Title: Corporate / Business Litigation


Keith B. Bergner



Keith Bergner

Firm: Lawson Lundell LLP
Address:Suite 1600 Cathedral Place
925 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3L2
Email:Send an Email
Local Time:Thu. 18:45
Web site: Direct Page


Keith advises private sector, public sector and government clients on Aboriginal law and regulatory matters. He has appeared as counsel before numerous regulatory tribunals and all levels of Superior and Appellate Courts (both Federal and Provincial), including the Supreme Court of Canada. He has acted for clients in a number of natural resource industries including hydro-electric generation and transmission, oil and gas, mining, aquaculture, forestry, transportation and independent power projects. His practice extends throughout Western Canada and the North (Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon).

In the area of Aboriginal law, Keith advises governments, Crown corporations and private sector clients on the extent of the duty to consult and, if necessary, accommodate, in respect of potential adverse effects to Aboriginal rights or title by major industrial projects. He advises on the development of consultation programs and has negotiated several dozen impact-benefit agreements with First Nations. Keith acts as hearing counsel for proponents seeking regulatory permits and approvals. He also represents project proponents and governments in appeals and judicial reviews challenging project approvals.

In the area of regulatory/energy law, Keith acts as counsel for proponents and users of energy, mining and other natural resource projects. He appears regularly before administrative tribunals, including the National Energy Board and the British Columbia Utilities Commission. He also appears as counsel on appeals or applications seeking judicial review of decisions by administrative boards and tribunals.


Languages: English, French


Areas of Practice


  • Aboriginal Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Energy
  • Environmental
  • Native Peoples
  • Natural Resources
  • Oil & Gas
  • Project Law
  • Project Permitting
  • Public Law
  • Public Utility and Regulatory
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Utilities


Professional Career


Significant Accomplishments

Recently, Keith has been involved in three separate matters before the Supreme Court of Canada—all of which involved the interplay of Aboriginal law and administrative law:

* Represented successful Appellant (BC Hydro) in leading case regarding the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal people in respect of alleged past infringements (Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. v. Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, 2010 SCC 43; on appeal from the British Columbia Court of Appeal). Click here for summary.
* Represented Appellant (Government of Yukon) in a case establishing that the government had successfully fulfilled the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal people in the context of a modern treaty (Beckman v. Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation, 2010 SCC 53; on appeal from the Yukon Court of Appeal). In January 2012, this case was recognized as one of Lexpert's Top 10 Business Decisions of 2011.
* Represented successful Respondent (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) resisting a leave to appeal application in a case regarding the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal people in the context of a number of major pipeline projects in Western Canada (Standing Buffalo Dakota First Nation et al. v. Enbridge Pipelines Inc. et al., 2010 CanLII 70737; on appeal from the Federal Court of Appeal). Click here for summary.

Professional Associations

Professional Activities
* Canadian Bar Association, Member of Aboriginal, Administrative and Civil Litigation Sections
* Law Society of the Northwest Territories, Member of Admissions and Discipline Committees


"Supreme Court of Canada Provides Further Commentary on the Crown’s Duty to Consult Aboriginal People", Project Law Blog (May 16, 2013), Co-author with Mélanie Power

"The Crown's Duty to Consult Aboriginal Peoples: Towards an understanding of the source, purpose and limits of the duty", Alberta Law Review, Volume 49, No 4 (May 2012), Co-author with Chris W. Sanderson, Q.C. and Michelle S. Jones

"Supreme Court of Yukon Considers Duty to Consult and “Free Entry” Mining System" (December 9, 2011), Co-author

"Supreme Court of Canada Clarifies (some of) the Limits of the Duty to Consult" (October 29, 2010), Author


"Case Law Update", Aboriginal Law Conference, Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (October 16, 2013), Speaker

"The Latest Word from the Courts and the Aftermath of Court Judgments", Aboriginal Law: Current Issues Conference, Pacific Business & Law Institute, Vancouver, BC (March 6-7, 2012), Speaker

"First Nations and Project Approvals", 6th Edition Environmental Law in BC Conference, Insight Information, Vancouver, BC (January 25-26, 2012), Speaker

"Aboriginal Consultation for the CEPA Aboriginal Relations Working Group Members", Canadian Energy Pipeline Association's AGM, Whistler, BC (May 17, 2011), Speaker

"Cases Recently Issued by or Currently Awaiting Decision by the Supreme Court of Canada", Managing Aboriginal Land and Water Interests Sustainability and Best Practices On and Off Reserves Conference, Insight Information, Toronto, ON (March 28-29, 2011), Speaker

Bar Admission

British Columbia (1997); Northwest Territories and Nunavut (2000).



McGill University (B.A., 1990; LL.B., 1996).