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 Law Litigator of the Year for 2016, Max Faille is a partner in the Vancouver office of Gowling WLG, where he practises Indigenous law and constitutional litigation. He is also adjunct professor of law at the University of British Columbia Peter A. Allard School of Law, where he teaches First Nation Taxation.

Max's clients principally consist of Indigenous governments and businesses across Canada, as well as private and public sector interests working 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 Indigenous economic development.

His advocacy includes representing clients before all levels of court in multiple jurisdictions across Canada. He has appeared in the Courts of Appeal of Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Yukon, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.

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

In December 2020, Max received the NWT Premier's Award for Indigenous Partnership.

In 2021, he was named as one of only four lawyers in "Band 1" for representation of Indigenous Peoples (Canada) in the prestigious Chambers annual legal ranking.

Max is also recognized as a leading lawyer in Aboriginal Law in Best Lawyers in Canada, Benchmark Canada, Legal 500 and Lexpert Canadian Legal Directory.

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

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 Ontario


"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)