Richard Butler


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Richard Butler is an environmental lawyer with a primary focus on environmental and natural resource disputes and litigation.

Richard is known for his tenacity, and putting his clients’ concerns and objectives first and foremost. As a reliable advocate, Richard works hard to understand his clients’ business, their risks and their preferred outcomes.

Richard litigates contaminated land and other environmental disputes before all levels of Ontario’s Courts and Tribunals, including the Superior Court of Justice, the Court of Appeal, and the Ontario Land Tribunal. Richard defends environmental charges in environmental, mining and conservation authority matters. He also appeals environmental regulatory orders.

Richard’s goal in every situation is to help clients understand their legal rights and obligations, and all legal and business options available. He is more interested in finding clients solutions than taking entrenched positions, and he has built his reputation as an advocate on his measured approach and creative solutions. He provides clear, thoughtful, forthright opinions. He is not shy about discussing numbers, budgets and timelines, and sticking to them. He wants clients to have all of the information they need up front to make informed and timely decisions.

In addition to litigation, Richard assists clients in a broad range of environmental areas. With particular expertise protecting client interests in land and resource matters, Richard handles conservation authorities matters, mining claims, and advises about environmental regulatory requirements and risk management. He works with clients to respond to spills and discharges. Richard assists clients with matters involving contaminated land, waste and water issues. He also advises about environmental law aspects of business transactions. In compliance and permitting matters, Richard provides advice to clients in a broad range of sectors including mining, agriculture, food, construction, infrastructure and insurance.

Having started his career as a scientist, Richard has an in-depth familiarity with the technical side of environmental law. Having earned degrees in environmental sciences, he began his career as an environmental consultant for Environment Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


  • Called to the bar of Ontario (2006)
  • LL.B., Osgoode Hall Law School, York University (2005)
  • M.Sc., Environmental Geography, Queen’s University (2001)
  • B.Sc. (Hons.), Environmental Science, Queen’s University (1998)



  • Law Society of Ontario—member
  • The Advocates’ Society—member
  • Canadian Bar Association—member
  • Ontario Bar Association—member
  • Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada—member
  • Defence Research Institute—member
  • Scouts Canada—volunteer and colony leader
  • Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM)—member