Over the years we have had the opportunity to be a part of many success stories. Below you will find a few of our achievements. When you or your client have important problems, don’t you want us on your team?
Approvals – Getting Along with Government
- Resolved numerous disputes with MOE over approvals for air, noise, water, and waste: When are they required? What should they say? When should they be issued? What do they mean?
- Assisted waste managers to obtain approvals that were tailored to their needs, met the concerns of their community and were environmentally progressive.
Civil Claims – Trouble with the Neighbours
- For plaintiffs:
- Quick, reliable identification of valid claims.
- Generous settlements.
- Credibility, tenacity and effectiveness in court.
- For defendants:
- Devastatingly accurate and thorough puncturing of invalid claims.
- Fair assessment of valid ones.
- Negotiated withdrawal of many claims or quick settlement at nuisance values.
Contaminated Sites – Calming the Nightmare
- Helped dozens of property owners to negotiate and implement innovative, cost-effective decommissioning plans with regulators and neighbours, for even the most complex of sites.
- Reduced risk enough for property owners to sell difficult sites.
- Aided property owners across Ontario to force their insurers to do proper cleanups of heating fuel spills.
- Quickly evaluated risks so purchasers could decide whether to acquire or invest in suspect sites.
- Negotiated cleanups and compensation on behalf of numerous innocent parties, including landlords, tenants, neighbours and lenders.
- Drafted environmental clauses for buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants.
Due Diligence – Staying out of Trouble
- Developed successful due diligence programs for Canadian and international companies and municipalities.
- Supervised and interpreted environmental audits across Canada and in the US.
- Prepared and presented memorable, effective environmental training programs for municipalities and businesses of all sizes.
- Provided prompt advice as required on a full range of environmental issues.
Enforcement – A Good Defence when you need it
- Persuaded federal, provincial and municipal investigators to close their files, without prosecution, against municipalities, companies, and individuals, even where serious but unfounded allegations had been made.
- Won acquittals for companies and municipalities charged with pollution offences, including a plating company whose employee secretly dumped toxic metals.
- Negotiated an acceptable fine and no charges against senior managers in many serious pollution cases.
- Persuaded courts (over the objection of the MOE) to allow defendants to do (tax deductible and environmentally useful) habitat rehabilitation instead of paying a fine.
- Successfully handled the difficult and high profile appeal of the president and director of a polluting company (who used other counsel at trial) who had been sentenced to six months in jail and a fine of $90,000. Won a reduction in sentence to $30,000 and 15 days in jail.
Innovation – When the Rules Change
- Helped many organizations thoroughly understand and adapt to rapidly evolving requirements.
- Advised the Association of Municipalities of Ontario on how the Clean Water Act will affect municipalities.
- Climate change – helped to develop the international standard for quantifying emission reductions, ISO 14064.
- Toxics – Wrote a key legal opinion for Pollution Probe proving that all levels of government have power to regulate the powerful neurotoxin, mercury.
- Evergreen at the Brickworks- Helped design the legal structure of this exciting innovative project to showcase “Nature in the City” as a gateway to Toronto’s ravines. Negotiated the MOU with the City and Toronto Region Conservation Authority, and all environmental lease terms.
Opinions- Know where you stand
- Among Canada’s most respected legal opinions on any environmental topic, by the lawyer who wrote the book.
- And, Dianne’s lectures on corporate law and sustainability have been very popular with students and staff.