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Environment • Aboriginal • Energy

Giselle Davidian

Associate

T: 416-646-4894  E: gdavidian@willmsshier.com

Bio

Giselle Davidian is an associate lawyer practicing in the areas of environmental law, environmental litigation, energy and natural resource law and Aboriginal law.  Giselle draws upon her technical knowledge as a former environmental scientist at a consulting engineering firm to help clients meet their goals.  Giselle is fluent in French and Armenian and has a working knowledge of Italian.  Giselle is called to the bar of Ontario.

Contaminated Land and Environmental Risk Management

Giselle advises clients on compliance with provincial and federal environmental legislation for environmental assessments and brownfield redevelopment.  She helps clients recognize potential risks and liabilities associated with real estate transactions and development projects.

Regulatory Approvals and Assessments

Giselle advises clients on approvals for and the regulation of industrial discharges to air and water.

Environmental Litigation

Giselle acts as an advocate for clients with environmental civil litigation, regulatory prosecutions and administrative appeals.

Waste Management

Giselle advises clients on all aspects of waste management including permitting and ongoing compliance for daily operations.

Aboriginal Law

Giselle assists First Nations and relevant public and private sectors create agreements and comply with regulatory processes on resource development projects.

Climate Law

Giselle advises clients on the emerging climate regulatory regimes and markets across Canada and the United States.

 

Prior Environmental Experience

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Giselle worked as an environmental scientist at an engineering consulting company in Toronto.  As a scientist, she conducted environmental site assessments and contaminant transport modelling across Canada.  Giselle designed and implemented remediation programs utilizing excavation, pump and treat, phytoremediation and bioremediation systems.  Giselle’s consulting experience includes completing feasibility studies and social impact assessments engaging community members and project stakeholders for global resource development projects.

During her time at McGill University’s Faculty of Law, Giselle served as co-director of McGill’s Environmental Law Association and participated on the editorial board of McGill’s Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy.  While earning her law degree, Giselle worked extensively at the McGill Legal Information Clinic.  She is a research contributor to the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law in Montréal.

Giselle worked as a legal intern for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s Secretariat to consider submissions on enforcement matters as part of NAFTA’s North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation.

During her masters study, Giselle conducted geological field research programs in Nevada, Arizona and throughout Costa Rica.  Giselle also completed an extensive freshwater biomonitoring study in Toronto.

Clients

  • Industrial businesses 
  • Engineering and consulting firms
  • Land developers and property owners
  • Commercial landlords and tenants
  • Municipalities
  • Conservation Authorities
  • Waste management companies
  • Transit Authorities
  • Financial institutions and insurance companies
  • Mining and exploration, energy, natural resource and infrastructure companies
  • Individuals  

Representative Work

Contaminated Land and Environmental Risk Assessment

  • Pre-purchase Environmental Due Diligence—Assisted a company with pre-purchase environmental due diligence for a property with historical contamination.  Reviewed Environmental Site Assessments and advised on potential environmental risks, liabilities and obligations.
  • Remediation of a Property for Sale—Assisting a company with ongoing environmental investigations to determine the source of contamination and negotiate remediation and indemnity terms.  Advised the client on potential environmental liabilities, including regulatory and civil liability, associated with contaminated property.
  • Waste Management—Advised a company on managing risks and liabilities for biomedical and pathological waste for applicable jurisdictions.
  • Advice for Environmental Management Plan—Assisted a company to prepare due diligence documents, standard operating procedures and environmental management plans while considering how best to minimize liabilities and risks. 
  • Environmental Law Advice to Estate and Estate Trustees—Provided environmental legal advice to estates and estate trustees to minimize and manage environmental liabilities associated with contaminated property held by the estate.
  • Transactional Environmental Legal Advice—Providing environmental legal advice to transaction lawyers involved in the negotiation of purchases, sales and leases.
  • Environmental Litigation

  • Defence of Engineering Firm in a Civil Claim—Assisting an engineering firm defend a civil claim involving alleged damages associated with the remediated property.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution—Worked closely with environmental consultants while protecting clients’ interests in mediation processes for a complex environmental damage claim.
  • Claim Against Company and Insurer—Assisting individual homeowners recover damages against company and insurer for adverse health impacts and other damages. 
  • Administrative Appeals and Hearings

    Representation at Ontario Municipal Board—Represented a transit authority with noise and vibration issues.  Assisted transit authority to obtain a favourable decision from the OMB that enabled planning goals and saved the client time and money.
  • Defence of Environmental Compliance Approval Appeal Before the Environmental Review Tribunal—Defended the appeal of a client’s ECA for a wastewater treatment system and stormwater system before the ERT.

    Aboriginal Law

    Compensation for Damage to First Nation Land—Assisting a First Nation to obtain compensation from government and mining proponent for impairing the client’s land and water.
  • Specific Claim by First Nation—Representing a First Nation in a Specific Claim against the Crown for the improper abandonment of natural resource sites on reserve.

Recognition

Organizations

  • Law Society of Upper Canada—member
  • Armenian Bar Association—member
    Canadian Bar Association—member
  • Ontario Bar Association—member
  • Women's Law Association of Ontario (WLAO)—member
  • Young Women in Law—Marketing Director, Officer and Board Member (2016-)

Speaking Engagements

Articles

October 21, 2016

Robust Environmental Management System Serves to Fully Absolve Defendant: R v Control Chem Canada Ltd.

On March 15, 2016, the Ontario Court of Justice ("OCJ") released its decision in R v Control Chem Canada Ltd.  The company was charg...

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October 04, 2016

Ontario’s Climate Change Expectations for Projects Undergoing Environmental Assessment

Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) continues to roll out its Climate Change Action Plan with its proposed green...

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June 21, 2016

Will the Redwater Decision Encourage Reckless Abandon(ment) of Oil and Gas Wells in Alberta?

On May 19, 2016, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench released its decision in Redwater Energy Corporation (Re).  The issues at hand were ...

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February 08, 2016

$5.3M in Fines Against Sunrise Propane and Directors for Fiery Propane Explosion

On January 25, 2016, the Ontario Court of Justice (OCJ) imposed $5.3 million in fines plus victim fine surcharges (VFS) on Sunrise Propane Energy G...

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January 28, 2016

Federal Government Releases New Interim Principles for Natural Resource Development Projects Currently Under Regulatory Review

The Government of Canada has announced five "interim" principles to guide the review of a number of major resource projects while it undertakes a b...

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Books

Education

  • Called to the bar of Ontario (2015)
  • B.C.L./LL.B., McGill University (2014)
  • M.Env.Sc., University of Toronto (2008)
  • B.Sc. (Hons.) Integrative Biology, University of Toronto (2007)

Expertise

"The firm is one of, if not the best enviro law firm in the country ..."

Senior Litigation Counsel