Liane Langstaff Partner Environmental Law & Co-Leader, ESG Advisory Services

Speaks:  English

Year of Call: 2016 - Ontario

Primary phone: +1 416-814-5637

Fax: +1 416-862-7661


Download vCard

Primary office:  Toronto

Liane Langstaff

Liane Langstaff is a partner in the Environmental Law Group in Gowling WLG's Toronto office and co-leader of the firm’s ESG Advisory Services practice. She draws upon her Bachelor of Sciences in Environmental Sciences, her MBA and law degree to provide strategic regulatory advice and representation to her corporate and municipal clients.

Liane frequently acts on cutting-edge environmental and legal issues, including climate change, endangered species, constitutional and administrative law. She represented the Canadian Public Health Association in the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act constitutional cases before the Supreme Court of Canada and the Courts of Appeal of Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. In her ESG Advisory Service practice and as a Climate Governance Expert with the Canada Climate Law Initiative, Liane advises on the risks and opportunities associated with climate change and biodiversity.

In her daily practice, she has trained legal departments on why in-house and municipal lawyers should care about ESG, contributed to legal strategies on net zero commitments, supported the implementation of corporate climate action plans, and helped clients protect and leverage forest and farm holdings through carbon offsets. She has also advised on what more stringent climate disclosure standards domestically and internationally mean for all organizations – from publicly traded companies to privately-held retailers and public bodies.

Liane also has deep experience in environmental and impact assessment. She is the co-author of A Guide to the Impact Assessment Act, 2020 Edition and has represented municipalities and businesses during federal impact assessments and provincial environmental assessments for major infrastructure, energy and mining projects.

As an in-demand speaker, teacher and facilitator, Liane has been invited to share her insights with leading organizations, including the Governance Professionals of Canada, the Ontario Bar Association and Women Get on Board. Moreover,  Liane loves supporting the next generation of environmental professionals as a prior co-instructor of the environmental law course at Osgoode Hall Law School and a proud mentor to the firm’s summer and articling students.

Liane honed her legal skills as a clerk at the Ontario Court of Appeal. She graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business, where she was awarded the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Scholarship and Hennick Medal for Academic Excellence.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2021

  • 2017

    • Career
      Judicial Law Clerk, Court of Appeal for Ontario
  • 2016

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Year of Call, Ontario
  • 2015

    • Education
      July 2015
      MBA, Schulich School of Business, York University with awards including the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Scholarship
    • Education
      JD, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, with graduate awards including the Hennick Medal for Academic Excellence and the Arthur Charles Pape Memorial Prize for Native Rights
  • 2011

    • Education
      BSc (with Distinction), Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, with graduate awards including the College of Management & Economics Distinguished Scholar Medal and Ontario Co-op Student of the Year


  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Climate Change Lawyers Network

Liane is a regular contributor to Gowling WLG's Environmental Law Newsletter. In addition to those articles, Liane has contributed to the following publications and given the following presentations and lectures:


Co-author, A Guide to Canada's Impact Assessment Act, 2020 Edition, LexisNexis Canada (March 2020)

Contributor on Canadian climate change law in David Estrin's Business Guide to Environmental Law (2016 update)

Media mentions

  • Featured in the Institute of Corporate Directors' August 2023 edition of Director Journal on the topic of biodiversity in article "Getting Back to Nature"

Presentations, lectures and teaching

  • Speaker, "Environmental Law Year in Review 2020: Current Trends in Climate Change Regulation and Mitigation", Gowling WLG Webinar (November 2020)

  • Speaker, "ThinkHouse Unlocked : Climate Change Litigation", Gowling WLG UK Webinar (September 2020)

  • Speaker, "ESG and the Role of the Board", Women Get on Board National Webinar (June 2020) and Toronto Live Event (February 2020)

  • Speaker, "Bracing for the Storm: Climate Litigation Risk", Canada Climate Law Initiative, Vancouver (February 2020)

  • Moderator & Panel Chair, "Climate Inaction on Trial: The Future of Litigation, Youth Advocacy and Industry Response", Globe Conference, Vancouver (February 2020)

  • Guest Lecturer, "Environmental Tribunals and Boards", School of Planning, University of Waterloo (2019 and 2020)

  • Co-Instructor, Environmental Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University (Fall 2019 semester)

  • Speaker, "Environmental Law for Business: A Year in Review" (November 2019)

  • Guest Lecturer, "Renewable Energy Projects with Northern Ontario First Nations: Considerations, Challenges and Solutions", Lecture and Aboriginal Law Simulation Negotiation, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University (January 2016) and Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University (November 2016)

Representative Work

  • Peer reviewed the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative’s 2022 Report, “Biodiversity Risk: Legal Implications for Companies and their directors”;
  • Represented local governments and domestic and international businesses during federal impact assessment and provincial environmental assessment for major infrastructure, energy and mining projects, including:
    • Representing clients in federal tribunal hearings; and
    • Supporting expert opinions on the proper procedure for impact assessment for international investor-state arbitrations;
  • Advised local governments and domestic and international businesses on protecting lands under endangered species, natural heritage and cultural heritage laws;
  • Advised domestic and international businesses on complying with and obtaining permits in respect of endangered species, greenhouse gas, chemicals / toxic substances, waste management and product stewardship regulations;
  • Represented local governments and companies on environmental litigation and enforcement issues before the tribunals and courts, including the Ontario Land Tribunal, Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner, Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Court of Justice, Ontario Divisional Court and Federal Court; and
  • Drafted agreements to protect clients from environmental liabilities, allocate ownership of carbon credits and establish carbon reporting and disclosure requirements.

Selected Decisions

  • Reference re: Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act2019 SKCA 402019 ONCA 5442020 ABCA 74 (Courts of Appeal of Saskatchewan, Ontario and Alberta)
  • Oakville (Town) (Re)2021 CanLII 1129 (Ont Information and Privacy Commissioner)
  • CAMPP Windsor Essex Residents Association v Windsor (City)2020 ONSC 4612 (Ont Divisional Court)
  • Tre Memovia Developments Ltd. v 1491316 Ontario Inc.2019 ONSC 4, upheld on appeal 2020 ONSC 1568 (Ont Superior Court of Justice) and upheld at the Divisional Court.
  • Wiggins v Ontario (Environment and Climate Change)2016 CanLII 67372 (Ont Environmental Review Tribunal)