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Rick represents and advises clients on commercial and regulatory aspects of project development, permitting and operations in the energy and natural resource sectors, including land, environmental and Indigenous issues. Rick also represents and advises clients on dispute resolution including regulatory proceedings, corporate/commercial litigation and arbitration, with a focus on energy, transportation, forestry and mining.
Rick is the National Leader of BLG's Environmental Law Group and the Regional Leader of the Regulatory and Oil and Gas Groups, and a member of the Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) leadership team.
Rick has appeared at all levels of court in British Columbia, the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada. He has represented clients before the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC), the Surface Rights Board, the Oil and Gas Appeal Tribunal, the Safety Authority, the Environmental Appeal Board as well as the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) and the National Energy Board (NEB). Rick also has significant experience advising clients on their applications and dealings with the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission.
Rick provides legal services through a Law Corporation.
“Excellent service provider, legal advice communicated in fashion with pragmatic approach that is extremely valuable."
"Rick Williams has the ability to remain calm and collected in very intense situations. He is responsive, experienced and has excellent time management skills."
“Rick is a solid attorney, well versed in the law and very responsive. I have recommended him to a number of clients, and have been very happy with his work."
“Excellent capability in energy and environmental matters."
“Rick Williams is well versed in environmental issues and is frequently sought out to advise on matters relating to major oil and gas projects. He is additionally noted for his experience in contaminated land litigation. 'Rick is a very good lawyer'."
Acted for a developer organization in a hearing before the BCUC successfully opposing the approval of a Neighbourhood Energy Agreement and issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for a district energy project.
Lead counsel on a number of appeals to the Oil and Gas Appeal Tribunal, including an oil and gas producer in the successful defence of a series of appeals – the first in British Columbia that directly addressed issues concerning the impact of hydraulic fracturing on groundwater and induced seismicity, and the sufficiency of regulations relating to such issues.
Advised Pacific Northwest LNG on all regulatory aspects relating to its proposed LNG facility.
Advised a project proponent on all regulatory matters relating to the PTP pipeline and KM LNG facility.
Represented a ski resort in a dispute with a mining company regarding regulatory approvals for a power line project to provide service to a skiing lodge and issues regarding historical power service.
Acting for the province of British Columbia in defence of an action by Blueberry River First Nations alleged breach of Treaty.
Lead counsel in the first common carrier/common processor hearing before the BCUC in more than 30 years. This hearing established the test to be applied in BC.
Lead counsel in the successful challenge of a public utility's discriminatory security deposit policy before the BCUC.
Acted on successful applications to the ERCB (now AER), obtaining one of the largest interim shut-ins ever.
Lead counsel on number of appeals to the Oil and Gas Appeal Tribunal.
Lead counsel on many successful arbitrations/motions before the BC Surface Rights Board.
Counsel on a number of contaminated site cases, including the first trial in BC to consider reasonably incurred costs of remediation under BC's legislation.
Represented the British Columbia Ministry of Forests on a 20-day trial, resulting in its acquittal of all charges under the federal Fisheries Act.
Lead counsel for a foreign bank in the arrest and judicial sale of a vessel, including overseeing a courthouse auction (part of global efforts to enforce a $77-million judgment from a U.S. court).
Successfully defended an international shipping company on the validity of an arrest to the Supreme Court of Canada Acted for an international shipping company in successfully defending the validity of an arrest to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Business Council of British Columbia Environmental Policy Advisory Committee
Business Council of British Columbia Climate & Energy Policy Advisory Committee
Canadian Bar Association
American Bar Association
Member, Air & Waste Management Association
Past Vice-President Communications, Environmental Managers Association of British Columbia
Awards & Recognitions
Recognized in the 2024 edition of The Legal 500 (Environment).
Recognized in the 2024 edition of Chambers Canada.
Named by Best Lawyers® as:
2023 'Lawyer of the Year' for Natural Resources Law;
2022 'Lawyer of the Year' for Environmental Law; and
2020 ‘Lawyer of the Year’ for Oil and Gas Law.
Also recognized (since 2015) in The Best Lawyers in CanadaTM in the areas of Aboriginal Law/Indigenous Practice; Natural Resources Law; Energy Regulatory Law; Environmental Law; and Oil and Gas Law.
Awarded the Martindale-Hubbell® designation of AV® Preeminent™ for the ‘highest peer rated level of professional excellence’
Recognized by Chambers Global (since 2019) and Chambers Canada (2022) in Environmental Law
Recognized by The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (since 2014) in Energy: Oil and Gas; Environmental Law; Energy (Electricity) and Aboriginal Law.
Recognized by Lexpert®/Report on Business Special Edition in:
Canada leading Energy Lawyers (since 2014); and
Canada’s Leading Corporate Lawyers (2019).
Recognized by Benchmark Canada (since 2017) in the Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a "Litigation Star" in the areas of Energy, Environment, Arbitration, and Commercial.