J. Robert Black, Q.C.

Partner

Edmonton

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Education & Qualifications

  • Northwest Territories Bar (1999)
  • Alberta Bar (1985)
  • LLB (Alberta, 1984)
  • BA with distinction (Alberta, 1981)

Bob Black is the lead of the firm’s Edmonton litigation group and a partner of the Indigenous group. He has more than 25 years of experience as a litigator, handling all manner of complex matters.

Bob is an experienced litigator with an extensive background in development and construction and a long and accomplished history of managing a broad range of high profile and complex matters. He has appeared before all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Bob has extensive experience in municipal planning, public private partnerships, economic development and tourism.

Bob has developed much cherished relationships with Indigenous leaders and is passionate about advancing Indigenous causes. Bob is actively engaged in of a wide variety of Indigenous areas, including nation building initiatives, economic development, experiential tourism; major infrastructure projects, Indigenous gaming, rights based claims, and litigation. Bob recognizes that we are at a watershed moment in Canadian history where we simply must move towards a more equitable relationship with our Indigenous peoples. Now is a time of nation building where we must forge a path towards Indigenous self-governance and sovereignty.

Prior to joining MLT Aikins, Bob served 10 years as the Executive Vice President for the Katz Group of companies where his primary role was to manage the continued development of the company’s sports and entertainment business, including the development of a sports and entertainment district in downtown Edmonton. In this role he: acted as a member of the Negotiating Committee for the successful public private partnership between the Katz Group and the City of Edmonton for the funding and construction of Rogers Place arena, home of the Edmonton Oilers; was the Katz Group and Oilers Entertainment Group lead representative on the Project Leadership Team which was responsible for all aspects of the design and construction of Rogers Place; led the negotiation of all major contracts with project partners and oversaw the creation and implementation of the project management process which delivered Rogers Place on time and on budget; was responsible for the Master Planning and zoning of ICE District; played a leadership role in media and public relations related to Rogers Place and ICE District; was responsible for the oversight of the design of public realm spaces in ICE District; and was a member of the Management Oversight Committee for the design and construction of the JW Marriott ICE District. Bob has played a leadership role on behalf of ownership in the oversight of over $1 billion in development which has served to revitalize the downtown core of Edmonton.
Bob lead the successful negotiation of a Master Agreement Framework with the City of Edmonton for the construction of a private sector funded Prairie Sky urban gondola system connecting Whyte Avenue, the river valley and Jasper Avenue in Edmonton. Bob will here forward be involved in all aspects of bringing this $150 million project to reality.

Bob is currently involved in the planning and development of two major cultural districts within Edmonton city limits. Both will materially contribute to strengthening Edmonton’s reputation as a city of cultural equity and inclusion and provide rich cultural experiences for both residents and tourists.

Bob is greatly inspired by city building initiatives that will make Edmonton a better place to live for its residents and enhance Edmonton’s position on the global stage as a place to invest, build corporate head offices and reinforce it as a year round destination for tourism.
Bob has been coordinating and facilitating pro bono economic development and nation building sessions with Indigenous nations involving a multi-disciplinary team of experts in architecture and master planning; environmental sustainability and human wellness, commercial feasibility and accounting, Indigenous rights, and government relations.

Bob represents Natural Law Energy, a wholly Indigenous owned company, that is seeking the role of lead negotiator for the purchase of the TransMountain Pipeline from the Government of Canada on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples in Alberta and British Columbia that will be impacted by the pipeline.

Bob recently accepted the position of Chair of the Advisory Committee to provide input on the construction of the Prairie Link private sector funded $9 billion high speed rail system connecting Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton. In this role he will be focused on ensuring that the Indigenous Nations through whose reserve and traditional lands this system is contemplated to pass will have an opportunity to fully participate in the commercial prosperity which will arise.

Bob has considerable experience advising owners and developers on the development, preparation and administration of procurement process including drafting process documents, evaluating contracts, standard definitions and prescribed forms, negotiating bespoke contractual documents as well as managing bid processes and successful negotiations with procurement process participants. He has advised on some of Western Canada’s most complex and high-profile procurement projects involving multiple stakeholders.

Bob has particular interest and background in sports and entertainment, having served in various capacities in the industry including as an Alternate Governor with the NHL Board of Governors; Executive Vice President Sports and Entertainment, Katz Group; Executive Vice President, Edmonton Arena District; Executive Vice President, Edmonton Arena Corp; and Chief Project Development Officer, Oilers Entertainment Group.

Bob was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2005.

  • Chair of Advisory Committee for Prairie Link High Speed Rail Between Edmonton and Calgary
  • Board of Directors and Executive, Edmonton Downtown Business Association
  • Co-chair, Downtown Recovery Task Force
  • Pro Bono multi-disciplinary nation building visioning sessions with Indigenous Communities
  • Member, Winter City Advisory Board Contributor to City of Edmonton Capital City Downtown Plan and Ten Year Tourism Plan
  • Member of City of Edmonton FIFA 2026™ Bid Champions Committee

Previous roles:

  • Alternate Governor, NHL Board of Governors
  • Executive Vice President, Edmonton Arena District
  • Executive Vice President, Edmonton Arena Corp
  • Executive Vice President Sports and Entertainment, Katz Group
  • Chief Project Development Officer, Oilers Entertainment Group
  • Contributor to the Capital City Downtown Plan
  • City of Saskatoon Arena District Planning & Arena Site Selection, Early Stage-stage Analysis
  • Member, Downtown Vibrancy Task Force; Winter City Think Tank; ONE Edmonton Committee; Celebrate Edmonton Committee; Bicycle Grid Advisory Committee
  • Sessional Instructor in Insurance Law, University of Alberta Law School
  • Recognized as one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People, People Venture Magazine (2010)
  • Appointed Queen’s Counsel (2005)