Burns Stephen

Stephen D. Burns

Partner, Trade-mark Agent, Head of Intellectual Property

Outsourcing, IT Procurement, IP, Information and Privacy Lawyer at Bennett Jones Calgary

T: 403.298.3050

Stephen Burns' practice focuses on energy, utility and infrastructure related technology, procurement and outsourcing, technology transfers, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate / commercial matters related to technology. Stephen is the chair of the Intellectual Property Practice Group. 

Stephen has extensive IT procurement related experience. Recently, he has lead a number of large multi-stage, multi-vendor outsourcing transactions on behalf of large, integrated energy companies and utilities. He has also completed similar work for clients in health, financial markets and banking. In addition, he has lead the creation of a multi-vendor private IT marketplace for a large energy company. Stephen is regularly retained by clients for IT procurement, RFP and contract negotiation matters, including development, customization, co-location and cloud services.

Stephen has significant technology related experience in connection with the engineering, construction, commissioning, operation, debottlenecking and revamping of energy, utility and infrastructure facilities: including, in connection with LNG, oil sands (mining and in situ), pipelines, storage, upgrading, refining, power generation (coal, natural gas, bio-mass, wind), power transmission, power distribution (including, automated meter infrastructure), and water and sewage treatment.

Stephen's practice includes a focus on information law, including seismic, privacy, social media, document retention and access to government information. Stephen regularly appears before Canada's various Information and Privacy Commissioners.

Stephen advises on matters concerning licensing, registration and protection of intellectual property in Canada and abroad. Stephen is a registered trade-mark agent. 

Stephen has been recognized in 2016 in Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, for Computer and IT Law, and by The Legal 500: Canada in the areas of technology, media and telecommunications; in 2016 and 2015 he was recognized by Euromoney LMG Rising Stars as a rising star in the area of technology, media and telecommunications; in 2016, 2015 and 2014 by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM Patent 1000) as one of the world's leading patent practitioners (transactions), as well as in 2013 and 2012 as one of the world's leading 1000 patent practitioners (licensing); and in 2011 and 2010 by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM Licensing 250) as one of world's 250 leading patent and technology licensing practitioners; in 2015 Stephen won the Lawyer of the Year Award for being an outstanding Calgary lawyer in technology by Best Lawyers in Canada, as well as being recognized in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 by Best Lawyers in Canada as one of Canada's leading technology lawyers.

Stephen regularly lectures and publishes papers on technology, outsourcing and procurement, social media, private sector privacy, confidential information, software, cyber-security, seismic data, e-commerce, intellectual property portfolio management and trademark licensing. He is a member of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada. Stephen earned his H.B.A. from Ivey at The University of Western Ontario, his LL.B. from the University of Manitoba and his M.B.A. from Haskayne at the University of Calgary.

Stephen currently serves as a Chairman and Director for the Calgary International Language Foundation (a sister society to the Calgary French and International School Society) and as a Director for the Aspen Family and Community Network. A former board member and Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee, Stephen currently serves as Counsel to the board of the Science Alberta Foundation. Prior to his work with the CFIS, Aspen and the Science Alberta Foundation, Stephen served as a director for the Calgary Habitat for Humanity Society.

Select Experience

  • Canadian Natural Resources Limited in connection with completing C$12.74-billion acquisition of a 70 percent working interest in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project and other oil sands assets.  Read more
  • Cenovus Energy, in connection with its acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ Deep Basin conventional assets in Alberta and British Columbia and 50% interest in the FCCL Partnership. Read more
  • Encana: advised on multiple process licenses.

Recent Publications

Blog Posts

Recent Recognitions

  • 2017, The Legal 500 Canada

    Stephen D. Burns, recommended, Technology, Media and Telecom
  • 2017, The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

    Stephen D. Burns, repeatedly recommended, Computer & IT Law
  • 2017, IAM Patent 1000 The World's Leading Patent Practitioners

    Stephen D. Burns, recommended as a leading patent professional under transactions

News & Speaking Engagements