Calgary (September 20, 2013) – Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) congratulates Chidinma Thompson, in her ground-breaking accomplishment as the first-ever to defend a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree thesis from the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary.

A busy associate who joined BLG in 2009, Chidinma’s practice focuses on energy, natural resources, environmental and municipal law.  Chidinma is also a teacher at the University of Calgary and before joining BLG, she practised with an international oil and gas law firm in Lagos, Nigeria.

“Having a professional with the experience, qualification, intelligence and dedication that Chidinma has always demonstrated is an enormous asset to BLG and our clients,” said Sean Weir, national managing partner and CEO. “Working alongside her colleagues in energy regulation and litigation, Chidinma brings a unique understanding of what’s needed to coordinate different levels of government on energy development matters to provide the best outcome for people and industry.”

Chidinma’s ground-breaking thesis – “Making federalism through law: Regulating socio-economic challenges of energy development” – examines the socio-economic challenges of multiple, large-scale oil and gas development within municipal boundaries, specifically in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo as a case study.

“There is no forum in the legal framework that allows thorough consideration and proactive resolution of the socio-economic challenges by the responsible governments before a project is approved in a region,” said Chidinma. “My research recommends reforming Alberta’s legislative and regulatory framework for energy development using federalism and its underlying principle of non-centralization to achieve legally-mandated intergovernmental partnerships.”

For the law school, Chidinma’s accomplishment is testimony to the school’s expertise in law related to natural resources and environment.

“We’re the only law school in North America with a graduate program that specializes exclusively in energy, environmental and natural resources law, and it’s thanks to students, together with my colleagues researching in the area like Chidinma, that we have come to enjoy the global reputation for excellence that we do,” said Ian Holloway, dean of the Faculty of Law.

About Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) is a pre-eminent full-service, national law firm focusing on business law, commercial litigation and intellectual property solutions for our clients. With more than 750 lawyers, intellectual property agents and other professionals in six Canadian cities, BLG assists clients with their legal needs, from major litigation to financing and patent registration.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Amanda McWhirter
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP