Helen practises in the firm’s Energy Law Group in Toronto. She is recognized as a leading energy practitioner with particular expertise in energy project development and utility regulation. She has over 25 years of experience as an energy lawyer in both the public and private sectors, including four years as counsel to the National Energy Board.
Helen’s energy practice has two main components: a project development component and a utility component. On the project development side, Helen acts as counsel to some of Canada’s leading developers of energy projects, including Enbridge Inc., Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc., Capital Power and Kruger Energy Inc. She also acts for lenders to and purchasers of power plant projects, providing advice and industry expertise, as part of the due diligence process, and for property developers, commercial landlords and large industrial consumers of electricity in connection with embedded generation projects, interconnection projects and energy purchasing strategies. Helen has specific expertise and experience in the areas of energy procurement (including procurements under Ontario’s FIT Tariff regime), energy contracts (including power purchase agreements in competitive and standard procurement processes), regulatory requirements and permitting issues. She works closely with other Dentons lawyers who are specialists in land acquisition, municipal law and Aboriginal issues, in order to deliver a complete “suite of services” to her clients.
On the utility side, Helen acts as counsel to Canada’s largest natural gas distributor and a number of Ontario’s largest electricity distributors in connection with rate applications, facilities applications, regulatory compliance issues and conservation and demand management initiatives. She has acted as counsel in over 80 proceedings before the National Energy Board, the Ontario Energy Board and the Energy Resources Conservation Board (Alberta) in cases involving the construction of electricity generation and transmission facilities and natural gas and oil pipeline facilities, the approval of rates (tolls) for transmission and distribution companies, the authorization of electricity and natural gas exports and the development of generic codes and policies in the electricity and natural gas areas. She has also represented a variety of domestic and foreign clients in natural gas and electricity cases before these boards. Helen has appeared before the Ontario Divisional Court, the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.
Helen is recognized as a leading practitioner in the energy area by The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2012 and is listed in Best Lawyers in Canada 2013 and 2014 in the area of energy and energy regulatory law.
- Canadian Chartered Bank: Counsel to the Administrative Agent and the Lenders in connection with the CA$215 million project financing for the development, construction, ownership and operation of the 58.32 MW Bow Lake wind power project. The Bow Lake wind power project is owned by a limited partnership with the Batchewana First Nation and BluEarth Renewables as limited partners and currently represents the largest economic partnership between a First Nation and a wind energy developer in Canada
- National Bank of Canada: Counsel to the Administrative Agent and the Lenders providing credit facilities in the aggregate amount of CA$215 million for the development, construction and commissioning of 4 solar projects in Ontario totaling 38.5 MW. The financing is also to be used in connection with the subsequent acquisition of the solar projects by BluEarth Renewables Inc. from CSI Solar Project 16 Inc.
- Counsel to Capital Power Income L.P. on its $1.1 billion acquisition by Atlantic Power Corporation
- Counsel to Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. in connection with its development of two 99 MW wind farms on private lands in south-western Ontario and on Crown lands in northern Ontario
- Counsel to Capital Power in connection with the development of a 98 MW wind farm near Nanticoke, Ontario
- Counsel to K2 Wind in connection with the development of a 270 MW wind farm on private lands in south-western Ontario
- Regulatory counsel to Kruger Energy Inc. in connection with the development of two wind energy projects in Ontario
- Counsel to CANDAS in connection with its application to the OEB regarding utility pole access for telecommunication equipment
- Counsel to Ontario Realty Corporation in respect of energy supply and interconnection issues associated with the development of a large infrastructure project
- Counsel to a large automobile manufacturer in connection with the development of a 10 MW solar farm
- Counsel to a large automobile manufacturer in respect of interconnection and embedded generation projects under the FIT Program
- Regulatory counsel to the lenders to the sponsors of a 580 MW combined cycle gas-fired power plant in southern Ontario in connection with a $403 million credit facility
- Counsel to two large US developers of transmission assets in connection with the OEB’s transmission designation process
- Regulatory counsel to the lenders to the sponsors of a 393 MW gas-fired peaking plant in the Township of King, Ontario in connection with a $365 million credit facility
- Regulatory counsel to the lenders to the sponsors of a 1,0005 MW combined cycle gas-fired power plant in south-western Ontario in connection with a $684 million credit facility
- Counsel to a large institutional lender in connection with the financing of various wind and solar farms
- Counsel to a number of large load customers in connection with their participation in Ontario’s electricity market
- Counsel to Veridian, a large electricity distributor, in connection with its application to the Ontario Energy Board for approval of a utility acquisition
- Counsel to an investor-owned natural gas and electricity utility in connection with its Ontario acquisition strategies
- Counsel to six large electricity distributors in connection with their applications to the Ontario Energy Board for approval of their Conservation and Demand Management Plans and with subsequent CDM proceedings
- Counsel to Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. in respect of its participation in ATCO Gas & Pipeline Ltd.'s successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada
- Counsel to a Canadian pulp and paper manufacturer in connection with the disposition of hydro generating assets
- Counsel to Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. in numerous rates and facilities proceedings before the National Energy Board and the Ontario Energy Board
- Counsel to PowerStream and to Hydro Ottawa in connection with their applications to the Ontario Energy Board for approval of distribution rates
- Recognized by Who’s Who Legal and Who’s Who Legal Canada as a leading lawyer in area of Energy (2013-2014)
- Recognized by Legal 500 Canada 2015 in the area of Energy - Power
- Recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada 2015 as one of Canada’s leading lawyers in the areas of Energy Law (2014, 2015) and Energy Regulatory Law (2008-2015)
- Ranked by The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2012 as one of Canada’s leading lawyers in the area of Energy (Oil & Gas)
Activities and Affiliations
- Member, Canadian Bar Association
- Member, Canadian Petroleum Law Foundation
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Energy Bar Association (U.S.)
- Presented a webcast entitled, "Ontario’s Green Energy Act: Understanding the Opportunities and Challenges for Investors and Developers" to the Association of Corporate Counsel Energy Committee (2010)
- Presented a paper entitled, “Jurisdictional Aspects of Pipeline Regulation” to the mid-winter meeting of the Canadian Bar Association - Alberta Branch
- Moderator, 2006 OEA Annual Conference