Natalie Mullins is a partner at Gowling WLG and co-head of the Toronto Advocacy Department. Certified as a specialist in both Civil Litigation and Environmental Law by the Law Society of Ontario, Natalie focuses her practice on complex contaminated lands disputes. Natalie is widely recognized as a leader in her field, including by Best Lawyers in Canada, Who's Who Legal, and the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory. She was named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers for Environmental Law (2022).
Natalie appears frequently in all levels of Ontario Courts, including the Court of Appeal, and has conducted several trials, arbitrations and hearings before administrative tribunals, including appeals of government issued clean up orders before the Environmental Review Tribunal. While a passionate and fearless advocate, Natalie is also practical and results oriented. She provides clients with strategic advice and creative approaches to legal problems in order to achieve positive outcomes while managing costs and minimizing business disruption.
Natalie's cases often involve multiple parties and properties, a web of civil and regulatory proceedings, and novel issues of law. Her matters rely heavily on science and frequently intersect with other disciplines such as bankruptcy and insolvency. Natalie brings to her clients not only an intimate understanding of the law but also the ability to navigate complex scientific evidence and effectively examine and cross-examine scientific experts in hearings. Natalie also has an extensive network of professionals that she works with to achieve best results for clients, including hydrogeologist, toxicologists, engineers, and real estate appraisers.
Natalie's broad experience litigating environmental and corporate law disputes includes claims based on toxic torts, breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation, director and officer liability, professional negligence, and piercing the corporate veil. She represents clients once litigation is initiated and also advises clients on pro-active approaches that may avoid the commencement of proceedings.
Natalie assists clients with a variety of matters, including addressing and responding to spills and discharges of contaminants, liaising with government authorities, assessing liability, alternative remedial strategies, negotiated resolutions, and the acquisition, sale, leasing, and re-development of contaminated real estate. She has particular expertise assessing damages in contaminated lands cases as well as negotiating and structuring complex multi-party settlements. Natalie's clients include several major oil companies, banks, municipalities, manufacturers, insurers, engineering firms, and real estate developers.
Natalie is an active contributor to the legal community, where she shares her skills and expertise. Natalie 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. She also teaches courses on trial advocacy, and has been a guest instructor at Osgoode's Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop provided to lawyers across Canada.