Jennifer  Fairfax

Jennifer Fairfax, Associate, Litigation

Contact Information

  • tel: 416.862.5998
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Bar Admission

Ontario, 2003

Education

  • York University, Osgoode Written Advocacy Workshop
  • York University, Osgoode Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop
  • Osgoode Hall Law School, LL.B.
  • Queen's University, B.A. (Hons.)

Office

Toronto

Language(s)

English

Biography

Jennifer has a comprehensive corporate-commercial litigation and dispute resolution practice, with significant experience in environmental law and litigation, including civil actions, judicial reviews, prosecutions, environmental approvals, regulatory matters and environmental transaction support.  Jennifer litigates business-critical issues in environmental law, international commercial arbitration, complex contractual disputes, construction disputes, insurance disputes, negligence and constitutional law. She has broad advocacy and trial experience, and has argued motions and appeals before various levels of court, including the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Divisional Court, the Federal Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal. Jennifer has also acted as lead appellate counsel in constitutional litigation. Prior to joining Osler, Jennifer clerked for the Honourable Justice Edgar Sexton with the Federal Court of Appeal.

Notable Matters

  • Suncor Energy Products Inc. in an active judicial review application before the Ontario Divisional Court concerning alleged environmental cumulative effects in Sarnia and involving various allegations of Charter breaches relating to the harm or risk of harm from exposure to pollutants.
  • An American consulting firm in an active lawsuit involving negligence issues relating to the decommissioning of contaminated lands, including issues relating to professional liability, standard of care, pure economic loss, and the alleged stigma of contamination.
  • A global manufacturing corporation with issues relating to the remediation of contaminated lands and legal advice regarding environmental indemnity risks and obligations.
  • A global engineering and manufacturing group with issues relating to the investigation and remediation of contaminated lands and legal advice regarding environmental liability.
  • A transportation services company in defence of a prosecution alleging breaches of the Environmental Protection Act in relation to the transportation of waste and allegedly hazardous waste without an environmental compliance approval.
  • A private company in providing regulatory advice regarding environmental waste management, transportation, and disposal in the Province of Ontario.
  • An international manufacturing and distribution company in providing regulatory advice regarding environmental disposal and waste management practices in the Province of Quebec.
  • A private corporation in civil litigation involving the alleged disposal and use of contaminated fill material on private property.
  • A private corporation in providing regulatory advice regarding the proposed new Ontario Waste Reduction Act.
  • An international oil company in an odour investigation being conducted by a Provincial Officer of the Ministry of the Environment.
  • A US corporation in an active appeal to the Environmental Review Tribunal from an order issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment relating to a closed industrial landfill in northern Ontario. 
  • An international oil company in an environmental lawsuit involving issues relating to the migration of petroleum contamination, nuisance, negligence, remediation, and property value.
  • A waste and recycling company in an active contractual dispute being resolved via private arbitration.
  • A Canadian Crown corporation in various active contractual and insurance disputes, both via arbitration and the court system.
  • Various Ontario companies in an ongoing breach of contract and negligence dispute relating to defective design and construction in a development project.
  • Various clients with corporate transaction support on environmental matters, including due diligence, drafting and tactical advice.
  • A private non-profit corporation in a complex, multi-party Ontario action involving allegations of negligence and breach of contract relating to a construction project. 
  • A private corporation in a long Ontario trial involving claims by a former senior executive for equity entitlement and significant monetary damages. 
  • An international manufacturing company in an Ontario action commenced by a supplier who seeks damages for alleged fundamental breach of contract.
  • A Canadian company in a long-standing dispute with its international insurers, involving events spanning thirty years and complex issues relating to recoverability. 
  • An international corporation in a license software contractual dispute via private arbitration. 
  • An American company in an Ontario action involving allegations of conspiracy, fraud and oppression, which focussed on the propriety of the Ontario courts assuming jurisdiction over the dispute.
  • General Motors of Canada in a proposed class action by retired employees (Vernon v. General Motors of Canada Ltd., [2005] O.J. No. 486 (C.A.)).
  • Beaverbrook Art Gallery in a public arbitration regarding the ownership of works of art valued in excess of $100 million, located at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Obtained the largest costs award in Canadian history ($4.8 million).

Affiliations

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association: Program Coordinator, Environmental Law Section Executive
  • Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Advocates Society
  • Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners (YCAP)

Publications/Events/Education

  • Balancing Caution and Pragmatism, Federal Court Finds “Gaps” in Darlington Environmental Assessment, Revokes Licence and Orders Reconsideration, Energy Regulation Quarterly, September 15, 2014 (co-author).
  • Sufficient Certainty? The Supreme Court of Canada Rules on Whether an Environmental Order Against an Insolvent Company Can be Stayed: Newfoundland and Labrador v. AbitibiBowater Inc., by Daniel Kirby, Edward Sellers, Jennifer Fairfax and Patrick Welsh, in Key Developments in Environmental Law 2013, Chapter 1 (Toronto: Carswell, 2014 [Forthcoming]).
  • What it Takes to be a Cutting-Edge Environmental Lawyer, OBA Environmental Law/Young Lawyers Division mentoring dinner, October 3, 2013 (speaker).
  • Divisional Court Affirms the Decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal in Kawartha Lakes, Osler Update, June 1, 2012 (co-author).
  • New Disclosure Obligations in the Federal Environmental Enforcement Act May Undermine Meaningful Disclosure, by Dan Kirby, Andrew MacDougall and Jennifer Fairfax, Chapter 2, Key Developments in Environmental Law, 2010 Edition (Canada Law Book, 2010).
  • ’Fairness’ Principle Overturned by Environmental Review Tribunal – the Pendulum Swings Yet Again, by Jack Coop and Jennifer Fairfax, Chapter 6, Key Developments in Environmental Law, 2010 Edition (Canada Law Book, 2010).
  • New Disclosure Obligations Under Federal Environmental Legislation, EnviroMation, Number 58, August 2009.
  • New Disclosure Obligations Under Federal Environmental Legislation, Osler Update, July 27, 2009.
  • Supreme Court Finds Abandonment of Privacy Interest in Waste, Toronto Law Journal, Vol. 4., No. 7, Summer 2009.
  • Supreme Court Finds Abandonment of Privacy Interest in Waste, Osler Update, May 11, 2009.
  • Sharifa Ali and Rose Markel v. Her Majesty the Queen, 2008 FCA 190: A Case Comment, Ontario Bar Association Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Section Newsletter, Volume 12, No. 2, March 2009.

Pro Bono/Community Work

  • Two separate appeals to the Federal Court of Appeal regarding the constitutional validity of the medical expense tax credit, per s. 15 of the Charter, on the basis of disability and religion.
  • Representation of a parent/child in a dispute with a school board relating to the child’s special education and required accommodation for Autism.
  • Canadian Celiac Association, Legal Assistance.
  • Law Help Ontario/Pro Bono Law Ontario, Duty Counsel Volunteer
  • Amnesty International and Sheena’s Place