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David Stevens

Partner Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 1998

David is dedicated to understanding his clients’ businesses and creates and implements solutions to advance their objectives. He is experienced and comfortable working within complex regulatory environments to find and optimize achievable outcomes. With the ability to hone in on the most crucial and meaningful details amongst large amounts of information, David identifies opportunities for his clients that others may miss.

As Practice Group Leader of the firm's Litigation Group and member of the Energy Team, David practises in the area of regulatory and commercial litigation.

For more than 15 years, David has advised gas and electric utilities, and other participants in Ontario’s electricity market, on a wide range of regulatory and commercial issues, and regularly appears before the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). Among other things, he assists clients with ratemaking applications, policy consultations, compliance issues, licencing, Measurement Canada issues and regulatory strategy. David often works with energy services providers to ensure that their business practices and documentation are compliant with relevant legal requirements, including those imposed by the OEB and by other government agencies (such as Consumer Services and Measurement Canada).

David is a frequent contributor to and lead editor of energyinsider.ca, which features commentary, analysis and news about legal and regulatory developments in Canada's energy sector, with particular focus on regulated entities in Ontario.

As a commercial litigator, David has been involved with a wide range of matters, including contractual disputes, fiduciary duty cases, competition matters, construction disputes, class proceedings, lease disputes, injunctions and professional negligence matters. He also has expertise in matters relating to Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act, and the obligations imposed by that statute.

David has appeared before the OEB and all levels of Ontario courts, including the Superior Court, Divisional Court and Court of Appeal, as well as before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court Trial Division, the Competition Tribunal, the Ontario Securities Commission and the Commissioner of Mining and Lands (Ontario).

David leads the Aird & Berlis LLP United Way Committee, which was the recipient of a 2016 United Way Toronto & York Region Spirit Award.  

Awards & Recognition

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada in Energy Regulatory Law

Professional Involvement

Memberships

  • The Advocates' Society

Representative Matters

  • Counsel to applicants in rate cases and other regulatory proceedings before the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), including the first “Custom IR” case, the first pre-approval of a long-term contract, rate adjustment proceedings, applications for approval of new services, compliance proceedings, customer service policy reviews, facilities approvals and review motions.
  • Counsel to a large technology company in a $10 million arbitration and subsequent $30 million Superior Court action related to the sale of a joint venture.
  • Counsel to a public company in an oppression remedy application involving securities law issues around a normal course issuer bid.
  • Counsel in an environmental contamination case related to a condominium development.
  • Counsel to the respondent in a leasing and bankruptcy dispute that culminated in a Supreme Court of Canada hearing.

Reported cases include:

  • Over fifty OEB proceedings, including:
    • EB-2017-0102 (Earnings Sharing)
    • EB-2017-0086 (Rate Adjustment)
    • EB-2015-0166 (Pre-approval of long-term contract)
    • EB-2012-0459 (Custom IR rate case)
    • EB-2012-0405 (Exemption from Distribution System Code)
    • EB-2011-0226 (Approval of customer care costs)
    • EB-2007-0731 (LPP class action costs)
    • EB-2006-0322 (Review Motion)
    • RP-2006-0034 (Cost of Service)
    • EB-2005-0551 (NGEIR)
  • Summary judgment motion arising from the sale of a joint venture and related arbitration decision: Nordion Inc. v. Life Technologies Inc., 2015 ONSC 1023.
  • Appeal of OEB decision around interpretation of settlement agreement: Enbridge Gas Distribution v. Ontario Energy Board, 2011 ONSC 684 (Div. Ct.).
  • Appeal of motion decision to strike portions of misrepresentation claim: Research Capital Corporation v. Skyservice Airlines Inc., 2009 ONCA 418.
  • Appeal on differentiated rates for low-income consumers: Advocacy Centre for Tenants-Ontario v. Ontario Energy Board, (2008), 293 D.L.R. (4th) 684.
  • Appeal addressing implications of bankruptcy on commercial lease:  Crystalline Investments Ltd. v. Domgroup Ltd., [2004] 1 SCR 60.
  • Oppression application re. public company: Renegade Capital Corp. v. Schmalz, 2003 CanLII 26110 (ON SC).
  • Summary judgment motion : Valleytank Inc. v. AR Plus Site Services (Canada) Inc., 2003 CanLII 19752 (ON SC).
  • Appeal of decision to deny accreditation to a member agency: Family and Credit Counselling Services York Region v. Ontario (Ass. of Non-Profit Counselling Services), 2003 CanLII 4039 (ON SCDC).

Selected Speaking Engagements

"Careers Breakfast," CAMPUT 2018, May 10, 2018.

"The Future of Energy Storage in Ontario," Ontario Energy Association Speaker Series, November 28, 2017.

"A Primer on Local Distribution Companies for Municipal Professionals," AMCTO Conference, June 13, 2017.

"Regulatory Update: Introduction to Bill 135 & Environmental Policies Impacting Building Construction and Operations," Energy Management: What’s New and What’s Next Thought Leadership Conference, October 26, 2016 and November 2, 2016.

 

Selected Publications

"What's Next for the Ontario Energy Board?," Energy Regulation Quarterly, March 2018.

"OEB Issues Its Largest Rate Case Decision Ever," IPPSO FACTO (APPrO magazine), February 2018.

"Compressed Air Energy Storage Regulation Proposed,” IPPSO FACTO (APPrO magazine), December 2017.

"Third GHG Auction Sells Out," IPPSO FACTO (APPrO magazine), October 2017.

"Ontario's "Fair Hydro Plan" Comes at a (Future) Cost," Energy Regulation Quarterly, September 2017.

"Light Shed on When Electricity Distributors Can Share Customer Data With Police," The Lawyer's Daily, September 27, 2017.

"British Columbia Regulator has No Jurisdiction to Set Low Income Rates, Energy Regulation Quarterly, March 2017.

"Pole Attachment Charges – Ontario Energy Board Initiates a Comprehensive Review," Energy Regulation Quarterly, March 2016.

"Custom IR Rate Model Approved for Toronto Hydro," IPPSO FACTO (APPrO magazine), February 2016.

"Ontario Introduces Energy Planning Legislation," IPPSO FACTO (APPrO magazine), December 2015.

Contributing author with Fred D. Cass, Ron W. Clark and Scott Stoll, Ontario Energy Law: Electricity, December 2012, published by LexisNexis Canada.

Insights

Publications Article Apr 05, 2018 What’s Next for the Ontario Energy Board?
Insights EnergyInsider Mar 08, 2018 BCUC Rejects BC Hydro Request for a Rate Freeze
Insights EnergyInsider Feb 20, 2018 Ontario Issues Canada’s Largest Green Bond

Education

  • LLB, University of British Columbia, 1996
  • BA, Queen's University, 1992