Alex advises Canadian and international clients on all legal issues relating to the environment. These include regulatory approvals, compliance, contaminated land, climate change, transportation of dangerous goods, dealing with regulatory agencies, responses to government policies and the development of internal environmental practices and systems. In 2012, Alex was appointed by the Government of Alberta to the Environmental Appeals Board.
Alex is widely regarded as one of the leading environmental law practitioners in Alberta.
He is recommended by Chambers Global as a leading lawyer in the area of Environmental Law, he is profiled in The Lexpert American Lawyer Media Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, Who's Who Legal, and in Best Lawyers and is rated by Practical Law Company as a recommended Environmental Lawyer. He has appeared before the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board, Alberta Energy Regulator, Natural Resources Conservation Board, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Federal Court of Canada and all levels of Court in Alberta.
Alex advises the firm’s clients in respect of all matters of an environmental nature, including the management and minimization of liability arising from environmental risks, environmental management systems and other risk management tools. When environmental incidents do occur, Alex is experienced in the legal aspects of emergency response and crisis management and has extensive experience in resolving disputes arising from such incidents through negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation.
Alex is frequently involved in major national and cross-border transactions in respect of the environmental due diligence arising in asset and share transactions, public offerings and financings. He works closely with the M&A, banking and securities lawyers at Dentons to ensure that any environmental issues are identified and properly assessed.
- Extensive expertise in mediation of environmental disputes
- Counsel to BP Canada in connection with its US$1.67 billion agreement to sell its Canadian natural gas liquids business to Plains Midstream Canada
- Canadian counsel to Hunting PLC on the $1.26 billion sale of its subsidiary Gibson Energy Holdings Inc. and its subsidiaries to Riverstone/Carlyle Global Energy and Power Fund
- Canadian counsel to Petro-Canada on a US$1.5 billion senior notes offering
- Pogo Producing Co. of Houston, Texas, on its US$2 billion sale of its Calgary-based oil and gas company, Northrock Resources Ltd., to Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA)
- Defence and settlement counsel in many multi-million dollar contaminated sites cases on behalf of major integrated petroleum companies
- Provided advice to major energy companies on climate change and emissions management matters
- Environmental due diligence counsel in Pogo Producing Company’s US$1.8 billion acquisition and subsequent sale of Northrock Resources
- Environmental counsel to major Canadian property and asset management corporation
- Environmental counsel to multinational oilfield services companies
- Regulatory counsel to Greyhound Canada Transportation Company
- Defended manufacturing company on charges brought under Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act
- Defended petroleum company on charges brought under Fisheries Act and Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act
- Acted for a major Canadian integrated oil and gas company in the resolution of disputes arising from contaminated property
- Provided advice to clients on how to prepare for and participate in regulatory inspections of their facilities
- Counsel to a major Canadian integrated oil and gas company in the resolution of disputes arising from contaminated property
- Co-counsel to mining company in joint federal-provincial environment assessment review hearings
- Counsel in successful mediation of dispute arising from petroleum contamination on commercial property
- Resolution of disputes arising from contaminated property
- Environmental due diligence associated with securities offerings, takeover bids, and mergers and acquisitions
- Responses to government environmental policies and international agreements including climate change
- Water Act matters
- Brownfield redevelopment
- Intensive livestock feeding operations
- Counsel to transportation companies on legal matters, including regulatory concerns, carrier claims, dangerous goods and environmental issues
- Litigation and arbitration counsel to energy clients involved in commercial disputes
- Freedom of information and protection of privacy matters
- Recognized by Legal 500 Canada 2015 in the area of Environment.
- Recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada 2015 as one of Canada’s leading lawyers in the areas of Environmental Law (2006-2015) and Transportation Law (2006-2015).
- Consistently recommended by The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2014 as one of Canada's leading lawyers in the area of Transportation (Road & Rail).
- Consistently recommended by The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2014 as one of Canada's leading lawyers in the area of Environmental Law.
- Recognized by Chambers Global: The Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2012, 2013 and 2014 as a leading lawyer in the area of Environmental Law.
- Recipient of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of contributions to Canada
- Recognized by the 2012 and 2013 International Who's Who of Business Lawyers ("Who's Who Legal") in the area of Environment Law.
- Most frequently recommended by The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 as one of Canada’s best lawyers in the area of Environmental Law.
- Recognized by Legal 500 Canada 2013 in the area of Environmental Law.
- Recognized by Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2012 as a leading lawyer in the area of Environmental Law.
- Featured in The 2010 Lexpert/American Lawyer Media Guide to the Top 500 Lawyers in Canada.
- Nominated by peers for inclusion in Who's Who Legal: Canada 2010.
- Recommended by PLC Which Lawyer? 2009 as one of Canada's pre-eminent Environmental Lawyers.
- Included in the Practical Law Company's PLC Which Lawyer? Guide to the Leading Environmental Lawyers in 37 jurisdictions around the world.
- Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished BV Peer Review Rating.
In the Media
- Interviewed by Calgary Herald for feature on leading local lawyers (June 24, 2011)
- As a result of their recent legal analysis in U.S. Climate Change Litigation, John Goetz, Alex MacWilliam and Michael Kariya were cited in a Globe and Mail article, "Think Globally, Take Legal Action Locally?," written by Mark Hume (January 4, 2010).
- Interviewed in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, for “The Alberta-Texas Connection: Continuing To Thrive”, New York, (September 2006)
- “The New North American Oil & Gas Picture: The Canadian Perspective” 3rd Institute for Energy Law and Mexican Association of Business Lawyers Mexican Energy Conference , Houston, Texas, May, 2014
- “Crude-by-Rail: Exploring Legal Risks and Potential Liability Issues” Infonex Crude-by-Rail Conference, Calgary, April 2014
- “Crisis Management: From Policy to Response”, Association of Corporate Counsel Alberta Chapter, Calgary/Edmonton, March, 2014
- "Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing” 4th Institute for Energy Law and International Bar Association Oil & Gas Law Conference, London, UK, December, 2013
- “Transporting Crude Oil by Rail: Temporary Option or Long Term Solution” Calgary Women in Energy, Calgary, November, 2013
- "Wetland management in Alberta and the new Alberta Wetland Policy", Dentons Insights, November 26, 2013 (with Caitlin Graham)
- Update on Hydraulic Fracturing: Preparing for Gasland 2 (Presentation), November 2012
- "New Alberta Bills Will Impact Coalbed Methane and Carbon Capture and Storage", Focus on Energy, November 2010
- "New British Columbia Oil and Gas Regulations", Focus on Energy, October 2010
- U.S. Climate Change Litigation, Focus on Climate Change, December 2009
- First Nations and Wind Projects in Canada: Risks and Opportunities, May 2009
- Focus on Climate Change: Bi-Lateral Policy Development Between Canada and the U.S., July 2007
- Focus on Climate Change and Emissions Regulation, July 2007
- "Investing in Canadian Tar Sands: Tenure, Fiscal, Commercial and Political Issues," The Institute for Energy Law 58th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference, Houston, Texas, February 2007
- The Alberta-Texas Connection: Continuing To Thrive - interviewed in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, New York, September 2006
Activities and Affiliations
- Member of Canadian Centre for Environmental Arbitration and Mediation
- Member of Advisory Board of The Institute for Energy Law and Vice-Chair of International Practice Committee, Plano, Texas
- Member of Environment, Energy & Resources Law Section and International Section of American Bar Association
- Member of Energy & Environment Committee and Climate Change Subcommittee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
- Past President of Calgary Bar Association
- Past President of Canadian Transport Lawyers’ Association
- Member and past Co-Chair of Steering Committee of the Environmental Law Forum
- Member of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
Community Involvement and Pro Bono
- Member of the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board since 2006
- President of Board of Directors, Alberta Theatre Projects
- Member of Board of Directors – EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts
- Member of Board of Directors - The Calgary International Film Festival (2006-2013)
- Involved in United Way “Days of Caring” events
- Leader, United Way of Calgary and Area
- Counsel to local residents in respect of issues relating to development of large scale intensive livestock operation
- Travel to over 30 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania
- Hockey parent (the good kind)
- Mediocre golfer
- Much better minor football coach
- Lecturer on Environmental Law at University of Calgary Schulich School of Engineering, 2003 to present
- Sessional Lecturer on Transportation Law at University of Calgary Faculty of Law, 2000 to 2009
- Presenter, “Why a Little Fracking Knowledge is a Good Thing”, Association of Corporate Counsel, Houston, Texas, June 2013
- Presenter, “Maintaining Control of Hearings”, 4th Fair Hearing Conference, Federated Press, Calgary, April 2013
- Presenter, “Hydraulic Fracturing: The Canadian Perspective”, American Bar Association Section of International Law, Spring Meeting, Washington, D.C., April 2013
- Presenter, “SAGD and the Environment: Recent Developments”, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta SAGD Forum, Calgary, January 2013
- Presenter, "Update on Hydraulic Fracturing: Preparing for Gasland 2", Canadian Bar Association In-House Counsel Sub-section, Calgary, November 22, 2012
- Presenter, "Improving Governance and Management of the Petroleum Sector" conference sponsored by World Bank and Governments of Canada and Alberta. Topic of corporate social responsibility and environmental issues facing Canadian companies operating in developing countries, Calgary, March 2012
- Presenter, "Avoiding Frostbite: Top Considerations for Doing Business in Canada", Atlanta, GA, February 2012
- Presenter, "Realizing Opportunities for Brownfield Redevelopment", BLOOM Market Insight Conference, Calgary, November, 2011
- Presenter, "More Than Just Cold Air - Hot Topics for U.S. Companies Doing Business in Canada", Philadelphia, PA, May 3, 2011
- Presenter, "Regulation of Canadian Shale Gas Operations" Canadian Petroleum Law Foundation Conference, Kananaskis, Alberta, October 2010
- Presenter, “Critical Legal Developments in the Regulation and Clean-up of Contaminated Sites in Western Canada,” Calgary, January 28-29, 2010
- Presenter, Conference for the Association of Corporate Counsel Energy Committee, “Canadian Climate Change Legislation Update,” Bonston, MA, March 2009
- Co-Chair and Presenter at the 5th Edition Western Canada Insight Information Conference on Contaminated Sites on the topic “Alberta Case Law on Contaminated Sites,” Calgary, March 2009
- Chair and Presenter at annual conference on Environmental Law & Regulation in Alberta, 1995-2008
- Chair and Presenter at annual conference on Contaminated Sites, 2003-2008
- Presenter, "Investing in Canadian Tar Sands: Tenure, Fiscal, Commercial and Political Issues", The Institute for Energy Law 58th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference, Houston, 2007
- Investing in Canadian Oil Sands; U.K. Trade and Investment Seminar, Houston, 2007
- Chair and Presenter at conference on Water Treatment & Distribution in Alberta, 2005
- Presenter at conference on Best Practices for Water Treatment in Alberta, 2004
- Presenter at numerous legal and energy industry seminars and conferences over the past 15 years