Thomas J. Timmins Partner Leader - Energy Sector Group (Canada)


Speaks:  English

Year of Call: 2000 - Ontario

Primary phone: +1 416-369-6689

Fax: +1 416-862-7661

Email: thomas.timmins@gowlingwlg.com

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Primary office:  Toronto



Thomas J. Timmins

Thomas J. Timmins is a corporate lawyer based in Canada and focused primarily on renewables, DER’s, energy storage, and demand response technologies.

He typically supports project developers, investors, component manufacturers, utilities, and government agencies managing complex project contracts and project delivery challenges. With more than 20 years of experience in renewable energy project development, including in connection with projects across the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia, Tom is sought after for his intimate knowledge of the sector and his ability to help get projects across the finish line.   

He is particularly valued for his ability to combine technical legal skills and project contracting experience with a deep understanding of the rapidly-changing commercial and public policy realities of the sector, as well as for a profoundly practical, common-sense approach to getting large projects done.

In his corporate-commercial practice, Tom serves as principal counsel to leading energy project developers, turbine, battery and panel suppliers, investors, financiers, and governmental agencies around the world. More recently, he has been heavily engaged in the development of corporate PPA’s, power-to-x initiatives, peak-shaving, BTM battery and on-site generation projects, EV charging infrastructure, and successful hydrogen and renewable fuel ventures.

He has served twice as chair of the Canadian Solar Industries Association (now CanREA), and presently serves as a member of the Energy Committee of the Toronto Board of Trade, as a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Urban Energy at Ryerson University, and as a member of the Board of the Canadian Ditchley Foundation. 

He is a regular speaker and law school lecturer (Infrastructure, P3’s and Project Finance), appears regularly in international news media, and has been quoted in such leading news sources as the Economist Intelligence Unit, The Globe and Mail, Financial Post, World Journal, BNN, and Canadian Business.

Tom leads Gowling WLG Canada's Energy Sector Group, while also serving as a member of the firm’s China Executive Leadership Team, as chief representative for Gowling WLG Canada in Beijing. He is also a member of the Toronto office's Diversity & Inclusion Council, and sits on the firm’s External Management Committee. 

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2020

  • 2019

    • Career
      December 2019
      Re-Appointed Chair, Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA)
    • Career
      December 2019
      Elected Director, Canadian Ditchley Foundation
    • Career
      October 2019
      Appointed Chair, Planning Group, Energy Transformation Canada
    • Education
      September 2019
      Appointed Canadian Representative on the HKTDC Belt and Road Global Forum
    • Career
      September 2019
      Appointed leader of Gowling WLG's Energy Group in Canada
    • Community
      June 2019
      Appointed Member, City of Toronto, McCormick Playground Arena Board
  • 2018

    • Career
      December 2018
      Appointed Director, British Canadian Chamber of Trade and Commerce
    • Rankings & Awards
      December 2018
    • Career
      April 2018
      Appointed Campaign Cabinet Member, Transforming Windsor Law
  • 2017

    • Community
      October 2017
      Appointed, Chair, Board of Trustees, Toronto Children's Own Museum
    • Career
      October 2017
      Appointed Chair, Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA)
    • Community
      June 2017
      Award Panel Member, ‘Start Up Energy Transition’, Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH
    • Career
      April 2017
      Appointed Leader, China Initiative, Gowling WLG Canada
  • 2016

    • Career
      November 2016
      Elected Director, British Canadian Chamber of Trade and Commerce
    • Rankings & Awards
      November 2016
    • Career
      October 2016
      Appointed Secretary, Canadian Solar Industries Association
  • 2015

    • Career
      October 2015
      Elected to the Board of Directors, Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA)
    • Career
      October 2015
      Keynote Speaker, Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum, Miami
  • 2012

    • Career
      September 2012
      Adjunct Professor, Windsor Law, Infrastructure and Project Finance Course
    • Career
      July 2012
      Appointed Chair, Toronto China and East Asia Initiative Committee
  • 2011

    • Career
      November 2011
      Instructor, EUCI Electricity Procurement Course
    • Career
      July 2011
      Instructor, PURC/World Bank International Training Program on Utility Regulation & Strategy
    • Career
      February 2011
      Chair, EUCI Canadian Electricity Regulation Program (Calgary)
  • 2010

    • Career
      June 2010
      Leader, Gowlings Global Renewable Energy Practice
    • Career
      June 2010
      Partner, Gowlings
  • 2009

    • Career
      October 2009
      Sessional Instructor, Advanced Business Law, Windsor Law
  • 2008

    • Career
      May 2008
      Course Leader, EUCI, Electricity Law in Canada
  • 2005

    • Community
      April 2005
      Appointed Director, Parkdale Community Information Centre
  • 2003

    • Community
      October 2003
      Elected Board Member, Board of Trustees, Toronto Children's Own Museum
  • 2001

    • Community
      January 2001
      Co-Founder, West Toronto RailPath
  • 2000

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
       2000
      Year of Call, Ontario
  • 1999

    • Community
       1999
      Founding Committee Member, Toronto BikeShare
  • 1994

    • Education
       1994
      Queen's University, JD
  • 1991

    • Education
       1991
      University of Toronto, BA (Hons.)

Memberships

  • American Bar Association - Member, Corporate Governance Committee
  • Cambridge Club - Member
  • Canada's Venture Capital Association
  • Canadian Corporate Counsel Association - Director, Toronto Chapter (2002-2008)
  • Candian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA), Chair
  • Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA)
  • Canada Africa Power Alliance (CAPA)

Articles

Client Events

2016

  • Energy Innovator's Breakfast Series -four very well-received roundtable breakfasts aimed at positioning Gowling WLG's technology, innovation and IP law capabilities in Canada's fast evolving energy innovation sector held in Q3-Q4
  • EUCI Energy Law Seminar -a two day seminar lead with EUCI, creating speaking opportunities for other partners and associates
  • Planned and hosted "One Belt One Road -Demystified" -Canada's first conference event on China's massive One Belt One Road infrastructure initiative
  • Hosted Gowling WLG's first outward facing Chinese New Year Event -building off of work done in 2016 to recognize the festival at the firm
  • Hosted Women in Renewable Energy Wine Tasting Event in conjunction with CanSIA (with the unhesitating and able support of Michael Watson)
  • Levered relationship with Canadian consular officials in China to develop and support a P3 delegation from China to Canada (leading to launch of Canada China Infrastructure Alliance)
  • Hosted Chinese P3 delegation at Toronto office
  • Commenced P3 training of Chinese officials with Canadian Government in China (now continuing in 2018 together with UK colleagues)
  • Planned and hosted UK Election Breakfast at Toronto office with British Canadian Chamber of Trade and Commerce
  • Spoke on behalf of the Canadian Government at Caribbean Renewable Energy Finance Forum
  • Spoke on behalf of UK Government at P3 Luncheon

2015

  • Client luncheon with U.S. Ambassador, Bruce Heyman, (Montreal, February)
  • Client breakfast event with Toronto Mayor John Tory (Toronto, October) (see news coverage in the Globe & Mail and on CP24)
  • Client luncheon, entitled "Business Integrity and Director's Liability Round Table" (Toronto, May)
  • Client breakfast with UK Counsel General, Kevin McGurgan, Globe & Mail publisher, Philip Crawley, event, "UK Election 2015, What Does It Mean for the UK, Europe & Canada?" (Toronto, May)
  • Client luncheon with Canadian Ambassador to Cuba entitled, "The New Cuba Equation: The Cuban Economy, Canada's Opportunity and America's New Place" (Toronto, January) (see news coverage for Gowlings in Financial Post)
  • Gowling WLG participation in Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynn's Clean-Tech trade mission to Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong (October)
  • Client participation in Queen's Park Day, organized by CanSIA (May, Toronto)
  • Client participation in small Energy Storage Dinner Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray and Annette Verschuren (July, Toronto)
  • EUCI: Construction Contracting for Canadian Power & Energy Projects (October, Toronto) (Betts, Stanek, Carew)
  • Windsor Law - once again, I led the Canadian Infrastructure Law Course

Previous speaking engagements

Representative Work

Tom's recent experience includes:

  • Counsel to Panasonic Canada in connection with solar and renewable energy project matters;
  • Representing Rainy River First Nations in regard to various strategic matters;
  • Representing to Alectra on microgrid and energy storage project development matters;
  • Litigation counsel to China Exim Bank;
  • Representing Shanghai Electric Power T&D Engineering Co. and Shanghai Electric Investment (China) Ltd. regarding general legal and project finance matters pertaining to the investment in and construction of a 50 mw solar power project;
  • Representing the Town of Ajax in respect of the merger of Veridian Corporation and Whitby Hydro Energy Corporation to form Elexicon Corporation;
  • Counsel to CITIC Capital Silk Road Fund regarding prospective asset acquisition;
  • Counsel to Bermuda Land Development Corporation in respect of procurement matters relating to the proposed redevelopment of lands and port facilities at Ships Wharf, Bermuda;
  • Advising IFC with respect to solar project development and project finance matters in Mongolia;
  • Counsel to NRG regarding various corporate, commercial and regulatory matters in Canada;
  • Counsel to Fiera Axium Infrastructure Canada II L.P. and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in connection with their acquisition and financing of a 100% equity interest in three ground-mounted solar photovoltaic projects from Recurrent Energy;
  • Counsel to Fiera Axium Infrastructure Canada II L.P. in connection with its acquisition and financing of a 100% equity interest in two ground-mounted solar voltaic projects with a peak capacity of 22 MW from Recurrent Energy;
  • Representing TransAlta in respect of proposed renewable energy project acquisition matters in Canada;
  • Lead counsel on the successful closing of an Ontario Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program equity finance loan made in respect of FIT-contracted assets;
  • Acting as special advisory counsel to the Government of Bermuda in respect of renewable energy procurement, planning, energy storage, demand response and general energy regulatory matters;
  • Advising Rainy River First Nations in regard to its acquisition of three Ontario Feed-in Tariff contracted solar projects in northern Ontario and the procurement of both project finance and equity finance;
  • Representing Genesis Solar in relation to numerous project development and finance matters;
  • Representing Saturn Power in regard to solar and energy storage project development matters in Turkey and in Canada;
  • Counsel to Next Era in relation to the proposed acquisition of large-scale wind project assets in the Province of Quebec;
  • Representing Axio Power Canada Inc. in respect of the sale of nine Ontario Feed-in Tariff contracted solar projects to SunEdison;
  • Advising the Carbon War Room on renewable energy procurement and island energy systems matters;
  • Acting on behalf of Mainstream Renewable Power in the development of wind energy projects in Latin America;
  • Advising Hydrostor Inc. in respect of corporate and commercial matters pertaining to pneumatic storage technology;
  • Advising a major cold-storage solution provider in respect of contractual matters pertaining to Ontario's Demand Response Pilot Program (DR3);
  • Advising the Government of Barbados in relation to the proposed development of the Mangrove Pond Energy Facility, consisting of solar, wind and waste-to-energy generation;
  • Representing the Bank of Montreal in respect of the financing of wind-energy projects located in Ontario;
  • Advising Northwind Solutions in respect of legal matters pertaining to operation service contracting in North American wind energy and solar energy markets;
  • Representing tier-1 solar panel manufacturers in relation to operational matters in the Ontario solar market;
  • Advising AIM PowerGen on various corporate, commercial and regulatory matters pertaining to the development and finance of Canada's first utility scale, commercial wind farm.