TORONTO/CALGARY (March 1, 2010) – – Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Blakes), one of Canada’s leading business law firms, today announced that Lars H. Olthafer has joined our regulatory practice as a Partner in the Calgary office.

“Lars’ background as a civil engineer and his expertise as a regulatory lawyer make him a real asset to the Blakes energy practice,” said Brock Gibson, the Firm’s Chair. “He will add further strength to our practice, which is already one of the leading energy groups in Canada.”

Mr. Olthafer’s practice focuses on energy regulatory and environmental law. He has frequently represented and advised upstream oil and gas (including coal gasification) producers, pipeline companies, and electrical generation and transmission companies in connection with regulatory and environmental compliance and approval processes, public and aboriginal consultation, and land rights acquisition and compensation, in the context of both provincially and federally regulated projects, including northern and offshore developments. He regularly appears before the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board, the National Energy Board, the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission, the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office, the Alberta Surface Rights Board, and the National Energy Board Act Pipeline Arbitration Committees. In addition, Mr. Olthafer has appeared before the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the Alberta Court of Appeal, and the Federal Court of Canada trial and appeal divisions on appeals and judicial review applications.

About the Blakes Energy Group

The Blakes Energy Group consists of a broad regulatory practice that has developed in-depth knowledge of the laws and regulations that govern the regulatory bodies federally and in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. Blakes has advised and represented clients in all aspects of energy, environmental and regulatory issues. We have represented both applicants and interveners before all national regulatory authorities, including public and policy-oriented inquiries. Additionally, Blakes has been intimately involved with dozens of facility, toll, tariff, generation, land applications and agreements and has worked on all phases of project approval from the positioning and initiation of projects through to final argument in the hearing room. Our significant knowledge and expertise in the regulatory environment enables Blakes to provide strategic insight to clients at the planning stage, persuasive representation at the hearing stage and practical advice for continued success in the future. Blakes energy lawyers are consistently ranked in Canada by publications such as The Best Lawyers in Canada, Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business and The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.

About Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Blakes has more than 550 lawyers with offices across Canada and in New York, Chicago, London, Bahrain, Beijing and associated offices in Al-Khobar and Shanghai. In 2009, Blakes was named “Canada’s Law Firm of the Year” by Who’s Who Legal and, for the second year running, “Law Firm of the Year: Canada” in the PLC Which Lawyer? Awards. On December 16, 2009, the Financial Times and mergermarket awarded Blakes the Legal Advisor of the Year Award and, for the second year in a row, the Mid-Market Legal Advisor of the Year Canada Award. In 2007, 2008 and 2009, Blakes was Canada’s busiest M&A law firm, according to rankings in the Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and mergermarket league tables. In January 2010, Bloomberg ranked Blakes the ninth busiest law firm in Global Announced Deals for 2009 – Counsel to Principals by deal value. Blakes is the only Canadian firm on this top 10 list. More information on Blakes is available by visiting the Firm’s website at

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