Skip Navigation
Michael McCachen, FCIArb.
Michael McCachen, FCIArb. Partner | Calgary

About Michael

Mike is a senior trial lawyer with a focus on energy and is qualified as an arbitrator. He has over 30 years of experience in complex cases before the courts, in both domestic and international arbitrations as well as in the regulatory arena.

Mike acts as lead counsel in a wide variety of matters pertaining to the energy industry. His approach to litigation and dispute resolution begins with deep understanding of the business needs and interests of his clients, careful strategic analysis in coordination with those interests and firm determination in the advancement of client goals. Mike has been lead counsel in several groundbreaking cases both in the public courts, and in arbitrations. He has broad experience in virtually all aspects of energy and is trusted counsel to many of the major industry players.

Select Experience
  • Recently Mike successfully led the Blakes team in its representation of a major multinational energy producer in various disputes, culminating in a lengthy UNCITRAL arbitration concerning foreign assets lost to warfare in the wake of uprisings in the Middle East and Africa, ultimately netting many hundreds of millions of dollars in recovery for his client

  • Building on the initial success, in 2019 a second win was scored by Mike and the Blakes team, overturning a Ministerial decision disallowing royalty costs claimed by an owner in excess of C$100-million

  • He acted as lead counsel in 2018 in a successful and groundbreaking case concerning royalty obligations and cost recovery of amounts running to billions of dollars, netting a major success for his oilsands client

  • Mike is currently lead counsel in a major tax case pending before the Tax Court of Canada and arising out of transactions in oilsands assets

  • He has deep knowledge of political risk insurance claims in the international business world

  • In another recent case, Mike represented a team of similarly situated major refiners in a case involving complex issues of pure economic loss scoring interim success in the Courts prior to successful settlement

  • He has considerable experience in the pipeline arena, including federal court appearances arising out of regulatory proceedings surrounding existing and newly proposed pipeline projects, both provincially and federally regulated

  • He also recently acted as lead counsel in an international arbitration involving offshore exploration by Canadian joint venturers

  • Mike has counselled clients with international interests in the context of climate change litigation, a subject in which he has extensive knowledge and experience

  • Mike has long experience counselling clients in major joint venture energy projects both in party to party litigation, when necessary, and as importantly, in finding solutions in the complex business arrangements surrounding major energy infrastructure projects

  • He also has background as counsel in the regulatory arena including representation of clients in disputes and policymaking hearings, including complex matters pertaining to reservoir management, contested matters between leaseholders and a long history as counsel to participants in natural gas liquids arena

  • Over the years, Mike has been deeply involved in various constitutional matters, including in the Indigenous arena. On a regular basis, his practice involves effectively representing clients in their interface with governments at all levels

  • Overall, Mike's experience touches virtually all aspects of the business of energy, including litigation experience with international oil pricing, futures markets and commodity-based derivative transactions. Mike is also well-versed in facilities cases which require technical expertise and complex engineering issues

Awards & Recognition

Mike is recognized as a leading corporate and commercial litigation lawyer including by:

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2024 (Commercial Arbitration)

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2024 (Alternative Dispute Resolution, Appellate Practice, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, and Director and Officer Liability Practice)

  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2023 (Arbitration)

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

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys – 2020 Edition (recognizes Mike as a "Litigation Star" in Arbitration, Energy and National Resources and General Commercial Litigation) for the second year running

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business 2019 (Litigation: General Commercial, Band 4)

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business 2017 (Dispute resolution: Alberta, Band 4)

  • BTI Client Service All-Star Awards – Michael was named a "BTI Client Service All-Star" for 2016 by The BTI Consulting Group, an independently researched and client-driven ranking agency. In order to become a BTI Client Service All-Star, corporate counsel must identify a lawyer who delivers exceptional client service

Professional Activities

Mike is active in the legal community in many ways. He has past experience as a director and chairman of a Calgary-based charity and is a former director of the Canadian Energy Law Foundation.

He is also active with various national and international arbitration organizations and often speaks and writes in the public arena on a variety of issues.


Admitted to the Bar of Alberta – 1989
LLB, University of Victoria – 1988
BA, University of Victoria – 1985

More insights

Save Profile

Select sections to customize your PDF