Legal Counsel, Ontario - Location flexible

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962 NCC and its supporters have protected 14 million hectares (35 million acres) of ecologically significant land across Canada. NCC takes a collaborative, science-based approach to achieve conservation success for the sake of nature and Canadians. With a national office in Toronto and seven regional offices across the country, NCC delivers results you can walk on.

Purpose and General Description

Taking care of our environment has never been more important than it is today. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is looking for part-time Legal Counsel for Ontario Region to join a dynamic and experienced team committed to protecting our most important natural areas and the plants and animals they sustain.


Reporting to the Regional Vice President, Ontario Legal Counsel is responsible for providing legal support across the province at the request of Program Directors and other subregional staff, Department Directors, and the Regional Vice President.  This position is permanent, part time (3 days per week) and is a salary band 5 position ($43,977 - $54,900, based on a 3 day work week).  Location is flexible but at least one day per week must be in the Toronto office (Eglinton/Mount Pleasant Road).

Working within NCC’s business plan and integrated program delivery approach (involving science, land securement, fundraising and development, administration and land stewardship) and standard operating procedures, NCC’s Ontario Legal Counsel reviews and advises on securement-related legal documents, arranges for completion of land transactions and provides primary in-house legal support related to cross-border projects, conservation agreements and dispositions.  Legal Counsel assesses legal needs, acts as a liaison between staff and outside counsel, and reviews legal and quasi-legal documents and templates for securement, land stewardship and other Ontario initiatives.

Duties and Responsibilities

Land Acquisition/Securement (45%)

  • Prepare and review securement-related legal documentation and support processes to ensure documents are complete, meet deadlines and protect the interests of NCC. Ontario Region completes approximately 10-15 land acquisitions per year;
  • Consult with and advise relevant staff regarding assessment of securement approach and address issues and concerns for individual acquisitions;
  • Foster strong working relationships with colleagues and project partners. Ensure that every securement project effectively engages team members as appropriate (securement, stewardship, finance, development, and communications) in a timely manner;
  • Ensure that all land securement documentation or processes about which Legal Counsel is consulted, conform to National standards and policy;
  • Complete some legal transactions in-house (e.g. land donations, conservation agreements, routine transfers to other groups);
  • Prepare securement-related legal templates; review and revise existing templates as needed.

Land Stewardship/Management (45%)

  • Prepare and review service contracts (including providing assistance with specifications), partnership agreements and other “quasi” legal agreements and correspondence related to managing NCC lands. This includes contracting heavy machinery and specialized equipment operators for land restoration and invasive species removal;  
  • Assist stewardship staff with the preparation of stewardship templates;
  • Assist with National reviews and upgrades to legal templates;
  • Provide “triage” legal support for Ontario Region staff, distinguishing issues based on urgency, importance to NCC, risk, cost and quality of result;
  • Refer issues to outside counsel based on “triage” results, and facilitate the relationship between NCC staff and outside counsel;
  • Support administration, development and Planned Giving staff as required;
  • Monitor and advise on estate administration where NCC is a beneficiary;
  • In general, provide advice regarding NCC legal matters to Ontario Region staff.

Other Duties (10%)

  • Lead NCC ON in potential and actual litigation scenarios coordinating with NCC insurer and litigation counsel;
  • Inform National office re litigation status for Litigation Database;
  • Support NCC National, other NCC Regional staff and American Friends of Canadian Nature (AFCN) staff on request.

Required Skills and Attributes

  • A member in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario;
  • Commitment to the cause, mission and strategic priorities of The Nature Conservancy of Canada;
  • 3-5 years of significant experience in real estate law and real property conveyancing, including experience in negotiating and drafting agreements of purchase and sale, and other legal documents related to the acquisition and management of real estate;
  • Experience related to conservation agreements under the Conservation Land Act, commercial and residential tenancies, mining law, liability issues and civil litigation;
  • A creative, proactive thinker, highly analytical and detail-oriented;
  • Self-motivated with superior time management skills and ability to meet tight deadlines;
  • Excellent donor/client communications skills (verbal, written);
  • Experience in business correspondence and report-writing;
  • Flexibility, reliability, and ability to work both independently and as a team member;
  • Capable of easily communicating with a wide range of people from the public and private sectors;
  • Demonstrated interest in and understanding of the scientific basis for NCC’s land securement and stewardship priorities;
  • Ability to manage multiple and changing tasks and priorities;
  • Proficiency with land information software and systems (e.g. Land Information System, Daisy).

Terms of Employment

  • Flexible but at least one day per week in Toronto (Eglinton/Mount Pleasant Road)
  • Permanent, Part-time (3 days/week)

To Apply

NCC is an equal opportunity employer. If you are interested in joining our team, please forward your resume and cover letter in a single pdf document indicating “Legal Counsel - Ontario” in the subject line to the Nature Conservancy of Canada via e-mail:

Application Deadline: February 17, 2020

Late applications will not be considered. 

No telephone calls please.

We thank everyone who applies for their interest in the Nature Conservancy of Canada; however only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

For positions situated in Ontario:
At the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) we strive to promote diversity in the workplace and encourage applications from all qualified individuals.
NCC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the Ontario Human Rights Code, we will provide accommodations to applicants with disabilities throughout the recruitment, selection and/or assessment process. If selected to participate in the recruitment, selection and/or assessment process, please inform Human Resources staff of the nature of any accommodation(s) that you may require.

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