Chidinma B. Thompson

Chidinma B. Thompson: Attorney with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Centennial Place, East Tower, 1900, 520 - 3rd Avenue S.W., Calgary, AB, Canada M5H 3Y4
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Executive Summary

Chidinma Thompson is a partner in our Commercial Litigation Group in our Calgary office. She practices commercial litigation and arbitration, project approvals, environmental defence and compliance advisory. Her practice covers a broad range of sectors including oil and gas, electricity, renewable energy, municipal and land development. She has experience in regulatory hearings before the Alberta Energy Regulator and its predecessors, Alberta Utilities Commission, and the Calgary Subdivision and Development Appeal Board. She has appeared before the Alberta Provincial Court, Court of Queen’s Bench and the Court of Appeal.

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. She frequently publishes in law journals, book chapters and blogs. She is a contributor to Canadian Environmental Law (LexisNexis Butterworths Loose-leaf publication). She regularly speaks at various law conferences. Prior to joining BLG in 2009, Chidinma practised with an international oil & gas law firm in Lagos, Nigeria. As well, she has been a legal research associate with various Canadian Institutions and law firms.

Oil & Gas Litigation: Chidinma’s practice covers a wide variety of complex issues arising out of oil and gas operations including 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 licence agreements, plant operation and processing agreements, fracture stimulation, subsurface trespass and split-title conversion claims.

Project Approvals & Regulatory: She represents and advises clients on all aspects of project license and approval proceedings including statement of concerns, standing, consultation, aboriginal and Metis duty and adequacy of consultation, confidentiality of information, information requests and responses, environmental impact assessment, reconsideration of decision and regulatory appeals.

Environmental & Climate Change Litigation & Regulatory: Her practice also includes environmental and climate change matters arising in a wide variety of sectors including energy, municipalities, real estate, public utilities, land developers, financial institutions and automobile. She has assisted clients with issues arising under provincial and federal environmental legislation including spill and release of substances, contaminated sites liability and management, sale/purchase and redevelopment of brownfields, remediation and reclamation applications, directors’ and officers’ environmental liability, environmental liability in insolvency, and water licence and transfer proceedings, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and renewable fuels and energy alternatives.

Litigation & Arbitration: Her practice also covers a broad range of complex litigation on such matters as commercial contract disputes, bankruptcy, insolvency and restructuring, franchises, gift card regulation and consumer protection disputes, defamation and media disputes, manufacturer’s liability, shareholder litigation including derivative, oppression and options back-dating claims. She acts for directors and officers of private and public corporations and advises boards and their committees on governance and litigation matters. She also litigates estate, trust and beneficiary disputes.

Publications & Presentations

Chidinma is a contributor to Alberta Power Market . This blog is authored by a team of BLG lawyers in Calgary who regularly work in the Alberta Electricity Market. It is a multi-disciplinary group that covers not only corporate and commercial law, but also brings together the required specialty areas, like regulatory, real estate, environmental, construction, financing and First Nations.

• Co-Author, Gross Overriding Royalty as Interest in Land - the Clear Language Conundrum Continues, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, May 28, 2018.
• Co-Author, The Alberta Energy Regulator Prescribes $45 million 2018/19 Orphan Fund Levy without Tranche Payments, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, May 16, 2018.
• Co-Author, Alberta Energy Regulator Assesses Cumulative Effects of Pipeline Project on Aboriginal/Treaty Rights: Tips for Bill C-69 and Interprovincial Pipeline Approvals, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, May 15, 2018.
• Speaker, Limitation Periods for Real Estate Environmental Claims - Recent Updates, Canadian Bar Association - Commercial Real Property South Section, May 2, 2018.
• Moderator, Addressing Alberta's Orphan Wells and Stakeholders' Exposure to Environmental Liabilities, CBA Environmental Law Section Seminar, Calgary Petroleum Club, April 18, 2018.

• Co-author, 2017 Year In Review: Top 10 Regulatory Decisions of Import to the Canadian Energy Industry, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, January 29, 2018.

• Co-author, Transaction to a Low-Carbon Energy Economy: The Legal Agenda, Innovation in Energy Law and Technology: Dynamic Solutions for Energy Transitions, in D. Zillman, ed., Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2018.

• Co-Author, Back to the Basics: the Alberta Energy Regulator Tightens License and Approval Eligibility Requirements to Eliminate Unreasonable Risk, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, December 19, 2017.

• Co-Author, Arbitration Parties Beware: the Supreme Court of Canada unpacks Sattva Test for Appellate Review of Arbitration Awards in Teal Cedar Products Ltd vs British Columbia, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, November 29, 2017.
• Speaker, Conveying Royalty Interests in Insolvency: the Law Post-Dynex, Canadian Bar Association AB Natural Resources South Section Meeting, Calgary, September 14, 2017.
• Author, Unlocking Alberta's Hydro Potential for Canada's Leadership in Renewable Electricity, Environment Health and Safety Law Update, International Bar Association, Vol. 13, September 2017.
• Author, Alberta's Trilogy on Energy Regulator v Secured Creditors: Priority Over Assets of Insolvent Licenses in Canada Revisited, Oil and Gas Law News, International Bar Association, Vol. 5, June 2017.
• Speaker, “ Post AMLA - Expanding the Climate Change Discussion; Implementation Example - Solar Energy Production and Utility,” Canadian Bar Association Municipal Law South Section Meeting, Calgary, June 7, 2017.
• Speaker, “ Environmental and Climate Change Laws affecting Municipal Endeavors,” 25th Annual Alberta Municipal Lawyers’ Association Conference, Red Deer, May 26, 2017.

• Co-Author, “ Corporate separateness versus group enterprise theories in enforcement of foreign judgement in Canada: the case of Yaiguaje v Chevron Corporation,” International Litigation News, Publication of the International Bar Association Legal Practice Division, May 2017.

• Co-Author, Regulating in the Green Era: the AER Rules Land Disturbance Not Justifiable by Short-term Economic Advantage of New Pipeline, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, April 16, 2017 .
• Guest Lecturer, “ Climate Change Policies and Energy Development in Canada: Challenges and Opportunities,” University of Alberta Law School, April 6, 2017.
• Author, The Alberta Energy Regulator Prescribes the 2017/18 Orphan Fund Levy and Accepts New Information that Improves LLR Calculation, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, February 26, 2017 .
• Speaker, North American Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Symposium, University of Houston Law Center Houston, Texas, February 23-24, 2017.
• Co-Author, Alberta Utilities Commission Rules on the Scope of Evidence required by First Nations and Metis on Notice of Constitutional Question and the AUC’s Jurisdiction to assess Crown Consultation, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, February 21, 2017 .
• Co-Author, Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Confirms the Scope of Procedural Fairness and Evidence to Trigger Alberta Crown’s Duty to Consult in Resource Development Applications, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, February 20, 2017 .
• Co-Author, Gross Overriding Royalty Interests Not Interest In Land Absent Clear Language, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, January 26, 2017 .
• Co-Author, 2016 Year in Review: Top 10 Regulatory Decisions and Trends of Import to the Canadian Energy Industry, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, January 17, 2017 .
• Co-Author, 2016 Year in Review: Top 10 Judicial Decisions and Trends of Import to the Canadian Energy Industry, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, January 12, 2017 .
• Co-Author, 2016 Year in Review: Top 10 Legislative, Regulatory and Policy Changes and Trends of Import to the Canadian Energy Industry, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, January 8, 2017 .
• Co-Author, The Limits of Ultra vir es, Interjurisdictional Immunity and Cooperative Federalism in Interprovincial Pipeline Approvals: Application of Rogers Communications Inc v Chateauguay (City) 2016 SCC 23, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, December 29, 2016.
• Co-Author, Alberta Government Introduces Legislation Mandating Cap on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Alberta Oil Sands, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, November 20, 2016.
• Co-Author, Is The Play Still The Thing - The Status of Play-Based Regulation In Alberta, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, October 23, 2016.
• Co-Author, The New Federal Carbon Pricing Policy - Roadmap to a Pan-Canadian Energy Strategy The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, October 18, 2016.
• Speaker, International Bar Association Conference, Washington Marriott Wardman Park Washington DC, September 18-23, 2016 .
• Co-Author, Precautionary Tale BC Environmental Appeal Board Says “ Polluter-pays” and “ Precautionary” Principles not Applicable to the Permitting Process Under the BC Environmental Management Act, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, July 3, 2016.
• Co-Author, The Alberta Energy Regulator Reacts to the Redwater Decision - Who Suffers The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, June 20, 2016.
• Co-Author, Where do we go from here Alberta Court approves renouncement of AER-licensed assets by Trustees and Receivers to avoid monetary environmental obligations, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, May 26, 2016.
• Co-Author, Licensee Liability Ratings and Stakeholder Exposure in Insolvency, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, April 27, 2016.
• Panelist, “ Global Trends and Challenges affecting the Future of the Legal Profession, ” 7th International Bar Association World Women Lawyers’ Conference, Berlin, Germany, 7-8 April 2016.
• Co-Author, From Social License to Class Action - Climate Change Litigation has come to Canada, Project Proponents Beware, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, March 22, 2016.
• Co-Author, Alberta Energy Regulator Implements the Final Phase of the LLR Program Changes, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, June 18, 2015.
• Profiled, From Lagos to Canadian Energy Law, Chidinma Thompson Has Come a Long Way, Alberta Oil, August 7, 2015.
• Speaker, Remediation of Contaminated Sites and Wells, Environmental Law & Regulation in Alberta, June 2-3, 2015.
• Speaker, Environmental Law in the Energy Sector - BLSA 24th Annual Conference held on February 19-22, 2015, Montreal, Quebec.
• Co-Author, Alberta Energy Regulator Confirms that an Unsuccessful Applicant Cannot Seek a Regulatory Appeal of Denied Application, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, April 1, 2015.
• Co-Author, Vertical Compulsory Pooling of Oil and Gas Resources Appears to be Available in Alberta, The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog, September 12, 2014.
• P rofiled, First YWE Awards recognize emerging female leaders in oil and gas, Oilweek, January 8, 2014.
• Profiled, High energy education approach paying off with PhD for lawyer, The Lawyers Weekly, November 29, 2013.
• Profiled, Calgary lawyer’s PhD calls for infrastructure-related reforms in oil and gas, Canadian Lawyer Magazine, September 18, 2013.
• Profiled, Law school marks historic day with first ever PhD thesis defence, UToday, University of Calgary, September 18, 2013.
• Author, Making Federalism through Law: Regulating Socio-economic Challenges of Energy Development, a Case Study of Alberta’s Oil Sands and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, PhD Thesis.
• Author, “ The Changing Legislation and Regulation of Carbon Capture and Storage: Impacts on Purpose, Policy, and Projects,” 49 Alberta Law Review 305, 2011.
• Author, “ Legal Authority for Market-Based Instruments in Municipal Environmental Regulation in Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia,” unpublished research paper, year.
• Author, “ Alberta’s Approach to Local Governance in Oil & Gas Development,” 48 Alberta Law Review 55, 2010.
• Author, “ Federal Regulatory Controls,” Canadian Environmental Law, 2nd Edition, Vol. 1, R. Cotton and A.R. Lucas, eds., LexisNexis, 2009 .
• Author, “ Heavy Duty Transition Fuels: Oil Sands, Oil Shale and Heavy Oil,” Beyond The Carbon Economy, D.N. Zillman et al. eds., Oxford University Press, 2008.
• Author, “ Model Agreements for Joint Development: A Case Study,” Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law, Vol. 25, February 2007.
• Author, “ Joint Development: An Alternative Legal Approach to Oil & Gas Exploitation in the Nigeria-Cameroon Maritime Boundary Dispute, ” International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law, Vol. 21, December 2006.
• Author, Oil & Gas in the Nigeria/Cameroon Maritime Boundary Dispute - An Alternative Legal Approach, LLM Thesis (unpublished), University of Calgary Law Library, July 2006.

Rankings & Recognitions

• Recipient, Women in Law Leadership Award (WILL) for Tomorrow's Leader, 2015.
• Recipient, Young Women in Energy Award (YWE) Award, 2014.
• Profiled, From Lagos to Canadian Energy Law, Chidinma Thompson Has Come a Long Way, Alberta Oil, August 7, 2015.
• Profiled, First YWE Awards recognize emerging female leaders in oil and gas, Oilweek, January 8, 2014.
• Profiled, High energy education approach paying off with PhD for lawyer, The Lawyers Weekly, November 29, 2013.
• Profiled, Calgary lawyer’s PhD calls for infrastructure-related reforms in oil and gas, Canadian Lawyer Magazine, September 18, 2013.
• Profiled, Law school marks historic day with first ever PhD thesis defenc e, UToday, University of Calgary, September 18, 2013.

Community Involvement

• Volunteer Judge for University of Calgary Trial Advocacy/Dispute Resolution III Course - Calgary Courts Centre, 2015-2018
• Volunteer Judge American Bar Association Law Students Negotiation Competition 2015/16
• Evaluator Oral Advocacy CPLED Program - Legal Education Society of Alberta (LESA)
• Volunteer Legal Advisor, Children’s Legal and Educational Resource Centre (CLERC), 2009-present
• Volunteer Small Claims Duty Counsel, Provincial Court of Alberta Pro Bono Law Alberta, 2011-2016
• Volunteer Legal Advisor, Calgary Legal Guidance, 2012-present
• Volunteer Amicus Curiae, Court of Queen's Bench Alberta, Pro Bono Law Alberta, 2013-present
• Mentor, Canadian Bar Association mentorship program, 2013 to present
• Mentor, Student Legal Assistance (SLA) program 2016-present

Areas of Practice (11)

  • Corporate Commercial Litigation and Arbitration
  • Regulatory and Project Approval Litigation and Arbitration
  • Energy
  • Oil and Gas
  • Electricity Markets
  • Environmental Law
  • Climate Change
  • Indigenous Law
  • Municipal Law and Other Government
  • International Trade and Investment
  • Appellate Advocacy

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
403.232.9666  Phone
403.266.1395  Fax
Law School Attended:
University of Calgary, PhD in Law, 2014; University of Calgary, LLM, 2007; University of Nigeria, LLB, 2000
Year of First Admission:
2002, Nigeria; 2010, Alberta

Professional Involvement

•Executive (member at large), 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

Reported Cases:
Representative Work: Major Litigation Work: Canlin Resources Partnership v Husky Oil Operations Limited , 2018 ABQB 24 [dispute over Right of First Refusal ( ROFR ) for a natural gas facility in a significant White Map purchase and sale of oil & gas interests]; Talisman Energy Inc v Esprit Exploration Ltd , [2013] AJ No 202 (QB) [dispute over ownership and environmental liabilities associated with sour gas processing plant].; Toyota Tsusho Wheatland Inc v Encana Corp , 2016 ABQB 209 [litigation and arbitration related to alleged breach of oil & gas joint venture agreement involving significant oil & gas interests].; Metcalfe v. Yamaha Motor Powered Products Co. Ltd . 2012 ABCA 240 [litigation on product liability matters and procedural issues relating to the Hague Convention].; Pender v. O'Connor , 2014 ABQB 564 [estate and trust litigation matter].; Penn West Petroleum Ltd. [shareholders' derivative and oppression action].; Signalta Resources Ltd. [various oil and gas matters, including split-title].; Receiver of Three Sisters Mountain Village ULC, a resort property development company with extensive holdings in Canmore, Alberta [various aspects of receivership proceedings].; Chief Restructuring Officer of Liberty Crossing Limited Partnership, Spruce Ridge Estates Inc. and related real estate entities [various restructuring matters under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act including caveat removal proceedings].; 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 .; Major Energy and Environmental Regulatory Work: Nipigon LNG Corporation section 71 NEB Act Application (OF-Tolls-Group1-T211-2018-01 01) [Access to Pipeline and Related Facilities].; 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.; In the matter of Kallisto Energy Corp. Application for a Well Licence Crossfield East Field , 2012 ABERCB Decision 005 [well licence application in proximity to underground gas storage reservoir].; Western Alberta Transmission Line Project (WATL) - AUC Decision 2012-327 [approval of an HVDC transmission line designated as Critical Transmission Infrastructure between Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, including the environmental impacts, participant involvement program and aboriginal consultation].; 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].; Regulatory Appeal Request by Nexxtep Resources Ltd.'s - Decision to Deny Compulsory Pooling Application No. 1782298, re-issued January 19, 2015; 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, Rights of Entry and volumes and reporting requirements.; Assisted clients on pipeline tariffs and tolls proceedings.; 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 developer clients with water license purchase and transfers and other environmental applications in relation to land and resource development.; Assisted developer clients with sale/purchase of brownfield for redevelopment and dealing with contamination.; 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.
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    Calgary, Alberta

    • Calgary, AB
      Centennial Place, East Tower , 1900, 520 - 3rd Avenue S.W.
      Calgary, AB M5H 3Y4

      403.232.9666 Phone

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