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CITO Team

Tony Cioni

Solicitor, International Advisor & Co-Founder (CITO Energy Group)

As a 21-year old student, Tony lived in St. Petersburg in chaotic post-Soviet Russia. Tony also lived in Kazakhstan for 3.5 years, after moving from Kuwait to sidestep the second Gulf War of 2003. He goes to Coachella every year in an attempt to not always act his age. This is slightly less scary than Tony’s 2005 tourist trip up the Kyber Pass to the Pakistan – Afghan border.

Tony has built an impressive career in energy law, specializing in domestic and international exploration and production development. With more than two decades of international experience, Tony's work has touched 40+ countries. His language skills in Russian, French and Italian, combined with his international petroleum sector experience make him a dynamic leader in energy law. He is called in Alberta and England, and is listed for Energy in Chambers and International Who's Who. He is currently a board member and the Secretary of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN).

Pat Cunningham

International Advisor & Co-Founder (CITO Energy Group)

Pat’s colleagues think he must have been a spy. He is one of few gringos who grew up as a child in Peru. After transitioning from operational geology into international business development, Pat steadily worked north Africa and the Middle East; including a 10-year residence in Cairo where he learned Arabic. He joined Talisman during its first 6 months, running the company’s business development initiatives in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Pat has negotiated with each sanctioned government in the “Axis of Evil”; Cuba, Libya, Iran and North Korea.

Pat specializes in upstream contract negotiation, with an emphasis on Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to his time with Talisman, Pat has worked for Pluspetrol, Amoco Europe and Getty Texaco.

Nick Bryanskiy

Regulatory Counsel & International Advisor

Born in the coldest place on Earth, Nick spent his formative years patrolling power lines with his grandfather. Nick won his first court of appeal case at 19 and went on to become a human rights lawyer for the European Court in Strasbourg, France. After living in a Dutch “woongroup”, investigating war crimes and inspecting mental hospitals in Central Asia, Nick chose the world of small-town Alberta and settled down as a Canadian power lawyer.

In the last decade, Nick has permitted over a hundred Canadian energy projects and one First Nations casino. As a regulatory lawyer, Nick is best at connecting projects to the grid and dealing with rates and tariffs. With his four international law degrees, Nick is also helping clients comply with sanctions, anti-corruption and money laundering rules in tough foreign markets - Russia, Kazakhstan, China and Iran, just to name a few. Nick’s international focus is on Europe and the former Soviet Union as he speaks fluent Russian and some (rusty) Dutch and French.

Heather Lilles

Solicitor

Heather was born, raised and started her career as a fledgling lawyer in the Canadian oilpatch. Heather is a libertarian who believes in the power of free markets. She travels extensively amongst the small, arena-bearing towns of Alberta, remotely working, tying skates, raising her three children and occasionally scrambling up the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. She practices law and rallies against Ottawa to stand proudly behind the valiant and tenacious, if dogged, Canadian energy industry, whether it is operating at home or abroad.

As a consequence her many years of petroleum sector experience, Heather transitions seamlessly from large scale, international energy transactions and tax-driven global corporate restructuring to engaging with entrepreneurs and emerging companies in energy-related and other nascent industries, fostering the growth of these early ventures to develop flexible business models that maximize development and enable long-term success. In her practice, she often steps into the role of general corporate counsel for private corporations, providing business-oriented corporate/commercial advice and placing her at the executive boardroom table. She is also a lead legal researcher, teacher and academic in Calgary on oil and gas regulatory and operational matters. She has a Masters in Law specializing in joint operator liability for abandonment and reclamation obligations, particularly for joint venturers who find themselves (or their partners) in the vicinity of insolvency.

Renee Matthews

Solicitor & Co-Founder (CITO Treble)

The right side of Renee’s brain almost got the best of her legal career. Once headed toward a future in fine art, mingling with the painters, designers and café-society daydreamers. Instead of a lobotomy, Renee opted to bridge the gap and since then, the battle of the brain hemispheres has made her a vibrant energy lawyer in a field often painted in static shades of black and white.

With a decade of experience in the energy sector advising clients on many of the complex commercial and legal aspects of power projects and oil and gas transactions, Renee now drinks coffee for practical, not poetic reasons. Her practice includes negotiating domestic and international joint venture, joint operating and partnership arrangements, the cross-border acquisition and divestiture of energy assets, and the structuring of upstream oil and gas exploration, development, and production projects. She also assists clients with a variety of corporate/commercial matters pertaining to the development of onshore and offshore oil and gas and power projects around the world.

James Girgulis

Solicitor

James Girgulis was born in Athens, Greece, and as an infant moved with his parents to Taber in southern Alberta and then to Calgary. His family was active in the restaurant business, and were founding partners of Caesar’s Steak House, a Calgary icon. Growing up Jim helped out in the family business, and while washing dishes as a teenager decided that law might be an easier path. These early experiences also sparked a life-long desire to better understand how businesses work, grow and adjust in challenging and changing times. Throughout his career Jim has been energized by leading and working with inter-disciplinary teams grappling with the corporate, commercial, regulatory and political dimensions of complex issues.

Early on in his career Jim joined A&S, Canada’s largest natural gas exporter at the time. There he was deeply involved in shaping Alberta’s modern gas industry. He then went to Husky, a major Canadian integrated energy company, soon becoming its chief legal officer, a position he maintained for over 20 years. During his tenure he provided calm, measured and practical counsel to the executive and the board of directors on legal, policy and governance matters. Jim had a central role in the development of many significant off-shore and on-shore projects in Newfoundland and Labrador, Western Canada, the United States, China and Indonesia, and in numerous mergers & acquisitions, and debt/equity offerings.

Jim has maintained his connections to Greece, and subject to current travel restrictions, regularly returns to the stunning Apokoronas region of Crete.  

Rav Toor

Solicitor & Co-Founder (CITO Treble)

Rav Toor's adventures have taken him to many places around the globe, and have allowed him to learn and see amazing wonders all the way from the Atacama Desert to the Himalayan Mountains. Rav has lived and worked in Fort McMurray, Alberta which is situated in the middle of the Athabasca oil sands (and which has significantly impacted the national development of Canada's energy industry). He started his career on the business side of the energy industry, but later transitioned to a commercial litigation role. After a few years, Rav ultimately found his calling as a solicitor and has since spent most of his career as an in-house lawyer.

Rav has over a decade of domestic and international experience in energy law, and has worked with multiple major oil and gas companies as well as international service providers, including Shell, Nexen Energy/CNOOC Limited, Petronas, and TC Energy.  Rav has strong business acumen and practical knowledge on a broad range of corporate and commercial matters, especially: supply chain, regulatory, joint ventures, upstream, midstream and downstream projects (including off-shore, pipeline and LNG projects), power projects, field services, and matters related to technology and intellectual property.

Mike Windle

SCM Advisor & Co-Founder (CITO Treble)

Mike Windle has extensive experience working in the oil and gas industry; you could call him an “oilfield brat” if you wish. After working for 10 years in the Western Canadian sedimentary basin, he shifted his focus to international opportunities.  Mike has spent the last 30+ years advising on supply chain management issues for start-up entities as well as established companies that have operational projects in over 20 countries, spanning 4 continents.  As both a consultant and an in-house executive, he has led numerous teams building, delivering and enhancing their existing supply chain operations.

Having worked with almost every available supply chain and materials management software program that industry has to offer, Mike knew there had to be a better option…even if that meant building it himself! With a team of like-minded individuals, he is responsible for helping create CITO Treble – an innovative IT platform that tackles the most difficult problems companies face today in the execution of their global SCM strategies.

Malcolm Hay

SCM Advisor & Co-Founder (CITO Treble)

Malcolm Hay grew up in Scotland with a golf club in his hands from an early age, leading him to pursue professional golf straight out of high school. The experience and enjoyment of travelling around the world playing various golf tours continued with him after his golf career ended.

Being from Aberdeen, he naturally found himself working in the oil and gas industry. Initially focused on the accounting side, Malcolm quickly moved into offshore operations supporting the materials and logistics teams.

Upon moving to Canada, Malcolm found true satisfaction working in Supply Chain Management for both domestic and international companies. Utilizing his experience in finance and operations, Malcolm is able to see the bigger picture of projects and successfully integrate Supply Chain strategies to enable businesses to achieve their goals and objectives.

Now with over 20 years of international experience, Malcolm has built and led teams and consulted for companies of all types, from start-ups to majors, with operations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America.