Administrative law is a subset of public law that aims to regulate the relationship between the government and the governed (i.e., people and businesses) and serve as a check on governmental power. More specifically, it represents the body of general principles, including constitutional limitations, that shape the exercise of such power by public authorities.
Whether your business growth is hampered by governmental regulatory schemes, licensing issues or legislative limitations; or you are an individual who is subject to discriminatory or other types of measures that infringe upon your personal rights, Gowling WLG can help you navigate the complexities of administrative law and achieve your objectives.
Our leading professionals have exceptional experience in both the public and private sectors, affording us a 360-degree perspective that equips us to provide sophisticated administrative, constitutional, regulatory and public policy advice on virtually any matter.
Leveraging our deep industry experience and strong track record of success, we give you a competitive advantage, delivering technically sound, strategic guidance and absolute certainty on what needs to be done and when.
Our clients include businesses of all types, as well as all levels of government and their agencies, trade and professional associations, First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, non-governmental agencies, Crown corporations, utilities companies, developers, and educational institutions.
Our professionals have represented the interests of our clients before public sector and government committees (including in the context of investigations), government task forces, administrative tribunals across Canada, and all levels of provincial, national and federal court.
We frequently act for individuals and businesses in constitutional cases concerning Division of Powers under ss. 91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. We also represent clients in human rights complaints under provincial human rights legislation or the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Attuned to your world
In a world with increasing regulation and compliance requirements, you need to know what changes are around the corner and how they could affect your business. Our international network of business law professionals are actively engaged with critical regulatory departments and industry organizations across the globe. Harnessing the power of these relationships, we help clients stay in the know and advance proposed regulatory amendments with key decision-makers.
- Adjudication before federal and provincial administrative tribunals, including the Copyright Board, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the National Energy Board, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, the Canada Industrial Relations Board, the Competition Tribunal, the Immigration and Refugee Board, and the Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal
- Judicial reviews of administrative decisions before the Federal Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal, provincial or superior courts, the Ontario Divisional Court, and the Tribunal Administratif du Québec
- Counsel for the Senate of Canada in defending the Senate's parliamentary privilege in the criminal and civil proceedings in relation to Senator Mike Duffy [2015 and 2018]
Counsel for the Department of Justice of Nunavut in relation to constitutional and administrative law issues
- Counsel to the intervener Chiefs of Ontario as intervener in two companion cases before the Supreme Court of Canada that addressed the important question of the proper role of administrative boards and tribunals in ensuring the Crown's duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous people is fulfilled prior to the issuance of decisions with the potential to affect Indigenous rights [July 2017]
- Counsel to Vaisala Inc. on a procurement dispute before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal regarding an award of a contract to a competitor for the provision of radiosondes systems for the Department of the Environment [December 2017]
- Counsel to Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC, a high-profile activist investor, in an urgent proceeding at the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) to contest a decision of the Toronto Stock Exchange that would have permitted Hudson's Bay Company to complete a very complex and dilutive share issuance within the context of a multi-billion dollar transaction; successful in the only contested motion argued at the OSC and subsequently negotiated a settlement [December 2017]
- Counsel to a Canadian rail equipment and systems manufacturer and marketer in an application for judicial review of a decision by a provincial transportation agency excluding the company from participating in an RFP and seeking injunctive relief in order to stay the decision pending review by the Court [November 2017]
- Co-counsel for Edmonton East (Capilano) Shopping Centres Ltd. before the Supreme Court of Canada in a judicial review of a decision of the Assessment Review Board for City of Edmonton [November 2016]
- Counsel for the interveners Assembly of First Nations and Gift Lake Métis Settlement before the Supreme Court of Canada in Daniels v. Canada (Indian Affairs and Northern Development), in relation to the definition of the term "Indians" in s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867 [April 2016]
- Counsel to Alltech on food regulatory aspects of its acquisition of Masterfeeds, creating one of Canada's largest animal nutrition companies [January 2016]
- Co-counsel for the intervener Mothers Against Drunk Driving before the Supreme Court of Canada in relation to ss. 91(27) and 92(13) of the Constitution Act, 1867 and British Columbia's "Automatic Roadside Prohibition scheme" [October 2015]
- Counsel for the Attorney General of Yukon and Northwest Territories in relation to s. 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms 
- Co-counsel for the intervener Indigenous Bar Association in Canada before the Supreme Court of Canada in Tsilhqot'in Nation v. British Columbia in relation to Aboriginal Title under s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1867 [June 2014]
- Counsel for the intervener Canadian Civil Liberties Association before the Supreme Court of Canada in Canada (Attorney General) v. Mavi in relation to natural justice and procedural fairness in the sponsorship program established under the Immigration Act [June 2011]
To learn more about how we can help you succeed, please contact any member of our team.