From 2009 – 2015 – Vice President, Legal (Americas) and Associate General Counsel of Talisman Energy Inc. (“Talisman”). Responsibilities included the provision of legal support to Talisman’s business operations in Canada (BC, AB, PQ), USA (PA, NY, TX), Colombia and Peru. This was primarily a commercial legal role supporting the exploration and production operations; and merger, acquisition and disposition activities of the business in these four countries and in any new investments in the Americas region. This role also required significant consideration of corporate governance and stakeholder issues in Canada, USA, Colombia and Peru and involvement with Talisman’s corporate social responsibility activities in these countries. During this period, Talisman’s operations in the Americas region consumed approximately one-half of its annual capital budget and accounted for approximately one-half of its production.
The following is a summary of representative experience for this period.
- (2009-2015) – Over $10 billion in MD&A activity in BC (shale, conventional gas, coal), AB (conventional oil & gas), SK (conventional oil & gas), TX (shale) and Colombia (conventional oil & gas, shares in Ocensa pipeline).
- (2009-2015) – Over $6 billion in internal reorganizations directed at separating shale assets from conventional oil & gas assets (AB and BC).
- (2012-2015) – Conversion of Ocensa pipeline (Colombia) from a cost centre to a profit centre; reorganization of Equion Energia Limited holdings (shares and transportation rights) in Ocensa pipeline.
- (2009) – Establish corporate governance principles for U.S. subsidiaries to permit operational decision making within a corporate structure that respects the corporate veil.
- (2009-2011) – Establish U.S. operations offices in Pittsburgh and Houston.
- (2010-2011) – Five months in Bogota, Colombia as the transition manager converting the former BP Colombia exploration and production business to operate independently under new joint ownership. This involved acquiring a detailed understanding of all line and function business requirements, dependencies and establishing corporate governance procedures, including the Board of Directors, for this jointly-owned company (now Equion Energia Limited).
- (2012) – Respond to three incidents (well control [PA]; kidnapping [Colombia]; hostage taking [Peru]).
- (2013) – Respond to helicopter crash [Peru].
- (2014) – Respond to ISIS threat to operations [Kurdistan].
Marketing and Midstream
- (2011) – Gathering, processing and transportation arrangements (TX).
- (2012) – Deep-cut processing arrangements (AB).
- (2013) – Restructuring of liquids transportation rights (AB). Short-term assignment (monetization) of surplus transportation capacity on Ocensa pipeline (Colombia).
- (2001-2010) Litigation Management: a) the investigation and assessment of complex factual and legal issues in international human-rights litigation; b) the leadership of a project group consisting of business and legal representatives committed to the preparation of the legal defence; c) the direction and supervision of a two-year discovery process (95 depositions taken in six countries, in two tribal languages, Arabic and English); d) the preparation of numerous court motions and filings; and e) engagement with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Canada) and the U.S. State Department re: foreign relations implications of the U.S. federal courts asserting extra-territorial jurisdiction (two diplomatic notes from Canada to the U.S.; the submission by Canada of an Amicus Curiae brief to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals; and the submission by the U.S. of a Statement of Interest to the District Court for the Southern District of N.Y.). On October 4, 2010 the United States Supreme Court declined to grant an appeal of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision dismissing the lawsuit against Talisman Energy Inc.
- (2011) Response to N.Y. Attorney General Subpoena (Martin Act) and negotiations to narrow information requests concerning Marcellus drilling operations.
- (2015) Litigation Management: the successful defence of Talisman Energy Inc. and its directors in two U.S. shareholder class actions (U.S. state and federal courts) re: Repsol S.A. takeover of Talisman Energy Inc.
From 2001-2009 – Advising general counsel of energy-sector companies on domestic and international acquisitions and dispositions of oil and gas properties, international oil and gas exploration and development (Colombia, Sudan, Trinidad); domestic and cross-border energy marketing; domestic gas storage development; and complex international human rights litigation. Most of this period was spent providing legal advice on litigation strategy and managing the defence of Talisman in a highly publicized international human rights class action lawsuit commenced in U.S. federal court (see The Presbyterian Church of Sudan et al v. Talisman Energy, Inc., 582 F. 3d 244 (2nd Cir 2009).
From 1994-2000 – Senior executive experience (General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer) in Canadian energy marketing/trading and energy processing businesses (Novagas Clearinghouse LP – Dynegy Canada Inc.). Responsibilities included oversight over legal, environmental and regulatory matters; participation in business strategy development and transaction execution; corporate governance; management responsibility for all corporate services (finance and accounting, budget preparation, transfer pricing, credit policy compliance, transaction and risk management compliance, information systems, human resources and community relations) in businesses (BC, AB, ON, PQ) with over $2 billion in annual revenues.
From 1981-1994 – Private practice legal experience (articling student, associate and partner) with Macleod Dixon (now Norton Rose Fulbright), Calgary, Alberta, including an Executive Interchange with the Department of Justice (Ottawa, Ontario) assigned to the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources (Canada). Diversified corporate, commercial, energy and environmental law practice advising clients engaged in the financing, acquisition and disposition of mineral exploration properties and mine development, oil and gas properties and oil and gas development, sale/leaseback of energy processing facilities and the construction and operation of major petrochemical and sulphur forming facilities; advocacy on behalf of clients before the Public Utilities Board (AB), the Energy Resources Conservation Board (AB), the Surface Rights Board (AB), and the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (AB).