Natalie Mullins is a partner in Gowling WLG's Toronto office. Certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a Specialist in both Civil Litigation and Environmental Law, Natalie focuses her practice on complex contaminated lands disputes, often involving multiple parties and properties and a web of civil and regulatory proceedings. Natalie is widely recognized as a leader in her field, including by The Best Lawyers in Canada, Who’s Who Legal, and Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.
Natalie has been litigating commercial and environmental cases for over 18 years and appears frequently in all levels of Ontario Courts, including the Court of Appeal. She has conducted several trials, arbitrations and hearings before administrative tribunals, including appeals of government issued clean up orders before the Environmental Review Tribunal. Among her notable reported decisions are:
- Canadian Tire Real Estate Ltd. v. Huron Concrete Supply Ltd., a leading contaminated sites case heard before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, where Natalie acted for the successful plaintiff in recovering remediation damages for offsite migration of contamination; and
- Hamilton Beach Brands Canada, Inc. et al v. Ministry of the Environment, where Natalie acted for the appellant in challenging the Ministry of the Environment’s jurisdiction to issue offsite remediation orders to persons who are not at fault for contamination.
Natalie has broad experience litigating a variety of environmental and corporate law issues, including claims based in tort, breach of contract, fraud, director and officer liability, and piercing the corporate veil. She advises clients, both before and after litigation has commenced, on a variety of matters, including the assessment of damages, liability, remediation alternatives like risk assessment, liaising with the government, the acquisition, sale and leasing of contaminated real estate, Brownfields, and, alternative dispute resolution. Natalie has particular expertise assessing damages in contaminated lands cases as well as negotiating and structuring complex multi-party settlements. Her cases typically involve novel issues of law, parallel proceedings and intersect with other disciplines such as bankruptcy and insolvency.
Natalie’s clients include several major oil companies, banks, municipalities, manufacturers, insurers, engineering firms, real estate developers, property owners and tenants. While a passionate and fearless advocate, Natalie is also creative and results oriented. She provides clients with strategic and practical advice to achieve positive outcomes while managing costs and business disruption. Natalie has an extensive network of experts that she works with to help achieve positive results for clients, including hydrogeologist, toxicologists, engineers and real estate appraisers. Her cases also typical rely heavily on science and require a strong comprehension of complex scientific expert evidence and the ability to effectively examine and cross-examine scientific experts.
Natalie shares her skills and expertise by actively contributing to the legal community. She is past Chair of the Ontario Bar Association, Environmental Law Section (2018-2019), and speaks and writes frequently, including on emerging environmental law issues, effectively managing expert evidence and navigating trials. Natalie also teaches courses on trial advocacy and has been a guest instructor at Osgoode’s Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop provided to lawyers across Canada.