Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.

Transportation - Canada


What the team is known for Vancouver-based firm widely recognised for its focus on shipping and insurance. Regularly acts for P&I clubs on insurance defence matters and advises shipowners and shipping companies on maritime litigation. The firm has been increasingly active in relation to maritime issues involving LNG development and pipeline construction projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are very much in the marine sector and good at what they do."

"They are the P&I choice on the West Coast."  

Notable practitioners 

Thomas Hawkins acts on insurance defence and both contentious and non-contentious commercial maritime matters. His clients include P&I clubs, shipowners and charterers.

Peter Swanson handles a wide range of maritime matters, including cargo claims, charter party, bills of lading, vessel arrest, marine casualty cases, and transport and terminal contract matters.

Gary Wharton operates a wide-ranging maritime practice. One source said: "He's a very good lawyer. He's not afraid of the courtroom – he knows his maritime law and will fight a tough case."

What the team is known for Highly regarded for its representation of shipping lines, shipowners and operators, terminal operators and marine insurers across Canada. Provides a wide range of commercial advice and acts on casualty investigations, cargo defence and charter party disputes. Especially well known for its presence in Montréal, the firm is acclaimed for its nationwide reach.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have an in-depth maritime team that can service clients across the country." 

Notable practitioners 

The "very experienced" Jeremy Bolger acts on commercial, regulatory and contentious matters for a wide variety of clients. His practice also encompasses arbitration and mediation.

Peter Pamel acts for shipowners, operators and charterers on vessel arrest, charter party disputes, vessel sale and finance in addition to representing P&I and FD&D clubs in regulatory matters and defence claims.

Jean-Marie Fontaine acts on cargo claims, ship arrest and shipbuilding disputes, as well as advising on ship purchasing, sales and financings, and marine insurance matters. One source said: "He is smart, practical and results-oriented."

What the team is known for Well-established Montréal-based maritime law boutique. Handles both contentious and non-contentious matters for clients such as ship service providers and freight forwarders. Advises on cargo claims, charter party contracts and disputes, shipbuilding contracts, pollution and personal injury matters.

Notable practitioners 

David Colford advises on contentious commercial maritime matters, and is noted by peers for his expertise in handling cargo claims. One source said: "He is very knowledgeable, dedicated, and strong on the law," while another added: "He is very bright, passionate about cargo and very good on details."

Danièle Dion has significant expertise in advising on P&I and FD&D matters, including pollution, personal injury and ship grounding matters.

What the team is known for Well-known maritime and admiralty practice with a strong profile in Canadian shipping. Acts for vessel owners and operators, shipyards, ports and harbours on non-contentious commercial matters. Also represents P&I clubs, cargo and liability insurers in contentious and commercial work, including marine insurance, pollution, cargo and collision claims and shipbuilding litigation. The firm also advises aviation, rail and trucking industry clients on corporate and commercial matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are a very efficient, economical and reliable firm. All the lawyers and associates that we deal with are informative and take a pragmatic approach in the handling of files." 

Work highlights Defended Seaspan and its docking assist tugs against the owners of the deep sea vessel 'Cape Apricot' following the ship's collision into a coal terminal trestle.

Acted for the charterer of the 'MCP Altona' in connection with a series of lawsuits following a spill of uranium cargo.

Notable practitioners  

John Bromley "is respected, well spoken, professional, knowledgeable on all the issues we have presented to him over the years and always prepared," say sources. With a focus on litigation, Bromley remains a popular choice among clients for large, complex matters.

Shelley Chapelski advises on contentious and non-contentious matters ranging from maritime contracts and marine insurance matters to vessel arrests. One source said: "She is excellent at bringing about resolutions on tough cases. She is pragmatic and versatile in her approach, and works well with our clients and service providers."

William McFetridge advises on company acquisition and disposition in the shipping and marine construction sectors.

Significant clients Canpotex Shipping Services, London Steam-Ship Owners' Mutual Insurance Association, North of England P&I Association, Allied Shipbuilders, Fraser River Pile & Dredge.  

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Well respected for regulatory expertise in the rail, trucking and aviation sectors. Acts for rail shippers and airlines in connection with the transportation of passengers and cargo, as well as handling purchase, sale and financing matters in the aviation sector. Also advises on aviation litigation, including product liability and cargo claims. The firm has extensive experience acting on transportation infrastructure projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They impressed us with the detailed expertise they brought to bear in the sector, with the dedicated support they provided in a high-pressure, high-profile, high-stakes matter, and with the efficiency and effectiveness of their counsel." 

Work highlights Acted for a number of clients including Canexus Chemicals Canada on a challenge to Canadian Pacific Railway's liability policy relating to the shipping of hazardous and toxic materials by rail.

Acted for Avianca Taca in connection with Canadian aviation matters, including before the Canadian aviation regulatory authorities.

Notable practitioners  

Laura Safran has a wide-ranging aviation practice encompassing financing, regulatory and commercial matters. She frequently represents air carriers and pilot groups, among other clients. One source said: "She has impressed me with her knowledge in her field, in knowing my business well and giving good advice."

Forrest Hume is well regarded for his expertise in rail litigation and arbitration. One source enthused: "He is among the most knowledgeable experts in these matters in the country."

Catherine Pawluch operates a broad transportation practice acting on aviation matters as well as for shippers and carriers in the rail and road sector. One interviewee said: "She made herself available night and day and provided prompt advice and drafting assistance throughout. Dealing with her was entirely a pleasure and a most satisfying professional experience."

Significant clients Hi Fly Transportes Aéreos, SNC-Lavalin, Federation of International Freight Forwarders, WestJet Pilots Association, Rideau Transit Group.

What the team is known for General transportation law firm with a strong reputation for insurance, casualty and marine matters. Advises on both commercial matters and disputes, including issues relating to railway infrastructure, air passenger complaints, ship collisions, purchase and sale of vessels and pollution. The firm also represents trucking companies and insurers in connection with litigation and regulatory proceedings, as well as customs-related matters.

Notable practitioners 

Gordon Hearn handles commercial transportation litigation and insurance matters, including the carriage of goods, product liability claims and cross-border litigation for shippers, carriers and insurers.

Rui Fernandes advises on litigation and insurance matters in the aviation, marine, trucking and rail sectors. He also handles insurance claims in the marine and aviation sectors.

What the team is known for Best known for contentious marine issues, including cargo damage claims, product liability, marine insurance, maritime regulatory matters, ship supply contracts and related disputes. Also advises on non-contentious matters, including the buying and selling of ships and shipping contract matters. Clients include marine insurers, shipping companies, shipbuilders, suppliers and freight forwarders.

Notable practitioners  

Marc Isaacs acts on both contractual and litigation matters, including ship and cargo arrests and releases, product liability and other insurance matters. One source said: "He's very effective and is running a good shop in Toronto."

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Notable experience advising on rail, aircraft and shipping matters. In the rail sector, the firm regularly acts for railway freight operators and passenger carriers. On aviation matters it advises aircraft manufacturers, lenders and aircraft operators on financing, sale and purchase and commercial matters, including IP. The firm also represents financial institutions, ship operators, shipyards and terminal operators in ship insurance, ship finance and oil pollution matters as well as vessel arrest.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are prompt in providing me with the advice I need and can do it in a cost-effective way." 

Work highlights Acted for Air Canada on the USD500 million financing of five new Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Acted for the Groupe Desgagnés on a joint venture involving the acquisition and operation of two LR1 tanker vessels.

Notable practitioners 

Richard Desgagnés has a wide-ranging maritime litigation practice. He also handles non-contentious contractual, financing and acquisition ship and aircraft matters. One source said: "He's been around in the field for a long time. He's a thorough lawyer and well versed in maritime law."

Significant clients Bell Helicopter, Royal Bank of Canada, J.D. Irving, Bombardier, Canadian Pacific Railway.

What the team is known for Well regarded for both contentious and non-contentious matters across the marine sector, including shipbuilding contracts and financings and marine insurance. Regularly advises on cargo claims as well as collision, towage and salvage claims. The firm also advises on all aspects of fisheries law. 

Notable practitioners  

The "really experienced" Will Moreira QC acts for shipowners, builders and suppliers as well as marine insurers and lenders on regulatory matters and litigation, including arbitration. One client said: "You don't need to explain anything to him to get the work done."

David Henley is "a bright guy who deals with things on a practical level." He has experience in acting for shipyards, shipowners, insurers and banks on contractual and financing matters, and in advising on offshore regulatory matters.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Extensive commercial marine practice which covers ship finance, registration and construction contracts, as well as providing expertise in litigation, marine insurance and port operations. The firm also has extensive experience in the offshore industry.

Work highlights Represented AIG Canada and Liberty Insurance Underwriters as coverage counsel in connection with a defend and indemnify request made by Viterra under the Terminal Operators Liability policy.

Notable practitioners  

Peter Cullen "is effective in court and knows his law." He focuses on contentious matters in the marine insurance industry, acting for underwriters as well as domestic and international corporations and insurance companies.

Laurent Fortier handles subrogation, cargo and liability claims for Canadian and international insurers. He also advises on aviation and general transportation matters. 

Significant clients St. Lawrence Seaway Management, Great Lakes Pilotage Authority, Hiscox Insurance, QBE Marine & Energy Syndicate 1036, Algoma Central.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

"Trusted adviser" Allan Foran of Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson LLP is well known for handling commercial and regulatory matters as well as arbitration proceedings in the rail sector.

David McEwen QC of Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP acts on a wide range of maritime, admiralty and marine insurance disputes. One source said: "He is one of the very best maritime lawyers in the country. He's got years and years of experience and really knows his law well. He is very thorough in his preparation of cases, very effective in court and very good with his clients."

Douglas Schmitt of Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP has an extensive marine admiralty and general transportation practice. He advises on commercial matters as well as marine casualty disputes.

Patrick Brennan of Bennett Jones LLP has a well-respected aviation financing, purchasing, disposition and leasing practice.  One source said: "He's well known and has been doing this work for many years."

Donald Gray of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP acts on commercial, regulatory and finance matters in the aviation sector. He acted for Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse on Air Canada's 2013 enhanced equipment trust certificate offering for the financing of five Boeing 777 aircraft.

Ian MacKay of Conlin Bedard LLP is well regarded by peers for his rail regulatory expertise. He also represents shippers, carriers, transportation authorities and governments in a wide range of transportation policy issues.

Christopher Giaschi of Giaschi & Margolis handles a wide range of marine insurance litigation for underwriters, shipowners and P&I clubs. One source said: "He is very bright, exceptionally well-read and very practical."

John O'Connor of Langlois Kronström Desjardins is described as "a leader in Québec." He handles marine insurance claims as well as advising on the sale and carriage of oil and gas internationally.

David Blair of McCarthy Tétrault LLP acts for clients in the trucking, bus and rail sectors on countrywide and international transportation matters, including safety standards and carriers' liability.

Wylie Spicer QC has significant experience of offshore and maritime issues, especially in connection with the Arctic. One source said: "He's a good lawyer – he's got the skills and experience and is very effective in court." He rejoined McInnes Cooper in January 2015 as counsel in the firm's Calgary office.

François Tougas of McMillan LLP is based in Vancouver, where he represents shippers in transportation regulatory and litigation matters with a focus on the rail sector. One source said: "He has very deep and broad expertise in the subject matter, and strong strategy and management skills."

Barry Oland of Oland and Company is described as "a stalwart of the maritime Bar." He represents marine insurers and cargo owners in contentious and non-contentious matters, including unexplained sinkings.

William Sharpe of William M. Sharpe, Barrister & Solicitor is "a good lawyer whose clients really like him." He handles commercial transactions as well as maritime litigation and regulatory matters.

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.