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Environmental law issues have significant implications for businesses and individuals.

They can affect the way your business operates, the products you make, the way you make them, the materials you use, the waste you discard.

They can influence the property you buy or sell, develop or lease.

They can entangle your business in a maze of competing federal, provincial and municipal laws and regulations, subjecting you to costly project delays and involve you in tough litigation.

Environmental legislation, regulation and regimes are designed to anticipate future issues. This can be daunting.

Clients seek our advice on a wide range of environmental issues from contaminated sites to sick building syndrome to cross-border disputes. Our senior, experienced counsel provide a practical approach to the most complex environmental matters, including:

  • cost recovery actions;
  • directors’ and officers’ liability;
  • property development and transactions; and
  • environmental insurance coverage issues.

We know what is required and what needs to be proven, which saves you time and money in the long run.

Businesses, developers, landlords, municipalities, insurance companies and residential property owners rely on us to guide them through complex situations and regulations, reaching solutions that move them forward.

Harper Grey’s environmental lawyers are members of the following organizations:

  • B.C. Environmental Industry Association – BCEIA
  • B.C. Expropriation Association
  • Building Owners and Managers Association – BOMA
  • Canadian Bar Association – Environmental Law Subsection
  • Canadian Urban Institute
  • Environmental Managers Association of BC
  • National Brownfield Association
  • Women in Energy Network



  • Representation in litigation involving environmental issues and regulations.
  • Representation before tribunals and the Environmental Appeal Board.
  • Legal opinions - analysis of risk before and after decisions are made. Includes interpretation of how legislation such as the Contaminated Sites Regulation and Environmental Management Act apply to your situation.
  • Brownfield development - compliance with legislation and regulations.
  • Contaminated sites - site assessments, investigations, remediation, certificates of compliance for polluted land.
  • Consultant liability - representing environmental consultants accused of negligence through professional errors and omissions insurance.
  • Commercial real estate - purchase, sale and development of contaminated land such as gas stations and wood treatment facilities. Includes expropriation issues.
  • Aboriginal land issues relating to purchase and development of contaminated territory.
  • Creditor issues - representing banks and lenders in foreclosure or takeover of contaminated land.
  • Directors and officers liability - determining individual responsibility for environmental offences, negligence or accidents.
  • Hazardous waste management - obtaining permits, outlining requirements for transportation, disposal, storage, treatment and management of industrial and toxic waste.
  • Insurance clauses - property and business policies carry some form of coverage relating to environmental damage. There are often exclusions for certain types of pollution. Policies can also be triggered by certain occurrences.
  • Lease disputes - environmental indemnities, waste provisions, "clean provisions", lease termination, tenant obligations.
  • Migration of contaminants - pollution typically crosses water, air and land space controlled by several parties. Regulators will want to ensure that your proportion of responsibility and risk is clear.
  • Municipal issues - permits, zoning, subdivision development requirements, Site Profiles and occupancy. Municipalities work with the Ministry of Environment to ensure that land is remediated before it's developed. Compliance from the outset is essential to a smooth process.
  • Quasi-criminal offences and prosecutions. Representation against charges under the Environmental Protection Act, CEPA, the Fisheries Act and the Migratory Birds Act.

Harper Grey recognized as a "Leading Law Firm" regionally in the area of Dispute Resolution by Chambers Canada®, 2017

Chambers Canada®

Richard Bereti recognized as a "Leader in His Field" in the area of Environment (Nationwide-Canada) by Chambers Canada®, 2017

Chambers Canada®

19 Harper Grey lawyers recognized for litigation expertise by Benchmark Canada®, 2018

Benchmark Canada®

Harper Grey receives highest firm ranking as a “Highly Recommended” local litigation law firm in British Columbia from Benchmark Canada® 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Benchmark Canada®

24 Harper Grey lawyers recognized across 15 specialty areas by Best Lawyers® in Canada, 2017

Best Lawyers® in Canada

24 Harper Grey lawyers recognized as “Leading Practitioners” by Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory®, 2018

Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory®

Martindale Hubbell® recognizes 13 Harper Grey lawyers across 27 practice areas

Martindale Hubbell®

Harper Grey receives the TAGLaw Membership Award of Distinction acknowledging 15 years of outstanding service


Harper Grey recognized as a Top 10 Regional Firm in British Columbia, Alberta and the Territories by Canadian Lawyer Magazine, 2012 and 2014

Canadian Lawyer Magazine

“Chris Rusnak is very strong, especially in dealing with engineering and environmental cases.”

Benchmark Canada® 2018

“They dominate the medical practice, insurance, and product liability and even have more specialties like bankruptcy, aviation, defamation, securities, even environmental.”

Benchmark Canada® 2018

“Excellent response time, good talent from junior and intermediate to senior levels and reasonable service costs.”

Benchmark Canada® 2018

“Harper Grey lawyers are ‘dedicated to their clients and focused on finding and implementing practical solutions for them. The lawyers are prompt, intelligent and insightful, and provide a high level of customer service’.”

2012 Canadian Lawyer Magazine Embracing Regionalism - Canadian Lawyer’s Top 10 firms from B.C., Alberta, and the Territories are in the Sweet Spot Right Now, October 1, 2012

“Harper Grey is one of the best firms in Vancouver. They have excellent service, knowledge and their cost structure is excellent.”

Benchmark Canada® 2017

“A Vancouver staple, Harper Grey is perhaps the most BC-centric of the “highly recommended” firms, owing largely to the firm’s bench strength in several key areas.”

Benchmark Canada® 2018

“Every day it seems like I am dealing with someone at Harper Grey, and I always find them professional, courteous and effective.”

Benchmark Canada® 2017

“A lawyer who refers work to Harper Grey wrote it has ‘great service, a breadth of practice and I have never received a negative comment from referrals to the firm’.”

2014 Canadian Lawyer Magazine Stronger than Ever - Top Western & Northern Firms, September 1, 2014

“Harper Grey has a stellar pedigree as a litigation firm, and they’ve put a ton of people on the bench”, observes one peer.”

Benchmark Canada® 2014

“Harper Grey has niches, and in those niches they are the best of the best."

Benchmark Canada® 2016

“They exceeded all my expectations. I am very satisfied with their work and very happy to recommend them.”

Chambers Canada® 2017

“Clients are comforted by the firm’s long history in BC. We’re steeped in the region. Our connection is such that we have knowledge of not only the issue itself, but the history of the issue in the province.” - Richard Bereti

2012 Canadian Lawyer Magazine Embracing Regionalism - Canadian Lawyer’s Top 10 firms from B.C., Alberta, and the Territories are in the Sweet Spot Right Now, October 1, 2012


How can we help?
Contact Environmental Regulation & Disputes