Canadian Lawyer

May 2023

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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42 www.canadianlawyermag.com FEATURE GC PROFILE "Dow hasn't disclosed its final investment decision as yet, but the numbers that have been thrown around are close to $10 billion until the [the world's largest ethylene cracker] project's completion in 2030" NOVA CHEMICALS V. DOW Nova Chemicals and Dow Chemical Company are competitors in the plastics industry. Dow patented thin but strong plastics used in products such as garbage bags and food wrappings. When Nova manufactured and sold products covered by Dow's patent, Dow sued for patent infringement. The Federal Court found that Nova had violated Dow's patent. Nova appealed to the FCA and then to the SCC to reduce the award. Writing for a majority of the judges, Justice Malcolm Rowe said the lower courts calculated Nova's accounting of profits correctly. decision as yet, but the numbers that have been thrown around are close to $10 billion until the project's completion in 2030," O'Reilly says. As part of the pre-construction prepa- ration, O'Reilly is negotiating 28 collective agreements, dealing with at least 6,000 contractors expected on site and working with the third parties running the air supply and industrial gas facility, the carbon seques- tration facility, and the co-generation facility. "All this involves site services, leases, oper- ating agreements, and the entire spectrum of services involved in the construction of a project this big," O'Reilly says. Fortunately, he's not starting from scratch. "We've been preparing for a couple of years, so we have amazing purchasing depart- ment resources as well as Canadian templates for many documents, including invitations to bid," O'Reilly says. Because the project is on an existing site with the goal of reducing emissions, consid- eration of the environmental aspects and Indigenous rights has not been daunting. "Which is not to say that we haven't been engaging and will continue to interact with local First Nations and M├ętis groups," O'Reilly says. As he sees it, the project's biggest challenge is the labour market. "We need to make sure we have the resources to support the scale of the project, so there's a lot of work to be done with the trades." Communicating with government to engage their continuing support is also a challenge, as is Alberta's relatively new prompt payment legislation. "We want to make sure we can fit every- thing within the statutory timelines," O'Reilly says. As if he hasn't been busy enough, O'Reilly is also on the global board of the Association of Corporate Counsel, an organization with which he's worked for 12 years, estab- lishing the Alberta chapter in 2014. From that perspective, O'Reilly is well-placed to observe the challenges facing in-house counsel generally. "They include figuring out how equity and diversity initiatives can play a role in the legal department and the organization as a whole, how legal spend can generate the best value, and how to ensure the business side sees the value of the legal department." Keeping up with technology, issues relating to information management and privacy, and how to deal with the growth of flexible work arrangements are also at the forefront. "When it comes right down to it, no area's gone untouched in the last eight to 12 years," O'Reilly says. Finally, O'Reilly sees tremendous value in his role as a judge in the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers list. "There are star performers and great ideas," he says. "If I weren't participating, I'd be limited to reading about them or looking them up on LinkedIn, but this way, I get insight into each of the nominees and their innovative concepts, and get to know people who are incredible advocates for their clients."

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