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Roy Millen

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Indigenous negotiations, regulatory advice and dispute resolution

  • Advising and representing LNG Canada on its C$40-billion 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 Denison Mines Corp., achieving some of the first mining exploration agreements in Saskatchewan with English River First Nation and Kineepik Metis Local, and participation and funding agreements in connection with the advancement of Denison’s flagship Wheeler River uranium project

  • Counsel to Seabridge Gold Inc. since 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 British Columbia

  • Representing Arctic Canadian Diamond Corporation, owner of the Ekati Mine in NWT, in negotiating a Project Agreement with Tlicho Government confirming its support for Arctic’s Point Lake Project, and assisting Arctic in obtaining an updated land use permit and water licence from the Wek'èezhìi Land and Water Board for the project, all of which were necessary for the mine to continue operating

  • Counsel for Pure Gold Mining Inc., negotiating a Project Agreement with Wabauskang and Lac Seul First Nations, in support of Pure Gold’s gold mine in Ontario. The Agreement confirms the First Nations’ collaboration with Pure Gold in support of the permitting process, establishes employment, contracting and education opportunities for the First Nations’ members, and provides significant benefits to the First Nations

  • Advising a major international mining corporation with respect to a C$10-billion aboriginal rights and title claim brought by a First Nation in the Saskatchewan courts, and negotiating a resolution of the dispute between the Nation and the company on mutually advantageous terms

Litigation

  • Mowi (formerly Marine Harvest) v. Minister of Fisheries, Morton and others, 2022 FC 588, 2021 FC 293, 2018 BCSC 1302 and 2017 BCSC 2383 – overturning the Minister’s licensing decision on judicial review and obtaining multiple injunctions to enable Mowi to continue its aquaculture business

  • Jorgensen v. Surface Rights Board and Encana Corporation, 2021 BCSC 396 – counsel for Encana, upholding a Board decision authorizing entry by Encana to construct flow lines in support of its gas operations in NE BC. This was the first court decision to interpret key provisions of the legislation regulating the company’s operations

  • Yellow Cab Company Ltd. v. Lyft Canada Inc., 2020 BCSC 162 and 2021 BCSC 86 – Counsel for Lyft, defeating an application by Yellow Cab and others for an injunction which would have prohibited Lyft from operating in British Columbia, and defeating the taxi companies’ application for judicial review of Lyft’s passenger transportation licence

  • Shepherd v. Lundin Gold Inc., 2020 BCSC 258 – Counsel for Lundin Gold and Lundin Mining, successfully defending a US$12-million claim for an alleged finders fee and unjust enrichment in connection with Lundin Gold’s US$240-million purchase of a gold mining project in Ecuador. Following a 3-week trial involving multiple witnesses from around the world, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims

  • 1120732 B.C. Ltd. v. Whistler (Municipality), 2020 BCCA 101 – Counsel for a property management company, defending a key aspect of Whistler’s resort development plan. Our client manages hotels in Whistler, in which the other parties own strata units. The B.C. Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal dismissed the other parties’ challenge to the Whistler municipal bylaws and covenant which provide for unified hotel management

  • Byram v. B.C. (Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing) and Silver Star Resort Association, 2020 BCSC 1592 – counsel for the Association, defeating a judicial review application that challenged the very existence of the Association, which had been created by ministerial order

  • 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

  • Catalyst Paper Corporation v. North Cowichan (District), 2012 SCC 2 - Counsel for Catalyst, challenging a municipal tax bylaw. The Court's decision has become one of the leading Canadian cases on judicial review of municipalities and other administrative decision-makers

  • Pro bono counsel for B.C. Civil Liberties Association in five Supreme Court of Canada cases involving constitutional law, judicial review, internet defamation, bail and other significant issues: 2011 SCC 47, 2012 SCC 16, 2017 SCC 15, 2018 SCC 26 and 2020 SCC 14

Awards & Recognition

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

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2023 (Administrative and Public Law, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Indigenous and First Nations Practice, International Trade and Finance Law, and Municipal Law)

  • The Legal 500 Canada 2023 (Hall of Fame: Indigenous Law and Leading Individual: Dispute Resolution)

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business 2023 (Aboriginal Law)

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2022 (Aboriginal Law)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2022 ("Consistently Recommended" in Aboriginal Law)

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys – 2022 Edition (Litigation Star: Commercial and Aboriginal Law)

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

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

Professional Activities

Roy regularly chairs and speaks at conferences across Canada, frequently publishes articles in his areas of expertise and volunteers his time with many community and legal organizations. He is a director of the Vancouver Symphony Society, director of Vancouver Falcons Athletic Club and co-chair of Blakes national Pro Bono Committee.

Roy has been an adjunct professor, guest lecturer and moot coach at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law, guest speaker at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law, guest instructor for the University of Western Faculty of Law and moot court judge for the Exchequer Cup. Roy was chair of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Supreme Court of Canada Liaison Committee, chair of the CBA B.C. Branch (CBABC) Aboriginal Law Section, legislative liaison to the CBABC International Law Section and member of the CBA National Pro Bono Law Committee. In the community, Roy was president of the board of directors of Little Mountain Neighbourhood House Society, director of the Industry Council for Aboriginal Business, and director of Better Environmentally Sound Transportation.

Publications
Professional Appearances
  • Speaker: Developments in Aboriginal and Indigenous Law 2021
    Pacific Business Law Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia, November 19, 2021.
  • Guest Speaker: Aboriginal Law
    Western University Faculty of Law, London, Ontario, November 18, 2021.
  • Presenter: Blakes Annual Indigenous Webcast
    Blakes Business Class Seminar, Vancouver, British Columbia, April 21, 2021.
  • Speaker: The Charter Society Presents: Section 25 and Indigenous Self-Government: Waking the Charter’s Sleeping Giant
    Western Law Charter Society, April 9, 2021.
  • Presenter: BC’s Implementation of UNDRIP
    2020 Pacific Business & Law Institute Webinar, Developments in Aboriginal and Indigenous Law 2020, Vancouver, British Columbia, October 27, 2020.
Media Activities
  • Quoted: Ottawa's Muskrat Falls bailout triggers First Nations lawsuit
    Article by Julius Melnitzer, Financial Post, August 25, 2021.
  • Quoted: Yukon Supreme Court decision highlights intersection of self-government and Charter rights
    Article by Zena Olijnk, Canadian Lawyer Magazine, September 17, 2020.
  • Quoted: Canada ‘over-criminalizing’ poor, Indigenous and substance users who violate bail conditions, Supreme Court says
    Article by Sean Fine, The Globe and Mail, June 18, 2020.
  • Case Comment: 1120732 BC Ltd. v. Whistler (Resort Municipality), 2020 BCCA 101
    Take Five Newsletter, B.C. Edition, Onpoint Law Corp., May 2020.
  • Quoted: The New World of Stakeholder Engagement
    Article by Elizabeth Raymer, Lexpert Special Edition on Mining, March 2, 2020.
  • Quoted: Indigenous law experts weigh in on the Wet’suwet’en protests
    Article by Aidan Macnab, Canadian Lawyer Magazine, February 25, 2020.
Education

Admitted to the Saskatchewan Bar – 2012
Admitted to the British Columbia Bar – 2001
LLB, University of Victoria – 1999
BA (Hon.), Bishop's University – 1996

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