impact nearly every business. These regulations are often vague and open to judicial interpretation, which can create uncertainty for corporations and their officers and directors. Furthermore, penalties for violations are steep.

Corporations need lawyers skilled at navigating through the many layers of regulations and experienced with devising risk-avoidance strategies. World-class energy, resource and manufacturing companies engage Blakes to provide timely and reliable solutions to their environmental law challenges. They rely on our proven reputation as leading environmental lawyers skilled at advancing client growth strategies while effectively resolving their disputes and assuring environmental compliance.

Companies regularly call on us for solutions when dealing with contaminated-site cleanup and liability, the establishment of municipal landfill and waste management operations, air and water permitting requirements, spill responses, greenhouse gas emissions or the import, export and disposal of hazardous or toxic substances. Our litigators have successfully defended numerous corporations, municipalities and individuals charged with environmental offences or named in government compliance and remediation orders. Preventing problems beforehand, however, is more valuable to companies than solving them once they occur. We develop sophisticated strategies to minimize our clients’ exposure to environmental liabilities and advise clients on management, compliance, due diligence procedures, training and permit requirements for projects with potential environmental ramifications.

We also regularly advise on aboriginal rights and have been involved in virtually every aspect of aboriginal rights and constitutional litigation on behalf of First Nations, including numerous precedent-setting cases. Blakes lawyers have acted for corporations, organizations, institutions and First Nations in connection with various business opportunities and transactions, and on several landmark claims involving aboriginal rights, lands and natural resources.

Working closely with members of our Corporate & Commercial, Financial Services, Commercial Real Estate, Municipal & Planning and Restructuring & Insolvency groups, among others, we provide environmental law advice to clients involved in business and real estate acquisitions, infrastructure development, land leasing and financing of commercial real estate transactions. We frequently oversee environmental site assessments and audits as part of major business transactions involving multiple properties across the country and around the world

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Awards & Recognition

Members of our Environmental group have been consistently recognized as leaders by the following industry guides and publications:

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business – Our Environmental team is ranked in Band 1.

  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business – Our Environmental team is ranked in Band 1.

  •  The Legal 500 Canada – The Blakes Environmental group is ranked in Tier 1.

  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory