Brian J. Kearl Partner

Speaks:  English

Year of Call: 2004 - Alberta

Primary phone: +1 403-298-1965

Fax: +1 403-263-9193


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Primary office:  Calgary

Brian J. Kearl

Brian J. Kearl is a partner in Gowling WLG's Calgary office. He practises in all areas of tax law, including tax litigation and commodity tax, but with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, business reorganizations, cross-border financings and aboriginal business development.

Brian advises clients on tax issues and planning techniques related to public and private companies, income trusts, First Nations and Métis taxation, corporate and commercial transactions, and cross-border migrations and transactions.

In respect of First Nations and Métis taxation, Brian has advised Bands and Settlements (and their members) with respect to tax-efficient business vehicles and available Indian Act (Canada) and Income Tax Act (Canada) tax exemptions. Brian has also written articles and given presentations on income tax matters particularly applicable to Indigenous groups and those with whom they do business.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2004

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Year of Call, Alberta
  • 2003

    • Education
      University of Victoria, LLB
  • 2000

    • Education
      University of Lethbridge, B.Mgmt.


  • Canadian Petroleum Tax Society
  • Canadian Tax Foundation
  • Law Society of Alberta
  • “The General Anti-Avoidance Rule: Interest, Penalties and Self-assessment,” Canadian Petroleum Tax Society, February 16, 2017
  • “Leaving Canada’s New High Tax Rate Regime: Considerations, Tips and Traps,” Canadian Tax Foundation, 2016 Annual Conference, November 28, 2016 (with Carl Deeprose)
  • “Executive Compensation in a downturn: Is there a pony in this manure pile?” Canadian Petroleum Tax Society, 2016 Annual Conference, June 15, 2016 (with Arden Dalik)
  • ​Contributing Author, "Budget 2015: Striking a balance in an election year," Gowling WLG website, April 2015
  • "Succession Planning in a Family Business," Prairie Province Tax Conference, June 1, 2015 (with Susan Naylen)
  • "Private Income Trusts: Still a Viable Alternative Business Vehicle," Canadian Petroleum Tax Society, March 2013
  • "Structuring Co-Ventures Involving Resource Companies and Aboriginals," Canadian Bar Association, Aboriginal Law (South Section), January 2013
  • "Cross-border Income Trusts," International Tax Planning, Vol. 17, No. 4, 2012
  • "Structuring Co-Ventures Involving Resource Companies and First Nations or Other Tax Exempts," Canadian Petroleum Tax Society 2012 Annual Conference, June 2012 (with Greg Lindsey)
  • "Mutual Fund Trusts: Recent Developments," Canadian Petroleum Tax Society 2011 Fall Lecture Series, November 2011 (with Greg Lindsey)
  • "Tax-Free Savings Accounts: Free Ain't Simple," Canadian Bar Association, Wills and Trusts (South Section), April 2011
  • "Minimizing the 'Departure Tax," Federated Press, The 2nd Tax Planning for Migration to or from Canada course, June 2010
  • “Stock Options in Spinout Transactions,” Canadian Tax Highlights, Vol. 24, No. 7, July 2016 
  • "2009 Budget Amends Subsection 256(9)," Tax for the Owner-Manager, Vol. 9, No. 2, April 2009
  • "The Unintended Consequences of Subsection 256(9)," Tax for the Owner-Manager, Vol. 8, No. 3, July 2008
  • "GAAR in the Tax Court After Canada Trustco: A Practitioner’s Guide," Canadian Tax Journal, Vol. 55, No. 4, 2007
  • Counsel to Cardinal Energy Ltd. in its $23.5-million acquisition of Pinecrest Energy Inc. An arrangement that included an exchange of shares and arrangement rights, and a subsequent transfer of certain assets and liabilities from Pinecrest to Virginia Hills Oil Corp.