Chris Hummel Associate


Speaks:  English

Year of Call: 2023 - Nunavut

Year of Call: 2019 - Ontario

Primary phone: +1 416-862-3540

Fax: +1 416-862-7661

Email: chris.hummel@gowlingwlg.com

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Primary office:  Toronto



Chris Hummel

Both a litigator and regulatory advisor, Chris Hummel practises at the intersections of environmental law, Indigenous law, and energy law. Chris routinely advises on complex and novel legal matters, ranging from technical, science-driven advocacy to emergent issues in constitutional law.

Environmental and Land Use Litigation

Chris advocates for clients in courts, tribunals and environmental assessment processes. Chris has litigated several land-related disputes, ranging from land contamination actions to property rights applications for possession of land, easements, trespass damages, and injunctions.

Chris has also provided strategic advice to Indigenous governments, companies, and municipalities in high-profile environmental assessments of mines, landfills, and infrastructure projects. With accredited training in land use planning, Chris regularly assists with municipal planning matters, including those that raise difficult jurisdictional and constitutional questions.

Indigenous Law

Chris is published on the subject of Impact-Benefit Agreements (IBAs) between Indigenous governments and industry, and has been involved in several IBA negotiations. In addition to drafting IBAs, he has drafted by-laws, codes, policies, resolutions, and commercial agreements for Indigenous governments and corporations.

As a former Nunavut resident, Chris works passionately within the firm's Canada North Practice Group. He has lived in Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), where he taught high school and coached hockey, Panniqtuuq (Pangnirtung), where he studied Arctic ecology and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit Traditional Knowledge), Iqaluit, where he worked for the Qikiqtani Inuit Association's legal counsel, and Manitoulin Island, where he worked for M'Chigeeng First Nation's legal counsel.

Energy Regulation

Chris' energy practice focuses on the energy transition. He has provided regulatory advice to electric utilities and companies in the business of grid-scale battery storage, micro-grids, electric vehicle charging, lithium-ion battery recycling, energy efficiency, renewable power generation, and small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs). He has also advised fuel distributors on their exposure to carbon pricing under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.

Education

During law school, Chris won awards for academic achievement and was selected as a Dean's Fellow for excelling in professor Brian Slattery's Constitutional Law class. He graduated from Osgoode Hall's joint JD/Master in Environmental Studies program, having completed a land use planning accreditation and Osgoode's intensive program in Indigenous Lands, Resources, and Governments. He also holds BEd and BSc (Biology and Anthropology) degrees.

As a student co-director of Osgoode's Fair Change Legal Clinic, which advocates for people who are homeless or street-involved, Chris helped launch a Charter challenge of the Ontario Safe Streets Act. He remains involved with Fair Change by sitting on its board of directors and acting as counsel on its Charter challenge.

In his spare time, Chris plays the keyboard and is learning to speak French and Inuktut.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2023

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
       2023
      Year of Call, Nunavut
  • 2019

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
       2019
      Year of Call, Ontario

Representative Work

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Land Contamination, Contract and Property Disputes

  • obtained an interim injunction in Ontario Superior Court of Justice in favour of residential landowners asserting possessory rights and trespass against their local municipality
  • acted in land contamination proceedings and mediations in Ontario Superior Court of Justice, including cases with highly complex economic damages claims
  • represented land trust organization defending property claims against neighbouring land owners
  • represented an electrical utility in an contractual arbitration relating to the implementation of complex energy policies and incentives

Constitutional Litigation

  • counsel to cannabis growers challenging municipal by-laws on grounds of Charter of Rights and Freedoms and division of legislative powers.
  • counsel to a not-for-profit organization intervening in favour of the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act in constitutional references by several provinces.
  • advised municipality challenging a major railway infrastructure project on constitutional and administrative grounds.
  • counsel in Charter challenge of Ontario' Safe Streets Act on behalf of a not-for-profit legal clinic representing homeless individuals.

Indigenous Law

  • counsel to northern Indigenous governments and organizations with respect to environmental assessments and regulatory board proceedings in relation to mines and infrastructure

Regulatory Advice

Energy and Decarbonisation

  • counsel to an major international engineering firm on nuclear and engineering licensing obligations in the Small Modular Nuclear Reactor (SMR) sector
  • counsel to an electrical utility on a regulatory application for a grid-scale battery storage project
  • advised major electric vehicle charging station developer on regulatory obligations
  • counsel to micro-grid developer on licensing obligations
  • counsel to fuel distribution company on exposure to the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (carbon pricing)

Indigenous Rights and Governance

  • Negotiated, drafted and implemented Impact Benefit Agreements on various projects across Canada
  • advised multiple northern Indigenous organizations on their rights and regulatory strategies in relation to Indigenous-owned roads, transmission lines and other infrastructure projects
  • advised northern Indigenous organization on development of by-laws, policies and other corporate governance matters
  • advised Indigenous governments on co-management regimes for wildlife harvesting and habitat conservation

Waste and Product Stewardship

  • advised manufacturers and retailers about their exposure to extended producer responsibility (waste stewardship obligations) for packaging and printed paper, electronic materials, batteries, machine oils and containers.
  • advised companies on obligations under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, Environmental Protection Act and other environmental legislation.

Environmental Permitting

  • advised several companies and landowners on environmental compliance obligations in relation to noise, air emissions, storm-water and waste management