First of its kind in Canada, the Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Chair in Energy Law and Policy will significantly bolster energy law education

For Immediate Release
September 25, 2007

EDMONTON, AB - A $1.5-million donation from one of the country’s leading national law firms will enable the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law to create an endowed Chair and strengthen its expertise in energy law and policy.

“Borden Ladner Gervais LLP is dedicated to supporting thought leadership, academic excellence and policy development for Alberta’s dynamic energy sector,” says David Whelan, managing partner for the Firm’s Calgary office. “This initiative demonstrates BLG’s commitment to excellence in legal education and to leading edge advancement of Alberta and Canada’s energy policies.”

“The energy industry is important to Canada and to BLG,” said Sean Weir, national managing partner of BLG. “Supporting education is a fundamental tradition for the entire Firm, with this gift we will help serve law students, the energy sector, and, ultimately, all of Canada.”

The creation of the endowed Chair will accomplish several goals: first, it will recruit a leading world scholar in energy law and policy; second, it will provide a fertile learning environment for the recruitment of top graduate students; and, it will provide a cutting edge scholarship that serves the energy sector, and Canadians at large.

The BLG endowed Chair role also supports the University’s goal of hiring 100 new professors each year for the next five years.

“This generous donation will help our school recruit an internationally recognized scholar and ensure our students are learning from one of the world’s foremost authorities on energy law and policy,” says Dean of the Faculty of Law David Percy. “We will begin our search for an eminent scholar immediately.”

The University is matching the BLG donation dollar for dollar, with funding from the Province of Alberta’s Access to the Future Fund. The Fund was established by the Provincial Government and is being invested in an endowment fund. The interest generated from the Fund is being used to provide seed money for innovations in the post secondary system, as well as matching grants to stimulate private, industry, and other contributions to the advanced learning system.

“We greatly appreciate the support from Borden Ladner Gervais for a research and teaching environment in an area that is crucial to the long term vitality and prosperity of both our province and country,” says U of A President Indira Samarasekera. “The University of Alberta is becoming a global magnet for talent, and this support will draw a world class scholar that will further enhance our existing legal expertise and strong engineering and business scholarship related to energy.”

The donation from BLG pushes the University of Alberta’s Campaign 2008 fundraising effort past the $418 million mark. Originally set at $310 million, the U of A’s new fundraising goal is to raise $500 million by the end of its centenary year of 2008.

About Borden Ladner Gervais LLPBorden Ladner Gervais LLP is a leading, full-service, integrated national law firm focusing on business law, litigation and intellectual property solutions for our clients. With more than 700 lawyers, intellectual property agents and other professionals in Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Waterloo Region, clients turn to us for assistance with their legal needs, from major litigation to corporate finance and patent registration. For more information, visit

About the University of AlbertaThe University of Alberta in Edmonton is one of the top 100 public teaching and research universities in the world serving some 36,000 students with more than 11,000 faculty and staff. Founded almost a century ago, the university has an annual budget in excess of $1 billion and attracts more than $480 million in external research funding. It offers close to 400 undergraduate and graduate programs in 18 faculties.

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For more information:

Michael Robb
Campaign Communications, University of Alberta

Marina Percy
BLG Media Contact
604.736.9717 or 604.805.6864