Matthew Ghikas is the past leader of Fasken’s Global Energy and Climate Group in the BC Region. He is a leading energy and regulatory litigator based in Vancouver, with particular expertise in the energy, utility and natural resources industries. Matt represents clients in proceedings before regulators in BC, Alberta and Manitoba, in litigation before the courts in British Columbia and Alberta, and in arbitrations and mediations. He has experience and qualifications in domestic and international arbitration, including being a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb) and being a roster arbitrator for both the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) and the Vancouver International Arbitration Chambers (VANIAC). The Canadian Transportation Agency has included Matt on its arbitrator roster for determining rail disputes and final offer arbitrations.
Matt’s mandates as counsel have included prominent roles in very significant public interest hearings. They include: acting as lead counsel for BC Hydro in the inquiry to determine whether to proceed with BC Hydro’s $16 billion Site C dam in northern British Columbia; acting for a major industry participant in the BC public inquiry into gasoline pricing; acting for the proponent of an $800 million LNG facility being developed for the purpose of supply emergency response; and acting for a participant in a BC Utilities Commission inquiry into the potential role of Indigenous-owned utilities and energy infrastructure.
Expertise in energy regulation and other regulatory tribunal work
Complex, multi-party litigation requires a strategic approach combined with exceptional knowledge of the role of regulation and the energy industry. Matt understands that regulated entities have long-term relationships with regulators and other stakeholders. Clients appreciate the importance of a broader corporate regulatory strategy that recognizes this reality.
Matt represents a diverse range of western Canadian regulated clients in utility, pipeline, oil and gas, transportation and insurance industries. They have included the largest natural gas utility in BC, both large electric utilities in BC, electric transmission companies, a LNG facility owner, the owner of an oil refinery and retail and wholesale gasoline business, a thermal energy utility, the largest electric utility in Manitoba, the providers of regulated universal compulsory automobile insurance in both BC and Manitoba, and a provider of regulated ferry services. Matt has also acted as counsel in railway rate final offer arbitrations and Canadian Transportation Agency applications.
Matt advises on all manner of rate-related applications, cost of capital (return on equity), and capital project permitting and approvals, among other matters.
Collaborative approach and subject matter expertise
Clients appreciate Matt’s practical day-to-day advice, collaborative style and deep expertise in regulated businesses and the energy industry. It not only assists clients in meeting their business objectives, but enables Matt to participate seamlessly in cross-disciplinary project teams that include accountants, engineers, economists and scientists.
Matt also has experience with international gas pricing and LNG pricing arbitrations as well as rate arbitrations in the railway industry and commercial arbitration. Matt has acted as arbitrator on multiple occasions in both commercial and energy cases, including as sole arbitrator and on a panel.