Chidinma Thompson

Chidinma B. Thompson

PhD, FCIArb.

Partner

Calgary
CThompson@blg.com
403.232.9666

Chidinma's practice focuses on commercial litigation, domestic and internal arbitration, regulatory and administrative law, environmental and climate change law. Chidinma works with a broad range of sectors including oil and gas, petrochemicals, electricity, renewable energy, utilities, municipal, and land development.

Chidinma has experience in regulatory hearings before the Alberta Energy Regulator and its predecessors, Alberta Utilities Commission, Canadian Energy Regulator and its predecessor, and other regulatory boards. She has appeared before all levels of Court in Alberta.

Energy Litigation

Chidinma’s practice covers a wide variety of complex issues arising out of oil and gas operations and energy markets such as:  

  • purchase and sale of assets
  • various types of royalties and interest in land issues
  • mineral rights and tenure disputes including termination of leases, offset obligations, farmouts, rights of first refusal, caveats, joint ventures, operating and various forms of participating agreements, seismic and other license agreements
  • plant operation and processing agreements
  • fracture stimulation, subsurface trespass and split-title conversion claims
  • pipelines, LNG and NGL matters

Project Approvals and Regulatory

She represents and advises clients on all aspects of project license and approval proceedings including:

  • facilities, tariffs and tolls, market access and other matters
  • import/export applications and issues
  • complaints, statement of concerns, standing, consultation, aboriginal and Métis duty and adequacy of consultation
  • confidentiality of information, information requests and responses, environmental impact assessment
  • reconsideration of decision and regulatory appeals

Environmental and Climate Change Litigation and Regulatory

Her practice also includes:

  • environmental and climate change matters in all sectors including real estate, lending, manufacturing, agriculture and automobile.
  • assisting clients with issues arising under provincial or federal environmental legislation and common law, including spill and release of substances, contaminated sites liability and management, sale/purchase and redevelopment of brownfields, remediation and reclamation
  • directors’ and officers’ environmental liability
  • environmental liability in insolvency
  • environmental expropriation
  • water license and transfer proceedings
  • greenhouse gas and methane emissions reduction
  • renewable fuels and energy alternatives

Litigation and Arbitration

Her practice also covers a broad range of complex litigation matters such as:

  • commercial contract disputes
  • bankruptcy, insolvency and restructuring
  • franchises
  • gift card regulation
  • consumer protection disputes
  • defamation and media disputes
  • product liability
  • shareholder litigation including derivative, oppression and options back-dating claims
  • governance and litigation matters for directors and officers of private and public corporations, boards and their committees
  • estate, trust and beneficiary disputes

Chidinma has taught various law courses at the University of Calgary Law School, and Environmental Law in the Energy Sector at the Haskayne Business School’s MSc. Program on Sustainable Energy Development.

Prior to joining BLG in 2009, Chidinma practiced with an international oil and gas law firm in Lagos, Nigeria. As well, she has been a legal research associate with various Canadian institutions and law firms.

Experience

  • Signalta Resources Limited v. Canadian Natural Resources Limited, 2018 ABQB 904 - interpreted Rule 5.35 (2) (c) of the Alberta Rules of Court since its 2010 reform, relating to the content of surrebuttal expert reports in a complex gas-over-bitumen case worth over $10 million involving nine experts.
  • Signalta Resources Limited v. Canadian Natural Resources Limited, 2018 ABQB 935 clarified critical provisions in the Alberta Rules of Court whether leave of court is required to bring a summary judgment application when a trial date has been set for an action versus the test for summary judgment.
  • Keyera Corp. re dispute relating to NGL quality discrepancy and equalization matters.
  • Canlin Resources Partnership v. Husky Oil Operations Limited, 2018 ABQB 24 in a dispute over Right of First Refusal ("ROFR") for a natural gas facility in a significant White Map purchase and sale of oil & gas interests.
  • Toyota Tsusho Wheatland Inc v. Encana Corp, 2016 ABQB 209 in litigation and arbitration related to alleged breach of oil and gas joint venture agreement involving significant oil & gas interests.
  • Penn West Petroleum Ltd. in shareholders’ derivative and oppression action.
  • Signalta Resources Ltd. in various oil and gas matters, including split-title.
  • Questerre Energy Corporation - advice on potential environmental exposure and comments submitted on phases 1 and 2 of the Quebec Oil and Gas Regulations that banned fracking in the Shale formation containing natural gas, and related matters.
  • NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines - provided comments submitted by the clients (with the Mining Association of Canada and the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada) on phases 1 and 2 of the Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulation made under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.
  • Receiver of Three Sisters Mountain Village ULC, a resort property development company with extensive holdings in Canmore, Alberta.
  • Chief Restructuring Officer of Liberty Crossing Limited Partnership, Spruce Ridge Estates Inc. and related real estate entities.
  • Represented and advised receivers, chief restructuring officer, monitors, trustees in bankruptcy and creditors in various high-profile receiverships, bankruptcies and restructurings pursuant to the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act and Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
  • Nipigon LNG Corporation section 71 NEB Act Application (OF-Tolls-Group1-T211-2018-01 01).
  • Regulatory and environmental advice to the Government of Canada in its $4.5 billion acquisition of the Trans Mountain and Puget Sound Pipelines, and related terminals. 
  • Advised various clients on environmental matters and ROFR issues relating to purchase and sale transactions.
  • Powerex Corp. re: Westcoast Energy Inc. Application for the T-South Expansion and Reliability Project (GHW-002-2018).
  • Re Alberta Oilsands Inc. Clearwater West LP-SAGD Pilot Project, Athabasca Oilsands Area, ERCB Application No. 1642894 [oil sands pilot scheme project approval involving federal and municipal jurisdictions].
  • Re Pengrowth Energy Corporation Lindbergh SAGD Expansion Project, OSCA Application No. 1784285 [oil sands commercial scheme expansion project approval].
  • Re: TransCanada Pipelines Limited Application for Approval of Tariff Proposals (RH-001-2013) [Review and Variance Application, Compliance Filing].
  • Pacific Northwest LNG Ltd. Application for LNG Export License pursuant to Section 117 of the National Energy Board Act. [LNG Export License approval].
  • Sunshine Oil Sands Ltd. [various aspects of its oil sands project development].
  • Assisted clients in obtaining and maintaining Crown mineral rights and tenure.
  • Advised clients on applicable royalty frameworks and deductions.
  • Represented clients in applying for and opposing well, pipeline and facility licenses, license transfers (including Regulator Directed Transfer process), exploration approvals, underground storage reservoirs, processing plant and large facility approvals, oil sands schemes and infrastructure, pooling and unitization, off-target, pool delineation, trespass and equity issues, shut-ins and suspensions, surface rights, well-site blow out incidents, Rights of Entry, and volumes and reporting requirements.
  • Assisted clients on pipeline tariffs and tolls proceedings.
  • Assisted clients with Crown Land Acquisition for potential Hydro Electricity project in Alberta.
  • Advised oil and gas clients on environmental assessment under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and submissions for proposed Legislative and Regulatory amendments by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (“INAC”).
  • Advised various clients on environmental liability and defences under Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.
  • Advised clients on environmental liability and Licensee Liability Ratio compliance and management, orphan facilities and recovery from the orphan fund under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act.
  • Assisted a working interest participant on environmental liabilities and dealing with the Alberta Energy Regulator and the Orphan Well Association in respect of assets involved in the Lexin Resources Ltd.’s bankruptcy.
  • Assisted developer clients with water license purchase and transfers and other environmental applications in relation to land and resource development.
  • Assisted developer clients with sale and purchase of brownfield for redevelopment and dealing with contamination.
  • Assisted a client with contaminated site liability claim worth approximately $1million.
  • Assisted with municipal-owned utility company in utility rate proceedings before the Alberta Utilities Commission.
  • Assisted municipal-owned utility company in non-regulated environmental matters, including Waste Management and Recycling Bylaws and new Waste and Recycling Facilities.
  • Advised financial institution in lender environmental liability matters.
  • Assisted a client with regulatory requirements for importation and sale of renewable fuels (Ethanol) in Western Canada.

Beyond Our Walls

Professional Involvement

  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member, ICC Canada Arbitration Committee
  • Executive (member at large) 2017-2018, Canadian Bar Association National Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Section (NEERL)
  • Executive, Canadian Bar Association Environmental Law South Section
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association (Environmental, Natural Resources, Civil Litigation, Administrative Law, Municipal, and Business Law Sections),
  • Member, Calgary Bar Association, International Bar Association and Nigerian Bar Association
  • Member, Law Society of Alberta
  • Member, Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners
  • Member, Environment and Natural Resources Committee, Calgary Chamber of Commerce
  • Member, Young Women in Energy
  • Member, Association of Women Lawyers

Community Involvement

  • Volunteer Judge for University of Calgary Trial Advocacy/Dispute Resolution III Course - Calgary Courts Centre, since 2015 to present
  • Volunteer Judge American Bar Association Law Students Negotiation Competition 2015/16
  • Evaluator Oral Advocacy CPLED Program – Legal Education Society of Alberta (LESA)
  • Volunteer Small Claims Duty Counsel, Provincial Court of Alberta Pro Bono Law Alberta, 2011-2016
  • Volunteer Amicus Curiae, Court of Queen's Bench Alberta, Pro Bono Law Alberta, 2013-present
  • Mentor, Canadian Bar Association mentorship program, 2013-present
  • Mentor, Student Legal Assistance (SLA) program 2016-present
  • Volunteer Legal Advisor NIDOA Calgary Chapter Association

Awards & Recognitions

  • Recipient, Women in Law Leadership Award (WILL) for "Tomorrow's Leader," 2015.
  • Recipient, Young Women in Energy Award (YWE) Award, 2014.

Bar Admission & Education

  • Alberta, 2010
  • Nigeria, 2002
  • PhD in Law, University of Calgary, 2014
  • LLM, University of Calgary, 2007
  • LLB, University of Nigeria, 2000