Practice Areas

Specific Claims

The most substantial aspect of our practice is advising and advocating for our First Nations clients in Canada’s Specific Claims process. Our team of lawyers have extensive experience acting for clients across Canada in pursuing claims under Canada’s Specific Claims Policy and for advocating on behalf of our clients at the Specific Claims Tribunal.

Our firm assists in all aspects of the Specific Claims process. We have in-house researchers who collect and review relevant historical information. Our legal team conducts the necessary research and prepares legal arguments to support the claim. We prepare and file claims with the Specific Claims Branch or a Declaration of Claim with the Specific Claims Tribunal based on whether the claim has been denied previously by the federal government.

Community is important at all stages of the process. Our team works closely with community Elders and experts to inform the historical record and speak to losses felt by the community as a result of Crown action or inaction. We keep the community directly informed on the status of their claim via newsletters, presentations and other materials.

We ardently advocate for a negotiated settlement wherever appropriate and move toward an efficient and beneficial result for our clients. In the event of a successful negotiated settlement we draft final agreements and provide assistance during the ratification process. We prepare materials and lead sessions for community information meetings to fulfill ratification requirements.

Administrative Law

Maurice Law has represented approximately 200 residential school survivors in the Independent Assessment Process at hearings in the first instance and on appeal.

Our team also provides legal advice and services to our First Nations clients before administrative tribunals such as the National Energy Board, the Alberta Energy Regulator and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and the provincial equivalents.

We have significant experience reviewing all manner of government decision-making when our clients’ interests are at risk or in issue.

Trusts

Maurice Law understands that our First Nations clients are committed to protecting their communities and members. Maurice Law works with our clients to ensure that any compensation received pursuant to the successful resolution of a claim, or revenue streams received by a First Nation in accordance with economic development projects or other third-party agreements, are safeguarded and efficiently managed for the benefit of that First Nation.

Our lawyers work with First Nations to develop trusts that are unique to each First Nation’s specific needs and goals. We facilitate relationships between corporate trustees, skilled investment managers and investment consultants to ensure that trust funds are protected and methodically invested, with the benefit flowing to the First Nation.

We travel to First Nations communities to provide information and engage communities in the development of their trusts. We provide legal advice about potential trust structures that enable our clients to have independence and control over their finances for the benefit of the past, present and future of the First Nation.

Tax

Our firm has experience advising First Nations clients on tax planning matters in order to maximize the benefits of the legislation and policy in this area. We can advise and assist with setting up FNGST in your community, obtaining tax exemptions, drafting taxation bylaws, and advising on tax planning in relation to trust agreements.

Indigenous Governance

Maurice Law works with First Nations to navigate the complexities of self-government and helps to implement stable, effective governance structures.

Maurice Law can provide advice on drafting constitutions, policies and procedures, and band council resolutions. Our lawyers have experience drafting laws and regulations, and have advised communities on custom election codes and adequate elections procedure. Maurice Law has extensive experience representing individuals and bands in electoral disputes and can offer guidance on employment policies, codes of conduct, and regulatory compliance.

Corporate & Economic Development

Our corporate lawyers provide legal services for a variety of matters involving commercial enterprise. We assist our clients in establishing the best corporate vehicles for their ventures and negotiate partnerships in various resource sectors including renewable energy. We have set up partnerships that provide financial success to our clients.

We offer legal advice on corporate governance matters, corporate structures, regulatory matters, not-for-profit entities and commercial joint ventures. Further, we advise on shareholder’s agreements, duty to consult benefit agreements, taxation matters, wind-ups, dissolutions, corporate finance and commercial leasing.

Our firm has assisted First Nations and Tribal Councils in establishing strong economic development plans to generate new revenue streams which may be governed in accordance with the First Nation’s legacy trust, for the benefit of current and future generations. We assist with nation building laws that facilitate prudent investment and leveraging of assets, to ensure that future generations will have the financial support to continue to grow successfully.

Constitutional Litigation

Maurice Law provides advice on all aspects of Aboriginal and treaty rights. Our trial lawyers actively appear at all levels of court across the country and consistently succeed at defining legislation and the implications for our First Nation clients.

Maurice Law is regularly retained to act as counsel on important questions of constitutional significance to First Nations, including Charter, human rights and federalism issues.

Civil Litigation

We provide Chief & Council with timely, cost-effective advice that limits exposure and protects the First Nation from unnecessary liabilities.

Our civil litigators defend Chief & Council on employment matters, commercial contract and time-sensitive injunctive relief, as well as other important matters which arise on and off reserves across Canada.

Maurice Law is committed to increasing access to justice. Powerful organizations or governments should not escape accountability simply because going to court is costly for most individuals and organizations. Class actions put individuals on an even playing field and our lawyers can help First Nations clients pursue class action litigation.

 
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