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About Sam

Sam is a leading lawyer primarily serving clients in the resource sector, with a strong focus on Indigenous and project development matters. His practice is national in scope, acting for clients across Canada on a wide range of Indigenous law issues, including consultation, negotiation and the regulatory process.

Sam has significant industry expertise in the energy and mining sectors, and has represented clients on commercial and transactional matters across all project phases.

Before joining Blakes, Sam held a senior position with an international energy company overseeing all Indigenous-related matters on a proposed liquefied natural gas project in Kitimat, British Columbia.

Sam provides effective, timely and practical advice informed by his experience working both for and within industry.

Sam provides legal services through Sam Adkins Law Corporation.

Select Experience

Sam's experience includes the following:

  • Negotiating and drafting all manner of commercial agreements involving Indigenous groups (e.g., funding agreements, impact benefit agreements, joint ventures, etc.

  • Negotiating and drafting all manner of commercial and operational contracts specific to the mining sector, including contractual and corporate joint ventures, options and earn-ins, royalties, and similar agreements

  • Providing strategic advice on Indigenous-related legal matters, including consultation and regulatory processes, construction and procurement issues, and litigation and disputes

  • Providing transactional support on Indigenous-related issues arising from mergers and acquisitions, financings and other corporate transactions

  • Advising on project development on First Nation lands, including with respect to land claim agreements, historic and modern treaties, and federal land management regimes (e.g., Indian Act, First Nations Land Management Regime, etc.)

  • Advising on international standards as they relate to Indigenous issues in Canada, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, anti-corruption and bribery obligations, and extractive sector policies and standards

  • Providing strategic advice and support on engaging Indigenous groups, regulators and other governmental agencies

  • Advising on environmental assessments, permitting and tenuring (particularly mineral and coal), land use and access issues, overlapping tenures, and disputes

  • Advising on corporate transactions and commercial activities, including share and asset purchases, business formations, limited partnerships, and negotiating and drafting complex commercial contracts

Awards & Recognition

Sam has been recognized as a leading lawyer in the following publications:

  • The Legal 500 Canada 2024 (Energy and Natural Resources: Mining)

  • The Legal 500 Canada – 2019–2024 (Indigenous Law)

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business – 2019–2024 (Indigenous Law)

  • Lexpert Special Edition: Mining 2023

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory – 2019–2023 (Indigenous Law, Energy – Oil & Gas, Environmental Law)

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business – 2019–2023 (Indigenous Law)

Professional Activities

Sam is a director of the Association for Mineral Exploration (British Columbia) and the co-chair of the Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation Committee of the Business Council of British Columbia. He is a frequent speaker and commentator on Indigenous law issues in Canada.

Professional Appearances
  • Speaker : Legal and Practical Considerations for Successful Indigenous Partnerships in Renewable Energy
    Alberta Power Symposium, Calgary, Alberta, September 26, 2023.
  • Speaker : The regulatory process and the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal Peoples
    Canada’s Energy and Utility Regulators, 2023 Energy Regulation Course, Banff, Alberta, June 21, 2023.
  • Presenter : Blakes Annual Indigenous Law Update
    Blakes Business Class Seminar, Vancouver, British Columbia, June 13, 2023.
  • Speaker : Constitutional Status of Accommodation Agreements
    Developments in Aboriginal and Indigenous Law 2021, Pacific Business Law Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia, November 19, 2021.
  • Speaker : Regulatory and Indigenous Issues
    Construction Law 2021, The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, October 1, 2021.
  • Speaker : Net Zero Mining: Regulatory Developments and Industry Transitions
    Pacific Business Law Institute, Vancouver, B.C., September 16, 2021.
Media Activities
Education

Admitted to the British Columbia Bar – 2006
LLB/BCL (With Distinction, Valedictorian), McGill University, Faculty of Law – 2005
BA (With Distinction, History and Environmental Studies), University of Victoria, Faculty of Arts – 2001

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