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Sean Sutherland

Sean Sutherland

Associate, Litigation

Contact Information

tel: 403.355.7458



Bar Admission

Alberta, 2014

British Columbia, 2017

  • University of Victoria, J.D.
  • University of Calgary, B.A. (Political Science) (with Distinction)

Sean practices corporate and commercial litigation and arbitration, including energy industry disputes, class action defence, product liability, regulatory investigations, and constitutional and Aboriginal matters. In his career at Osler Sean has developed significant credentials representing major resource project proponents in judicial review, appeal, injunctive and administrative proceedings. Sean has appeared as counsel before the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Court of Appeal of Alberta, Supreme Court of British Columbia, Federal Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada.

Sean joined Osler as a summer student in 2011. Prior to returning to Osler, Sean completed Articles of Clerkship with the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.

  • Equinor Canada Limited

    Equinor Canada Limited and Husky Oil Operations Limited regarding commercial matters related to the potential Bay du Nord offshore oil project

  • Kinder Morgan Canada Limited

    Kinder Morgan Canada Limited in its litigation victories for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

    • Representing Kinder Morgan Canada Inc. in challenges to the federal and provincial approvals of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (the “Project”) including motions for leave to appeal, judicial review, and injunctive relief at the Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA”) and the British Columbia Supreme Court (“BCSC”). Representation to date includes the successful defence of multiple challenges at the National Energy Board (“NEB”) and various courts, such as:
      • City of Burnaby v. Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC: part of successful defence team in injunction motion brought by the City of Burnaby to stop Trans Mountain from accessing City lands for the purposes of conducting NEB mandated tests and surveys integral to the assessment of the Project. Burnaby (City) v. Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC, 2014 BCSC 1820.
      • National Energy Board Ruling No. 40 and Order Mo-122-2014 (October 23, 2014): successfully brought a Notice of Constitutional Question dated September 26, 2014, and argued that the doctrines of interjurisdictional immunity and federal paramountcy rendered certain Burnaby City Bylaws inoperable where they are inconsistent with the Rulings of the NEB. The resulting Order granted Trans Mountain access to Burnaby Mountain to complete technical studies related to the Project and prevented Burnaby from blocking Trans Mountain from completing the work. Leave to appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed. Ruling No. 40 and Order MO-122-2014.
      • Tsleil-Waututh Nation v. NEB, Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC and Attorney General: successfully defended an appeal of an NEB decision before the FCA, based on alleged breaches of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Crown’s constitutional duty to consult. Tsleil-Waututh Nation v. Canada (National Energy Board), 2016 FCA 219.
    • Representing Encana Corporation in litigation and arbitration with Toyota Tsusho over an investment made by Toyota Tsusho in Encana’s shallow gas drilling program in central-eastern Alberta. Toyota Tsusho alleges that Encana breached its contracts with Toyota Tsusho by spinning out its royalty business as PrairieSky Royalty Ltd. and by reason of various operational decisions made by Encana. Toyota Tsusho Wheatland Inc v Encana Corporation, 2016 ABQB 209.

    • Representing Murphy Oil in a royalty dispute with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

    • Represented TransCanada Pipelines in obtaining an injunction Order enjoining blockades to a resource project, Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, January 2017.

    • Successfully defended NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. before the Federal Court of Appeal with respect to two motions for leave to judicially review a decision of the Governor in Council taken under section 52 of the National Energy Board Act approving the North Montney Mainline pipeline project.

    • Acted for Shell Canada Limited in the successful defence of a statutory appeal by O’Chiese First Nation of regulatory permitting of natural resource projects granted by the Alberta Energy Regulator. O’Chiese First Nation v Alberta Energy Regulator, 2015 ABCA 348, leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed.

    • Successfully represented the Toronto Dominion Bank before the British Columbia Court of Appeal in a judicial review and statutory appeal of decisions taken by the British Columbia Commissioner of Income Tax and the Minister of Finance in respect of an annual corporate tax return. TD Bank v. British Columbia (Commissioner of Income Tax), 2017 BCCA 159.

    • Represented TransAlta Corporation with respect to its defence in the first contested enforcement proceeding brought by the Market Surveillance Administrator of Alberta, which included an oral hearing before the Alberta Utilities Commission.

    • Represented a financial advisory services firm in a confidential arbitration arising from a unanimous shareholders agreement.

  • Find More

  • Law Foundation/David Strong Leadership in Legal Studies Award
  • Professor Jim Ellis Memorial Prize in International Law
  • Jim Ellis International Law Mooting Award
  • Arthur Close, QC Prize in Advanced Legal Research

Sean maintains an active pro bono and community law practice with an emphasis on appellate litigation, including:

  • Law Society of Alberta
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Calgary Bar Association
  • The Advocates’ Society

  • “The Duty to Act Honestly: Considerations for Business”, Canadian Bar Association (Alberta) – Business Law Section, Calgary, Alberta, January 22, 2015