Recognized for developing and implementing creative and pragmatic solutions, Michael advises and negotiates for clients on their most significant environmental law and Indigenous matters—from projects and transactions to regulatory matters to resolving disputes and other important impasses.
Michael provides practical advice to clients on key environmental, Indigenous and strategic aspects of developing, permitting and constructing energy, infrastructure, mining and real estate projects. He guides clients in their negotiations with Indigenous peoples and regulatory agencies, especially to resolve impasses, to advance complex, multi-party negotiations and to develop strong, mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous peoples. He also provides counsel on consultation and accommodation obligations as well as the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples.
Michael often crafts a practical, successful resolution to disputes whether acting as counsel, mediator or facilitator. His dispute resolution practice includes approval hearings, civil litigation (especially with respect to contamination), mediation, negotiation and regulatory prosecutions and other proceedings, including with respect to the Environmental Protection Act, Ontario Water Resources Act, Pesticides Act, Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, Fisheries Act and Nuclear Safety and Control Act.
As part of Michael’s active transactional practice, he regularly assists buyers, sellers, lenders, borrowers, underwriters and investors through all the environmental and Indigenous aspects of transactions, from the design and coordination of deal-specific liability assessments, through the negotiation of agreements and in handling closing and post-closing details.
For existing operations in a wide range of sectors, Michael provides regulatory advice on a broad range of environmental, health and safety issues, including with respect to environmental assessments and other vital permits, including for electricity generation and transmission, water, wastewater, transportation, waste, mine and remediation/closure projects inspections; investigations; liability assessments; climate change; contaminated sites; air, renewable energy, sewage and other approvals. He also advises on the transportation, import and export of dangerous goods, nuclear substances, hazardous products and wastes.
|2016-2023||Chambers Canada—Leading lawyer in environment|
|2013-2022||Chambers Global—Leading lawyer in environment|
|2019-2023||The Legal 500—Next generation partner in environment|
|2016-2023||Best Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in environmental law and Aboriginal law|
|2013-2023||The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory—Leading lawyer in environmental law, energy, infrastructure, aboriginal law and global mining|
|2016-2022||Who’s Who Legal— Global and National leading lawyer in environment and climate change|
|2023||Corporate INTL—Environmental lawyer of the year in Canada|
|2018||Guide to the World’s Leading Energy and Environment Lawyers|
Michael is actively involved in research and thought leadership regarding the resolution of complex environmental and Indigenous issues through negotiation, facilitation and mediation. Over the years, he has successfully completed various courses and workshops, including the Advanced Mediation Workshop at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, where he was recognized for his facilitation acumen and skills. Michael is the a former Chair of the Aboriginal Law Section and Environmental Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association. He currently serves on the Executive for both the Aboriginal Law Section and the National Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association.
Michael is also a member of the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Section for the Canadian Bar Association; the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Ontario Bar Association; and the Dartmouth Lawyers Association.