Charles Birchall

Of Counsel

Certified Specialist in Environmental Law by The Law Society of Ontario

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At the core of his legal work, Charles Birchall is an advocate with a talent for efficiently finding creative solutions.

Over his 40-year career in environmental law, he has developed a unique ability to listen, pinpoint exactly what clients are looking for, and find solutions that are not necessarily the norm.

As a Certified Specialist in Environmental Law by the Law Society of Ontario, Charles handles impact and environmental assessments, and due diligence cases, and advises clients about how to assess and manage legal risk. He reviews environmental components of sale and purchase agreements and has extensive experience advising clients about environmental compliance relating to contamination issues, remediation, and permit and approvals requirements. He also advises about the environmental aspects of corporate commercial negotiations and transactions. Charles defends clients subject to government investigation and prosecution for breaches of environmental laws and orders and has appeared before parliamentary committees in the Senate of Canada and House of Commons of Canada on proposed environmental legislation.

Charles advises clients about climate change by advising them about how to manage environmental impacts and reduce carbon footprints. He also advises corporate officers and directors to ensure they are identifying and managing risks associated with administrative decision-makers' environmental liability, Indigenous consultations and partnerships, and climate change and related issues. His approach to Indigenous legal issues is to provide advice that gives communities opportunities to engage and be decision-makers on their terms and for their interests. Charles works with First Nations communities and government agencies to assist Indigenous communities with transactions, impact assessments, and in dealings with various governments.

Industry proponents count on Charles for advice in dealing with Northern boards and tribunals. He understands the nuances of processes, allowing him to skilfully navigate and advise on projects through each step of the legal process. This experience helps Charles advise clients about natural resource development in Canada’s Northern territories, and Indigenous legal issues and consultation in the mining, infrastructure and energy sectors. He also acts as counsel to boards and tribunals in the North and spends time with clients reviewing current or proposed natural resource projects.

Clients can expect Charles to listen, provide timely communications, and find solutions that will meet their objectives and needs. A great communicator, he seeks to understand clients’ businesses, concerns, and especially what is top of mind for them


  • Certified as a Specialist in Environmental Law by the Law Society of Ontario (2015)
  • Called to the bar of Nunavut (2014)
  • Called to the bar of the Northwest Territories (2014)
  • LL.M., Common Law, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa (2006)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Workshop, University of Windsor Law School (2000)
  • Called to the bar of Ontario (1981)
  • LL.B., Faculty of Law, Queen’s University (1979)
  • B.A. (Hons.), Political Science, University of Toronto (1976)


  • Canadian Bar Association—National Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Section (Executive Committee member (2005-) and Chair (2012-2013)
  • Ontario Bar Association—Environmental Law Section member (1989-); Natural Resources & Energy Law Section member (2000-); Aboriginal Law Section member (2006-)
  • Mining Association of Canada—member
  • Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada—member
  • Ontario Association for Impact Assessment—Director
  • Northwest Territories & Nunavut Chamber of Mines
  • Air and Waste Management Association—Ottawa Valley Chapter
  • Ottawa Construction Association
  • County of Carleton Law Association—member (2015-)
  • Canadian Arctic Resources Committee—past Chair (2001-2012)
  • Canadian Council on Social Development—past Chair (1996-1999); Board Member (1990-1999)
  • Ontario Red-Tape Review Commission—Advisory Committee member (1996-1997)
  • Conference Board of Canada—Business and Environmental Research Program, Advisory Committee member (1990-1994)
  • Law Society of Ontario—member