Aaron Atcheson

Partner | London



Portrait of Aaron Atcheson


Aaron Atcheson practices in the area of real estate and business transactions, and energy and infrastructure projects. Aaron holds the position of Leader, Real Property & Development, and also leads the Projects Group. He has been repeatedly recognized as a leading lawyer and expert in energy, environmental law and property development. He concentrates his practice on the development, acquisition, disposition and financing of infrastructure facilities, with a particular focus on the energy sector,  across Canada and, with the assistance of local counsel, in the United States and internationally. Aaron was previously the Managing Partner of Miller Thomson’s Southwestern Ontario offices, Chair of Miller Thomson’s National Real Estate Practice Group and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee.

From 2013 to 2022, Lexpert/Report on Business Magazine has listed Aaron among “Canada’s Leading Energy Lawyers”. From 2013 to 2022, Aaron was recognized by the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as an expert in Environmental Law and Property Development and as a “Lawyer to Watch” in the Lexpert 2013 Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Corporate Lawyers in Canada. Aaron was also listed as one of the 2012 Lexpert “Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40.” For 2022, Aaron is listed as one of the Best Lawyers in Canada for Energy Law and Environmental Law, and is listed in the Acritas Stars global survey of stand-out lawyers.

Aaron advises clients on the purchase and sale of real property, leasing and financing transactions, and the development of real property including brownfields. He also has significant experience in the office, retail and industrial property sectors. He regularly provides advice on all aspects of environmental approvals, as well as regulatory requirements for project developments.

Aaron represents parties in transactions and projects in the renewable energy industry, including developers and power producers, solar panel and associated equipment manufacturers, turbine manufacturers, debt and equity providers, vendors and purchasers of projects, underwriters, and consultants. Aaron has also provided development construction and financing advice on district energy, electricity storage, landfill gas, bio-gas, energy-from-waste, waste heat recovery, gas-fired thermal power generation, co-generation, hydro-electric, natural gas production, gas pipeline and gas storage projects, as well as transactions related to water testing and treatment and waste and recycling.

Aaron is a member of the Canadian Renewable Energy Association and has provided advice on projects across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland. Aaron previously practised in the Toronto office of another national firm in the areas of commercial real estate, environmental, and energy law. He also spent one year in Dublin, Ireland practising project finance law with Matheson Ormsby Prentice, European Business Law Firm of the Year, 2002, with a concentration on environmental law and the energy sector.

Aaron has recently advised a multi-national on a significant property divestiture program, including addressing material environmental contamination issues and lease backs. He has also been involved in the acquisition, development, construction, financing and sale of wind and solar projects across the country, biogas and biomass projects across Ontario and energy storage projects throughout North America.

Professional achievements & leadership

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada – Energy Law, 2018-2024; Environmental Law, 2017-2024
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory - Environmental Law, 2013-2024; Property Development, 2013-2024; Property Leasing, 2020-2024; Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG), 2024
  • Acritas Stars global survey of stand-out lawyers, 2018
  • Member of Executive, Environmental Law Section, Canadian Bar Association (Ontario), 2004-2016, 2017-2023
  • Member of Executive, National Resources Law Section, Canadian Bar Association (Ontario), 2004-2016, 2017-2023
  • Leading Professional Services Firms, Harvard Business School, June 2015

Thought leadership

  • Hearings on freshwater issues before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, January 30, 2024, Ottawa
  • “More than Hot Air: Regulatory Hurdles to Completing a Renewable Energy to Hydrogen Project”, as part of the Growth Prospects for Green Hydrogen Panel at Energy Transformation Canada (Annual Conference of the Canadian Renewable Energy Association), October 27, 2022, Toronto, with Tyson Wagner
  • "Pandemic Pitfalls: How COVID-19 affected renewable supply chains and how to protect your project", Energy Transformation Canada, Canadian Renewable Energy Association Annual Conference, November 19, 2021, Toronto
  • “Hot Potato: Construction and Procurement Contracting for Hybrid Generation and Storage Projects”, Canadian Wind Energy Association Annual Conference, October 2019, Calgary
  • "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over: Legal Considerations in Repowering or Decommissioning Wind Farms", Canadian Wind Energy Association Annual  Conference, October 2018, Calgary
  • "Environmental Contamination for the Transactional Lawyer: A Way Through the Maze", Ontario Bar Association, May 2018
  • "Contracting for CleanTech: What’s Market?", Law Society of Ontario: 8th Annual Business Law Summit, May 2018
  • "Banking on Success: Fundamentals for Financing Storage Projects in Canada", ESA Energy Storage Annual Conference & Expo, April 2018, Boston
  • Climate Change Lawyers' Network panelist, "Regulatory and Operational Forecast: Electric Vehicles and Infrastructure in Ontario", March 2018
  • “Windfall of Opportunity? The Potential of Cap and Trade to Boost and Enhance Wind Development in Ontario,” Canadian Wind Energy Association Annual Conference, October 2015, Toronto
  • “M&A in Dangerous Times,” Canadian Wind Energy Association Annual Conference, October 2014, Montreal
  • “I Fought the Law, But the Law Won: Legal Restrictions on Employing New Technologies in Energy From Waste Facilities,” Canadian Waste to Resource Conference, November 2014, Toronto
  • “The WTO, the Wind Sector and Green Job Creation Incentives Across Jurisdictions,” World Wind Energy Conference, June 2013, Havana, Cuba
  • “Appeal of Renewable Energy Approvals,” Lecture to Western Law Environmental Law Class, October 31, 2012
  • “Heavenly Hosts: Creating Support Through Host Community Benefit Agreements,” Canadian Wind Energy Association Annual Conference, October 16, 2012, Toronto
  • “Issues in Solar Rooftop Leasing,” ILCO Conference, May 2012, London, ON
  • “Common Considerations for Drafting and Reviewing Groundmount Solar Leases,” April 2012, Cambridge, ON
  • “Renewable Energy in Ontario,” Lecture to Western Law Environmental Law Class, November 2, 2011
  • “Electrons Without Borders: Legal Issues in Exporting Power,” Canadian Wind Energy Association Annual Conference, October 2011, Vancouver
  • “FIT to be Tied: Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal,” Canadian Wind Energy Association Annual Conference, November 2010, Montreal
  • “Government Programs and How to Get the Most From Them, Wind, Water, Sun,” Renewable Technologies Conference, March 2010, London, ON
  • “New Opportunities in CleanTech,” November, 2009 at client seminars in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Cambridge
  • “An Update on the Wide Range of Environmental Issues Impacting Commercial Leasing and Building Owners,” Real Leasing Conference, September 2009, Toronto
  • “Renewable Energy and the Carbon Markets,” University of Toronto Carbon Finance Conference, October 2009, Toronto
  • “Getting that Dirty Deal Done: Environmental issues in the purchase and Sale of Real Estate,” Ontario Bar Association, Environmental Section Breakfast, April 2009, London, ON
  • “Clean Tech: The Legal Perspective—Tips, Traps and Opportunities,” OnSETT CleanTech Conference, February 2009, Toronto
  • “A Developing Opportunity for Wind: International and Domestic Carbon Credit Markets,” Canadian Wind Energy Association Annual Conference, October 2008, Vancouver
  • “Legal Issues with Wind Farm Stakeholders: Making Your Wind Farm Marketable,” World Wind Energy Conference, June 2008, Kingston, ON
  • “Penalty Creep: What is Going On With Environmental Fines Across Canada?”, OBA EnviroNews and MT EnviroNotes!, October, 2019, with Bryan Smits, Danielle Parry and Julia Zanetti
  • "Fueling the Future of Electric Vehicles in Ontario:  Ensuring the Reliability of Ontario’s Grid and Energy Infrastructure", EnviroNews, April 2018
  • Quoted in article "Managing Contamination In A Sale", Canadian Lawyer Magazine, January 2018
  • Fixing Our Water Infrastructure Gap: A Simplified Project Finance Model for Municipal Water and Wastewater Facilities”, Municipal World, August 2017
  • "Solicitor's Negligence Case Incorporates Scary Diligence Assumptions for Real Estate Lawyers", EnviroNotes!, July 2016
  • “Water Power: A new spin on an old concept expanding hydro-electricity in Ontario,” Water Canada, 2016
  • “Ontario’s GHG Emissions Cap and Trade System: Program Announced with Details to Follow,” EnviroNotes!, May 2015
  • “Seeing Red Tape,” Water Canada, May/June 2014
  • “Turtles One, Turbines Zero,” EnviroNotes!, September 2013
  • “Make Hay While the Sun Shines,” HazMat Management Magazine, Summer, 2013
  • “The Ins and Outs of IP,” Water Canada, March/April 2012
  • “Lasting a Lifetime—The ABCs of water infrastructure warranties,” Water Canada, 2011
  • “Uncertainty in Renewables,” HazMat Magazine, 2011
  • “Action-Packed Week for Renewable Energy,” EnviroNotes! Environmental Alert, August 2011
  • “More from the Rooftop,” Leasing Times, March 1, 2011
  • “Aaron Atcheson comments on the growth of clean-tech in law practices in the Law Times article ‘Green Energy a Growing Area of Practice’", 2010
  • “Offshore Wind and the Canadian Market: Push and Pull in the New Economy,” North American Clean Energy, 2010
  • “Ontario Tilting at Windmills as Province Alters Course Midway,” Law Times, 2010
  • “Winds of Change—Part 1,” Leasing Times, August 2008
  • “Ontario Snapshot,” Miller Thomson Climate Change Newsletter, 2010
  • “To Test or Not to Test…,” Leasing Times, April 1, 2010
  • “Recent Developments of Importance in Environmental Law,” The 2010 Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, 2010
  • “Ontario’s New Feed-In Tariff–Provincial Content Requirements,” GTMA Vantage, 2009
  • “Ontario’s New Green Energy Act,” CleanTech Canada, 2009
  • “Ontario’s New Green Energy Act,” American Lawyer/Lexpert Leading 500 Lawyers Directory, 2009
  • “Winds of Change—Part 2,” Leasing Times, September 2008

Community involvement

  • Board Member and Secretary, London Economic Development Corporation
  • Board Member, King's University College
  • Member of Huron University College Executive Board, 2015-2021, Member of Corporation, 2010-2015
  • Board Member, YMCA of Western Ontario, 2011-2017
  • Terry Fox Run, London Organizing Committee, 2008-2015
  • United Way London & Middlesex, Campaign Cabinet, 2014

Professional memberships

  • Member, Canadian Renewable Energy Association
  • Member, Ireland-Canada Chamber of Commerce
  • Member, Canadian and Ontario Bar Associations
  • Member, Law Society of Ontario
  • Member, Middlesex Law Association
  • Member, London Chamber of Commerce

Bar admissions & education

  • Ontario, 2000
  • LL.B., McGill University, 1998
  • B.A. Honours Economics & Political Science, Huron College at the University of Western Ontario, 1995
  • Water and Energy Security in a Changing climate Course, University of Waterloo, 2023