Photo of Christine J. Kowbel

Christine J. Kowbel

  • Debbie Modien
  • Legal Assistant
  • P: 604.408.5392


Best Lawyers Award Badge

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Christine practices environmental and aboriginal law, providing advice in respect of major project development, environmental assessment, permitting, operational matters and acquisition and sale of industrial projects.

She provides specialized mining industry advice, representing clients with respect to permitting and regulatory aspects of exploration, development, operation and closure of mining projects.  Her other clients include energy, forestry and other natural resource sector companies, as well as banking institutions and real estate developers.

In her practice, Christine:
  • works closely with environmental consultants and engineers in providing her clients with practical advice respecting legal obligations and managing risk;
  • regularly conducts and coordinates environmental due diligence;
  • assists in the negotiation and drafting of agreements related to First Nations and environmental matters;
  • counsels project proponents on matters of federal, provincial and territorial jurisdiction, environmental assessment processes, consultation with the public and with First Nations, public hearings, regulatory licences and permits and approvals;
  • prepares opinions for clients on various aspects of environmental law, including regulatory compliance, emergency notification, waste transportation and disposal, land rehabilitation, director and officer liability, environmental risk management, and corporate disclosure.

Christine has also been seconded to clients in the mining sector on a part-time basis to provide in-house legal advice, primarily in the areas of environmental assessment and project permitting, environmental compliance, and government and aboriginal relations. 

Christine is also a regular contributor to the Project Law Blog, a resource that updates proponents on developments in the law and policy that applies to the development of major projects in Canada. 

Recognition and Ranking

  • Best Lawyers: Aboriginal Law Lawyer of the Year in Vancouver for 2017
  • 2017 Best Lawyers in Canada: recognized for Aboriginal and Natural Resources law
  • Benchmark Canada: The Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys 2016: recognized as a Future Star for Aboriginal, Environmental and Energy and Natural Resources litigation in British Columbia
  • Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada 2015: recognized as one of the "Corporate Lawyers to Watch"
  • 2014 Lexpert Rising Star Award: recognized as one of Canada's Leading Lawyers under 40

Professional Activities

  • Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), Lands Committee Member
  • Canadian Bar Association: Environmental Law, Administrative Law, and Natural Resources, Member
  • Environmental Law for Environmental Specialists, Douglas College, Guest Lecturer
  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Member
  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Newsletter, Reporter - Canada
  • Project Law Blog, Contributor

Bar Admissions

  • British Columbia (2002)
  • Northwest Territories (2009)
  • Nunavut (2011)
  • Yukon (2015)


  • University of Victoria (LL.B., 2000)

Christine has:

  • Acted as in-house permitting manager for a major gold exploration and development project in Nunavut
  • Advised clients on the permitting and development of mines and other major projects in various provinces and territories, including BC, Yukon, Nunavut, NWT, Alberta and Saskatchewan
  • Advised a number of clients on the current and potential future liabilities relating to the acquisition of current and historic industrial properties
  • Represented two major mining companies in the acquisition of advanced exploration properties in Nunavut
  • Continued representation of a company developing a gold mine in Nunavut
  • Continued representation of a company operating a diamond mining project in the Northwest Territories
  • Advised clients on environmental management systems (including ongoing compliance with ISO certification requirements) and due diligence
  • Represented various industrial corporations in defending charges under environmental and occupational health and safety laws and regulations
  • Represented a natural resource company in obtaining an injunction to prohibit interference with project development and activities
  • Assisted various clients during disputes relating to mineral tenure issues and competing interests in land
  • Assisted clients with identifying, obtaining and defending permits, fisheries authorizations, water licences, environmental assessment certificates and other authorizations for mines, mills, hydroelectric facilities, and other natural resource projects
  • Assisted clients in matters before all levels of Court in British Columbia, as well as various boards and tribunals located in BC and the Canadian North. She has also prepared applications on behalf of clients to the Supreme Court of Canada