Liane Langstaff

Liane Langstaff is an environmental lawyer in Gowling WLG's Toronto office. She represents clients and provides comprehensive legal advice on a range of environmental matters, including:

  • Helping proponents navigate federal and provincial environmental assessments to get projects built and representing municipalities and other stakeholders to ensure their rights and interests are respected in environmental assessments
  • Representing businesses, from local dry cleaners to global energy companies, in contaminated lands litigation, regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings
  • Guiding manufactures and importers on how to comply with regulations concerning climate change, chemicals, waste management and product stewardship
  • Drafting agreements to protect clients from environmental liabilities, allocate ownership of carbon credits and establish carbon reporting and disclosure requirements
  • Advising municipalities and businesses on land-use planning, zoning and cultural heritage conservation matters.

Liane frequently acts on cutting-edge environmental issues. For example, she represented the Canadian Public Health Association in its intervention in the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act constitutional cases before the Courts of Appeal of Saskatchewan and Ontario. As a Canadian Climate Governance Expert, she also presents to corporate boards and other corporate audiences to share her insights on the duties of directors, officers and pension and investment fiduciaries to address the risks and opportunities of climate change.

As an Environmental Sciences, Law and MBA graduate, Liane uses her technical expertise, legal skills and business acumen to advise her clients. As a result of her former role as a law clerk at the Court of Appeal for Ontario, she leverages an intimate knowledge of the courts to represent her clients in complex litigation proceedings before courts and tribunals.

Liane has appeared as a guest lecturer at law schools and a school of planning and was a co-instructor of the 2019 JD Environmental Law course at Osgoode Hall Law School. She writes extensively in the areas of environmental law, climate change law and environmental assessments, and co-authored the forthcoming A Guide to Canada's Impact Assessment Act, 2020 Edition to be released in March 2020. Outside her practice, Liane is active in the local environmental community, including as a board member for the citizen science organization, EcoSpark.

Associations professionnelles

  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Climate Change Lawyers Network

Articles & presentations

Co-author, A Guide to Canada’s Impact Assessment Act, 2020 Edition, LexisNexis Canada, March 2020.

"Climate Change Regulatory Update - The Feds Double Down on Carbon Pricing" (October 2018)

"Ontario's cap and trade program ends and Federal Backstop looms: Implications for Ontario businesses"

"Renewable Energy Projects with Northern Ontario First Nations: Considerations, Challenges and Solutions", Lecture and Aboriginal Law Simulation Negotiation, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University (January 2016) and Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University (November 2016)

Contributor on Canadian climate change law in David Estrin's Business Guide to Environmental Law (2016 update)

"SCC recognizes federal jurisdiction to deal with Métis and non-status Indian peoples" (April 2016)

"Federal budget & low carbon investments: Canada puts its money where its mouth is" (March 2016)

"Sustainability shift: The evolution of Canadian water policy" (September 2015)

"Sweating the small stuff: Canada's emerging regulatory approach to nanomaterials" (October 2014)

Conférences antérieures

Representative Work

Client work highlights

Liane has appeared before the Superior Court of Justice on contaminated lands disputes as well as land-use planning and cultural heritage matters. She has experience managing technical experts and navigating administrative tribunal proceedings, including the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) and federal Panels convened under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. She has assisted her clients in mediations, settlement conferences and international arbitrations.

Representative work

  • Assisted municipalities as well as mining and aggregate resources companies navigate federal and provincial environmental assessments, including representing clients in hearings before federal panels convened under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act;
  • Ensured international companies could do business in Canada by advising them on how to comply with complex chemical, waste management and product stewardship regulations;
  • Represented municipalities, energy companies and dry cleaners on contaminated lands litigation, as both plaintiffs and defendants;
  • Acted for municipal and corporate clients on regulatory investigations and enforcement, including matters before the Environmental Review Tribunal;
  • Drafted agreements to protect clients from environmental liabilities, allocate ownership of carbon credits and establish carbon reporting and disclosure requirements;
  • Advised municipal clients on land-use planning, zoning and cultural heritage conservation matters, and brought cases to the Superior Court of Justice to clarify land-use planning law;
  • Assisted energy and corporate clients understand and implement their obligations to consult with Indigenous communities and foster meaningful partnerships; and
  • Acted for non-profit organizations on cutting-edge environmental issues, including representing the Canadian Public Health Association in its intervention in the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act constitutional cases before the Courts of Appeal of Saskatchewan and Ontario.