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Meet Dianne Saxe

Dianne Saxe, Ph.D. in Law


dsaxe @ envirolaw.com
DianneSaxe business card

costa-rica-river-all-wetDr. Dianne Saxe is one of Canada’s leading environmental lawyers. She has also been recognized as one of the world’s top 25 environmental lawyers, according to Best of the Best, 2008 (the latest edition regarding environmental lawyers). Most recently, she was selected by her peers as one of the best environmental lawyers in Canada for 2013 in Best Lawyers International.

She is a Certified Specialist in Environmental Law, and holds one of Canada’s only Doctorates of Jurisprudence (PhD) in environmental law.  Called to the Ontario bar in 1976, Dianne has over 3 decades of experience in environmental law. She is also a certified, experienced mediator and highly recommended on LinkedIn.

For more information about Dianne, we are pleased to be able to refer to HazMat Magazine’s profile of her work.

Practice areas:

Dianne is an experienced litigator in civil, criminal and administrative environmental cases. She also provides opinions and advice (including claims against lawyers and engineers for professional negligence) and she is regularly consulted by governments, business, individuals and environmental groups. Her expertise in environmental law allows corporate counsel and general practitioners to rely upon her advice to supplement their own practice areas.

Dianne’s core practice areas include: brownfields, due diligence, compliance, enforcement, renewable energy approvals, source protection, environmental assessment, ISO 14000, approvals and climate change. 

Selected awards:

  • Osgoode Hall Gold Key award for lifetime achievement in law
  • Best Lawyers in Canada 2011-2013 for Environmental Law
  • Chambers Global 2012-2013 for Environment
  • The International Who’s Who of Environmental Lawyers 2013
  • The 2012 Guide to the 500 Leading Lawyers in Canada
  • Certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Environmental Law
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2012-2013 as an environmental practitioner
  • Who’s Who Legal for Environment Law
  • Appointed to the Ontario Government Expert Advisory Panel on Brownfields

Selected volunteer activities:

Selected publications and presentations:

When she’s lucky, Dianne gets a little time away from work. She’s the proud wife of Stewart Saxe and mother of Rebecca Saxe, David Saxe, and Shoshanna Saxe. And she loves to go to the wild and beautiful places of the world, preferably by paddle or pedal.

Tributes to Dianne:

  • I’ve always supported you as one of the most innovative lawyers in Canada.  Not just in terms of enviro law. You are a treasure.
  • What more can I say?  Few are so deserving.
  • It is quite simply amazing how you can remember the details and put the pieces in a coherent package that also protects our interests.  You could probably replace several of us in your spare time, but I won’t tell my bosses that.
  • Over the years, I learned that you were competent, fair, knowledgeable, poignant and caring. These are not easily recognized attributes of your typical lawyer. You are a true professional and serve your profession with honor and dignity to the highest standards.
  • It was always a pleasure to serve with you in the past, and to receive your insights, expertise and guidance … The OBA Award, like others on your wall, reflect not only your dedication and expertise but the esteem held by peers and many others of your valued contributions to conserving, improving and better managing our environment.
  • I’ve had the good fortune to work with Dianne Saxe on environmental matters involving sampling, analysis and assessment of water, sediment and soil quality. Dianne is a lawyer and is also a certified Specialist in Environmental Law as well as certified mediator. She practiced law as a senior legal counsel at the Ontario Ministry of Environment, and has headed her own law firm for the past 21 years. Besides having a thorough and expert understanding of environmental law, Dianne is technically astute and is at ease with the chemistry, mathematics and physics that underpin many of today’s environmental problems.
    She develops her cases by combining the the above skills into strategies based on logic and demonstrable facts, and she presents her case with confidence, grace and great resolution. It’s easy to understand why she’s ranked as in the top tier of environmental lawyers in the world. 
    In addition, Dianne is considerate, ethical and a pleasure to work with.
  • This is an expression of our gratitude for helping us with what I now know are your characteristic passion, competence, incisive intelligence and compassion. Working for the integrity of creation is obviously a vocation for you. Thank you is not goodbye, and I hope we will stay in touch.
  • You have done more for environmental law than any other lawyer in Canada!



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