Kellie L. Johnston

Of Counsel
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Kellie L. Johnston

Kellie L. Johnston



Kellie Johnston is a member of our global risk advisory practice. She assists clients to identify, assess and manage current and emerging risks across their global business. Her clients operate in many different sectors, including energy, infrastructure, mining and commodities, agribusiness, transport, retail, institutional investors, financial services, and life sciences.

Kellie has significant experience in advising on the development and implementation of regulatory compliance processes, internal conduct and controls, reporting and disclosure obligations, duties of directors and officers, due diligence processes, integrated risk management at both the corporate and project-specific levels, and corresponding corporate policies and procedures.  

Her practice includes advice on legal and non-legal risk, mitigation plans and implementation, supply chain risks, developing and strengthening relationships with internal and external stakeholders, understanding and meeting due diligence obligations, and managing complex regulatory, compliance and sustainability issues. 

Kellie has a particular focus on risks and opportunities relating to sustainability; sustainability strategy and implementation; business and human rights; environment; environment, social and governance (ESG); and climate change. 

Prior to joining us, she served in various consulting and in-house roles with large energy companies and other industries, advising on complex sustainability, compliance and risk identification, assessment and mitigation.

Kellie holds a LL.M in International Law, focused on business and human rights, and is a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP).

Professional experience

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  • LL.M. (Distinction), Business and Human Rights, University of New South Wales, 2007
  • LL.B. Dalhousie University, 2000
  • Alberta 2001
  • Canadian Bar Association project - Supporting Inclusive Resource Development (SIRD) in East Africa, provided sustainability training in East Africa
  • Advising clients on regulatory strategies, structures, processes that enable a proactive assessment of regulatory trends and impact on business; advice in designing, assessing, and building regulatory compliance programs
  • Identifying and mitigating against key risks for clients
  • Developing and imbedding a climate risk framework for an international oil and gas company - from developing risk appetite and KPIs to corresponding policies and procedures and training, conduct and culture
  • Developing and embedding a sustainability strategy, including policies and procedures as well as training and culture for a mid-stream company
  • Identifying and managing ESG risks, including sustainability reporting and environmental issues; business and human rights
  • Due-diligence to meet regulatory requirements and legal tests for due-diligence defences and negotiating agreements with government and regulators
  • Government relations and policy development; helping clients to improve the ways they leverage people, third-party relationships, business processes, and controls to manage operational risks and streamline business performance
  • Experience on business side doing risk assessments and mitigation plans for identified risks as well as making business decisions that align with corporate risk appetite
  • Experience developing corporate-wide environmental, sustainability, and climate policies and procedures as well as implementation; experience working on and championing corporate culture, conduct and accountability in large corporations
  • Advising food and drug clients on regulatory strategies and structures, proactive assessment of regulatory trends and impact on business; advice in designing, assessing, and building regulatory compliance programs and compliance requirements.
  • Climate Change: Risks but also opportunities for agribusiness, February 2020
  • Environmental, social and governance performance and cannabis, February 2020, Cultivate magazine - Food and agribusiness newsletter, Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Canada expected to pass legislation on modern-day slavery in supply chains; January 2020, Canadian Lawyer
  • The Rapid Rise of Climate Disclosure Risks, January 2020, Book: Key Developments in Environmental Law 2019 Edition, Thomson Reuters
  • Climate change-related risks classified as a mainstream business issue by the CSA; August 2019, Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Modern slavery: Canada moves closer to supply chain legislation, April 2019, Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Consultations open on the UN "zero draft" treaty on business and human rights, February 2019, Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Panelist at the Assent Insights 2019 Supply Chain conference: Corporate Social Responsibility as a Competitive Advantage – How taking CSR seriously, and not just as an option to participate, can be seen as an advantage for companies/organizations
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Law Society of Alberta
  • Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP) - Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE)
  • Certificate in Corporate Citizen Management, Boston College - Wallance E. Carroll Graduate School of Management