John Cuthbertson copy

John H. Cuthbertson, K.C.


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King's Counsel 2008

Dalhousie University, Masters of Business Administration, International Business, 1979

Dalhousie University, Bachelor of Laws, 1979

University of Alberta, Bachelor of Commerce (with Distinction), 1975

University of Alberta, Bachelor of Science, 1973

Bar Call: Alberta 1980 and Nova Scotia 1983
Practice areas:


John's focus was on energy: 

  • Extensive experience in negotiating a wide variety of energy contracts relating to royalty trusts, partnerships, joint ventures, construction and ownership agreements, international operating agreements, joint acquisition agreements, facilities agreements, processing agreements and marketing and transportation agreements
  • Representations include private and public companies (junior, intermediate and senior) and financial, insurance and pension corporations in numerous joint venture acquisition, divestiture, swap and royalty trust transactions
  • Has acted as arbitrator of energy disputes

Community involvement

John is the past Governor, Calgary Petroleum Club; is a member and Past President, Calgary Roadrunners Club; and a member, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church.

Professional involvement

John was a member of BD&P's Compensation Committee. He was also:

  • Director and Past Chair, Calgary Legal Guidance, Volunteer since 1979
  • Founding Director of Pro Bono Law Alberta
  • Director of the Educational Trust Fund, Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists
  • Past Annual Guest Lecturer, University of Calgary Oil & Gas Law School Course

Professional associations

  • Member, Law Society of Alberta
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Calgary Bar Association
  • Member, Nova Scotia Barristers' Society
  • Member, Canadian Petroleum Law Foundation
  • Member, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation

Representative work

PrairieSky Royalty Ltd.'s $1.8 billion asset acquisition

Counsel to PrairieSky Royalty Ltd. in $1.8 billion acquisition of royalty assets from Canadian Natural Resources Limited.

Canadian Natural Resources Limited's $3.1 billion acquisition

Counsel to Canadian Natural Resources Limited in its $3.125 billion acquisition of Devon Energy Corp.'s Canadian conventional assets, excluding Horn River and the heavy oil properties.

Inter Pipeline Fund conversion to Inter Pipeline Ltd.

Counsel to Inter Pipeline Fund in its conversion to Inter Pipeline Ltd., a dividend paying corporation.

$5.2 billion acquisition of Progress Energy Resources Corp.

Counsel to Progress Energy Resources Corp. in the $5.2 billion acquisition by PETRONAS, the Malaysian national oil company.

Progress Energy Resources Corp.'s sale and joint venture with PETRONAS

Counsel to Progress in the $1.1 billion sale of 50% working interest in Montney shale assets in Foothills of north eastern British Columbia to PETRONAS, the Malaysian national oil company, and the formation of an upstream joint venture to develop the gas assets as well as a downstream LNG Export Project Joint Venture pursuant to which they plan to build and operate a major LNG export facility.

Encana Corporation's joint venture with ConocoPhillips

Counsel to Encana Corporation (now Ovintiv Inc.) in the $15 billion formation of two 50/50 joint ventures, a Canadian upstream partnership including the Foster Creek and Christina Lake oil sands projects formerly held by Encana, and a US downstream limited liability company including the Wood River and Borger refineries formerly held by ConocoPhillips; counsel to Cenovus Energy Inc. in the renegotiation of the joint venture whereby Cenovus took over the interest of Encana.

Penn West Energy Trust joint venture with China Investment Corporation

Counsel to Penn West Energy Trust in the formation of an $817 million joint venture with a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Investment Corporation to develop Penn West's bitumen assets in the Peace River area of northern Alberta


Recent honours and recognition

Leading lawyer by Legal 500 Canada in Corporate and M&A (2016-2018), and Energy: Oil & Gas (2016-2021)

Named in Chambers Canada as a leading lawyer in Energy: Oil & Gas (2016-2019) and Corporate Commercial (Alberta) (2016-2020)

Recognized in the Lexpert American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada in the area of Energy (Oil & Gas), 2006-2011 and 2014-2019

Named in Expert Guides -The Legal Media Group Guides to the World's Leading Lawyers, in energy and natural resources (2013-2017)

Named in Lexpert's Special Edition on Canada's leading corporate lawyers and leading energy lawyers (annually since 2013)