We are lawyers, engineers, scientists and former senior policymakers who possess practical knowledge of the workings of the public bodies and authorities that are responsible for the oversight of a vast number of industrial and commercial activities or for the analysis and issuance of approvals, most notably in respect of the environmental aspects, in the context of the structuring of numerous development projects.
It is because of the increasingly specific needs of our clients that we created this specialized group, combining our diverse expertise in administrative law and environmental law. Working as a unified team, we provide our clients with business advice, project consultation services, negotiation services in connection with the obtaining of permits and authorizations, and representation in statutory civil, administrative and penal proceedings. Our team of jurists and scientists is ready to serve you.
OBTAINING OF AUTHORIZATIONS AND PERMITS
We assist our clients in the process of obtaining authorizations and permits, most notably by:
- Negotiating and obtaining authorizations under the Environment Quality Act;
- Negotiating and obtaining permits and authorizations in the construction field (Autorité des marchés financiers, Régie du bâtiment, etc.);
- Negotiating and obtaining the necessary construction permits and approvals from the cities and municipalities.
Our thorough knowledge of these processes helps to expedite matters and avoid certain pitfalls, thus ensuring that our clients’ projects run more smoothly.
CONTESTATION OF DECISIONS RENDERED BY PUBLIC AUTHORITIES
The members of our team assist and represent our clients in judicial review proceedings before the Superior Court and in contestations before the specialized administrative tribunals. Our professionals also regularly act in extraordinary remedies against public authorities (mandamus, injunctions and declaratory judgments). We participate on a regular basis in discussions and complex disputes involving the following authorities: - the Autorité des marchés financiers; - the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks; - Québec’s municipalities; - the Tribunal administratif du Québec; - the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux; - the professional orders and the Professions Tribunal.
Our professionals can help you resolve the various problems relating to conflicts of use, land development, the carrying on of environmentally sensitive activities, environmental protection (wetlands and protection of watercourses). Whether the matter involves a real estate deal, a financing, the sale of a business, or a restructuring, our lawyers review the environmental issues, arrange for the sharing of liability, and implement advantageous strategies.
In addition, the protection of the company and its directors and officers against the uncertainties of environmental requirements is a factor that we consider at the early planning stages of a project.
BCF enjoys an established reputation with the municipalities and related organizations which is attributable to our thorough knowledge of administrative law. In particular, we have had occasion to render legal opinions on the validity of municipal by-laws and orders and, where applicable, on their contestation. We represent a vast range of clients that are very active in the municipal arena, including the following:
- municipalities, towns and boroughs;
- school boards;
- municipal bodies;
- port facilities;
- energy development corporations;
- shopping centres;
- Crown corporations;
- landowners, property managers and property developers.
AT YOUR DISPOSAL: PERSONALIZED TRAINING AND A NETWORK OF EXPERTS
Our clients can take advantage of the strong relationships we have formed in related technical fields. We have an excellent network of contacts, which means we can present the scientific expert opinions (engineering, architecture, biology, appraisal, geography, hydrology, etc.) that can be necessary to advance our clients’ projects efficiently or to assert their rights before the administrative and judicial authorities.
Our professionals frequently publish articles and other works, and they regularly offer training sessions, which helps them stay at the forefront of their individual fields. For instance, we offer personalized corporate training on various subjects such as sound governance, environmental compliance, corporate environmental management, the organization of emergency response measures, and directors’ and officers’ liability.