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JANA McLEAN

Principal and Founding Lawyer

CONTACT

jana@irislegal.ca

P:  604-398-4477

F:  604-398-3422

EXPERTISE

Jana is nationally recognized for both her environmental and Indigenous law practice.  She regularly advises in all areas of environmental law, including contaminated sites, water and fisheries law, environmental assessments, environmental compliance, enforcement and prosecutions and species at risk. Jana has acted as counsel in significant cases concerning air quality, fisheries law, contaminated sites, and pipeline developments.  In her Indigenous law practice, Jana regularly assisted clients in the areas of Aboriginal rights and title, Indian band governance, Indian reserve issues, Heritage Conservation Act matters and natural resource decisions.  She acted as lead counsel for a group of Stó:lo communities who successfully challenged the federal government's failure to consult on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Prior to starting Iris Legal, Jana spent most of her career at a major firm with a national focus.  She also clerked at the BC Court of Appeal and has a Masters in Law from the University of Cambridge, UK.

PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION & MEMBERSHIPS

  • Ranked nationally for environmental law in Best Lawyers in Canada (since 2016) and Chambers (since 2019)

  • Ranked nationally for Aboriginal law in Best Lawyers in Canada (since 2019)

  • Award for "Environmental law" at international Women & Business Law Awards  (2019)

  • Described as a “rising star” in environmental law in Legal 500 Canada (2016)

  • CBA (BC) Executive, Environmental Law

  • Member, Law Society of BC


SELECT CASES

  • Lead counsel for nine Stó:lo Nation communities who successfully challenged the federal government’s approval of the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline before the Federal Court of Appeal for failure to consult. This case is the largest of its kind ever before the Federal Court of Appeal:  Tsleil-Waututh Nation v. Canada (AG), 2018 FCA 152;

  • Represented the successful plaintiff in a $4.75 million contaminated sites case, which is the largest award of its kind under BC's Environmental Management ActJI Properties Inc. v. PPG Architectural, 2014 BCSC 1619, aff’d 2015 BCCA 472;

  • Represented the successful industrial permit-holder in a 5-week hearing before the Environmental Appeal Board, which involved a challenge to the company’s air emission permit under BC’s Environmental Management Act: Toews et al. v. Director, EMA, 2013-EMA-007, 2013-EMA-010;

  • Lead counsel for a major industrial operator in a Fisheries Act prosecution, including in plea bargaining with the Crown;

  • Advised the Independent Review Panel that conducted the federal environmental assessment of the controversial New Prosperity Mine;

  • Regularly advises industrial and commercial operations on environmental licensing, reporting obligations, liability of directors and officers and environmental due diligence obligations;

  • Regularly advises private citizens on environmental rights and responsibilities, including licencing for use of water, fisheries and other resources and their obligations in respect of contaminated sites; and

  • Regularly advises Hereditary Chiefs, Band Councils and a First Nation treaty society on duty to consult, Aboriginal rights/title, governance issues and matters arising under the Indian Act.


EDUCATION

  • University of Cambridge, LL.M (First Class), 2005

  • University of Victoria, LL.B, 2000

  • Queen's University, BA Hons, 1997


MORE ABOUT JANA

Jana has a life-long passion for the outdoors.  When she's not at her desk, you'll often find her exploring the wilds of BC, either on mountain bike or backcountry skis with her husband and young dog Lokie.  Many of the photos on Iris Legal's website were taken on their adventures.