Richard E. Bereti
Managing Partner

DIRECT: 604 895 2816
rbereti@harpergrey.com

ASSISTANT: Karen Zimmerman
kzimmerman@harpergrey.com

Richard Bereti Law Corporation

Areas of Practice

Biography

Richard Bereti is the Chair of Harper Grey's Environmental Law Group.  He also serves as the firm's Managing Partner.

Richard is the author of British Columbia Environmental Management Legislation & Commentary, a guide to the regulation of contaminated sites, and former adjunct Professor of Law at UBC Law School. 

Richard provides advice on liability issues arising under the Environmental Management Act, the Contaminated Sites Regulation and other provincial and federal environmental statutes. He advises industrial and commercial enterprises of all kinds, owners of commercial property, developers, parent companies and subsidiaries, municipalities, engineers and consultants, and directors and officers. He has acted in several leading environmental cases, and provides advice to enterprises on a broad range of environmental issues across Canada.  Richard has particular strength in resolving issues with regulators, and achieving practical, business-focused results in complex civil and regulatory matters, including the many issues that arise for businesses in their operations and corporate transactions. 

Originally from Regina, Richard usually spends part of his summer vacation with his young family at their lakeside cabin in Saskatchewan.

Recognition

2017 Chambers Canada Commentary: Richard Bereti of Harper Grey LLP has substantial experience assisting clients with contaminated sites and advising on environmental liability. His clients include a number of commercial property owners and developers who praise him for being “very knowledgeable".

Leadership

  • Co-Author, 4th Edition of British Columbia Environmental Management Legislation & Commentary
  • Author, British Columbia Environmental Management Legislation & Commentary Textbook
  • Former Adjunct Professor, UBC Faculty of Law, Environmental Law
  • Environmental Law Annotation Contributor, Quickscribe Services Ltd.
  • CLE BC-TV, The Delegation Delimma, 2014
  • Chair, PBLI: Dealing with Contaminated Land in British Columbia Workshop, 2014
  • Co-Chair, CLEBC - Environmental Law Conference 2013
  • Richard has guest lectured with the UBC Faculty of Engineering

Memberships

  • Member, BC Environmental Industry Association (BCEIA)
  • Member, Environmental Managers Association of BC (EMABC)
  • Member, British Columbia Expropriation Association
  • Member, Canadian Association of Law Teachers
  • Member, Canadian Urban Institute
  • Member, National Brownfields Association
  • Member, Ontario Bar Association (OBA) - Environmental Subsection
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association (CBA) - Alberta Branch, Subsections:
    • Environmental Law
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association (CBA) - BC Branch, Subsections:
    • Environmental Law
    • Aboriginal Law (Vancouver)
    • Administrative Law
    • Civil Litigation (Vancouver)
    • Construction Law
    • Insurance Law
    • Law Practice Management
    • Municipal Law
    • Natural Resources Law
    • Real Property (Vancouver)
    • National Environment
    • Energy and Resources Law 

Education

  • University of British Columbia, LL.B., 1992
  • University of Regina, B.Ed., (Distinction), 1989

Bar Admissions

  • British Columbia, 1993
  • Saskatchewan, 1996

Client Work

Work on behalf of corporations

  • Share and asset transactions
  • Commercial real estate transactions
  • Director and officer liability
  • Parent and subsidiary liability
  • Due diligence
  • Negotiating on behalf of corporations to determine environmental liability, risk and responsibility
  • Negotiating issues related to contaminated land on Aboriginal territory
  • Advice regarding the development of contaminated lands
  • Advice regarding air, water, soil and other pollution issues
  • Legal advice regarding spills and spill response
  • Environmental risk as it relates to corporate governance and structure
  • Environmental provisions in contracts, leases, indemnities and releases
  • Landowner/tenant issues respecting contamination
  • Criminal and quasi-criminal environmental offences
  • Government ordered remediation and/or investigation
  • Certificates of Compliance
  • Federal and Provincial regulatory advice

Work on behalf of the environmental industry

  • Acting for environmental consultants alleged to have been negligent
  • Advising consultants on legal aspects of remediation of contaminated sites, from initial investigation through risk assessment, pilot studies and implementation of remedial measures
  • Preparation of expert witnesses
  • Drafting and providing advice regarding consultants' contracts, access agreements, indemnities and releases

Significant cases

  • Counsel for Morguard in the Environmental Appeal Board decision Morguard v. Ministry of Environment which addressed numerous issues surrounding the Ministry's authority to reject Certificate of Compliance applications
  • Lead counsel for CN Rail in a matter considered one of the most influential decisions regarding "responsible person" status of historic owners/operators of contaminated sites; Beazer East Inc., et al. v. British Columbia
  • Acting for various parties following judgment in the leading case on allocation of costs of remediation; Gehring.
  • Acting for an international distributor in defence of various quasi-criminal charges under the Ozone Depletion Regulation (Federal)
  • Representing an energy company in a matter before the Environmental Appeal Board regarding the responsibility of individual directors, officers and employees for corporate liability; Lawson v. Deputy Director Waste Management et al
  • Representing an energy company in litigation that addressed the preconditions to cost recovery actions; No. 158 Seabright Holdings Ltd. et al v. Imperial Oil Limited et al
  • Counsel for a pension plan that owns significantly contaminated property on Vancouver Island.
  • Counsel for a corporation dealing with quasi-criminal environmental offences

 

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