Environmental legal issues are complex. They present real challenges to business and the way business is transacted in British Columbia.
Farris is experienced in all facets of the practice of environmental law and we maintain a good relationship with the various municipal, provincial and federal regulatory agencies. For these reasons, our litigators are uniquely able to advise upon and conduct environmental litigation and deliver results.
Our lawyers have acted for Metro Vancouver in the drafting and establishing of bylaws for the exercise of its environmental regulatory powers, including permitting processes. We have represented them, as well as other clients, in respect of prosecutions under each of these bylaws before the British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board and the British Columbia courts. We have also acted on behalf of the Federal Department of Justice in litigation involving water management, erosion and land use development issues.
Farris has represented clients charged with federal or provincial environmental offences under various legislation as well as acted for clients in cost recovery actions pursuant to the Environmental Management Act and other types of actions, including trespass and nuisance, involving civil liability arising from environmental damage. Our lawyers have acted in defence of actions concerning the use of asbestos and successfully defended the general contractor in the first asbestos-related property damage claim in Canada.
Working with our real estate group, we have acted for clients throughout British Columbia involving the purchase, sale, redevelopment, crossing, and remediation of contaminated properties. These matters often involve complex environmental issues, including regulatory compliance (on land and in the marine environment); historical environmental liabilities; multiple past ownership; risk allocation and liability transfer mechanisms; strategies and funding for environmental remediation and habitat compensation; environmental insurance; municipal zoning approvals; and permitting requirements.
We are experienced at conducting environmental due diligence reviews for a wide range of commercial transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, construction, infrastructure projects and financings. Our transactional support work also includes preparing and negotiating representations and warranties, indemnities and covenants dealing with potential environmental liabilities, and the allocation of risk and responsibilities among the parties involved.
Farris advises clients regarding their potential exposure to environmental risks and liability arising from commercial activities, whether acquisitions, dispositions, real estate transactions, financings, or in the ordinary course of business. We provide opinions relating to the prospective liability of parent corporations, affiliates, shareholders, directors, officers, contractors, and successors in interest. We assist clients in obtaining regulatory licences, permits and governmental approvals under various legislation including the British Columbia Environmental Management Act and the federal Fisheries Act. We have assisted clients in their review, pursuant to the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act and the federal Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, of potential environmental impacts arising from major projects.