Ken Tennenhouse



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Education & Qualifications

  • Manitoba Bar (1983)
  • LLB (Manitoba, 1982)
  • Environmental studies (Manitoba, 1979)

With decades of legal experience in the energy sector, Ken Tennenhouse provides strategic advice on major capital projects, transactions and contracts as well as corporate governance and compliance matters.

Before joining MLT Aikins, Ken Tennenhouse spent more than three decades as in-house legal counsel and then general counsel with Manitoba Hydro, a leading Canadian power utility. A member of Hydro’s executive committee, Ken contributed to the company’s growth and expansion, providing strategic legal and management advice and leading a number of major initiatives and committees. During his time with the utility, he also served as corporate secretary for the board of the utility and its subsidiary companies including Centra Gas Manitoba.

With his unique background, Ken provides clients a wealth of strategic legal advice on commercial transactions, major construction projects and corporate governance issues as well as legislative drafting.

His broad range of experience includes contract structuring and drafting, tendering law and other key aspects of construction projects. In addition, Ken has extensive experience drafting contracts for procurement of goods and services, non-disclosure, intellectual property and other commercial purposes.

Ken brings clarity to large initiatives, helping teams to navigate potential implications and proactively aligning legal activities to key decision points in a project. He also shares guidance and best practices for fostering and managing relationships between in-house and external legal teams, including on dispute resolution and litigation matters. For technically-minded clients, Ken can assist with drafting briefing documents and project justifications for various industry associations or for senior management, boards of directors and government officials.

With regard to energy sector matters across Western Canada, Ken brings insight into:

  • The interplay between generation and customer generation projects and utilities’ open transmission access schemes
  • Potential application of NERC Electricity Reliability Standards to generation and customer generation projects
  • The unique aspects of transmission and co-ordination projects required for system reliability
  • Co-ordination of Canadian federal and provincial energy laws with U.S. requirements and U.S. decision-making bodies such as independent system operators

Ken has also led the development and implementation of successful compliance programs and training initiatives, integrity/whistleblower and respectful workplace programs, along with other critical work in the area of ethics and regulation.

  • Regularly provides advice and guidance to boards of directors and committees on best practices in corporate governance
  • Led teams involved in:
    • Successfully obtaining licensing for major capital projects, including Wuskwatim and Keeyask hydroelectric generating stations in Northern Manitoba, and the Bipole III HVDC Transmission project
    • Negotiating partnership agreements and adverse effects agreements with Indigenous communities for power generation projects
    • Preparing environmental impact statements and attended major regulatory hearings at the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission, National Energy Board and Public Utilities Board of Manitoba
  • Advised utility and government stakeholders on energy aspects of international and national trade agreements including NAFTA and CUSMA, the New West Partnership Trade Agreement and the Canadian Free Trade Agreement
  • Advised risk management committees overseeing natural gas distribution and the sale and trade of electricity in export markets
  • Co-ordinated a Manitoba Hydro legal team which successfully obtained licensing for the Manitoba-Minnesota 500 kV electricity transmission line (2017-2019)
  • Led an initiative to update procedures associated with Manitoba Hydro’s Open Access Transmission Tariff (2018-2019)
  • Served as lead adviser to team that developed legislative framework for adopting and enforcing NERC electricity reliability standards in Manitoba (2009)
  • Co-led legal team responsible for Manitoba Hydro’s acquisition of Winnipeg Hydro (2002-2003)
  • Prepared contracts and licences for and advised on the construction of the Limestone generating station in northern Manitoba; assisted in dispute resolution with major contractor
  • Member, Law Society of Manitoba
  • Volunteer secretary and member, board of directors, Canadian Goodwill Industries Corporation
  • Previous affiliations and participation with:
    • Institute of Corporate Directors
    • Corporate Subsection, Manitoba Bar Association
    • Council of Senior Legal Executives, Canadian Electrical Association
    • Compliance and Ethics Leadership Council
    • Council of Senior Legal Executives,  Conference Board of Canada
  • Contributor and Editor, “The Energy Playbook: 2021 Year in Review” (MLT Aikins, 2022)
  • Instructor, Business Law and ESG, Red River Polytech (2020-2021)
  • Presenter, “Introduction to Corporate Governance” (November 2020)
  • Presenter, “Practical Tools and Tips to Optimize Board Meetings,” Canadian Institute, Crown Corporate Governance Conference (Ottawa, 2019)
  • Presenter, “Enterprise Control Environment, Governance, Leadership and Risk Management,” visiting delegation from the Mozambique HCB Power Utility (2018)
  • Presenter, “Ensuring Legal and Ethical Behaviour by the Corporation and the Board,” Federated Press, Reinventing the Corporate Secretary Program (Vancouver, 2010 and 2013)
  • Presenter, “Governance,” Asper School of Business/Crown Corporations Council, Advanced Program in Management (2013)
  • Presenter, “Sustainability and Corporate Governance,” Sustainable Electricity Steering Committee of the Canadian Electrical Association (2011)
  • Interview with Canadian Lawyer In-House magazine on in-house counsel billing systems (2009)
  • Presenter and panellist, “Getting the Most from Your External Counsel,” Canadian Corporate Counsel Association (Toronto, 2008)
  • Presenter, “Plain English Drafting,” Member Representatives Committee of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (Phoenix, 2008)
  • Presenter, “NERC Electricity Reliability Standards,” National Rural Electric   Cooperative Association (Minneapolis, 2006)
  • Panel moderator, “Managing Projects Overseas,” Canadian Corporate Counsel Association (2004)
  • Presenter, “Managing the Legal Department,” Law Society of Manitoba Continuing Education Division (1999)
  • Presenter, “Tendering Law,” EPIC construction law conference (1997)
  • Presenter, “The Tendering Process,” Law Society of Manitoba Continuing Education Division (1995)
  • Named to Canada’s Top 50 List of General Counsels, General Counsel Magazine (2016)