Calgary, and Montreal advised ExxonMobil Canada and Imperial Oil Limited on C$170m claim

November 30, 2017

Client: ExxonMobil Canada and Imperial Oil Limited

On November 30, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an application for leave to appeal on claims upon which our Calgary and Montreal offices acted for ExxonMobil Canada and Imperial Oil Limited. The claims against those two companies were brought by Geophysical Service Inc. for Cdn $170 million for alleged violations of GSI’s copyright on seismic materials. It was one of 25 Alberta actions against virtually all companies operating offshore the East Coast of Canada or in the Arctic as well as against the federal government, the National Energy Board, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board. The cases proceeded to a trial of two issues common to all of them in November of 2015. The Defendants were successful in establishing that the regulatory regime governing offshore petroleum exploration and production constitutes a complete defence to many of GSI’s claims. That decision was upheld at the Alberta Court of Appeal in April, 2017, prompting GSI’s application to the Supreme Court. Representing EMC and IOL were Clarke Hunter Q.C. and Lucy L’Hirondelle from the Calgary office, and Claude Brunet of the Montreal office. In addition, Mr. Hunter served as a member of a Defence Steering Committee to whom all of the Defendants delegated the principal tasks of determining strategy and developing the trial and appeal evidence and arguments.