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Shawn  Denstedt Q.C.

Shawn Denstedt Q.C.

National Co-Chair of the firm

Key Contact: Regulatory Investigations

Key Contact: Regulatory, Environmental, Aboriginal & Land

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 national Co-chair of the firm. His practice is comprised of energy, mining, environmental, regulatory and aboriginal law matters. Shawn advises companies in a variety of industries, including: the energy and mining industries. 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 acted for the Government of Vietnam and PetroVietnam on the development of their offshore regulatory regime (funded by the World Bank). He has also 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; 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 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 aboriginal groups and negotiated resource development and impact benefit agreements with Aboriginal groups on behalf of resource developers.

  • The Legal 500, 2015, recognized in the area of Environment.
  • The Legal 500, 2015, recognized in the area of Energy: Oil & Gas.
  • Benchmark Litigation Canada 2015: Local Star
  • Named Queen’s Counsel 2010
  • Client Choice Award Recipient 2014: Environment – Alberta and Canada (Exclusive Winner)
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2014 “Lawyer of the Year” for Calgary Environmental Law
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2013 and 2015: Aboriginal Law; Energy Regulatory Law; Environmental Law; Natural Resources Law Listed on Best Lawyers International: Environmental Law since 2006
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Business Lawyers 2013, 2014 & 2015: Aboriginal Law; Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory) (Band 1); Environment (Band 1)
  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada 2014 & 2015: Environmental; Energy: Oil & Gas
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2014: Aboriginal Law; Environmental Law (most frequently recommended); Energy (Oil & Gas) (most frequently recommended)
  • Lexpert Special Edition: Canada’s Leading Corporate Lawyers 2014
  • Lexpert Special Edition: Canada’s Leading Energy Lawyers 2013
  • Who's Who Legal 2013: The International Who's Who of Energy Lawyers
  • Who’s Who Legal 2012: Environment; Oil and Gas
  • Canadian Who’s Who 2011: Contribution to the field of Environmental Law

  • Equivalency: Regulatory Flexibility in a Changing World

    Mar 23, 2015

  • Law Society of Alberta
  • Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Canadian Bar Association

  • Kinder Morgan Canada with regard to all regulatory and tolling approvals for the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline System, which will transport 890,000 bbl/d of petroleum products from Edmonton, Alberta to the west coast of Canada. The project will cross more than 100 First Nation and Métis asserted traditional territories, as well as national and provincial parks. The project is undergoing an extensive public hearing before the National Energy Board with more than 400 registered intervenors.
  • 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.
  • TransCanada PipeLines Limited with regard to hundreds of kilometres of expansions and extensions of the NOVA Gas Transmission natural gas pipeline system in Alberta and British Columbia, including the Groundbirch, Horn River, Northwest Mainline Expansion, Leismer to Kettle River Crossover, Wolverine River Lateral Loop and North Montney Projects, each of which involved public hearings before 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.
  • 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 National Energy Board’s 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 National Energy Board and a Joint Review Panel between the federal Government, the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board and the Inuvialuit Game Council.
  • McCain Foods (Canada) Limited with regard to obtaining environmental and regulatory approvals for its agrifood plant near Coaldale, Alberta.
  • 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.
  • TransCanada PipeLines Limited 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 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.

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

  • 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).