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Farris LLP: Vancouver's Law Firm


Utilities face particular issues given the regulated environment in which they operate.  Our lawyers have considerable experience in identifying, managing and resolving those issues. Our lawyers regularly represent utilities in a variety of transactions and regulatory proceedings as well as in litigation, and provide ongoing advice.

Farris lawyers advise utilities in the structuring and completion of change of control, share purchase, asset purchase, financing and other transactions.  They have acted at all stages of such transactions, including planning, negotiation, contract drafting and the seeking of regulatory approval where required.  Farris lawyers also have considerable expertise in the area of expropriation law, advising utilities (and other expropriating authorities) with respect to issues concerning the nature and scope of statutory powers of expropriation, requirements for lawful expropriation and compensation.

Farris lawyers regularly represent utilities before the British Columbia Utilities Commission, in a variety of applications including rate design and cost of service, revenue requirements, certificates of public convenience and necessity, resource planning and capital expenditure plans.  Farris also appears in prudency review and complaint processes.  Farris lawyers have extensive experience in both oral and written hearings before the Commission.

In addition, Farris litigators have represented utilities in proceedings before all levels of court in British Columbia, on matters including expropriation and other property disputes, tort claims, billing disputes, and the jurisdiction of the British Columbia Utilities Commission.

Farris also assists utilities in respect of cross-border and foreign regulation, and on matters related to international trade.

Not only does Farris act for utilities in the electricity and natural gas sectors, such as FortisBC Inc. (formerly West Kootenay Power Ltd.), British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority and FortisBC Energy Inc. (formerly Terasen Gas Inc. and, before that, BC Gas Inc.), but it has also acted for the British Columbia Transmission Corporation (before its recent re-combination with BC Hydro) and for local government entities such as the Greater Vancouver Water District and the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District.  Farris lawyers have been involved extensively in local government, environmental, regulatory, and other issues, advising on the development of air quality, liquid and solid waste plans, watershed management and water quality options and enhancement programs. Farris also represented the Greater Vancouver Regional District / Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District in connection with, among other things, the development and construction of several regional waste facilities, including the Cache Creek and Coquitlam landfills, the Burnaby incinerator, and the Lulu Island and Annacis Island secondary treatment plants.  In addition, Farris has acted in relation to the collection and sale for commercial purposes of landfill gases and surplus steam for energy generation.


Our Lawyers

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Elizabeth J. Harrison, Q.C. Partner eharrison@farris.com 604 661 9367
Dean A. O’Leary Partner doleary@farris.com 604 661 9316
Erica C. Miller Associate emiller@farris.com 604 661 9328