Randall W. Block QC

Partner

Executive Summary

​Randall Block is a partner in our Litigation and Arbitration Group in our Calgary office. Randall specializes in all forms of dispute resolution in the energy and oil & gas industries, including commercial litigation and arbitration and regulatory proceedings. He is recognized as one of the world's leading lawyers in these fields by the foremost legal ranking directories.

Randall has appeared before the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, Alberta Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Alberta Utilities Commission, the Energy Resources Conservation Board, the National Energy Board and various arbitral panels; he has also sat as an arbitrator. Randall has written and lectured on various issues in oil & gas law and realization on oil & gas-related security. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2005, and Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2010.

Representative Work

Regulatory

  • Acts as Counsel to AltaLink Management Ltd., a transmission facility owner, on all aspects of the approval of an HVDC transmission line, designated as Critical Transmission Infrastructure between Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, including the environmental impacts of the line, 2009-13.
  • Acted for AltaLink Management Ltd. on proceedings relating to the abandonment of the Generic Cost of Capital formula for Alberta-based regulated utilities, 2009.
  • Acted for Kinder Morgan Canada Company before the National Energy Board to successfully reinstate the Windsor-Sarnia portion of the Cochin Pipeline system, 2009-10.
  • Represents Sunshine Oil Sands Ltd. on all aspects of its oil sands project development, including regulatory proceedings before the Energy Resources Conservation Board, the successful interim shut-in of 120 producing natural gas wells, the commercial application for project development, and the environmental review.
  • Represents Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. on all aspects of its oil sands project development, including the application for the interim shut-in of 180 producing natural gas wells, the commercial application for project development, and the full environmental impact assessment.
  • Acted for AltaLink Management Ltd. on all aspects of the Alberta Utilities Commission Inquiry into the implementation of Smart Grid in Alberta. 2010.
  • Acts as Counsel to ConocoPhillips Canada on all issues relating to the ownership and production of natural gas from coal, including the successful proceedings before the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board/AEUB (now the Energy Resources Conservation Board/ERCB).
  • Acted for Husky Oil Operations Limited on regulatory and litigation matters, including the successful application to shut in natural gas production at Cold Lake due to the potential harm to heavy oil recovery through cyclic steam processes, 2006-09.
  • Acted for Murphy Oil Company Ltd. on its successful application to preserve its heavy oil resources in the Peace River Arch through the curtailment of natural gas production, 2007-08.
  • Acted as Co-Counsel for Gulf Canada Resources Limited (now ConocoPhillips Canada Resources Corp.), an oil sands owner, on its successful application to the AEUB to shut in gas production in the Surmont area in Northern Alberta. The hearing resulted in the Board-ordered shut-in of 146 producing gas wells in the Surmont area overlying ConocoPhillips’ oil sands interests, 1999-2000.
  • Acted on behalf of ConocoPhillips on its successful commercial application to the AEUB to operate a 100,000 barrel-per-day steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) project at Surmont; included a full environmental impact assessment, 2003-04.
  • Acted for Nexen Canada Ltd and ConocoPhillips on the Leismer/Chard hearing before the AEUB, the longest-ever heard by the AEUB. Hearing resulted in a full review of natural gas production in the designated oil sands areas of Alberta, a regional hearing, and ultimate curtailment of natural gas production in the entire oil sands area, 2001-02.
  • Acts for Talisman Energy Inc. on various regulatory issues before the Energy Resources Conservation Board.

Litigation

  • Acts in corporate take-overs and securities litigation.
  • Represents energy companies in litigation relating to oil & gas operations, acquisitions, and contracts.
  • Acts in shareholders’ disputes and corporate oppression.
  • Conducts arbitration, including gas price arbitration and mediations.
  • Acts in court proceedings relating to fundamental corporate changes such as arrangements, reorganizations and amalgamations, take-overs.
  • Acts in numerous cases involving general corporate commercial matters.
  • Acted for Gulf Canada Resources Limited (now ConocoPhillips Canada Resources Corp.) in numerous split-title oil and gas cases (including the Supreme Court of Canada) establishing that the oil owner remains the owner of all natural gas that evolves from oil during the course of production resulting in the trial judgment confirming the petroleum owners right to solution gas, 2004-11.
  • Acted as Co-Counsel for Stampeder Exploration Ltd. in the litigation arising out of Stampeder’s acquisition of Westar Petroleum Ltd. before the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeal; specifically, a successful leave application to the Supreme Court of Canada seeking the reinstatement of the Trial Judge’s award of $1 million punitive damages in favour of Stampeder, 1993-2000.

Publications & Presentations

  • Speaker, “Recent Developments Impacting the Oil & Gas Industry and a Look Forward into the Haze,” BLG Oil & Gas Seminar in Calgary, March 2012.
  • Co-Author, “Alberta Oil Sands: Things You Don’t See in a Reserves Report,” Lipper Hedge World Energy & Natural Resources Forum, 2007.
  • Co-Author, “Securities Litigation in a Hot Oil & Gas Market,” presented at the Western Canadian Securities Litigation Advanced Forum in Toronto, held January 20-31, 2006.
  • Presenter/Co-Author, “A Gathering Storm: Water Conflict in Alberta,” The Canadian Petroleum Law Foundation Seminar in Jasper, June 16-19, 2004.
  • Presenter/Author, “The Gas Over Bitumen Conflict in the Oil Sands,” The Canadian Institute’s Oil Sands Supply & Infrastructure Conference in Calgary, February 23-24, 2004.
  • Co-Author, “Sealed Ex Parte Norwich Orders:  Safeguarding Against Abuse of the Pre-Action Disclosure Remedy,” Civil Litigation Review, 2003.
  • Presenter/Author, “Resolving Disputes Arising out of Natural Gas Contracts,” Insight Conference Natural Gas Sales Contracts in Calgary, January 22-23, 2001.
  • Presenter/Author, “Litigation, Class Actions and Reserve Reporting,” Canadian International Petroleum Conference in Calgary, June 2000.
  • Presenter/Speaker, “The Surmont Bitumen-Gas Conflict,” The Canadian Heavy Oil Association Conference in Calgary, December 2000.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2018 edition of Chambers CanadaCanada's Leading Lawyers for Business (Energy: Provincial Regulatory & Litigation and Litigation: General Commercial – Alberta).
  • Recognized in the 2018 to 2016 editions of Chambers CanadaCanada's Leading Lawyers for Business (Dispute Resolution: Alberta (Band 1) and Energy: Oil & Gas).
  • Recognized in the 2017 (and since 2014) edition of The Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada (Litigation: Corporate Commercial).​
  • Recognized in the 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 edition of The Legal 500 Canada as a leading lawyer (Dispute Resolution: Alberta).
  • Recognized in the 2018 and 2017 editions of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Administrative and Public Law; Bet-the-Company Litigation; Corporate and Commercial Litigation; Energy Law; Energy Regulatory Law; Natural Resources Law; Oil & Gas Law). Also recognized as the 2017 “Calgary Oil & Gas Law Lawyer of the Year​” by The Best Lawyers in Canada®.
  • Recognized in the 2016 and 2015 editions of the Lexpert® Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada (Energy: Electricity; Energy: Oil & Gas).
  • Recognized as a leading corporate lawyer in the 2016 Lexpert®/Report on Business Corporate Special Edition.​
  • Recognized in the 2016​ edition of Benchmark Canada – The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a "Local Litigation Star: Alberta"​ and a "Litigation Star: Energy and Natural Resources."​​
  • Recognized by the 2016 Client Choice Awards as the exclusive winner in the Energy & Natural Resources category in Alberta​.​
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in its 2016 (and since 2006) edition (Administrative and Public Law, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Energy Regulatory Law, Natural Resources Law, and Oil & Gas Law) and recognized as the “2013 Calgary Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in Canada®.
  • Recognized in the 2016 (and since 2013) edition of the Lexpert® Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada (Litigation - Securities; Litigation - Corporate Commercial​).
  • Recognized in the 2015 (and since 2012) editions of Chambers Global – The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Band 1: Dispute Resolution – Alberta; Oil & Gas: Regulatory).
  • Recognized by the 2015 Lexology Client Choice Awards as the exclusive winner in the Energy & Natural Resources category in Alberta.
  • Recognized in the 2015 edition of Benchmark Canada – The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a "Local Litigation Star: Alberta" and a "Litigation Star: Energy and Natural Resources."
  • Recognized in the 2015, 2014 and 2013 editions of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Energy – Electricity, Energy – Oil & Gas, Litigation – Corporate Commercial, Litigation – Directors’ and Officers’ Liability, Litigation – Securities).
  • Recognized as a leading litigator in the 2016 (and since 2013) edition of the Lexpert®/Report on Business Litigation Special Edition.
  • Recognized in the 2016 edition of Who's Who Legal: Canada (Energy). Recognized in the 2015, 2014 and 2013 editions (Commercial Litigation).
  • Martindale-Hubbell® BV® Distinguished™ 4.4 out of 5 Peer Review Rated.
  • Recognized as the Energy/Resources Litigator of the Year 2013 by Benchmark Canada.