About Van

Van is counsel in the Halifax office. He is a past member of the firm’s Board of Directors, Chair of the Board’s Audit and Finance Committee and Chair of the Energy Law Group. Van specializes in oil and gas law and in debt finance and general business law. He is recognized by Lexpert Magazine as one of the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada and by Best Lawyers in Canada for his practice in Energy and Natural Resources law, Banking and Finance law, and Corporate law. Van has been named Best Lawyers Natural Resources Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Halifax for 2019 and 2017, and has been listed in the 2018 Edition of Who’s Who Legal: Energy. Van is also ranked in the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.

On the oil and gas side, Van has handled constitutional, statutory and regulatory issues related to natural resources on the Continental Shelf and has led substantial purchase and sale transactions involving offshore rights. He is familiar with farm-in, joint operating, unitization, royalty and right of first refusal agreements. He has given presentations on LNG regasification terminal due diligence, the confidentiality of seismic information and oil and gas purchase and sale agreements. In a related area, Van advises wind developers and their lenders on renewable energy projects. Van is a past Director of the Canadian Energy Law Foundation and the Canadian Institute of Resources Law. He taught oil and gas law at the Dalhousie Law School for twenty years.

On the finance and business side, Van handles business acquisitions and sales, credit agreements and related security documentation regularly. He has acted as a lender-side lead counsel in large-scale syndicated loan transactions, settled shareholder disputes and fielded PPSA jurisdictional questions.

Van enjoys close ties to the arts in Nova Scotia. He is an Honourary Life Governor of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and a past Director of the NSCAD Press. He is current Director of Symphony Nova Scotia Foundation and past President of the Symphony and the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra. He received his Masters Degree in Musicology at Dalhousie University.


  • Masters in Musicology, Dalhousie University (2014)
  • LL.B., Dalhousie University (1976)
  • A.B. (Music), Princeton University (1968)

Bar Admissions

  • Nova Scotia (1977)
  • Newfoundland & Labrador (1992)


  • English

Appointments & Community Involvement

  • Honourary Life Governor for the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD)
  • Board of Trustees for Symphony Nova Scotia