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Zoë Thoms

Associate Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 2009

As a litigator with a focus on energy regulation, Zoë is proud to play a part in facilitating vital services for her community.  Regardless of how complex a problem is, Zoë takes the time to fully understand the issue at hand. She enjoys developing strong relationships with her clients and works diligently to meet their needs.

As a member of the firm's Litigation and Energy Groups, Zoë is a litigator with a strong focus on energy regulation. She represents distributors, generators and transmitters in the electricity industry and distributors and storage developers in the natural gas sector. Zoë recently spent a year seconded as Regulatory Counsel at a large urban electricity distributor. Her experience also includes advising oil and gas exploration companies, as well as professional liability insurers and telecommunication companies.

She is a regular advisor to clients on environmental matters, including renewable energy approvals, environmental assessments, contaminated land remediation, compliance issues and litigation.

Zoë has appeared before the Superior Court of Ontario, Ontario Court of Justice, Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench and Alberta Provincial Court. She also advises on regulatory proceedings before the Ontario Energy Board, including rates and license applications.

In addition, she is a contributor to and editor of Energy Insider, a blog which features commentary, analysis and news from Aird & Berlis energy regulatory lawyers. Her involvement with the blog helps her to stay abreast of new developments in the energy sector, ensuring that her advice to clients is timely as well as forward-thinking.

Professional Involvement

Professional Activities

  • Pro Bono Law Ontario – Education Law Project
  • The Women's Centre of Calgary – Past Director
  • The Women's Centre of Calgary Legal Clinic – Past Volunteer
  • CBA/University of Calgary Law School Mentorship Program – Past Volunteer

Memberships

  • Ontario Energy Association
  • Women in Renewable Energy
  • Women's Law Association of Ontario
  • The Advocates’ Society
  • Canadian/Ontario Bar Association
  • The Law Society of Alberta (Called to Alberta Bar 2011)

Representative Matters

Advised applicants on applications to the OEB for the sale or disposal of part of a distribution system. 

Advised multi-unit property owner regarding unit sub-metering licensing application and compliance.

Represented landowners in a successful challenge of Ministry of Natural Resources environmental assessment approval for dredging permit.

Successfully represented renewable generator in defending appeal of the Renewable Energy Approval issued by the Ministry of the Environment.

Successfully represented natural gas producer in coal bed methane dispute.

Represented natural gas producer in lease disputes with freehold land owners.

Represented condominium developers in multi-million dollar construction lien and delay claims in respect of manufacturer and supplier of curtain wall windows.

Represented landlord in injunction proceedings against tenants regarding the imposition of customer pay parking.

Represented renewable generation developer in lease dispute with lessor.

Regularly advises architects on insured negligence claims.

Reported Decisions

TD Bank v. Yousefie, 2016 ONSC 5991 (equitable subrogation of mortgagee)

Swagerman v. Ontario (Environment and Climate Change), 2016 CanLII 12929 (appeal of order)

Encana Corporation v. ARC Resources Ltd., 2013 ABQB 352 (summary judgment)

Encana Corporation v. ARC Resources Ltd., 2013 ABQB 96 (leave for summary judgment)

Goldberg v. Dufferin Taxi Limited, 2010 ONSC 4270 (Commercial List)

Selected Publications

“Tribunal Cancels Wind Project in First Use of Remedial Powers,” Environment Policy & Law, September 2016.

"Despite Concerns, Tidal Generation Moving Forward," The Lawyers Weekly, Aug. 19, 2016.

“Under the Sea: Nova Scotia’s Marine Renewable Energy Strategy Opens the Gate to An Interconnected Tidal Turbine Project Expected to Be the First of Its Kind,” ReNew Canada, November 2015.

"Norfolk and Altalink: Ontario and Alberta Regulators Refine Mergers and Acquisitions Standards," Energy Regulation Quarterly, 2015, 3:1 (with Ron Clark).

“Deliberative Secrecy in the Context of Decision-Making by Administrative Tribunals,” The Advocate’s Quarterly, 2015 (with Fred D. Cass).

“Post-Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.: Is Canada Poised to Become an Alternative Jurisdiction for Extraterritorial Human Rights Litigation?” Alberta Law Review, 2014, 52:2 (with Sean Fairhurst).

“Premier Wynne’s Mandate Letter to the Minister of Energy,” Aird & Berlis LLP Energy Bulletin, October 2014 (with David Stevens).

Insights

Insights EnergyInsider Aug 27, 2019 Climate Change Litigation: Actions Against Corporations
Insights EnergyInsider Aug 13, 2019 Powerful Women: Paula Conboy
Insights EnergyInsider Jul 05, 2019 Climate Change Litigation: Urgenda Update
Insights EnergyInsider Jun 07, 2019 Update on Climate Change Litigation
Insights EnergyInsider Jan 21, 2019 Top Energy Insider Posts of 2018

Education

  • LLB, University of Western Ontario, 2008
  • BA, Simon Fraser University, 2003