Cliff is very well respected as an environmental litigator, and is a familiar face before provincial and federal tribunals, administrative boards and the Supreme Court of Canada. He is a popular choice of counsel for defence in quasi-criminal environmental proceedings, as well as for advice on compliance and permitting issues. He comes highly recommended by his clients, who point out that he is "an excellent lawyer: he speaks to the fundamentals with deep knowledge, practical expertise, and tactical analysis."
- Chambers Canada, 2019 Guide
Cliff is the Managing Partner of Lawson Lundell. Cliff’s practice is focused on environmental and Indigenous litigation. His clients include companies in the forestry, manufacturing, mining, real estate development, hydro-electric power generation industries. Cliff has represented his clients in environmental prosecutions, administrative actions, permit appeals, environmental assessments and has helped clients respond to a wide variety of environmental investigations and prosecutions.
Cliff advises clients respecting compliance with environmental laws and regulations, due diligence and environmental auditing. He also assists clients in developing corporate environmental policies, contingency plans, operating manuals, and standard operating procedures. Cliff advises clients faced with a variety of issues surrounding contaminated sites including those clients in the oil and gas, forestry, mining and chemical industries as well as private landfill operations.
He has successfully defended clients against numerous regulatory and environmental prosecutions and has appeared as counsel in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and before the Supreme Court of Canada. In addition to this court work, Cliff has also conducted administrative hearings before the BC Environmental Appeal Board, BC Forest Appeals Commission, the Natural Resources Conservation Board of Alberta, the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal of BC, and the BC Tobacco Control Act Administrative Board.
Cliff acts for resource developers in a number of major Indigenous litigation cases including actions involving land claims and the infringement of treaty and Indigenous rights. Cliff has also acted for industry on numerous court and administrative actions in which First Nations are challenging regulatory permits or appeals. He also has extensive experience in negotiating and drafting co-operation agreements, consultation protocols and impact benefit agreements.
Before becoming Managing Partner in 2016, Cliff was the Head of the Litigation Group in 2011. He is also a member of the Executive Committee.
In addition to his role as Managing Partner, Cliff is Lawson Lundell’s current Chief Inclusiveness Officer where he is responsible for designing, implementing and managing the firm’s ongoing diversity and inclusiveness improvement programs.
- BC Oil and Gas Commission, Statutory Advisory Committee Member (past)
- CBA Environmental Law Subsection, Executive Member (past)
- Environmental Law for Environmental Specialists Douglas College, Lecturer (past)
- Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers Foundation, Board Member and Corporate Secretary (Current)
- Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, Board Member and Corporate Secretary (Past)
- Integrated Vegetation Management Association, Board Member (Current)
- Mount Seymour Little League, Coach and Manager (8 Years) (Past)
- North Vancouver Minor Hockey Association, Coach (Past)
- Seycove Secondary School, Cross Country Coach (Current)
- Seycove Secondary School, Track Coach (Current)
Cliff is married with two boys and is very active coaching and managing various sporting activities that his sons participate in.
Cliff is also a lifelong runner and ran competitively for two universities. Other interests include: music, wine, cooking and walking his two English Springer Spaniels, Phoebe and Farley.
Recognitions & Rankings
Recognitions & Rankings
- Best Lawyers in Canada: recognized for Aboriginal Law and Environmental Law
- Chambers Canada: recognized in the Environment (Nationwide - Canada) category
- Chambers Global 2015: recognized in the Environment (Canada) category
- Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: repeatedly recommended as a Leading Practitioner for Aboriginal law
- Lexpert's Leading Canadian Energy Lawyers 2014
- Legal 500 Canada: recommended in the Environment category
- Martindale-Hubbell International Law Directory: BV Peer Review rated
Cliff has had considerable experience in complex litigation and was one of four trial counsel in one of the longest trials in B.C. history, Privest Properties Ltd. et al. v. W.R. Grace & Co. of Canada Ltd. et al. in which Lawson Lundell successfully defended W.R. Grace & Co. in a products liability suit.
Cliff also acts for industry clients in a number of major Indigenous litigation cases including actions involving land claims and the infringement of treaty and Indigenous rights.
News & Publications
News & Publications
- Chambers Environmental Law 2019 Guide, Chambers & Partners Global Practice Guides: Environmental Law, 2019, 2019
- 31 Lawson Lundell Lawyers Ranked in Chambers Canada 2019, Chambers Canada , 2019 Edition, September 21, 2018
- 50 Lawson Lundell Lawyers Recognized Across 33 Practice Areas in The Best Lawyers in Canada® 2019, The Best Lawyers in Canada® , 13th Edition, August 21, 2018
- Cliff Proudfoot Quoted in Canadian Lawyer Magazine, Canadian Lawyer Magazine, April 16, 2018
- Chambers Environmental Law 2018 Guide, Chambers & Partners Global Practice Guides: Environmental Law, 2018, Co-Author
- 30 Lawson Lundell Lawyers Ranked in Chambers Canada 2018, Chambers & Partners, September 28, 2017
- "Why Independent Regional", Lexpert Magazine, July/August 2016 Issue, August 17, 2016, Author
- "Environmental Law: Managing Risk - 'I Done What He Told Me To' - What to Do (and Not to Do) When the Regulator Calls", November 21, 2011, Co-Author
- "Forestry Law: Recent Developments of Importance", July 30, 2007
- Inspection, Investigation and Defence Materials (July 5, 2001)
- Pacific Business & Law Institute Seminar on Contaminated Sites: New Law and Emerging Issues, Vancouver, BC, April 23, 2015, Speaker
- "Fisheries Issues in Environmental Assessment", 7th Edition Environmental Law in BC Conference, Insight Information, Vancouver, BC, October 18-19, 2013, Speaker
- "Core Contaminated Sites Legislation and Case Law", September 26, 2012, Speaker
- "Update on B.C. Oil and Gas Commission Consultation Process Agreements", September 20-21, 2012, Speaker
- "Environmental Enforcement and Penalties", Environmental Law: Managing Risk, November 18, 2011, Speaker
- "First Nation Consultation", 3rd Annual Northeast BC Natural Gas Summit, Insight Information, Calgary, AB, September 20-21, 2011, Co-speaker
- “Dealing with Contaminated Sites”, Educational Program Innovations Center (EPIC), Vancouver, BC, February 2 - 4, 2011, Speaker
- "Core Legislation and Cornerstone Caselaw", Pacific Business and Law Institute, April 28, 2010, Co-speaker
- “Inter Provincial Water Regulation, Jurisdiction and Disputes”, December 7 – 8, 2009, Co-chair
- "The Energy and Mining Sectors: Evolution of the Duty and Practical Insight", Pacific Business and Law Institute, October 8, 2009, Co-speaker
- “Successful Strategies for Navigating Through the Minefield of Inter-jurisdictional Water Disputes”, The Canadian Institute, September 29 – 30, 2009, Co-speaker
- “Recent Contaminated Sites Case Law in British Columbia”,, February 23 – 24, 2009, Co-speaker
- “Spills”, EPIC Educational Program Innovations Center, February 4 – 6, 2009, Co-speaker
- “BC and Alberta: Federal Jurisdiction Over Water and Interprovincial Water Aspects”, 4th Annual Water & Land Management in Alberta, Insight Information, December 8 – 9, 2008, Co-speaker
- “The Duty to Consult”, November 19 – 20, 2008, Speaker
- “Updates on Consultation Developments Across Canada”, October 22, 2008, Speaker
- 4th Annual Western Canada Contaminated Sites, Insight Information, June 12 – 13, 2008, Speaker
- Fundamentals of Environmental Law and Regulation, The Canadian Institute, May 15 – 16, 2008, Speaker
- “Resolving Past Grievances: Managing the Impact of Past Breaches on Agreements, Permit and License Renewals”, The Canadian Institute, September 18 – 19, 2007, Speaker
- “Accommodation: Agreements between Industry and First Nations: A Primer”, The Canadian Institute, December 4 – 5, 2006, Speaker
- “Industry’s Role in Consultation Under the New Relationship Document”, November 6 – 7, 2006, Speaker
- “Accomplishing Shared Decision Making”, Aboriginal Law Conference, The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, June 23, 2006, Speaker
- Environmental Management and Compliance, EPIC Educational Program Innovations Center, November 24 – 25, 2005, Speaker
- Aboriginal Law and Natural Resource Use, October 7, 2005, Speaker
- “Legal Perspective of the IPM Act”, Integrated Vegetation Management Association of B.C., November 18 – 19, 2004, Speaker
- “The Duty to Consult With First Nations Regarding Pest Management Plan on Private and Public Lands”, November 4 – 5, 2004, Speaker
- “Working with the Community on Environmental Issues”, EPIC Educational Program Innovations Center, May 17 – 18, 2004, Speaker
- “The New Act: Changes of Control and Tenure Transfers”, May 17 – 18, 2004, Speaker
- “Environmental Case Law Update”, The Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, February 5, 2004, Speaker
- “Professional Practice Under the New Code”, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC, October 23 – 25, 2003, Speaker
- “Case Study-Inspection, Investigation, & Defense”, EPIC Educational Program Innovations Center, April 23 – 24, 2001, Speaker
- Lillian Wong
- Legal Assistant
- T: 604.408.5308
- Manitoba (1990)
- British Columbia (1992)
University of Manitoba (LL.B, 1988)
University of Cambridge (LL.M., 1989)