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Scott Stoll, B.Eng.Mgt. '90

(Civil Engineering) | Mastering the building blocks of law

Building things isn’t what first comes to mind when you think of Bay Street law firms.

But for Scott Stoll, a law degree combined with civil engineering education has been his path to bringing large-scale projects to life.

Stoll, a 1990 Civil Engineering & Management grad, is a partner at the Toronto law firm of Aird & Berlis, with a practice focusing on environmental and regulatory issues.

“Generally, I work with owners and operators of real property and large infrastructure – utilities, governments, and industrial or mining companies,” he says. “I help them navigate the government permitting process, ensure compliance with applicable laws, and work with regulatory bodies when things don’t go as planned.”

Originally attracted to engineering by a desire to build things, Stoll says it’s a career path that’s allowed him to work on many fascinating large infrastructure projects including pipelines, transmission lines, highways and power plants.

He says two projects particularly stand out as career highlights.

“The Soave Hydroponics project involved helping a client build the first facility of its kind in North America.  Not only does it generate electricity and thermal energy, but the carbon dioxide is used to augment plant growth,” he says. “This is a beautifully elegant engineering solution that we helped enable in a highly competitive industry.”

The other project, the completion of an ethanol facility in Aylmer, Ontario, connected him with his farming roots, says Stoll.

“The client, an ethanol co-operative, brought so much business to a struggling community and it’s been intensely satisfying to see what that has meant to the community.”

After graduating from McMaster, Stoll joined the engineering group at Union Gas (now part of Enbridge) for a few years before opting for law school. Combining legal knowledge with his engineering and management background has been a successful combination, he says.

“I can speak on a technical level with my clients and understand their business problems, while also translating the legal principles in a simple, understandable way.”