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Lawrence E. Smith Q.C.


Leading Canadian Energy, Pipeline and LNG Regulatory Lawyer at Bennett Jones Calgary

T: 403.298.3315

Laurie Smith is the former Vice Chairman of Bennett Jones and founding head of the regulatory department.

He is former counsel to the National Energy Board (NEB) and a former policy advisor to a Minister of the Government of Canada.

Laurie is lead regulatory counsel to Alberta's largest gas distributor. He has appeared before NEB and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) joint panels and provincial authorities in connection with numerous power, NGL gas storage, pipeline, offshore energy and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects and utility rate proceedings. He has also appeared as counsel before the federal and provincial appeal courts and the Supreme Court of Canada. He has presented expert testimony in commercial and NAFTA arbitral proceedings; before the California Energy Commission; and appeared as a witness before the Canadian House of Commons and Senate.

Laurie served as a director or trustee of a number of private and public companies and funds, was formerly a member of the Advisory Board to the Montreal Neurological Institute and currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Royal Military College of Canada.

Laurie was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2000.

Select Experience

  • Appeal counsel to ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd., in connection with the Supreme Court of Canada's 2006 landmark decision defending utility property rights against regulatory confiscation. ATCO Gas & Pipelines Ltd. v. Alberta (Energy & Utilities Board), 2006 SCC 4
  • Appeal counsel to ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd., in connection with its successful appeal from an Alberta Energy and Utilities Board Order purporting to require it to hold the proceeds of sale of an asset in a deferral account.  The successful appeal confirms that the Board has no jurisdiction over utility assets not required to provide utility service and that the utility is entitled to the sale proceeds without any conditions. ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd. v. Alberta (Energy and Utilities Board) 2009 ABCA 171
  • Appeal counsel to ATCO Gas and Pipeline Ltd., in connection with its successful appeals of three related Board Decisions regarding the ability of the regulator to assert jurisdiction over its Carbon gas storage facilities and related production properties, which assets no longer serve any purpose for utility service.  The court ruled that revenue generation is not a valid utility service.

Recent Publications

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Recent Recognitions

  • 2017, Chambers Canada

    Ranked Band 1, Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory)
  • 2017, The Legal 500 Canada

    Recognized as a leading energy (oil and gas) lawyer in Canada
  • 2017, Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada

    Recognized as a leading energy (oil and gas) lawyer

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