Summary

BLG’s Expropriation Law Group is the largest in the country and has handled leading cases on behalf of both expropriated owners and expropriating authorities. Our extensive experience and national leadership in the field enables us to come up with creative solutions to expropriation related problems.

Members of our group enhance their expertise by practicing in a variety of closely related areas of law such as assessment appeals, municipal law, commercial real estate litigation, environmental law and professional liability work.

BLG’s Expropriation Law Group has the expertise of a boutique litigation firm within a full-service national law firm. The professionals in our Expropriation Law Group are recognized nationally for their expertise, with many of the group’s professionals recognized as being amongst The Best Lawyers in Canada and listed in the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.

As leaders in the field, we are authors of New Law of Expropriation, Carswell, 1990-present (updated semi-annually), the primary textbook on expropriation law.

Publications & Presentations

  • "New Law of Expropriation", Carswell, 1990-present (updated semi-annually providing up-to-date analysis; with John A. Coates).
  • "Expropriation as a Planning Tool," ULI Urban Leadership Session, February 2017.
  • "Issues in Canadian Expropriation Law and Practice", Public Interest, Private Property: Law and Planning Policy in Canada, 2016.
  • "Assessing the Impacts of Pre-Expropriation Losses and Post-Construction Benefit", Ontario Expropriation Association, October 2016.
  • "Moore V. Getahun At The Ontario Municipal Board: What Expropriation And Planning Experts Need To Know,​" BLG Publication, February 2015.
  • "Expropriations - A Primer on Injurious Affection, Highest and Best Use and Disturbance Damages," The Law Society of Upper Canada - "The Six-Minute Municipal Lawyer 2013," May 2013.
  • "Annual Case Law Update," Ontario Expropriation Association, October 2012.
  • "Perils of Proving Injurious Affection," Ontario Expropriation Newsletter, July 2012 (with Robert Wood).
  • "The Impact of Environmental Contamination in Expropriation Compensation Claims,"  Presented to the Ontario Association of Municipal Real Estate Administrators (OAMREA), May 2012.
  • "Advanced Concepts in Expropriation," International Right of Way Association, March 2012.
  • "Pre-Expropriation Negotiations: What to Expect and How to Respond," March 2012.
  • "The Compensation Process and What to Expect," March 2012.
  • "Expropriation Compensation and Costs," February 2012.
  • "The A, B, and C’s of Expropriation," Presentation by SFW to Ontario Bar Association, November 2011.
  • "Expropriation: The Raw Edge of Conflict between the Public and Private Interests," Private Property, Planning and the Public Interest Conference, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, March 11-12, 2010.
  • "Expropriation in a Time of Massive Infrastructure Spending," International Right of Way Association Fall Education Seminar, October 2009.

Expropriated Owners

​For land owners facing expropriation or the prospect of expropriation we provide not only legal advice but assistance in all facets of the process including negotiation, identification and retainer of experts, options for challenging the decision to expropriate and conduct of the entire litigation process.

Our clients range from the largest developers to individual homeowners and farm families. Often we are retained by groups of owners affected by large scale projects. An example of this would be the 80 farm families that we acted for in Lambton County, Ontario when the Province proceeded with the Darcy McKeough Dam and Floodway Project.

A great deal of our work for individual landowners is against Ontario's Ministry of Transportation. Although we act for other branches of the Ontario Provincial Government we do not act for the Ministry of Transportation in any respect. We are routinely retained by landowners affected by Ministry projects across the Province.

Expropriating Authorities

For expropriating authorities such as municipal governments, health regions, school districts and other land developers, we have considerable experience advising on all aspects of expropriation law. Our services include the option of providing a turn/key approach to expropriations, including the drafting of staff reports, by-laws, resolutions, notices, pleadings, counsel representation before the statutory boards and courts, as well as provision of budgeting for all aspects of the land acquisition program and management and direction of all professional and expert services.

Over the past decade, our Expropriation Law Group has developed a particular emphasis in acting for municipalities in expropriation matters, although we have acted in expropriation cases for some municipalities for over 25 continuous years. Through the growth of our practice group and our focus on municipal mandates, we believe that we have the largest expropriation practice in the province acting for municipalities. Every lawyer in our Expropriation Law Group has acted for municipalities in expropriation matters from the outset of their careers at BLG.

While expropriation law is the core practice area of our group, members of our group enhance their expertise by practising in a variety of closely related fields of law, such as planning and development, real estate (both litigation and transactions), environmental law, municipal finance and taxation, and lease arbitrations.