Canada: Borden Ladner Gervais Leads Prosecution In Landmark Regulatory Case
Last Updated: August 6 2015

On July 27, 2015 Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) released its decision ( Found here) a landmark case between Alberta electricity market watchdog, the Market Surveillance Administrator (MSA), against TransAlta Corporation and two of its employees. The 200 + page decision sustained the allegations the MSA had made against TransAlta respecting several regulatory offences under the Electric Utilities Act and Fair, Efficient and Open Competition Regulation. Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG) led the prosecution of the regulatory offences, which will now move to a second phase to determine remedies for the breaches. TransAlta may consider an appeal of the ruling.

In a decision that has garnered widespread public attention, the AUC concluded that TransAlta had breached the applicable legislative provisions pertaining to anticompetitive conduct, electricity market manipulation, trading on non-public outage records and failing to support a fair, efficient and openly competitive market. The regulatory body further concluded that one of the other respondents, an individual trader employed by TransAlta, had breached the trading provisions in the FEOC Regulation but successfully established a defence of due diligence on the basis that he had received trading approval from a superior.

The MSA engaged BLG to prepare and conduct the prosecution of this complex enforcement proceeding because of BLG extensive experience before the AUC and other regulatory tribunals and its electricity market expertise. The BLG team was led by Randall Block, Q.C. and included John Blair, Q.C. and Sandi Shannon, with assistance from BLG associates Laura Poppel, Leanne Desbarats and Leah Mangano.

BLG Litigation and Regulatory Group has extensive experience representing a variety of organizations. Combining industry and market knowledge with national reach, BLG is seasoned in dealing with complex proceedings before courts and regulators across Canada, having conducted numerous significant securities cases and regulatory proceedings in Canada. Among the firm's many recognitions, BLG Commercial Litigation Group has been top-ranked by Lexpert for several consecutive years. Mr. Block has been recognized by Benchmark Canada as the Energy Resources Litigator of the Year. BLG has extensive experience representing clients involved in energy issues before courts and regulatory agencies in all provinces, including the AUC, National Energy Board, provincial securities commissions and other tribunals.

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