Michael A. Marion  

Partner

Executive Summary

Michael Marion is a partner, and Regional Group Manager of the Commercial Litigation Group in our Calgary office. Michael practises commercial litigation, arbitration and administrative law, with a focus on oil and gas and energy litigation and regulatory proceedings, corporate commercial litigation, expropriation and municipal law and bankruptcy and insolvency. Michael regularly appears before the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, the Alberta Court of Appeal, commercial arbitrators and administrative tribunals.

Michael’s oil and gas litigation practice involves a wide array of upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas litigation issues, including complex contractual disputes arising out of oil and gas freehold and Crown leases, ownership and title issues, purchase and sale agreements, rights of first refusal, pipeline tariffs and tolls, operating agreements and procedures, net profits agreements, carried accounts, farmout agreements, royalty agreements, trust certificates, unit agreements, pooling arrangements, participation agreements, plant construction and operation agreements, processing agreements, seismic, surface leases and surface access agreements, storage agreements, road access agreements, water disposal agreements and service station franchise agreements. Michael’s oil and gas litigation practice also includes significant work related to subsurface trespass, insolvency, environmental liability, intellectual property and confidential information, product liability, negligence and construction disputes involving oil and gas operations. Since 2013, Michael’s litigation practice has been recognized by Chambers Global – The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Dispute Resolution: Alberta).

In his oil and gas and energy regulatory practice, Michael regularly assists clients with making or opposing regulatory applications before the Alberta Energy Regulator. Michael’s experience includes regulatory advisory and hearing work relating to all aspects of project, well, and pipeline approvals including standing, consultation, environmental impact, integrity, maintenance, design, routing and emergency response. Michael’s experience in other regulatory advisory and hearing matters includes storage reservoirs, pool delineation and producing zone determination, trespass and entitlement issues, compulsory pooling, shut-ins and suspensions, off-target and abandonment issues. Michael also has experience assisting oil and gas clients with other regulatory regimes and tribunals, including the Crown lease tenure system, the Public Lands Act, the Surface Rights Board, the Alberta Securities Commission, and in defending environmental and Water Act enforcement or prosecutions. Since 2011, Michael’s energy regulatory practice has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Energy Regulatory Law).

Michael has a general corporate and commercial litigation practice involving corporate litigation (derivative actions, oppression, shareholder rights, share valuations), commercial leasing matters, franchise litigation and arbitration, misuse of confidential information and intellectual property, land ownership and development disputes, professional liability, negligence, construction, Anton Piller and Norwich Pharmacal orders and general contractual matters.

In Michael’s bankruptcy and insolvency practice, he has acted on behalf of receivers, monitors, trustees in bankruptcy and creditors in receiverships, bankruptcies and restructurings pursuant to the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. In 2015, Michael’s bankruptcy and insolvency practice was recognized by The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Insolvency and Financial Restructuring Law).

Michael has guided over 50 commercial and residential landowners through the Alberta expropriation negotiation, inquiry and compensation processes when lands are required or impacted by municipal, provincial or railway projects. Michael’s experience includes work in all major and many other Alberta municipalities, as well as in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. Michael’s municipal litigation practice also includes matters related to municipal liability, business licence reviews, bylaw challenges, planning and development, and municipal tax assessment.

​Michael is a frequent writer on matters of interest to his varied practice. Prior to beginning his articles with BLG in 1999, Michael clerked with the Alberta Court of Appeal and Alberta Court of Queen's Bench in 1998 and 1999. ​

Representative Work

Oil and Gas / Energy Litigation and Regulatory Reported Decisions

  • Bard v Canadian Natural Resources Limited, 2016 ABQB 267 [e-discovery and production of oil and gas financial accounting records]
  • Toyota Tsusho Wheatland Inc v Encana Corp, 2016 ABQB 209 [Litigation and arbitration related to alleged breach of oil & gas joint venture agreement involving significant oil & gas interests]​
  • Kallisto Energy Corp. Application for a Well Licence Crossfield East Field, 2013 ABAER 013 [well licence application in proximity to storage reservoir]
  • Nexxtep Resources Ltd v Alberta (Energy Resources Conservation Board), [2013] AJ No 521(CA)[leave to appeal denial of well suspension application]
  • Talisman Energy Inc v Esprit Exploration Ltd, [2013] AJ No 202 (QB)[dispute over ownership and environmental liabilities associated with sour gas processing plant]
  • Nexxtep Resources Ltd v Talisman Energy Inc, [2013] AJ No 57 (CA)[oil and gas purchase and sale agreement ownership dispute]
  • Terra Energy Corp. Applications for an Oil Effluent Pipeline Grande Prairie, 2012 ABERCB 012 [oil effluent pipeline approval application]
  • Nexxtep Resources Ltd v Talisman Energy Inc, [2012] AJ No 1219 (QB) [trial costs]
  • Nexxtep Resources Ltd v Talisman Energy Inc, [2012] AJ No 85 (QB) [oil and gas purchase and sale agreement ownership dispute]
  • Talisman Energy Inc v Energy Resources Conservation Board, [2010] AJ No 1004 (CA) [leave to appeal pool delineation application decision]
  • Nexxtep Resources Ltd v Talisman Energy Inc, [2010] AJ No 771 (QB) [bifurcation of proceedings application]
  • ERCB Decision 2009-050: Nexxtep Resources Ltd. Wilson Creek Field [pool delineation]
  • Nexxtep Resources Ltd v Talisman Energy Inc, [2008] AJ No 689 (CA)[summary judgment]
  • Nexxtep Resources Ltd v Talisman Energy Inc, [2007] AJ No 1502 (QB)[summary judgment]
  • Freyberg v Fletcher Challenge Oil and Gas Inc, [2003] AJ No 711 (QB) [lease termination – costs]

Corporate / Commercial Litigation Reported Decisions

  • 1226911 Alberta Ltd v Redecopp, [2012] AJ NO 1331 (Master)[expiry of statement of claim]
  • Moose Mountain Buffalo Ranch v Greene Farms Drilling Ltd, [2010] AJ NO 172 (CA)[granting leave to file a Statement of Defence)
  • Orbus Pharma Inc v Kung Man Lee Properties Inc, [2008] AJ No 1430 (QB)[commercial leasing dispute]
  • Brewers’ Distributor Ltd v 1145127 Alberta Ltd, [2007] AJ No 855 (QB)[land dispute relating to railway easement]
  • Westco Storage Ltd v BICC Canada Inc, [2005] MJ No 94 (CA) [limitations]
  • BTI Corp (Delaware) Inc v Gener SA, [2004] AJ No 413 (CA) [service ex juris]
  • Big Bear Exploration Ltd v Rathwell, [2003] AJ No 1156 (QB) [dissent share valuation proceedings]
  • BTI Corp (Delaware) Inc v Gener SA, [2003] AJ No 326 (QB) [service ex juris]
  • Central Park Lodges Ltd v CGU Insurance Co of Canada, [2003] MJ No 495 (QB) [construction]
  • Samson Indian Nation and Band v Canada (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development), [2003] FCJ No 1823 (FCTD) [compellability of Prime Minister as witness]
  • Alberta (Treasury Branches) v Ghermezian, [2002] AJ No 524 (CA) [ex parte discovery orders]
  • Union Pacific Resources Inc (Re), [2000] AJ No 1577 (QB) [commercial leasing]
  • Precision Drilling Corp v Matthews Equipment Ltd, [2000] AJ No 865 (QB) [purchase and sale agreement - arbitration]
  • Alberta (Treasury Branches) v SevenWay Capital Corp, [2000] AJ No 801 (QB) [oppression]

Expropriation / Municipal Decisions

  • Radomski v Calgary (City), 2012 CanLII 60873 (AB LCB) [expropriation compensation hearing]
  • In the Matter of the Intended Expropriation by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo re Sports and Entertainment Complex Project, (2013 Inquiry Officer) [expropriation inquiry]
  • Martyna Enterprises Ltd v Calgary (City), 2011 CanLII 95389 (AB LCB) [expropriation compensation hearing]
  • Lansdowne Equity Ventures Ltd v City of Calgary, 2011 ABLCB Order No 480 [expropriation compensation hearing]
  • High River (Town) v High River (Town)(Subdivision and Development Appeal), [2010], AJ No 1563 (CA) [leave to appeal subdivision and development appeal]
  • In re Cecil Hotel (2008) [business licence review hearing]
  • In the Matter of the Intended Expropriation by the City of Calgary (16th Avenue North Project)(2008 Inquiry Officer) [expropriation inquiry hearing]
  • Thoreson v Alberta (Minister of Alberta Infrastructure), [2006] AJ No 1094 (CA)[ appeal]
  • Grenier v Alberta (Minister of Alberta Infrastructure), [2006] AJ No 1623 (Master) [expropriation claim]

Insolvency and Restructuring Reported Decisions

  • Sandhu v MEG Place LP Investment Corp, [2012] AJ No 270 (CA)[confirming notice of disallowances of claims in bankruptcy process]
  • Sandhu v MEG Place LP Investment Corp, [2012] AJ No 19 (CA) [leave to appeal decision setting aside notice of disallowances in bankruptcy process]
  • Sandhu v MEG Place LP Investment Corp, [2012] AB QB No 19 (QB)[setting aside notice of disallowances in bankruptcy process]
  • De Palma (Re), [2010] AJ 771 (QB) [bankruptcy petition]
  • Bank of Montreal v Jarjoura, [2010] AJ No 163 (QB)[dismissal of action against receiver]
  • Bank of Montreal v Probe Exploration Inc, [2006] AJ No 1094 (QB)[environmental liabilities upon bankruptcy discharge]
  • Octane Energy Services (Re), [2006] AJ NO 60 (QB)[personal property security / liens priority issues]
  • Direct Energy Marketing Ltd v Kalta Energy Corp, [2003], AJ No 1624 (QB) [personal property priority issues]
  • Direct Energy Marketing Ltd v Kalta Energy Corp, [2002] AJ No 463 (QB) [priorities and set-off issues in receivership]
  • Blue Range Resources Corp (Re), [1999] AJ No 975 (CA) [CCAA leave to appeal]

Publications & Presentations

Michael is a frequent blogger on  THE RESOURCE: BLG Energy Law Blog​.​ This blog is authored by members of BLG's Oil and Gas Focus Group, along with timely contributions from members of our Electricity Markets Focus Group and guest contributors. We follow new and interesting legal issues as they emerge in the energy area.

Academic Articles

  • Co-Author,"AB ruling reminds service firms to first obtain municipal permits," Environment and Policy Law, May 2015.
  • Author, "Canada’s Aging Oil and Gas Infrastructure​: Who Will Pay?" Alberta Law Review, 2014.
  • Author, "The Unsettled Scope and Application of Settlement Privilege in Canada," Annual Review of Civil Litigation, 2013.
  • Author, "The Doctrine of Estoppel by Convention in Canada," Annual Review of Civil Litigation, 2011.
  • Author, "Compensation Where No Land Is Taken: Update of the Law in Alberta," Alberta Law Review, Vol. 48, 2010.
  • Author, "Sealed Ex Parte Norwich Orders: Safeguarding Against Abuse of the Pre-Action Disclosure Remedy," Annual Review of Civil Litigation, 2003.

The Resource: BLG Energy Law Blog Posts and BLG Publications​

Presentations

  • Speaker, "Canada’s Aging Oil and Gas Infrastructure: Who Will Pay?: The Public and Private Cost Recovery Frameworks," CELF Jasper, June 13, 2014. ​
  • Speaker, Radomski v. The City of Calgary, Alberta Expropriation Association Annual Conference, 2013.
  • Speaker, "Alberta's Aging Oil and Gas Infrastructure," BLG Oil and Gas Seminar, December 5, 2013.
  • Speaker, "Litigating Oil and Gas Contracts," BLG Oil and Gas Seminar, May 15, 2013.
  • Speaker, "The OMERS Energy v. Alberta Court Decision," Canadian Association of Petroleum Land Administration Annual Conference, 2012.
  • Author, "The Doctrine of Estoppel by Convention in Canada," Annual Review of Civil Litigation, 2011.
  • Author, "Compensation Where No Land Is Taken: Update of the Law in Alberta," Alberta Law Review, Vol. 48, 2010.
  • Author and Speaker, "The Regulation and Litigation of Water Rights in Alberta," The Canadian Institute's Conference On Managing Water Resources & Disputes, September 29-30, 2009.
  • Speaker, "Compensation Where No Land Is Taken: Update of the Law in Alberta," Alberta Expropriation Association Annual Conference, 2008.​​

Rankings & Recognitions

  • ​Recognized in the 2017 and​ 2016 edition of Chambers Canada — Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business (Dispute Resolution: Alberta).​
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2017 edition (and since 2011) of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Energy Regulatory Law, Insolvency and Financial Restructuring Law, Oil and Gas Law).
  • Recognized in the 2016 and 2015 editions of Benchmark Canada - The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a "Future Star: Alberta."
  • Recognized in the 2015, 2014 and 2013 editions of Chambers Global - The World's Leading Lawyers for Business (Dispute Resolution: Alberta).
  • Recognized as a "Litigation Lawyer to Watch" in the 2009 edition of The Lexpert® Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada.
  • Selected for a Lexpert® Rising Star Award, given annually to the "Top 40 Lawyers under 40," 2008.