- Corporate and Commercial Transactions
- Corporate Compliance and Other Regulatory Programs
Bar & Court Admissions
- New York
McGill University, Faculty of Law (Montreal, Canada), B.C.L./J.D., 2014
University of Toronto, (Toronto, Canada), Master of Environmental Science with high distinction (M.Env.Sc.), 2008
University of Toronto, (Toronto, Canada), Honors Bachelor of Science with high distinction (B.Sc.), 2007
Professional & Community Activities
McGill Centre of International Sustainable Development
- Pro bono research fellow (2011-present)
Environmental Law Network
- Future Leaders Division (2021-present)
New York City Bar Association
- Environmental Law Committee (2023)
Armenian Bar Association
- Board of Governors (2022-present)
- Co-chair of the Young Lawyers Committee (2020-present)
Giselle joins Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox’s regulatory and transactions team after working as an environmental, energy and natural resource senior associate for a leading Canadian law firm in Toronto for almost a decade. She has counseled clients on a range of environmental matters across sectors, including advising on environmental law aspects of strategic acquisitions, real property transfers and development projects, transactional due diligence, regulatory compliance and environmental litigation. Giselle regularly provides cross-border advice about environmental liability, mergers and acquisitions and environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies, programs and legislation.
Giselle has a unique understanding of the factors that impact environmental law, thanks to her previous experience working as an environmental scientist and engineering consultant. Now, she brings her technical expertise and science-based perspective to her legal practice when she helps clients assess risk, develop pragmatic solutions and build strong legal and technical cases for complex, regulatory matters and environmental litigation.
Giselle is a Certified Specialist in Environmental Law by the Law Society of Ontario. She was recognized by Lexpert Canada as a “Lawyer to Watch” in the areas of mining and energy law. She was also the recipient of the global Armenian Bar Association’s “20 under 40 Rising Stars” Award.
In her free time, Giselle enjoys hitting the tennis court, going for a run and playing the piano.
Representative examples of Giselle’s work include:
- Representing corporations in acquisitions, including advising on environmental compliance, classifying materiality of risk and outstanding obligations, and drafting and negotiating protective environmental clauses in agreements.
- Representing commercial landlords and tenants in negotiating favorable environmental terms in lease agreements.
- Assisting developers with pre-purchase due diligence and brownfield redevelopment.
Environmental Compliance and Audit
- Establishing audit programs and compliance tools for a variety of clients in steel manufacturing, food processing, waste management and mass transit industries to identify and correct environmental compliance and management system implementation gaps in air, water and waste media.
- Assisting clients in securing air, water and waste permits, including preparing permit applications, negotiating permit conditions, addressing third party interests and appealing permits.
- Assisting clients in responding to regulator demands, including providing environmental legal advice about regulatory obligations associated with contaminated lands, air emissions, stormwater management, sewage works, hazardous waste management, remedial action and restoration plans.
- Representing plaintiffs and defendants in contaminated land, product liability, construction and professional liability litigation in the environmental law context.
- Representing clients in defending regulatory prosecutions for a variety of charges such as discharging contaminants, failing to report discharges, noncompliance with regulatory instruments and orders, and noncompliance with environmental statutes.
“Greenbiz and Getting to Market: What It Takes to Go Green and Limit Liability”, American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, the Brief, April 25, 2019 – with M. McAree
“A Rights‐Based Approach to Indigenous Women and Gender Inequities in Resource Development in Northern Canada.” Rev Eur Comp Int Environ Law, 2018; 27(1):63-74 – with K. Koutouki and K. Lofts
“Should Citizens Expect Procedural Justice in Nonadversarial Processes? Spotlighting the Regression of the Citizen Submissions Process from NAAEC to CAFTA-DR” in NAFTA and Sustainable Development: History, Experience, and Prospects for Reform (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
“Trends in Environmental Litigation Cross-Border”, presented at the Ontario Bar Association's Ontario Legal Conference: Cross-Border (US/Canada), Toronto, Ontario, May 4, 2023
“Environmental Permitting,” presented at The Osgoode Professional Development Certificate in Mining Law. York University, Toronto, Ontario. Faculty Lecturer since 2022
“Environmental Case Law and Regulatory Update”, presented at the Ontario Bar Association’s Ontario Legal Conference Municipal, Planning & Environmental Law, Toronto, Ontario, February 9, 2023
“Canadian Environmental Law Training Course (2-day intensive)” presented to company engineers, scientists and environmental practitioners, Burlington, Ontario, January 24- 25, 2023
“Air Quality Challenges: Environmental Compliance, Climate Change and COVID-19 Safe Spaces”, presented at CANECT – Environmental Compliance and Due Diligence Training, Vaughan, Ontario, April 28, 2022
“Water & Wastewater Regulation and Compliance 2022: An Interactive Case Study”, presented at CANECT – Environmental Compliance and Due Diligence Training, Vaughan, Ontario, April 27, 2022
“The Rising Impacts of Climate Change and the Law”, a webinar series on emerging and developing areas of law presented by the Armenian Bar Association, June 24, 2021.
“Edibles, Extracts and the Environment – Minimizing the Legal Risks of Cannabis”, presented at the 4th Annual National Conference on Food Law and Policy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, November 8, 2019
“Statutory Interpretation”, presented as part of the University of Toronto Guest Lecture Environmental Regulations course, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, February 17, 2019