With almost 40 distinguished years of experience practicing environmental law, Donna Shier is one of Canada’s leading environmental counsel to major industrial corporations. Donna is also frequently called upon by corporate, commercial and real estate lawyers to assist their clients with environmental legal issues, and provides environmental law expertise to external litigation counsel. Donna is a qualified mediator and is an accredited member of the ADR Institute of Canada. Donna is called to the bar of Ontario.
Rankings and Awards
- Certified Specialist in Environmental Law, The Law Society of Ontario, since 1996
- Named Best Lawyers 2014 “Lawyer of the Year”— Toronto Environmental Law
- Peer selected annually to The Best Lawyers in Canada© for Environmental Law
- Named annually to the international Who’s Who Legal—Environment and Who’s Who Legal—Canada
- Rated “Consistently Recommended” in the Canadian Legal Lexpert directory for Environmental Law
- Ranked “BV® Distinguished™” by peers in Martindale-Hubbell
- Recognized annually as one of Canada’s leading environmental lawyers by Expert Guides “Women in Business Law”
Corporate D&O Environmental Liability Protection
Donna helps corporations and their directors and officers identify, reduce and manage exposures to environmental liabilities, including directors’ and officers’ personal liability for environmental issues.
Environmental Due Diligence and Liability Protection
Donna protects clients from environmental risks and liabilities that may arise from the purchase and sale of contaminated land and other corporate, commercial and real estate transactions. Donna advises clients about pre-purchase environmental due diligence and environmental compliance issues.
Contaminated Land Management
Donna is one of Canada’s leading experts in contaminated land issues, providing advice on the management of contaminated sites, their remediation and redevelopment.
Donna helps clients navigate the environmental regulatory environment. She assists with obtaining regulatory approvals for air, waste and water, and facilitates effective discussions with environmental regulators. Donna also helps clients manage regulatory inspections and investigations.
- Industry—waste management, food processing, petroleum processing, chemical, steel manufacturing and many others
- Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
- Land developers, property owners, landlords, tenants
- Directors, officers and other individuals
- Insurers and financial institutions
- Corporate, commercial and real estate lawyers; litigation counsel
- Protection of REIT from Environmental Risk and Liability—Providing ongoing advice to a real estate investment trust with a portfolio value of approximately $2 billion about environmental risks and liabilities associated with its portfolio. Created action plan for addressing and ranking environmental issues and for setting priorities for action to deal with environmental risks and liabilities as part of client’s environmental management program.
- Acquisition of a Federal Harbour with Contamination—Advised a municipality client about potential environmental risks, obligations and civil and regulatory liabilities associated with the acquisition by the client of a federal harbour with contamination issues. Advised on environmental terms to be negotiated in the divestiture agreement to address environmental liability.
- Negotiation of Insurance Coverage for Landowner—Assisted a residential landowner to negotiate insurance coverage for the investigation and remediation of fuel oil contamination resulting from an underground heating oil tank. Assisted the homeowner to ensure that the insurer’s investigation and remediation complied with a Technical Standards & Safety Authority (TSSA) order and the TSSA’s Environmental Management Protocol.
- Transactional Environmental Legal Advice—Providing environmental legal advice to transaction lawyers in connection with the negotiation of purchases, sales, and leases.
- Reduction of Charges Against Food Manufacturer—Assisted a food manufacturer to respond to an environmental regulator’s charges for failing to comply with an Environmental Compliance Approval and unlawful discharge of wastewater into a stream. Successfully negotiated a reduction in the charges and fine with the regulator.
- Settlement of Civil Litigation Over Contamination—Represented a plaintiff development corporation in a lawsuit against a municipality for contamination that migrated to the client’s property, resulting in a highly advantageous settlement in the client’s favour and remediation obligations for the property.