Northern Canada
Northern Canada
News + Views + Events
Client Stories

The social, cultural, infrastructure, environmental, and ecological needs of the North make growing a business a challenge. 

With a deep commitment to reinvesting in our communities, Field Law is committed to the growth and development of Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon. Situated in downtown Yellowknife and regularly travelling across the North, our lawyers handle various complex matters for businesses, bands, governments, boards and tribunals.

Northern Businesses 

Northern businesses want to maximize economic opportunities for the benefit of their youth and to secure the futures of their communities. With a good understanding of the culture and history that makes the North unique, Field Law knows how to support economic development while respecting culture, language and traditions.

Southern Businesses

Companies doing business, or wanting to access resources in the North, benefit from Field Law's comprehensive understanding of the culture and history that makes the region unique.

With a foot in each culture, we provide insights into what it takes to do business in the North and have experienced diverse people who live in the North. This team is supported by many southern Field Law lawyers and staff who have a passion for and regularly travel to the North.

Clients like that Field Law offers flexibility, versatility, and value for their dollar no matter where their business is based. These qualities are part of our culture. They allow us to understand our clients' business and adapt to their needs, customizing our service levels and staffing structures accordingly. 

Our team of experienced lawyers provides extensive services and governance advice across Northern Canada in areas that include:

We take pride in collaborative personal relationships and deliver value through strategic, relevant solutions.

Please contact Ayanna Ferdinand Catlyn or any of our Northern team for an initial consultation (free of charge) to answer your questions about growing your business in the North.

Click here to sign up to receive invitations to webinars, events and online publications with the latest information from the Northern team. 

October 2023
Top 10 Influential Northern Canada and Arctic Business Law Lawyers 2023
Business Today
October 2023 - 6 min read
Corporate Names: The Importance of Knowing Who You’re Dealing With
For small business owners, you take a serious risk if you fail to include the full corporate name on all contracts, invoices, negotiable instruments and orders for goods or services. Using a trade name by itself is not sufficient. ...
August 17, 2023
Yellowknife Evacuation Notice
Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the ongoing wildfires in the Northwest Territories.Due to the escalating situation, the authorities have issued an evacuation order for Yellowknife, and as a result, our physical office will be temporarily clo...
August 2022 - 3 min read
Do You Own a Business? You Need a Good Estate Plan
Up Here Business Magazine
Estate planning isn’t a fun topic, but it’s essential. That’s especially true for business owners, from sole proprietorships to corporations. Be sure your final plans meet your hopes and expectations for your business—for the sa...
May 2022 - 3 min read
Don’t Sit Still: Is Your Company Ready to Cope with the Current Pace of Change?
Up Here Business Magazine
Inflation. Climate change. A lingering pandemic. Risk abounds for business as we reach the mid-point of 2022. Here are 10 issues business leaders should be reviewing as they prepare for the hard-to-predict months ahead. Throughout the COVID-19 pande...
February 2022 - 3 min read
Recent Corporate Battle Carries a Legal Lesson for Business
Up Here Business Magazine
The recent family feud at Rogers Communications made for great drama. But don’t overlook the issue at the heart of the dispute. It’s a reminder that business law—not corporate practices—carry the day in court. The closing mon...
November 2021 - 3 min read
Back to Basics: How Mining and Indigenous Rights Work in the North
Up Here Business Magazine
Before any mining outfit can swing a geologist’s hammer, it needs to understand how Indigenous rights will shape their work. And the rules are different across the territories. That’s just the way it is, so it helps to get a little guidance...
July 2021 - 3 min read
Government Procurement: Nice Work… When You Can Get It
Up Here Business Magazine
If you have questions about government procurement, we’ve got some answers. Government spending in local communities is the backbone of economies across the north. Governments know that and they’ve developed policies to steer as much spendi...
March 2021 - 3 min read
Let’s Make a (Good) Deal: Want to Buy or Sell a Business? Remember This
Up Here Business Magazine
Congratulations! You’ve decided to acquire a brand new business or pass on the one you’ve built over the years. That’s great news but be prepared. You’re getting down to some serious brass tacks.  Here are some pointers to ...
January 2021 - 2 min read
Home Rule: How to Mix Corporate Governance + Social Distance
Up Here Business Magazine
The idea of gathering around a boardroom table in the era of COVID-19 seems off, given current public health advice. Still, corporate directors must continue to do their jobs—even if they must do them from their dining room tables. These five tip...
October 2020 - 2 min read
Simple as Pie? Not Exactly
Up Here Business Magazine
Employment contracts don’t have to be difficult, but do take care. Making a new hire can be a happy time for a business. That said, it’s important to take the long view and make sure your employment contract covers the issues that are impor...
September 2020
Field Law Lawyers and Department recognized in Chambers Canada 2021 Guide
Field Law is pleased to be included in the Chambers Canada 2021 guide with two firm rankings and five lawyers ranked. Our firm rankings are: Highly Regarded, Corporate/Commercial Department in Alberta, Band 2 Employment + Labour in Alberta, Ba...
April 2020 - 3 min read
Strings Attached
Up Here Business Magazine
Ottawa has unveiled pandemic financial support. That’s good news for struggling businesses. But remember: there’s no such thing as free money. Pay close attention to your obligations before accepting the help. As you’ve likely hear...
January 2020 - 3 min read
What's Your Business
Up Here Business Magazine
Entrepreneurs have options when it comes to choosing the legal structure for their business. All have advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to making your choice remember: One size does not fit all. A question I am frequently asked is, what bu...
April 2019
Amendments Made to the NWT Partnership and Business Name Act
Significant amendments have been made to the Partnership and Business Names Act (the Act), RSNWT 1988, c P-1.The amendments to the Act effect partnerships, limited partnerships, and extra-territorial partnerships. Previously, there were no renewal requ...
February 6, 2019
2018 Year in Review for Northern Employers
Join Field Law for a review of the most important legal cases from 2018. Topics covered will include: Labour Employment Human Rights Occupational Health + Safety Privacy Immigration Cannabis This seminar will be broadcast live via ...

Getting to the heart of a matter

A privately-held Indigenous development corporation in Western Canada wasn't happy with a complex joint venture into which it had entered with a US conglomerate and wanted formal resolution. Jack Williams, from our Yellowknife office, talked with both sides and assessed the work flow and the relationship issues. "In collaboration with our client, I figured out a way for the minority shareholder to sell their shares and part with the company amicably." Based on a valuation of the joint venture, the parties negotiated and agreed to split up the assets. "My clients took its share of the assets and moved forward." The file was essentially an issue of relationship management.

Understanding our client's business

A multi-million dollar construction contractor was in distress when it sought Jack Williams's help. "It was over budget on several major jobs in Western Canada." As a team, Jack and his client assessed what to fix and how to proceed. That included restructuring a major contract, selling redundant assets and restructuring bank terms and security. "In addition, the client switched banks, renegotiated terms on other contracts, strengthened its governance and put financial management controls in place."

Drafting easement agreements in the North

Teresa Tomkinson worked with a large commercial developer in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Her client needed to prepare various easements for access, use and utilities, which would affect multiple properties. The Northern climate impacts the way infrastructure is developed, which poses complications for the drafting of easements. For example, permafrost means that utilities are not run underground in many areas - but rather above-ground - which can impact development. The statutory legislation in the Northern territories is applied differently than in other provinces, and the Registrar in the North requires different procedures in how easement agreements are drafted and registered. Teresa and her team engaged legal counsel in the North and worked very closely with the Registrar to understand the procedure, and then successfully drafted the easement agreements.