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Overview

Over half of our lawyers regularly advise clients in matters located in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik and Northern Labrador (Nunatsiavut).

We understand the challenges and opportunities that operating in the North presents. The region’s vast geography, seasonal constraints, significant impact of settled and unsettled land claims, and important intersections with government bodies and agencies make the northern territories a unique climate in which to do business. Our full service northern legal team has the knowledge and the deep commitment necessary to help our clients achieve success in the North.

The northern regulatory landscape is complex.  Settled and pending land claim agreements of Inuit, Métis and other Aboriginal groups must be respected and understood. These factors together with the heightened importance of logistical planning mean proponents and government agencies require timely, cost effective and practical legal advice. We bring our local knowledge as well as the full resources of our firm to support clients’ business needs and major project development in northern Canada.

Our broad northern experience includes matters involving:

  • Project development, land tenure, environmental regulation and Aboriginal law and related economic development issues including benefit agreements and litigation
  • Government relations and legislative review
  • Securities and financing
  • Labour and employment
  • Pensions and employee benefits
  • Tax (personal and business tax, including property tax)

Recognitions & Rankings

Recognitions & Rankings

  • Chambers Canada: recognizes Lawson Lundell as a leading firm in General Business Law (Northern Canada and Arctic) and recognizes 3 of our lawyers in this area

Experience

Experience

Government Relations and Legislation

  • Advising the NWT legislative assembly on all legislation put before the assembly, including drafting services, legal opinions on resource allocations from the federal government to the NWT, pensions advice on the establishment of a new pension organization as well as with respect to pensions of the members of the assembly. Provided conflict of interest advice to members, and general corporate advice with respect to operations
  • Advising the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation since 2005 in their negotiations with the Governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories on an agreement which would recognize and implement an inherent right of self-government for the Inuvialuit
  • Advising a Northern municipality in drafting bylaws, prosecuting bylaws, acting in court actions, employment law issues, drafting and interpreting contracts and lease agreements and all aspects of corporate law
  • Working with local developers with respect to the acquisition, subdivision and development of both residential and commercial properties in Nunavut
  • Representing various municipalities and assist with legislative issues, enforcement issues, zoning issues and land transactions as well as significant litigation involving municipal issues
  • Advising clients with respect to corporate reorganizations involving the use of limited partnerships
  • Advising clients in Nunavut with respect to the application of the Nunavummi Nangminiqaqtunik Ikajuuti Policy (NNI policy)

Project Development & Regulatory

  • Providing advice with respect to the environmental assessment and permitting in relation to a gold project located in Nunavut
  • Advising on numerous regulatory, environmental and Aboriginal matters as they relate to the development of a significant mining project in Nunavut
  • Advising in a series of ongoing regulatory hearings in relation to one of the largest mining developments planned in Canada, and one of the most significant developments ever planned above the Arctic Circle
  • Providing comprehensive external legal support (commercial, aboriginal, permitting) for the development of a copper mine in the Yukon Territory
  • Advising foreign state-owned enterprise on investment and partial ownership interest in a zinc/lead mine in the Yukon Territory
  • Negotiating an Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement for a uranium project located in Nunavut
  • Advising on the acquisition of uranium exploration properties in Northern Labrador
  • Acting as project counsel to a major diamond mine established in the Northwest Territories including all commercial, government relations, environmental, aboriginal and litigation advice and support throughout the developmental and consultation phases of the project
  • Acting as project counsel in connection with the development of several gold mining projects in Nunavut
  • Providing advice to a northern crown corporation in relation to energy projects and the northern regulatory environment
  • Providing external advice to territorial governments in connection with mine closures, general energy policy, electric industry structuring and natural gas pipeline issues

Labour and Employment

  • Advising the Worker’s Compensation Appeals Tribunal of The Northwest Territories and Nunavut providing advice on all aspects of the administrative law process
  • Advising a government agency with respect to workplace Investigations, on a multi-party civil historical sexual assault case and in two Coroners’ Inquests
  • Advising on matters relating to human rights legislation in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut
  • Advising on a wide range of pension committee governance and legal compliance matters, communication and government relations matters

Corporate Commercial and Tax

  • Advising Miramar Northern Mining Ltd. (Miramar) in an appeal concerning the application of Miramar to demolish the Robertson Headframe, a Yellowknife landmark associated with the Con Mine. The decision establishes an important principle concerning standing of a private citizen to challenge issuance of a development permit
  • Representing a corporation in connection with the first corporate reorganization in the Northwest Territories pursuant to the Companies’ Creditors Arrangements Act
  • Advising various aboriginal groups with respect to governance issues, creation and structuring of business arms and providing corporate-commercial, labour and employment law and other legal services to such business organizations
  • Advising clients with respect to corporate reorganizations involving investments pursuant to the Risk Capital Investment Tax Credits Act
  • Advising clients with respect to Northern shipping legal requirements

Commercial Litigation

  • Successfully litigating a challenge to Northwest Territories electoral laws and boundaries under the Charter of Rights
  • Representing a material supplier in connection with a product liability claim involving damaged electric transmission lines

Team

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