John Doolan is a senior real estate lawyer, with a wide variety of experience in commercial real estate law and aboriginal law matters.
John has been a commercial real estate lawyer for over 30 years. His experience includes advising on major projects and financings, infrastructure development, structuring transactions, acquisitions and dispositions, partnerships and joint ventures, real estate development and leasing.
John has extensive experience in aboriginal law, including with respect to relationships with First Nations, leases and other tenures on First Nation land, and commercial agreements and financings involving First Nations. He represents business enterprises, First Nations and First Nation groups on economic development matters, including complex structures and projects.
John works successfully with federal, provincial and aboriginal governments and officials, including First Nation councils and administrations, the Department of Indigenous and Northern Development Canada, Justice Canada, the office of the provincial Attorney General and the Superintendent of Real Estate.
John is recognized as a leading lawyer in Aboriginal Law by both Chambers Canada and Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He is included in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, a guide to the leading law firms and practitioners in Canada, as a leading lawyer in the areas of aboriginal law, property development, and property leasing, and was featured as one of “Canada’s Leading Infrastructure Lawyers” in the 2015 Lexpert special edition.
Professional achievements & leadership
- The Best Lawyers in Canada – Real Estate Law, 2018-2019
- Chambers Canada and Chambers Global: Aboriginal Law
- Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Aboriginal Law; Property Development; Property Leasing
- acting as general commercial counsel to Tsawwassen First Nation on structuring, planning, economic development, leasing and commercial matters in the implementation of its 2009 treaty, including advising on their industrial lands developments and the new Tsawwassen Mills shopping centre development;
- advising on the establishment of the Tsuut’ina Nation – Canderel Real Estate limited partnership for the development of over 1,000 acres of Tsuut’ina Nation commercial land and related structuring, planning, leasing and development matters;
- advising lending syndicates on structuring, capacity, contracting, security and legal opinion issues in connection with utility infrastructure projects in Ontario involving First Nation participants;
- advising lending syndicates on First Nations’ issues in connection with the financing of a major resort and casino project on First Nation reserve land in Alberta;
- advising, energy, utility and forestry companies on Frist Nations’ issues, including relationship-building and agreements, land tenures, additions to reserve lands and treaty issues;
- acting for Whistler/Blackcomb on Ski Area Development Agreements, real estate developments, public offerings, going private and syndicated financing transactions;
- advising a variety of other business clients on due diligence, structuring, land tenure and security matters in connection with business ventures involving First Nations and projects on First Nation land;
- preparing requests for proposals and responses to requests for proposals on major projects, including destination casino, sewage treatment plant and infrastructure projects on First Nation land;
- assisting with the establishment of the federal First Nations Tax Commission and the development and implementation of its corporate governance policies;
- acting as counsel to the First Nations Tax Commission on the proposed new federal Indigenous Land Title Act and regulations;
- advising on the implications of modern First Nation legislation, including the Indian Oil and Gas Act, First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act and First Nations Land Management Act and on modern First Nations’ treaties;
- advising Tk’emlups te Secwepémc (Kamloops) on relations and agreements with governments and developers and a broad range of real property and commercial matters, including reserve land leasing matters, the establishment of a development approval process, the structuring and implementation of comprehensive real estate developments and the acquisition of a major ranch property to be added to the First Nation’s reserve lands;
- advising the developer of the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort near Golden, British Columbia on all real estate development and regulatory matters from resort start-up, including negotiating its Ski Area Development Agreement with the Province of British Columbia and establishing water and sewer utilities and a regime for the mountain’s regulation of real estate development; and
- advising developers and First Nations on the structuring and implementation of multi-phase, mixed-use developments on First Nation land.
Bar admissions & education
- British Columbia Bar, 1987
- LL.B., University of British Columbia
Miller Thomson lawyers recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2019
In the just released 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada, 144 Miller Thomson lawyers from across the country have been recognized for their expertise in 47 areas of law. This includes 6 lawyers who were awarded “Lawyer of the Year” in...
Miller Thomson recognized in 2018 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
In the recently released 2018 edition of the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory, 90 Miller Thomson lawyers across 35 areas of law have been recognized for their industry-leading advisory expertise. These rankings are the culmination of an extensive annual peer review process...
Miller Thomson ranked in 2018 edition of Chambers Global
Miller Thomson has once again been ranked among leading firms for Labour & Employment in the 2018 edition of Chambers Global – The World’s Leading Business Lawyers. Each year, Chambers & Partners conducts extensive research of legal markets around the world...
Miller Thomson earns top rankings in Chambers Canada 2018
Miller Thomson earned a top Band 1 ranking for two practice areas in the 2018 Chambers Canada Guide. Our Charities and Not-For-Profit group is regarded for “its novel and innovative approach to complex matters arising within the charitable and non-profit market,”...
Lexpert names five Miller Thomson Partners as leading infrastructure lawyers
Lexpert has published their annual Special Edition on Canada’s Leading Infrastructure Lawyers in the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business. Among the diverse group of Lexpert-ranked practitioners serving the Infrastructure sector in the 2017 edition are: Aaron Atcheson, London Normand D’Amour, Montréal John Doolan, Vancouver...
Miller Thomson recognized in 2017 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
In the recently released 2017 edition of the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory, 79 Miller Thomson lawyers across 30 areas of law have been recognized for their industry-leading advisory expertise. These latest rankings are the culmination of an extensive annual peer...
Miller Thomson recognized in Chambers Global 2017
Miller Thomson’s national Labour & Employment group has been named in the 2017 edition of Chambers Global, a ranking of the world’s leading lawyers and law firms. Chambers & Partners conducts extensive annual research of legal markets to identify the leading firms...
Miller Thomson receives top honours in 2017 Chambers Canada guide
Thirteen Miller Thomson lawyers and four practice groups are named in the 2017 edition of Chambers Canada. The guide ranks lawyers and law firms in over 40 specialist practice areas across Canada, based on client feedback, peer interviews and an assessment of...
Lexpert recognizes 80 Miller Thomson lawyers
Miller Thomson is pleased to announce 80 lawyers across ten of our offices are recognized in the 2016 edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as leading practitioners in their field. Published annually since 1997, The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory...