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Environment • Aboriginal • Energy

Natalia Back Gosende


T: (416) 642-4877  E:


Natalia Back Gosende is an associate lawyer practicing environmental law and litigation. Natalia's background as a former public attorney with the Ministry of Environment in the State of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil and licencing as an Ontario lawyer uniquely positions her to provide legal advice and representation in complex environmental legal issues in Canada. Natalia is called to the bar in both Brazil and in Ontario.

Environmental Law

Natalia helps clients to understand and meet compliance requirements under federal, provincial and municipal environmental regulatory law. She also advises clients about environmental liability and environmental risks arising from transactional due diligence and compliance. Natalia also assists clients to navigate environmental regulatory processes, environmental assessment, and negotiation with regulators in the context of investigations and orders.

Environmental Litigation

Natalia represents clients in environmental civil proceedings, administrative proceedings, appeal of regulatory orders and in the defence of regulatory prosecutions.

Prior Environmental Experience

Natalia earned a B. Soc. Sc. and B.C.L in Brazil, and also a LLM in Environmental Law in Brazil along with a Certificate in International Environmental Law from the International Law Center in Brazil.

Natalia was a public attorney with the Ministry of Environment of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.

Natalia practiced environmental law in Brazil from 2009 to 2016, advising clients in various industries including capital infrastructure, natural resources and real estate about legal, environmental, and social risks and opportunities.


  • Industrial businesses 
  • Engineering and consulting firms
  • Land developers and property owners
  • Commercial landlords and tenants
  • Municipalities
  • Conservation Authorities
  • Waste management companies
  • Transit Authorities
  • Financial institutions and insurance companies
  • Mining and exploration, energy, natural resource and infrastructure companies
  • Individuals

Representative Work

Environmental Regulation Policy

  • Waste Management Policy—Drafted the Solid Waste Management Plan for the third-largest city in Brazil, leading to the integration of sustainability concepts and environmental standards according to the UNSDG.
  • Climate Change—Drafted the State's regulatory framework Air, Climate and Energy Plan for the State of Rio Grande do Sul (PACE) in partnership with the French Government (Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Énergie - ADEME).
  • Counselor, Ministry Representative—Legally appointed to represent the Minister of Environment (State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) in regulation proposals pertaining to the environmental regulatory framework for mid- and high-impact industries.

Environmental Approvals and Assessments

  • Environmental Assessments—Drafted and negotiated Terms of Reference for an Environmental Impact Assessment for the construction and development of a shipyard in the Port of Rio Grande, Brazil.
  • Terms for the Adjustment of Conduct (TAC)—Negotiated a tripartite agreement with the Brazilian Public Prosecutor's Office and a Cooperative of Minors working without an environmental licence to proceed with an environmental assessment and grant of permission to a Cooperative.
  • Environmental Compliance—Assisted a client with environmental due diligence on the sale of infrastructure assets installed across Brazil, assessed potential environmental and political risks, liabilities and obligations and provided a recommendation for the Agreement of Sale.

Environmental Litigation

  • Land Contamination LitigationAmicus Curiae in a Class Action brought by a municipality in Brazil against an energy company for the use of chromated copper arsenate to preserve lamp posts.
  • Pesticides Litigation—Appellant Attorney in a Writ Mandamus against the Ministry of Environment to issue permission to purchase and sell herbicides prohibited under the regulation. The Court of Appeal reversed the lower court injunction and ordered a new trial. Received an honourable mention in the Brazilian House of Representatives for her commitment to protecting public health.
  • Environmental Licence Renewal Appeal—Represented a Brazilian client before the Minas Gerais's ERT on an appeal opposing the client's Environmental Licence Renewal Approval. 




  • Law Society of Ontario—member
  • Brazilian Bar Association (OAB)—member
  • Canadian Bar Association (CBA)—member
  • Ontario Bar Association (OBA)—member
  • Canadian Hispanic Association (CHBA)—member


  • Called to the Bar of Ontario (2021)
  • Brazilian Bar Association (2009)
  • B.C.L/J.D., McGill University (2021)
  • LL.M., FUMEC University, (2014) (Brazil)
  • B.C.L/B.Soc.Sc., PUCRS, (2008) (Brazil)


"Willms & Shier is a bluechip environmental law firm."

Judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice