Stephanie Axmann is counsel in our National Environmental, Regulatory & Aboriginal (ERA), Business Law, and Global Mining Groups in Vancouver. With a practice focused primarily in the area of Aboriginal law, she advises clients in a range of industries across Canada, including the natural resources extraction (mining and forest products), renewable power (wind, solar, run-of-river) and energy (oil and gas, liquefied natural gas, and nuclear) sectors.
Stephanie is recognized in the current edition of Chambers Canada as Up and Coming in the area of Aboriginal law. She is also listed in the current edition of The Legal 500 - Canada as a Next Generation Lawyer in the area of Aboriginal law.
In her commercial and project development practice, Stephanie provides legal and strategic advice on a broad range of Aboriginal law, policy and regulatory matters.
In her commercial and project development practice, Stephanie provides legal and strategic advice on a broad range of Aboriginal law, policy and regulatory matters. Her experience includes:
- advising clients on a wide array of Aboriginal law and policy issues, such as consultation and accommodation, Aboriginal rights and title, treaty rights, land claims and governmental and regulatory processes;
- negotiating and drafting a variety of commercial and relationship agreements with Aboriginal groups (such as impact benefit agreements, capacity funding agreements, early engagement, exploration, consultation, cooperation and confidentiality agreements);
- advising industry in respect of economic development opportunities and arrangements with First Nations, including drafting commercial agreements for the delivery of project services, joint ventures, and environmental and archaeological monitoring;
- providing legal and strategic advice to project proponents, operators and government in respect of Aboriginal-related risks, risk management, engagement and relationship building, from the earliest stages of project planning and development through operations;
- conducting due diligence, risk assessments and providing related legal advice on project finance transactions (particularly with respect to renewable power projects), and for project development, real estate development, and mergers and acquisitions across Canada;
- assisting industry clients to navigate federal, provincial and territorial environmental assessment and other regulatory and permitting processes, including with respect to the preparation of written submissions, consultation records, consultation plans and policies;
- advising clients on key developments in the common law and legislation, and on the application of international instruments and standards pertaining to Aboriginal peoples in Canada; and
- drafting a range of transactional agreements for mining sector clients and conducting due diligence on corporate matters, mineral title, and environmental and regulatory matters for mining projects in Canada and abroad.
Stephanie also provides dispute resolution and litigation advice to project proponents and operators working with Aboriginal groups. Her experience in this regard includes:
- providing legal and strategic advice in respect of Aboriginal groups’ challenges to project permits and approvals, including judicial review, injunctive relief, direct action etc.); and
- researching and drafting legal submissions on behalf of project proponents and operators for a range of complex Aboriginal litigation matters in British Columbia, Yukon, Alberta and Ontario concerning matters such as the Crown's duty to consult, treaty rights, the roles and rights of proponents, municipalities and regulatory boards in consultation, and related constitutional matters.
Stephanie is a highly knowledgeable and regular speaker on Aboriginal law and policy at our firm’s client-focused educational engagements and at national conferences. She is a frequent contributor to our firm’s publications, including our Canadian Energy Perspectives and Mining Prospects blogs, discussing key developments and emerging issues in Aboriginal law and policy.
Stephanie was called to the British Columbia bar in September 2009 and joined McCarthy Tétrault as an associate after articling with the firm. She received her LLB from Dalhousie Law School in 2008 and BA (Hons.) with First Class Honours in International Development Studies from McGill University in 2003. She is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, Canadian Bar Association, Vancouver Bar Association and the BC Business Council Aboriginal Affairs Committee.