Rick Williams

Rick Williams  


Executive Summary

Rick Williams is a partner in our Vancouver office. He is the National Leader of the Environmental Law group and the Regional Leader of the Regulatory and Oil and Gas groups.

Rick regularly represents and advises clients on the commercial, regulatory and litigation aspects of project development, permitting and operations in the energy and natural resource sectors, including land, environmental and Indigenous issues.  Rick also represents and advises clients on dispute resolution including regulatory proceedings, corporate/commercial litigation and arbitration, with a particular focus on the areas of oil and gas, transportation, forestry and mining. 

Rick has appeared at all levels of court in British Columbia, the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada. He has represented clients before the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC), the Surface Rights Board, the Oil and Gas Appeal Tribunal, the B.C. Safety Authority, the Environmental Appeal Board as well as the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) and the National Energy Board (NEB). Rick also has significant experience advising clients on their applications and dealings with the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission.

Representative Work

Oil & Gas

  • Lead counsel in the first common carrier/common processor hearing before the BCUC in over 30 years, which established the test to be applied in BC.
  • Lead counsel in the successful challenge of a public utility's discriminatory security deposit policy before the BCUC.
  • Acted on successful applications to the ERCB, obtaining one of the largest interim shut-ins ever. 
  • Lead counsel on number of appeals to the Oil and Gas Appeal Tribunal.
  • Lead counsel on many successful arbitrations/motions before the BC Surface Rights Board.


  • Acted in a precedent-setting environmental case, the first trial in BC to consider what are reasonably incurred costs of remediation under BC's legislation.
  • Represented the British Columbia Ministry of Forests on a 20-day trial resulting in its acquittal of all charges under the federal Fisheries Act.


  • Lead counsel for a foreign bank in the arrest and judicial sale of a vessel, including overseeing a courthouse auction (part of global efforts to enforce a $77-million judgment from a US court).
  • Acted for an international shipping company in successfully defending the validity of an arrest to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Publications & Presentations

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2020 edition of Chambers Canada – Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business (Energy: Provinical Regulatory–Alberta). 
  • Recognized as a Lawyer of the Year in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Oil & Gas Law).
  • Recognized in the 2020 edition (and since 2015) of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Energy Regulatory Law, Environmental Law, Oil & Gas Law).
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition of the Lexpert®/ROB Special Edition – Canada’s Leading Corporate Lawyers.
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition of Benchmark Canada – The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys (Energy, Environment).
  • Recognized in the 2020 and 2019 editions of Chambers Canada – Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business (Environmental).
  • Recognized in the 2019 and 2018 editions of Chambers Canada – Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business (Energy: Provincial Regulatory and Litigation–British Columbia).
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2014) of the Lexpert® Special Edition - Canada leading Energy Lawyers.
  • Recognized in the 2019 (and since 2014) editions of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Energy: Oil and Gas). Also recognized in 2019 for Environmental Law.
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ 4.8 out of 5 Peer Review Rated.
  • Recommended in the 2017 edition of the Legal 500 Canada (Environment).
  • Recognized in the 2017 and 2018 editions of Benchmark Canada – The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a Local Litigation Star: British Columbia, and a Litigation Star: (Arbitration, Energy and Natural Resources, Environmental, and General Commercial).