Peter G. Pamel

Peter G. Pamel  


Executive Summary

Peter Pamel is a partner in our Montreal office and is internationally recognized as a leading practitioner in Maritime Law. He acts as counsel to numerous shipowners, ship operators, charterers, shipping lines as well as other marine stakeholders in Canada and around the world. Mr. Pamel advises in such areas of regulatory and environmental compliance, pollution and casualty investigations, salvage and general average, drafting of charter parties and bills of lading, dispute resolution and arbitration, civil litigation and penal defence, arrest of vessels, sale and finance, and general commercial activity involving marine property. Mr. Pamel is regularly appointed by P&I and FD&D Clubs, as well as H&M underwriters.

Fluent in English, French and Greek, Mr. Pamel represents clients at all levels of our judiciary, including the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal. He is a leader in Arctic shipping, and is Marine Transportation Segment Leader for BLG's Team North® as well as past Chair of the Canadian Maritime Law Association's Arctic Issues Committee.

Representative Work

Commercial, Regulatory and Business Advisory

  • Coasting Trade issues and importing foreign vessels for cabotage trading in Canada.
  • Advises in the area of marine operations and regulatory compliance in Canada.
  • Provides strategic advice to marine industry stakeholders and underwriters regarding Canadian market penetration, risk assessment and operations.
  • Assistance with negotiation and development of long-term contracts of affreightment.
  • Ship finance, sale and purchase.

Casualty Response and Dispute Resolution

  • Advises in the context of large-scale casualties and pollution.
  • Counsel in the context of shipyard and ship-repair disputes.
  • Counsel on regulatory challenges and penal prosecution on behalf of shipowners and liner operators in Canada.
  • Advises P&I Clubs and insurers on coverage issues and liability under marine policies.
  • Counsel in situations of overboard discharge and voluntary disclosure.
  • Advises and acts as counsel in the area of cargo defence claims and charter party litigation and arbitration.
  • Advises in the areas of general average and salvage recovery.
  • Has successfully pleaded before the Supreme Court of Canada for the establishment of guiding principles in the arrest of marine property.
  • Has successfully pleaded before the Federal Court of Appeal for the recognition that Canada's "Hamburg Rules"-type jurisdiction legislation does not apply to charter parties. Has also successfully pleaded before the Federal Court of Appeal for confirmation of the application of Himalaya Clauses in the context of derailment losses.

Publications & Presentations

Speaking Engagements


  • Montreal, QC: Panel speaker, New York State Bar Association (International Section) Seasonal Meeting, "Ethics of Practice – Federal Court perspective," October 24th, 2018.
  • Calgary, AL: Speaker, Global Petroleum Show, "The Oceans Protection Plan and the Polar Code – how Canada's new management of Arctic Marine Navigation will Impact the Transportation of Oil and Gas," June 14th, 2018.
  • Toronto, ON: Speaker, Marine and Energy Symposium of the Americas 2018, "Arctic Exploration and Shipping – the road to the Polar Code," April 19th, 2018.
  • Toronto, ON: Speaker, Marsh Great Lakes Marine Insurance Seminar, "Beware of K4K – Knock for knock clauses and the allocation of risk in towage and offshore marine contracts," March 16th, 2018.
  • Montreal, QC: Speaker, Arctic Shipping Summit, "Implications of the Polar Code as a component of risk management," February 21st, 2018.


  • Toronto, ON: Speaker, Canadian Board of Marine Underwriters, "Legal Update / Recent Cases," November 28th, 2017.
  • Montreal, QC: Panel speaker, Arctic Shipping Forum North America, "Cruise Ship Scenario: Emergency Response for Cruise Shipping in Ice Covered Waters," November 1st, 2017.
  • Montreal, QC: Panel speaker, Arctic Shipping Forum North America, "Managing Emergency Response Effectively in the Arctic," October 31st, 2017.
  • Montreal, QC: Panel moderator, Arctic Shipping Forum North America, "Community Engagement in Shipping: Building Low Impact Shipping Corridors," October 31st, 2017.
  • Montreal, QC: Conference Chair, Arctic Shipping Forum North America, "Track 2 – Environmental Concerns for Arctic Shipping," October 31st, 2017.
  • St. John's, NL: Speaker, e-Navigation Underway 2017 and Ocean Innovation 2017 Joint Conference, "Marine Insurance in the e-Navigation World," October 17th, 2017.
  • Calgary, AB: Speaker, Next Shale 2017, “What to do about tanker traffic on the West Coast,” June 15th, 2017.
  • New York, NY: Speaker, Gard P&I Club Seminar, "Ice Navigation in Canada – a story about the Arctic," May 2nd, 2017.
  • New York, NY: Speaker, Gard P&I Club Seminar, "The St. Lawrence River and Seaway – when the ice comes," May 2nd, 2017
  • Montréal, QC and Vancouver, BC: Speaker, The Standard P&I Club members' forum, "Pollution Issues in Canada," April 25th (Montréal) and April 27th (Vancouver), 2017.
  • Montréal, QC: Session Chairman, ACI's 10th Annual Arctic Shipping Summit, March 8th, 2017.
  • Miami, FL: Panel Speaker, ACI's 6th Annual Forum on Admiralty and Maritime Claims and Litigation, "Limitation of Liability and Salvage," January 30th and 31st, 2017.


  • Paris, France: Speaker, New York State Bar Association Seasonal Meetings, "The Canadian Cross-Border Insolvency Regime - Interplay with the Federal Court in admiralty matters," October 18th and 19th, 2016.
  • Halifax, NS: Speaker, Symposium on Environment in the Courtroom - Protection of the Marine Environment, "Arctic shipping Issues," October 13 & 14, 2016.
  • Iqaluit, NU: Speaker, Ocean Innovation 2016, "A shipowners' perspective on issues surrounding Arctic Navigation," October 4th and 5th, 2016.
  • Québec City, QC: Speaker, 4th Sino-Canadian Exchange on the Arctic, "What keeps marine insurance companies up at night as regards Arctic Navigation?," May 11 to 13, 2016.
  • New York City, NY: Panel Speaker, 42nd International Law Conference of the CMI – Joint CMI / USMLA Symposium, Polar Shipping and Arctic Development Symposium, "The status and issues with the Polar Code," May 3 to 6, 2016.
  • Calgary, AB: Speaker, ShaleTech Canada 2016, "LNG fuelled vessels – The future of marine transportation," April 20, 2016.
  • Calgary, AB: Panel Moderator, ShaleTech Canada 2016, "Critical Role of the Midstream Sector to Facilitate LNG Exports," April 19, 2016.
  • Montreal, QC: Speaker, 8th Annual Arctic Shipping Summit, "The Polar Code – How Might Arctic Shipping Change After its Implementation", March 23 and 24, 2016.
  • Houston, TX: Panel Speaker, ACI's 5th Annual Forum on Admiralty & Maritime Claims Litigation, "Environmental, Commercial and Trade Issues Associated with Arctic Drilling," January 27 and 28, 2016.


  • Montréal, QC: Speaker, 27th Annual BLG Maritime Law Seminar, "Ship Arrest in Canada – Interplay with the Bankruptcy Courts," December 4, 2015.
  • St. John's, NL: Panel Speaker, 8th Annual Arctic Shipping Forum (North America)," The Insurance Debate – What are insurers looking for when insuring ice-going voyages," November 3 to 5, 2015.
  • Montréal, QC: Guest Lecturer, Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Luncheon Talk, "Strikes, Congestion and Bill of Lading Remedies," October 7, 2015.
  • Toronto, ON: Speaker, 1st Annual BLG Marine Law Seminar, "Ship Arrest in Canada – Interplay with the Bankruptcy Courts," October 1, 2015.
  • Vancouver, BC: Guest moderator, BIMCO Master Class Workshops on Time Charters, September 28 to 30, 2015.
  • Stamford, CT: Speaker, Connecticut Maritime Association, SHIPPING 2015, "Ship Arrest in Canada – Interplay with the Bankruptcy Courts," Stamford, Connecticut, March 25, 2015.
  • Montréal, QC: Speaker, 6th Annual Arctic Shipping Summit, "Cross-Border Oil Spill Response – How U.S. and Canadian Agencies Work Together," March 18 and 19, 2015.
  • Calgary, AB: Speaker, 15th Annual Arctic Oil & Gas Symposium, "Arctic Shipping: Opportunities, Concerns and Logistics," March 10 and 11, 2015.
  • Houston, TX: Speaker, ACI's 4th Annual Forum on Admiralty & Maritime Claims and Litigation, "Novel Issues with Respect to Limitation of Liability," February 4 and 5, 2015.


  • Ottawa, ON: Appeared on behalf of the Canadian Maritime Law Association before theTanker Safety Expert Panel focusing on Canadian Arctic Waters Oil Spill Response, May 15, 2014. The review focuses on ship-source spill preparedness and response requirements in the Arctic, as well as requirements for a hazardous and noxious substances system.
  • Calgary, AB: Speaker, Canadian Institute's Arctic Oil & Gas Symposium, "Weighing the Benefits and Risks of Commercializing Canada's Northwest Passage," March 12, 2014.
  • Montréal, QC: Speaker, Arctic Law Colloquium: Offshore Resources & International Governance, "Panel on Offshore Resources," McGill University, January 25, 2014.


  • Toronto, ON: Speaker, Canadian Maritime Law Association Seminar, "Environmental Advantages to building LNG-Powered Vessels," June 7, 2013.


  • Copenhagen, Denmark: Speaker, IBA International Maritime Law Conference, "The New Canadian Cross-Border Insolvency Regime," May 29 and 30, 2012.
  • Montréal, QC: Speaker, IPY 2012 Montréal, From Knowledge to Action, "Shipping Action Forum: Creating the Conditions for Safe shipping in Polar Waters," April 22-27, 2012.
  • Montréal, QC: Speaker, LNG Conference, Innovation Maritime, "LNG-Powered Ships: The Regulatory Challenges to Building LNG Vessels," April 19, 2012.
  • Stamford, CT: Speaker, Connecticut Maritime Association, SHIPPING 2012, "Arctic Shipping: Navigating the Legal Landscape for Marine Infrastructure and Offshore Development," March 21, 2012.


  • Ottawa, ON: Speaker, Canada-Russia Intergovernmental Economic Commission, Canada/Russia/Norway-Dialogue and Cooperation in the Arctic conference, "Regulatory Uncertainty: Navigating Unanticipated Barriers to Project Development in the Arctic," May 26 and 27, 2011.
  • Ottawa, ON: Speaker, Canadian Maritime Law Association Seminar, CMLA/NJI Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal, "Bills of Lading vs. Sea Waybills, and the Himalaya Clause," April 15, 2011.
  • Ottawa, ON: Speaker, BLG Ambassadors' Luncheon Conference, "Popular Misconceptions and Exaggerations about the Canadian North," Ottawa, January 20, 2011.


  • Montréal, QC: Speaker, Arctic Shipping North America Conference, post-conference seminar, "Legal Challenges of Operating in Cold Climates," November 15-17, 2010.
  • Montréal, QC: Speaker, Arctic Shipping North America Conference, post-conference seminar, "Legislative Changes Affecting the North," November 15-17, 2010.
  • Montréal, QC: Co-Chair, Arctic Shipping North America Conference– Roundtable Discussion, post-conference seminar, "Environmental and Development Requirements for New Projects in the North", November 15-17, 2010.
  • Ottawa, ON: Speaker, Canadian Council of International Law Conference, "Arctic Shipping – New Challenges Facing Maritime Law," October 28-30, 2010.

Interviews and Publications

  • Quoted in the article entitle Northwest Passage Window for Shipping is Gradually Opening featured in TradeWinds, June 23, 2017.
  • Co-Author, Chapter 15 on "General Average", Canadian Maritime Law, 2 ed., 2016.
  • Quoted in the article entitle Report on BLG's Annual Maritime Law Seminar featured in Canadian Sailings, February 22, 2016.
  • Quoted in the article entitle Review of Arctic Shipping Summit Presentations featured in Canadian Sailings, October 26, 2015.
  • Interviewed and quoted in the article entitle Canada Ready to Reform Regime for Shipwreck Liability featured in TradeWinds, July 24, 2015.
  • Interviewed and quoted in the article entitle Arctic Shipping Off Canada's Northern Coastline Is Possible, Symposium Hears featured in the Daily Oil Bulletin published by JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group, March 13, 2015.
  • Interviewed and quoted in the article entitle The Northwest Territories Builds for Its Future featured in the Financial Post on April 30, 2014.
  • Interviewed and featured in relation to BLG's Team North initiative in an article entitle "Understanding unique conditions key to practicing in the North" appearing in the Focus on Business of Law section of The Law Times, Vol. 4, No. 38, November 25, 2013.
  • Interviewed and quoted on arctic shipping issues in the article entitle Canada's Icebreaking Expertise Could Boost Artic Shipping appearing in The Montréal Gazette, October 30, 2013.
  • Co-Author, "Bills of Lading, Sea Waybills and the Himalaya Clause," Corporate Securities and Financial Law Reports, vol. 18, no. 1, January / February 2013.
  • Co-Author, "Arctic Navigation: The Lure and the Challenge," American Bar Association Committee News, October 2012.
  • Co-Author, "How the Private Sector Pursues Economic Development in the North," Public Sector Digest, September 18, 2012.
  • Co-Author, "Challenges of Northern Resource Development and Arctic Shipping," Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, Vol. 29, No. 30, August 2011.
  • "BLG Sets Up Team with Geographic Specialty," Law Times, July 11, 2011.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • The Legal 500 Canada (Transportation: Shipping) - Recognized as a "Leading Lawyer" in the 2019 and 2017 editions.
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Maritime Law) - Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2019, 2018 and 2017 editions.
  • Chambers Global - The World's Leading Lawyers for Business (Transportation: Shipping) -  2016 and 2017 editions.
  • Chambers Canada - Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business (Transportation: Shipping ) -  2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016 editions.
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Shipping and Maritime Law) - 2018, 2017 and 2016 editions.
  • Who's Who Legal: The World's Leading Transport Lawyers (Shipping) - 2016 edition.
  • Who's Who Legal: Canada (Shipping and Maritime) -  2016 edition.
  • Martindale-Hubbell® BV® Distinguished™ Peer Review Rated.