Recent Judicial Decisions of Interest to Energy Lawyers


  • Karen Fellowes
  • Natasha Doelman


The second year of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact the Canadian economy, commercial activity, and the legal system in general. Courts, tribunals, legislatures, law firms, corporations, and workers all learned to adapt to remote working, remote hearings, and new ways of living. Within the crisis came opportunities to modernize systems and think about new ways of accessing justice.

This article summarizes a number of recent judicial decisions of interest to energy lawyers. The authors review key case law from several broad areas, including: Indigenous and First Nations law; contractual interpretation; environmental law; tax law; corporate and securities law; bankruptcy and insolvency; and constitutional law. In each area of law, the authors will provide insight on the significance and potential implications of these decisions on the Canadian energy industry.

The authors also canvas more specific topics, such as: economic interests and the Crown’s duty to consult; the Canada Revenue Agency’s priority ranking in the restructuring process; the ability of receivers to disclaim an agreement in the bankruptcy process and unilaterally impose go-forward terms on a secured party; the priority of builders’ liens in the face of abandonment and reclamation obligations; the evolution of the “reverse vesting order”; and provincial control over resources.