Chris is an educator, author and public interest litigator. He has been a professor at the UVic Faculty of Law since 1991, and is currently executive director of the Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation, and Principal at Tollefson Law.
He has appeared before all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He has been counsel on many leading environmental cases including the Northern Gateway pipeline review (for Nature Canada & BC Nature: 2012-2015); the Trans Mountain pipeline review (for Nature Canada and BC Nature: 2014 to 2020); the Pacific North West LNG environmental assessment (for Skeena Wild: 2015-2018); and the Teck Frontier oils sands environmental assessment (for Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society: 2017 to 2020).
Early on in his career, he was part of the legal team that successfully represented the Galiano Conservancy and its trustees in a SLAPP-style lawsuit brought by MacMillan Bloedel. He later co-founded, with Ken Millard and Carolyn Canfield, an NGO that helped secure passage of Canada’s first anti-SLAPP law. He continues to write about and represent public interest clients facing litigation of this kind. His current clients include the Heiltsuk Tribal Council, the Tahltan Central Government and the Haida Gwaii Management Council. Tollefson Law is also co-counsel along with Arvay Finlay LLP, on La Rose v HMTQ, a climate lawsuit case filed by fifteen Canadian young people against the federal government.
 He is co-author (with Meinhard Doelle) of Environmental Law: Cases and Materials (Carswell 3rd ed, 2019) and has won various awards for his teaching and research including Nature Canada’s Conservation Partner Award for his work leading their legal team during the Northern Gateway pipeline hearings. His litigation career was profiled in The Narwhal.
Chris has been a part-time resident of North Galiano for almost 30 years, along with his children Hannah and Rory.

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