Shawn Denstedt K.C.

Shawn Denstedt, KC

Chair Emeritus

Key Contact: Regulatory, Indigenous and Environmental

Key Contact: Agribusiness

Contact Information

tel: 403.260.7088



Bar Admission

Alberta, 1989

Ontario, 1993


  • University of Western Ontario, LL.B.
  • Wilfrid Laurier University, B.A.



Shawn is Chair Emeritus at Osler. His practice is comprised of energy, mining, environmental, regulatory and indigenous law matters. Shawn advises companies in a variety of industries, primarily the Natural Resource industry. He has been engaged in a number of international assignments, including advising the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the development of its oil sands regulatory system and the Government of Vietnam and PetroVietnam on the development of their offshore regulatory regime. He has advised Canada’s largest energy industry associations (CAPP, CEPA and EPIC) in respect of regulatory reform for energy project development. Shawn has appeared in major regulatory proceedings before the: Alberta Energy Regulator (Energy Resources Conservation Board); Alberta Utilities Commission; Canada Energy Regulator (formerly National Energy Board); Federal Environmental Assessment Joint Review Panels; Ontario Energy Board; Alberta Environmental Appeal Board and various other appeal boards. He has successfully represented clients in the development of multi-billion dollar projects including pipeline projects, oil sands projects, shale gas projects, LNG projects, hydro-electric projects, offshore developments, and mining projects. He has also advised clients on their obligations to indigenous groups and negotiated resource development and impact benefit agreements with Indigenous groups on behalf of resource developers.

  • Canada Infrastructure Bank

    Canada Infrastructure Bank in its $407.5 million loan to create additional irrigable acres in Alberta

  • SemCAMS Midstream ULC

    SemCAMS Midstream in its $1.3 billion agreement with Keyera to build Canadian Liquids Pipeline System

  • Equinor Canada Limited

    Equinor Canada Limited in the environmental assessment, regulatory and indigenous relations matters related to the potential Bay du Nord offshore oil project

  • TC Energy

    TC Energy in its application of the Dawn Long Term Fixed Price service

  • McCain Foods Limited

    McCain Foods Limited in obtaining environmental and regulatory approvals

    • Trans Mountain Corporation and Kinder Morgan Canada with regard to regulatory and tolling approvals and realted litigation for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, which will transport 890,000 bbl/d of petroleum products from Edmonton, Alberta to the west coast of Canada. 
    • TC Energy with regard to hundreds of kilometres of expansions and extensions of the NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) natural gas pipeline system in Alberta and British Columbia, including the Northwest Mainline Expansion, Leismer to Kettle River Crossover, Wolverine River Lateral Loop, North Montney, 2017 NGTL System Expansion and Towerbirch Expansion Projects, each of which involved public hearings before the Canada Energy Regulator (formerly the National Energy Board). Issues in these proceedings involved natural gas supply and demand, tolling treatment, cumulative environmental effects under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 and Aboriginal consultation
    • Shell Canada Limited with regard to its 570,000 bbl/d Muskeg River and Jackpine oil sands mines and expansions near Fort McMurray, Alberta, including three public hearings before Joint Federal-Provincial Review Panels and a hearing before the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board
    • De Beers Canada Inc. with regard to its Gahcho Kué diamond mine in the Northwest Territories, including public hearings before the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board and Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board
    • Chevron Canada Limited with their submissions and participation in the Canada Energy Regulator's (formerly the National Energy Board) Arctic Offshore Drilling Review to determine future filing requirements to drill in the Canadian Arctic offshore
    • Vale with advice with respect to Aboriginal rights on lands impacted by Vale operations.
    • Shell Canada Limited with regard to its 255,000 bbl/d Scotford Upgrader and Upgrader Expansion Project near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, including two public hearings before the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board
    • ConocoPhillips Canada with regard to its Parsons Lake natural gas field and gathering system in the Mackenzie Delta, Northwest Territories as part of the Mackenzie Gas Project, which included more than 160 days of public hearings in 27 northern communities before the Canada Energy Regulator (formerly the National Energy Board) and a Joint Review Panel between the federal Government, the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board and the Inuvialuit Game Council
    • EnCana Corporation with regard to its proposed shallow gas infield development in the Canadian Forces Base Suffield National Wildlife Area near Medicine Hat, Alberta, including a public hearing before a Joint Federal-Provincial Review Panel
    • Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc. with regard to its proposed 100 MW Dunvegan Hydro Electric Project on the Peace River in Alberta, including a public hearing before a Joint Review Panel comprised of the Natural Resources Conservation Board, Alberta Utilities Commission and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
    • Devon Canada Corporation with regard to obtaining environmental and regulatory approvals for its Jackfish SAGD oil sands project south of Fort McMurray, Alberta
    • Nalcor Energy with regard to its 3,074 MW Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Project and 1,100 kilometre Labrador-Island Transmission Link in Newfoundland and Labrador, including 45 days of public hearings before a Joint Federal-Provincial Review Panel.
    • TC Energy with regard to the Heartland Pipeline Project and TC Terminals Project, which include a 200-kilometre, 900,000 bbl/d crude oil pipeline connecting the Edmonton region to facilities in Hardisty, Alberta, and a 1.9 million barrel terminal facility in the Heartland industrial area north of Edmonton
    • Quicksilver Resources Canada with regard to its proposed Discovery LNG project in Campbell River, British Columbia, including proceedings before the Canada Energy Regulator (formerly the National Energy Board) to obtain an export licence
    • Alderon Iron Ore Corp. with regard to its Kami iron ore mine near Labrador City in Western Labrador, including provincial and federal environmental assessments
  • Find More

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory) (Senior Statespeople); Environment (Senior Statespeople)
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Business Lawyers: Recognized in Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory) (Senior Statespeople); Environment (Senior Statespeople)
    • "...[Shawn] combines his expertise in Aboriginal, environmental and regulatory law to offer an all-encompassing service to clients. He advises both domestic and international project proponents on significant resources development projects, and currently serves as co-chair of the firm."
    • "...[Shawn] is recognised by commentators as "one of the key front-end environmental lawyers" in this market. He advises on all manner of environmental, regulatory and Aboriginal issues, with an emphasis on energy and mining."
    • "...[Shawn] is a strong regulatory practitioner with significant expertise across oil and gas, Aboriginal and environmental law."
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Aboriginal Law; Recognized in Energy (Oil & Gas); Energy (Electricity); Environmental Law; Canada’s top environmental lawyers in 2021Calgary’s leading oil and gas lawyers in 2021
  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada: Recognized in Environment; Energy (Oil & Gas)
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Recognized in Aboriginal Law; Administrative and Public Law; Energy Law; Energy Regulatory Law; Environmental Law; Natural Resources Law; Oil & Gas Law; "Lawyer of the Year", Aboriginal Law / Indigenous Practice; "Lawyer of the Year", Environmental Law
  • Legal 500: 
    • Recognized as a Leading Lawyer, Environment; Energy and Natural Resources: Oil & Gas
    • Recommended Lawyer, Aboriginal Law
  • Who’s Who Legal: Recognized in International - Energy and Environment; Canada - Energy; Environment
  • Benchmark Litigation Canada: Recognized in Dispute Resolution; Environmental; Aboriginal; Regulatory Investigations (Litigation Star); Local Star
  • Recognized as a Client Choice Award Recipient: Environment – Alberta and Canada (Exclusive Winner)
  • Named King’s Counsel

  • Law Society of Alberta
  • Law Society of Ontario
  • Canadian Bar Association

Shawn has published numerous articles and lectures extensively on environmental assessment and regulatory proceedings, aboriginal rights, public consultation and risk communication. Highlights include:

  • Alberta Releases Joint Operating Procedures for First Nations Consultation on Energy Resource Activities, Osler Update June 18, 2015 (with Martin Ignasiak and Sander Duncanson)
  • Equivalency: Regulatory Flexibility in a Changing World, Arctic Technology Conference, March 2015 (co-author with Chevron).
  • Federal Government Introduces New Legislation to Enhance Pipeline Safety; Osler Update December 18, 2014 (with Sylvain Lussier Ad. E., Jack Coop and Heather Weberg).
  • Court Denies Challenge to NEB Jurisdiction over Access to Municipal Lands: Osler Update December 12, 2014 (with Maureen Killoran Q.C., Heather Robertson and Jeremy Barretto).
  • AER Approves Prosper OSE Program Following Regulatory Appeal; Osler Update December 3, 2014 (co-authored with Sander Duncanson).
  • Chapter 16: Environmental Law in Canada: Doing Business in Canada, December 2014.
  • Regulatory Approval for Energy Projects: Doing Business in Canada, December 2014.
  • Court Dismisses Request That NEB Review Upstream and Downstream Effects of Pipeline: Osler UpdateOct 20, 2014 (with Maureen Killoran Q.C., Jeremy Barretto and Thomas McNerney).
  • Significant Changes to the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of Practice; Osler Update Nov 28, 2013 (co-authored with Sander Duncanson).
  • Significant Changes to the Regulatory Approval Process: Osler Update, Nov 5, 2013. (co-authored with Martin Ignasiak).
  • Aboriginal Consultation Levy Act Passes Quickly Through the Alberta Legislature: Osler Update, May 28, 2013 (co-authored with Terri-Lee Oleniuk).
  • Aboriginal Consultation Levy Act Introduced into the Alberta Legislature: Osler Update, May 9, 2013 (co-authored with Terri-Lee Oleniuk).
  • Review of Federal Government Environmental Law Reforms – Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, Environmental Law Forum, January 17, 2013.
  • Preliminary Strategies for Managing Aboriginal Risks, iComply for Mining in Canada, No.4, September 2012 (co-authored with Sander Duncanson).
  • Dealing with Indigenous Communities: Law and Best Practices for the Osgoode Certificate in Mining Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, February 21, 2012.
  • Regulatory Approvals, Processes and Best Practises for Canadian Energy Projects: From Field to Export, North Asia Natural Gas Export Mission, June 2011.
  • Métis Consultation Plays Key Role in Land Use and Natural Resource Development Planning, Osler Update, September 1, 2009.
  • Implementation of Alberta Land-Use Framework on the Horizon, Osler Update, June 16, 2009.
  • The Accord Acts 20 Years Later, The Canadian Petroleum Law Foundation, East Coast Seminar in Oil and Gas, September 2007 (with Jack Thrasher).
  • Oil Sands Development in North America, Institute for Energy Law, 58th Annual Oil and Gas Conference, February 2007.
  • Oil Sands Mining in Northern Alberta, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, 50th Annual Conference, July 2004 (with John Courtright).