Kate Lyons is a partner at Goodmans. She dedicates her practice to representing both private and public sector clients at the intersection of municipal and environmental law.
Her expertise includes a wide range of municipal and environmental approvals, in particular in situations where there are disparate public, private and institutional stakeholders. In both the urban and suburban settings, she has been instrumental in navigating the complex regulatory framework in order to obtain permits and approvals.
She has represented the Town of Oakville in a number of challenging cases. For example, as lead counsel for the Town, she successfully obtained a landmark Ontario Municipal Board approval for a community plan encompassing 7,500 acres which included the preservation of over 1,000 acres of natural heritage land. A recent article in the Ontario Planning Journal noted that Kate and her Goodmans colleagues “marshalled the [3 levels of government] into a formidable negotiating team”. The Town’s team is described as “the dream team, capable of dealing with everything thrown at it”. Kate continues to represent the Town of Oakville in a number of ongoing matters.
Kate is well known for her expertise in water resource and natural heritage matters including cases before the Ontario Municipal Board, prosecutions, permitting and transactional work. Her experience in Brownfield redevelopment includes involvement with the Gooderham & Worts historic Distillery District in Toronto, the Shipyards redevelopment in Collingwood, Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation, and countless projects where industrial land has been successfully transformed for residential and parkland uses. For example, she represents Infrastructure Ontario and Ontario Power Generation in the sale of a significant waterfront site which was formerly home to a coal fired power plant.
Kate’s redevelopment experience includes cost sharing agreements, infrastructure financing and environmental approvals associated with infrastructure requirements and her environmental expertise extends to providing advice on corporate transactions involving the evaluation and allocation of environmental risks and costs and matters of social licence. She has acted in numerous transactions in sectors which include mining, natural resources, and manufacturing. She provided environmental advice on Acasta Enterprises Inc.’s $1.2 billion qualifying acquisition of Apollo Health and Beauty Care Partnership, JemPak Corporation and Stellwagen Group and to Enwave in its acquisition of the assets of Veresen Inc.’s London, Ontario and Prince Edward Island district energy businesses.
Kate is consistently recognized for her outstanding contributions on some of Canada’s most complex environmental and municipal law matters. She was named the 2018 Toronto “Municipal Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in Canada and, also in 2018, The Legal 500 recognized Kate in the area of Environmental Law, and published the following about her: “At Goodmans, Catherine Lyons is revered for her ‘incredible knowledge, negotiation skills and commitment’. Lyons heads a practice that is hailed as a ‘top choice for large transactions with complex environmental issues’ — it also advises on permitting matters, environmental prosecutions and brownfield redevelopment”.
More broadly, Kate is recognized as a leading lawyer by The Best Lawyers in Canada for real estate, municipal and environmental law and by The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory for property development. She has also been recognized as a leading practitioner in the Lexpert Special Editions on Canada’s Leading Infrastructure Lawyers, Energy Lawyers and Lawyers in Global Mining. Kate is the former President of the National Club and a former Director of the Textile Museum of Canada.
Canadian Bar Association (Ontario)
Past Chair of the Municipal Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association