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Michael McCachen, FCIArb.
Michael McCachen, FCIArb. Partner | Calgary

About Michael

Mike is a senior trial lawyer and arbitrator whose practice focuses primarily on energy. He has over 30 years of experience in complex cases before the courts, including in both domestic and international arbitrations and the regulatory arena.

Mike acts as lead counsel in a wide variety of matters pertaining to the energy industry. His approach to litigation and dispute resolution begins with a deep understanding of the business needs and interests of his clients, careful strategic analysis in coordination with those interests and firm determination in the advancement of client goals.

Mike has been lead counsel in several groundbreaking cases in both the public courts and arbitrations. He has broad experience in virtually all aspects of energy and is trusted counsel to many of the major industry players.

In the pipeline arena, Mike has considerable experience, including appearing before the Federal Court for regulatory proceedings related to existing and newly proposed pipeline projects, both provincially and federally regulated.

He also has deep experience counselling clients in major joint venture energy projects in both party-to-party litigation and finding solutions in the complex business arrangements surrounding major energy infrastructure projects.

On the regulatory side, Mike has represented clients in disputes and policymaking hearings, including complex matters pertaining to reservoir management, and in contested matters between leaseholders. He has a long history as counsel to participants in the natural gas liquids arena.

Mike has litigation experience with international oil pricing, futures markets and commodity-based derivative transactions. He is also well-versed in facilities cases that require technical expertise and complex engineering issues.

Furthermore, Mike has been deeply involved in various constitutional matters over the years, including in the Indigenous arena, regularly and effectively representing clients in their interface with governments at all levels. He also has extensive knowledge and experience in climate change litigation, as well as political risk insurance claims in the international business world.

Select Experience
  • Successfully led the Blakes team in representing a major multinational energy producer in various disputes, culminating in a lengthy UNCITRAL arbitration concerning foreign assets lost to warfare in the wake of uprisings in the Middle East and Africa, ultimately netting hundreds of millions of dollars in recovery for the client

  • Led two groundbreaking successes for energy clients in the area of judicial review of oil and gas royalty obligations, representing the first successful examples of challenges to the exercise of ministerial discretion in this important area for the industry

  • Successfully overturning a ministerial decision disallowing royalty costs claimed by an owner in excess of C$100-million

  • Lead counsel for an oil sands client in a successful and groundbreaking case concerning royalty obligations and cost recovery of amounts running up to billions of dollars

  • Lead counsel in a major tax case pending before the Tax Court of Canada and arising out of transactions in oil sands assets

  • Represented a team of similarly situated major refiners in a case involving complex issues of pure economic loss scoring interim success in the courts prior to a successful settlement

  • Lead counsel in an international arbitration involving offshore exploration by Canadian joint venturers

  • Counselled clients with international interests in the context of climate change litigation

Awards & Recognition

Mike is recognized as a leading corporate and commercial litigation lawyer including by:

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys – 2020–2024 (Litigation Star – Arbitration, Commercial, Energy)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2024 (Commercial Arbitration)

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2024 (Alternative Dispute Resolution, Appellate Practice, Corporate and Commercial Litigation and Director and Officer Liability Practice)

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada 2023 (Arbitration)

  • Thomson Reuters: Independently Rated Lawyers 2021 (Nominated as a stand-out lawyer by senior in-house counsel)

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2019: Litigation: General Commercial – Band 4; 2017: Dispute Resolution: Alberta – Band 4)

  • BTI Client Service All-Star Awards – Named a "BTI Client Service All-Star" for 2016 by The BTI Consulting Group, an independently researched and client-driven ranking agency. Winners are selected based on corporate counsel identifying those lawyers who deliver exceptional client service.

Professional Activities

Mike is active in the legal community in many ways. He is a past director and chairman of a Calgary-based charity and a former director of the Canadian Energy Law Foundation.

He is also active with various national and international arbitration organizations and often speaks and writes in the public arena on a variety of issues.


Admitted to the Bar of Alberta – 1989
LLB, University of Victoria – 1988
BA, University of Victoria – 1985

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