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Lawson Lundell LLP

Chris W. Sanderson, Q.C.

Chris W. Sanderson, Q.C.

Senior Counsel

Expertise

  • Administrative Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Electric Utilities
  • Energy

WSG Practice Industries

Activity

Lawson Lundell LLP
British Columbia, Canada

WSG Leadership

IBA Group
Member
Profile
Chris focuses on government relations and regulation in the energy and resource sectors throughout western Canada. He has advised utilities, independent power producers, marketers, mine and energy project developers, crown corporations, tribunals and governments.

Chris appears frequently before regulatory boards in energy and environmental matters in British Columbia, Alberta and the Northwest Territories. He represents clients in judicial proceedings arising in the regulatory context or, more generally, from the relationship between business and government heard by all levels of court in British Columbia and Alberta and in the federal court system including the Supreme Court of Canada. He has particular expertise in connection with all aspects of public utility law.

Recent tribunal experience includes assisting proponents for LNG export projects to obtain required authorizations from the National Energy Board and local regulators on both the west and east coasts of Canada.

His recent experience also includes a number of regulatory and judicial proceedings involving the extent of the Crown's obligation to consult First Nations. He was counsel to BC Hydro at all levels including the Supreme Court of Canada in RioTinto Alcan and BC Hydro v. Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, 2010 SCC 43.

Bar Admissions

British Columbia (1978)
Alberta (1988)
Queen's Counsel, British Columbia (2001)
Northwest Territories (2001)

Education

University of British Columbia (B.A., 1972)
University of British Columbia (LL.B., 1977)
Areas of Practice

Administrative Law | Constitutional Law | Electric Utilities | Energy | Litigation | Oil & Gas | Public Utility and Regulatory | Utilities

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

Recent engagements include representing:

An electric utility and its marketing subsidiary in connection with the allocation of capacity to import and export electricity to and from Alberta

A crude oil shipper in connection with the allocation of service capacity amongst competing users of petroleum pipeline.

The developer of a special purpose 260 km road to the "Ring of Fire" in Northern Ontario

The owner of a natural gas storage facility in connection with provincial and regulatory policy related to natural gas storage in B.C.

An oil refinery in connection with various applications before the National Energy Board and the British Columbia Utilities Commission relating to crude oil and refined product shipment

A territorial government in connection with an application to construct the Mackenzie Gas Project and in constitutional litigation arising therefrom

A territorial government in connection with an application to transfer regulatory jurisdiction over TransCanada Pipeline's Alberta System from Alberta Utilities Commission to National Energy Board jurisdiction

A territorial government in connection with the restructuring of its regulatory model for its electric industry

A Canadian energy marketer in connection with regulatory and civil class action proceedings arising out of the California Energy Crisis in 2000 and 2001

A large electric utility seeking to upgrade its high voltage transmission system to serve significant new demand from the natural gas industry

A large electric utility before the British Columbia Utilities Commission the BC Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada in connection with a contract for the purchase of $950 million worth of energy from an independent generator

A large electric utility in connection with all regulatory and First Nation consultation aspects of acquiring an interest in a major hydro and electric generating facility

A Canadian energy marketer in connection with all regulatory aspects of short and long term export sales

The Canadian entity under an international treaty in connection with a series of negotiations and transactions relating to energy entitlements created under the Columbia River Treaty

Numerous applicants for a licence from the National Energy Board to export LNG from the west and east coasts of Canada


Professional Associations

*Provided pro bono services in connection with public interest litigation (e.g., to the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association in Chamberlain v. Surrey School District No. 36 and in BC Teachers Federation v. Translink and BC Transit) including the Supreme Court of Canada in both cases
*"Regulatory Boards and Administrative Law Litigation" Federated Press, Member of Editorial Board
*Past Chair of Water Research Council

Community Activities
* Family Services of Greater Vancouver, Chair
* Kenneth Gordon School Foundation, Former Chair
* Society for the Education of Children with Specific Learning Disabilities, Former Chair


Seminars

"Opening the Door to Future Markets", 4th Annual Northeast B.C. Natural Gas Summit, Insight Information, Calgary, AB (September 20-21, 2012), Moderator

"Realizing British Columbia's Natural Gas Future", BC Chamber Energy Summit (November 18, 2011), Speaker

"First Nation Consultation", 3rd Annual Northeast BC Natural Gas Summit, Insight Information, Calgary, AB (September 20-21, 2011), Co-chair and Speaker

"The Duty to Consult with First Nations in the Administrative Law Context", Advanced Administrative Law: Legal Update and Special Duties Conference, Pacific Business & Law Institute (March 11, 2011), Speaker

2nd Annual Northeast BC Natural Gas Summit (September 29, 2010), Co-Chair
Articles

"The Columbia River Treaty after 2024", The Columbia River Treaty Revisited, Transboundary River Governance in the Face of Uncertainty, (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press) (2012), Author

Chris Sanderson, QC named Natural Resources Law Lawyer of the Year (Vancouver) by Best Lawyers (August 30, 2012)

"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 Keith B. Bergner and Michelle S. Jones

"Oil Sands and Shale Gas - Western Canada’s Unconventional Answer to Global Energy Demand" (October 25, 2011), Co-Author

"Supreme Court of Canada Confirms Utility of Administrative Law in Aboriginal Consultation Cases", Regulatory Boards and Administrative Law Litigation Journal (Volume X1, No. 3) 2011, Co-Author with Michelle Jones

"Energy (Electricity) Recent Developments of Importance" (January 4, 2011), Co-Author

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

"BC Oil and Gas Activities Act in Force" (October 4, 2010), Co-Author

"Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority v. Canadian Federation of Students" (July 15, 2009), Author

"Administrative Law Reform in British Columbia: Balancing Harmonization Versus Autonomy and Tackling the Standard of Review", VI Regulatory Boards and Administrative Law Litigation Journal 1 (2003), Co-author with Jude Samson

"2002 in Review: Recent Canadian Regulatory Developments Affecting Natural Gas Pipelines", (Paper presented at the 7th Annual North American Pipelines Conference, Calgary, Alberta, 19 March 2002) [unpublished], Author

"2001 in Review: Recent Canadian Regulatory Developments Affecting Natural Gas Pipelines" (March 19, 2002), Author

“Collateral Attack of Administrative Orders Outside of the Penal Context”, Regulatory Boards and Administrative Law Litigation, Vol. V, No. 2 (2002), Co-author with Marko Vesely

“Reciprocity as a Condition Precedent to Canada-U.S. Trade in Electricity”, The Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Spring 1995), Author

“Energy and the Environment: A Study of Alternative Fact Finding Processes. Case Study I: Electricity Export, the Burrard Thermal Generating Plant, and Air Quality in the Lower Fraser Basin”, Institute for Sustainable Development, Sustainable Development Research Institute, University of British Columbia (1994), Co-author with Paul G. Bradley

“The Columbia River Treaty”, International Energy Exchange, CLE International (September 1993)

“The Role of the Public Hearing in Determining Political and Factual Issues Related to Resource Development”, Canadian Journal of Administrative Law & Practice, Vol. 1, No. 2 (January 1988)

“A Comment - Public Disposition of Natural Resources", Banff Conference on Natural Resources Law, Nigel Banks, J. Owen Saunders, ed. (April 12 -15, 1983)

“Where does Canada’s National Interest Lie: A Quantitative Appraisal”, The MacKenzie Valley Pipeline: Arctic Gas and Canadian Energy Policy; Peter H. Pearse, ed. Toronto (1974), Co-author with John Helliwell, Peter H. Pearse, & Anthony Scott


Blogs

Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Blog
Lawson Lundell LLP 

Lawson Lundell's Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Blog follows new and interesting issues emerging in the legal and business communities. Our goal is to provide a source of valuable information and insight on a wide variety of matters for our readers.

Project Law Blog
Lawson Lundell LLP 

The Lawson Lundell Project Law Blog focuses on updating proponents on new and interesting issues emerging in the law and policy that applies to the development of major projects in Canada. The focus of the blog is on matters relating to environmental assessment and compliance, regulatory matters...

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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