Scott A. Smith
Scott A. Smith is a partner at Gowling WLG with a leading national practice at the confluence of Indigenous, environmental, energy, and natural resource law. Scott has a strong track record of successfully advising clients in high-profile, complex regulatory hearings and related litigation for major energy and natural resource projects across Canada.
Scott has extensive experience in negotiating and structuring Indigenous equity ownership of major projects.
Scott is a recognized thought leader and highly skilled negotiator. He has negotiated precedent-setting agreements between Indigenous people, proponents, and other governments, including:
- government-to-government agreements which provide the foundation for comprehensive reconciliation, including the largest agreement ever negotiated between the Province of British Columbia and First Nations outside of the treaty process; and
- cutting edge impact benefit agreements for mines, forestry, pipelines, hydroelectric generation facilities, transmission lines, petrochemical, and other energy and natural resource projects.
Scott regularly advises clients on the Crown's duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples.
Scott's Indigenous and environmental advocacy practice includes representing Indigenous peoples in regulatory hearings, judicial reviews and appeals of administrative decisions (such as the Crown's failure to consult Indigenous peoples), multi-party civil litigation in respect of contaminated sites, and complex tort litigation.
Scott has appeared before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, British Columbia Court of Appeal, Ontario Court of Justice, Ontario Superior Court, Ontario Divisional Court, Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, National Energy Board, Ontario Energy Board, British Columbia Utilities Commission, Tax Court of Canada, and the Supreme Court of Canada.
Scott has been repeatedly recognized as one of the top lawyers under 40 in Canada: in 2018, Lexpert recognized Scott as one of its “Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40,” and Benchmark Canada named him to its 2017/18, 2018/19, and 2019/2020 “Under 40 Hot List”.
Prior to pursuing a law degree, Scott completed a master's degree and one-and-a-half years of study in a PhD program in biology at McGill University. He is the recipient of numerous scientific and legal scholarships. His scientific work has been published in high-impact international journals, and has been reported on internationally in the popular press.
Scott's scientific expertise provides him with a unique perspective through which he provides strategic litigation and regulatory advice to his clients.
Scott is fluent in English and French, and speaks Spanish.