British Columbia has an abundance of natural resources that are encased in an incredibly rich and stunning environment. Development of these resources must take place in a manner that respects and protects this environment and its First Nations history.

The clients that David works with endeavor to understand this balance as they develop resource infrastructure that supports their communities, such as wind and hydro generating plants, transmission lines, district energy and utility systems, roads, bridges, water and wastewater plants.

Work Highlights

Taku River Tlingit First Nation

  • Provided the legal advice required to successfully develop an off grid run-of-river hydro project in the midst of the 2008 global financial meltdown

Private-public partnerships

  • Legal member of the team that created British Columbia’s first private build partnership to build, own and operate a road and bridge into the Horn River shale fields in northeast BC

Private transmission line

  • Advised on the development of the first third-party electrical transmission line in British Columbia that services a major natural gas producer in the Montney Shale Fields
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The energy industry is David’s particular passion. He has established a comprehensive understanding of this industry to ensure that our clients’ legal issues are addressed in a commercially realistic context.

Services
Appearances as counsel before regulatory tribunals All aspects of energy project development, including corporate structures, permits licenses and approvals, project finance and public policy formation
Impact benefit agreements with First Nations Electrical transmission access
Securitizations Energy projects where First Nations are the developers and owners
Independent monitor of impact benefit agreements Expert witness in an energy arbitration under the North American Free Trade Agreement

David stays current on broader business and market issues and uses this knowledge to shape unique legal solutions that benefit our clients. Examples include:

  • Very actively participated in the development of the first securitizations in the London market
  • Was the legal advisor to the developer of BC’s first private-public partnership
  • Provided advice on the development of BC’s first independent power project and wind farm
  • Was one of the founding directors of what is now the Clean Energy Association of BC and has continuously represented it in regulatory proceedings for 25 years
  • Structured the first wholly First Nations-owned run-of-river development in BC
  • Provided the legal advice for the first third-party-owned electrical transmission line in BC

David has practiced law in London, England, advising on international capital market and banking transactions. This experience provides David with the insight to address our clients’ projects in a global context.

Moving from an international perspective to an indigenous one, David views First Nations as being able to achieve commercial success in the same way as corporations. He has ongoing commercial projects with First Nations and values helping them strike the balance of achieving financial success in the context of their rich traditional histories.

For his work and leadership in the field, David received the Clean Energy Association of BC Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, media looks to him as a knowledgeable voice regarding the legal and business issues in the energy field. For over 20 years, he has been a regular contributor to all forms of media, including print, television, radio and Internet. As one prominent member of the media once put it: “David is responsible for the longest running energy tutorial in BC history.”

David has been complimented for his understanding and balanced presentations on energy matters by politicians of all persuasions.

David’s work requires continuous study and updating—it is impossible to remain stagnant in an industry driven by change and innovation. It is a combination of curiosity and experience that allows him to successfully help our clients. He is passionate about ensuring that our clients achieve commercial success.

Awards & Distinctions
  • Clean Energy Association of BC Lifetime Achievement Award
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Taku River Tlingit First Nation
  • Provided the legal advice required to successfully develop an off grid run-of-river hydro project in the midst of the 2008 global financial meltdown
Private-public partnerships
  • Legal member of the team that created British Columbia’s first private build partnership to build, own and operate a road and bridge into the Horn River shale fields in northeast BC
Private transmission line
  • Advised on the development of the first third-party electrical transmission line in British Columbia that services a major natural gas producer in the Montney Shale Fields
Securitizations
  • Participated in some of the first securitizations in the London financial market
P3 wastewater treatment
  • Advised on one of Canada’s first wastewater treatment facilities that was developed using a private public partnership model
Creation of the independent power industry in BC
  • Was heavily involved in the creation of the independent power industry from the policy, business and legal apects in BC and continues to represent it in regulatory proceedings
Hydro-electric expansion
  • Represented local government, businesses and citizens in a regulatory proceeding regarding a proposed multi-billion dollar expansion of an existing major hydro-electric project
Expert witness NAFTA proceeding
  • Was an expert witness is a very complicated energy dispute under North American Free Trade Agreement
“One of the brightest minds in British Columbia when it comes to energy policy.”

Prominent politician

“David provided first class legal advice and service throughout the development of the Taku River Tlingit First Nation’s owned run of river project.”

Peter Kirby, TRTFN

“David has been instrumental in the formation and success of the independent power industry in BC. This is in addition to the excellent legal advice that he provides especially in relation to regulatory matters.”

Steve Davis, past president of the Clean Energy Association of BC

“David takes a practical approach to providing solutions to complex, commercial legal problems. He dots the “i”s and crosses the “t”s in a timely and cost effective manner.”

Mike Wise, President, UtiliBlock Solutions Inc.

Awards & Distinctions
  • Clean Energy Association of BC Lifetime Achievement Award
Industry Involvement
  • Member of the British Columbia Task Force on Electricity Market Reform
  • Member of the Clean Energy Association of British Columbia
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Guest lecturer, Faculty of Commerce, University of British Columbia
  • Former Director, Independent Power Association of British Columbia
  • Former Chairman, Computer Law Subsection of the British Columbia branch of the Canadian Bar Association
Education & Call to Bar
  • Call to Bar: British Columbia, 1978
  • LLB, University of British Columbia , 1976
  • Bachelor of Commerce, University of British Columbia, 1975
External Publications & Presentations
  • Panel speaker, Looking Toward Continuous First Nations Engagement, 11th annual BC Power Symposium, January 31, 2017