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About Duff

Dufferin (Duff) practises in the areas of environmental law, commercial litigation and regulatory law. He routinely acts for clients on environmental due diligence and liability issues, especially as they pertain to brownfield redevelopment and transportation of dangerous goods. On the corporate side, he provides advice on environmental, social and governance issues, particularly pertaining to corporate disclosure. He further specializes in crafting complicated environmental agreements that allocate environmental risks and address remediation requirements. He also advises clients on greenhouse gas matters including the purchase and sale of greenhouse gas emissions credits, offset credits and other environmental attributes.

Duff has acted as lead counsel in several litigation cases involving contaminated sites, both on behalf of contaminated property owners and parties who were allegedly responsible for the contamination. On the regulatory front, he has appeared before numerous levels of courts and assessment tribunals, including tribunals constituted pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA), the National Energy Board (NEB) and numerous provincial regulators.

Duff also provides strategic regulatory compliance and environmental impact assessment advice to numerous clients, including renewable energy companies, conventional oil and gas companies, mining companies, companies operating in the oil sands, and liquefied natural gas proponents.

Select Experience

Representative regulatory matters including acting as counsel for:

  • Lead environmental regulatory counsel in applications to the National Energy Board for approval of a 4,500 km pipeline to transport crude oil from Alberta to Quebec and New Brunswick, and related gas transmission facilities

  • E.ON Canada in a 120 MW wind power project hearing before the Alberta Utilities Commission

  • Grand Rapids in a pipeline hearing before the Alberta Energy Regulator

  • Area residents at the CEAA Panel Review of Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Oven Sites in Nova Scotia

  • AC LNG in its Export and Import Licence for natural gas issued by the NEB

Representative corporate/commercial matters include acting as environmental counsel:

  • In complicated transactions involving the allocation of environmental risk and bespoke remediation agreements in numerous jurisdictions throughout North America

  • In the purchase and sale of greenhouse gas credits and environmental attributes

  • In environmental due diligence reviews associated with potential purchase, sales, initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions of various companies, including those operating in the oil sands

  • In environmental audits of various companies (including mining and aeronautical) and Canadian government operations

  • For financial institutions and developers in the financing and development of various waste-energy power-generation facilities and renewable energy projects

  • In transportation of dangerous goods matters

Representative litigation and quasi-criminal matters include acting as counsel for:

  • Companies complying with ongoing regulatory requirements, including responding to contaminant releases and historic contamination, and liaising with applicable regulators

  • Companies charged with violations of various environmentally related statutes

  • Plaintiffs and defendants in contaminated sites lawsuits and actions

  • Companies responding to environmental protection orders and judicial reviews of decisions rendered by government Ministers

Awards & Recognition

Duff has been recognized as a leading environmental law practitioner in the following publications:

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2024 (Environment)

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2024 (Environment)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2023 (Environmental Law)

  • Who's Who Legal: Global 2023 (Environment – Environment & Climate Change)

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada 2023 (Environment)

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2022 (Administrative and Public Law, Environmental Law)

  • The Legal 500 Canada 2022 (Environmental)

  • Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyers 2021 – Independently Rated Lawyers (As nominated by senior in-house counsel)

Professional Activities

Duff is a member of both The Law Society of Alberta and the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society. He is also a past chair of the National Environmental Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association.

From 1999 to 2006, Duff taught a course on business and environmental law at Dalhousie Law School.


Admitted to the Alberta Bar – 2007
Admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar – 1992
LLB, University of New Brunswick – 1991
MSc (Biology), Dalhousie University – 1986
BSc (Hon., Marine Biology), Dalhousie University – 1983

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