Aboriginal Law: I have advised general counsel to a First Nations entity established with responsibilities to oversee and guide the use and development of resources on treaty lands including waters and wildlife. I regularly advise on environmental and land use planning law, procedural fairness in administrative hearings, and consultation rights, as well as employment law issues, contracts, access to information requests and confidentiality of information, and corporate governance.
Administrative law: Administrative law ensures that bodies such as governments, regulators, and other authorities make decisions fairly and in accordance with applicable laws. If you are appearing before a decision-maker to present your case, I can represent you in those proceedings. If a decision has already been made by an administrative body and you feel it was the wrong decision or was arrived at unfairly, I can represent you in court to have the decision reviewed and possibly set aside. I have also advised administrative decision-makers on the requirements of procedural fairness.
Corporate Law & Governance: Directors and officers can themselves be held personally liable for the actions by the corporate entity. In particular, if Environmental Laws and Occupational Health and Safety Laws are breached, officers and directors may face charges, fines and imprisonment. I advise on the roles and personal responsibilities of officers and directors to minimize the corporation’s legal risks, as well as their personal risks. I have advised on fair investigations and hearings relating to alleged misconduct by a director of a board, and have drafted corporate governance bylaws and rules, and advise on parliamentary procedures used in board meetings. I also regularly advise corporations and other entities on matters including the drafting and interpretation of contracts, and releases of liability, and assist clients prepare correspondence, press releases, and other documents requiring legal knowledge and persuasive writing.
Civil Litigation: I have represented plaintiffs and defendants in civil litigation before the B.C. Supreme Court. If you have a potential claim against someone else, or have been served with a claim, I can take the necessary steps to draft and file pleadings, and engage in negotiation, mediation, and case management to either settle a dispute or proceed to court. There are strict time limits for starting and defending claims in court, and it is important to contact legal counsel early in order to preserve your rights.
Employment Law: Employers and employees have rights arising from their relationship. I am developing a practice in this area and have advised employers on the duties they owe to their employees, particularly as it relates to providing a safe working environment. I have also provided advice to employers on the duties owed to them by their employees, and how they may investigate and act on alleged breaches of those duties.
Land Use Planning Law: Land use planning focuses on controlling and directing land uses in a defined planning area. The law of land use planning ensures that planning decisions are made by authorities in a fair manner so that affected landowners and other affected parties have the opportunity to make their views known before a final decision is made. I have advised on consultation with First Nations and providing procedural fairness relating to hearings on land use plans, drafted rules of procedure, advised on pre-hearing procedures, and on implementation of plans in respect of treaty lands.
Regulatory Law: I regularly advise corporate entities on compliance with regulations relating to environmental law and occupational health and safety law:
Environmental: Environmental laws regulate activities that may have adverse impacts on human health and the natural environment. Regulated activities typically require valid licences, permits, and other authorizations before work can be undertaken, and may dictate how work is to be undertaken or simply require all reasonable effort to avoid prohibited acts. These laws can be enforced by penalties or quasi-criminal prosecutions which may lead to fines and imprisonment of individuals. I am experienced in advising on environmental issues including Regulatory Defence for violations of environmental laws, federal land use planning and environmental assessment laws, due diligence and training, crisis management, transportation of dangerous goods, hazardous and non-hazardous waste, and contaminated sites. I have experience in fisheries and aquaculture industries, transportation by road, rail, and water including shipping in the Arctic, and large scale construction projects. I also have a growing practice in land use planning law, aboriginal law, public law and constitutional law, hazardous waste and waste management, contaminated sites and redevelopment, environmental permitting, environmental impact assessments, and product stewardship programs.
Occupational health and safety: Occupational Health and Safety laws regulate the workplace, whether in the office or at a remote working camp. Generally, legislation creates the legal duty of employers to ensure the safety and well-being of others in the workplace and the rights of employees to refuse unsafe work, and regulations may establish detailed requirements for what must and must not be done in order to comply with the legal duty. These requirements can be enforced by penalties, or quasi-criminal prosecutions which may lead to fines and imprisonment of individuals. The Criminal Code of Canada also places additional legal duties on anyone who undertakes or has authority to direct how another person does work or performs tasks to take reasonable measures to prevent bodily harm to others. I am experienced in advising on occupational health and safety issues including Regulatory Defence for violations of health and safety laws and regulations, workplace fatalities and serious incidents, due diligence and training, and crisis management. I have represented employers facing administrative penalties for workplace safety violations before the WorkSafeBC Review Division and Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal, and in judicial review proceedings.
Regulatory Defence (Criminal & Quasi-Criminal): Legislation and regulations govern countless aspects of daily life as well as work, the workplace, and the environment. These laws apply whether or not you are aware of them, and if broken can result in significant financial fines, administrative penalties, and even imprisonment of individuals including employees, officers and directors. The Criminal Code of Canada places specific legal duties on anyone who undertakes or has authority to direct how another person does work or performs tasks to take reasonable measures to prevent bodily harm to others. I can help you develop processes to ensure you are taking all reasonable measures to ensure compliance with applicable laws. Inspections will be less likely to lead to investigations and enforcement actions against you. I have counseled clients engaged in transportation and large scale construction projects in respect of workplace fatalities and serious incidents, and environmental accidents. I provide strategic advice proactively to ensure you are taking reasonable steps to comply with applicable laws, and to manage legal risks following an incident and through investigations and court proceedings.
Transportation Law: Transportation Law relates to the movement of people and goods from one place to another, whether locally or across borders, and is heavily regulated. I have advised clients on matters relating to transportation by road, rail, and water including shipping in the Arctic. A single accident may have wide-ranging repercussions, particularly where there is a loss of human life or the release of a dangerous substance into the environment. Furthermore, I have advised counsel to an entity tasked with consulting First Nations on the risks and benefits economic activities including transportation may bring. My experience in Transportation Law includes Occupational Health & Safety Law and Environmental Law matters, Land Use Planning Law, Environmental Assessment, Administrative Law, Aboriginal Law, Regulatory Defence, and civil litigation.