Maxime Faille Partner

Speaks:  English, French

Year of Call: 2016 - British Columbia

Year of Call: 2009 - Northwest Territories

Year of Call: 2009 - Yukon

Year of Call: 1998 - Ontario

Primary phone: +1 604-891-2733

Fax: +1 604-443-6786


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Primary office:  Vancouver

Maxime Faille

Named Benchmark Canada's Aboriginal Lawyer of the Year for 2016, Max Faille is a partner in Gowling WLG's Vancouver office, practising in Indigenous law, public law and general litigation.

Max's clients consist of Indigenous governments and businesses across Canada, as well as private sector interests seeking to do business with Indigenous communities. In addition to legal representation in the courts and in negotiations, Max regularly provides advice on matters of Aboriginal and treaty rights, First Nation taxation, self-government, Aboriginal consultation and accommodation, Impact and Benefit Agreements, and Aboriginal economic development.

His advocacy includes representing clients before the Ontario Superior Court and Divisional Court, the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories, the Court of Appeal for the Northwest Territories, the Yukon Supreme Court, the Federal Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Tax Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Prior to completing his law studies, Max worked on Parliament Hill and as special adviser on United Nations Reform to the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1995, he was awarded the Government of Canada Merit Award by the Minister of Foreign Affairs for "Exceptional and Distinguished Contribution to the Effectiveness and Efficiency of the Public Service." From 1988 to 1993, he worked at the United Nations in New York in the areas of human rights, arms control and peacekeeping.

Max is frequently invited to present to or chair major national legal conferences in Indigenous law on such topics as Indigenous consultation and accommodation, First Nation taxation, Aboriginal economic development and Impact Benefit Agreements.

He is a member of the board of directors of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

Fluent in both English and French, Max practices in both official languages.

Among numerous recognitions and awards for his work in Aboriginal law, Max is recognized as a leading lawyer in Aboriginal Law in Chambers Canada 2016, Lexpert's Leading Canadian Lawyers in Energy 2015 and Leading Canadian Lawyers in Global Mining, 2015-2016.

Career & Recognition

"He was strong on the pure legal elements, and stood out for his ability to handle the commercial elements and understand the dynamics of a negotiation involving business and cultural complexities."
- Client quote in Chambers Global 2015
  • Rankings & Awards
    February 2016
    Benchmark Aboriginal Lawyer of the Year 2015
View Full Career & Recognition Timeline

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:


  • Law Society of Upper Canada


"The vanishing immunity from taxation under the Indian Act" - Tax Planning International Review, July 2009

"Crown's Duty to Consult can be Discharged through the National Energy Board Process: Brokenhead Ojibway Nation et al. v. Attorney General of Canada (National Energy Board)" - Energy @ Gowlings, June 23, 2009

"Aboriginal Consultation and Accommodation: New Guidance from the Supreme Court of Canada", (Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. v. Carrier Sekani Tribal Council) - Energy @ Gowlings, November 9, 2010

"Supreme Court of Canada agrees to hear two First Nation tax immunity cases" - Aboriginal Writes - The CBA National Aboriginal Law Section Newsletter, January 2010


"Reconciliation & Truth: The decolonization of the law of evidence in the adjudication of Aboriginal claims" - PBLI, Canadian Aboriginal Law (Ottawa), October 29-30, 2008

"Taxation of Income under the Indian Act: Developments and Future Directions" - PBLI, National Aboriginal Governance Forum (Ottawa), May 14-15, 2008

"Exemption from Taxation: A Vanishing Right?" - Insight, Aboriginal Tax and Financial Management Forum (Calgary), November 24-25, 2009

"Taxation: Recent Decisions and New Directions" - PBLI, Canadian Aboriginal Law 2009 (Ottawa), November 19-20, 2009

"Taxation and Reconciliation" - Insight, Aboriginal Tax and Financial Management Forum (Ottawa), November 18-19, 2009

"Employment Income: The Right to Choose to be Tax Exempt" - PBLI, Aboriginal Tax and Business Structures: Tools for Economic Development (Vancouver), June 18-19, 2009

"Enforcing your Rights and Duties" - PBLI, Crown and Aboriginal Duties: Beyond Consultation (Ottawa), May 13-14, 2009

"Introduction to Carbon Credits: How can you benefit?" - PBLI, National Aboriginal Tax, Governance and Economic Development Forum (Ottawa), October 6 & 7, 2010

"An Introduction to IBAs" - PBLI, Aboriginal Impact Benefit Agreements Conference (Vancouver), April 15-16, 2010

"Comprehensive National Case Law Updates - Honour & Consultation" Canadian Institute 4th Annual Aboriginal Law Consultation and Accommodation Conference (Toronto), February 23-24, 2010

"Carbon Credit Opportunities for Aboriginal Communities" - Insight Conference, Managing Aboriginal Land & Water Interests (Toronto), March 28, 2011


Assembly of First Nations, Annual General Assembly, 2009 (Calgary), "Taxation and Reconciliation"

Assembly of First Nations, Chiefs Committee on Economic Development - Special Chiefs Assembly, 2009 (Ottawa), "Carbon Credit Opportunities for First Nations"

Assembly of First Nations, Annual General Assembly, 2010 (Winnipeg) - Taxation Workshop

BMO "Financing and Lending for Aboriginal Communities"(Toronto), March 2011

Representative Work

  • Counsel, Assembly of First Nations (intervener) in the Supreme Court of Canada, Bastien v. Her Majesty the Queen; Dube v. Her Majesty the Queen (First Nation taxation)
  • Co-counsel, Union of Nova Scotia Indians, (intervener) in the Supreme Court of Canada, Bastien v. Her Majesty the Queen; Dube v. Her Majesty the Queen (First Nation taxation)
  • Co-counsel, Chiefs of Ontario, (intervener) in the Supreme Court of Canada, Bastien v. Her Majesty the Queen; Dube v. Her Majesty the Queen (First Nation taxation)
  • Advised Chinese state company on Aboriginal aspects of mining acquisition
  • Advised Ontario utility on Aboriginal aspects of hydro-electric facilities acquisition
  • Counsel, Gwich'in Tribal Council (caribou hunting rights litigation)
  • Legal Counsel, Deline First Nation (self-government)
  • Legal Counsel, Behdzi Ahda First Nation (self-government)
  • Legal Counsel, Fort Good Hope First Nation and Métis Local (self-government)
  • Legal Counsel, Eskasoni First Nation (First Nation taxation)
  • Legal Counsel, Tillicum Lelum Friendship Centre (First Nation taxation)