Chairman & Chief Executive Officer: Hugh L MacKinnon
Managing Partners: C Perry Spitznagel QC (Calgary), Stephen W Bowman (Toronto), Enzo J Barichello QC (Edmonton), Timothy N Ross (Middle East)
Number of partners: 200
Number of lawyers (including partners) : 360
Bennett Jones reflects the integrity and professional excellence of the firm’s founding partners. Over the years, the firm has produced some of Canada’s most accomplished legal and business leaders and fostered values that have helped make Bennett Jones one of the most successful business law firms in Canada. As business needs shift, the lawyers are at the forefront in global best practices, offering clients innovative and strategic approaches to business – for today and for years to come. Mutual respect and independent thought are cornerstones of how the firm interacts with clients and colleagues, and their dedication to excellence extends to how they relate to their people. The firm’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. Bennett Jones is proud to have been recognised for eleven consecutive years as one of one of Canada’s 50 Best Employers, and has also been chosen as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.
The firm’s people and culture: Bennett Jones reflects the integrity and professional excellence of the firm’s founding partners. Over the years, the firm has produced some of Canada's most accomplished legal and business leaders and fostered values that have helped make Bennett Jones one of the most successful business law firms in Canada. As business needs shift, the firm’s lawyers are at the forefront in global best practices, offering clients innovative and strategic approaches to business – for today and for years to come. Mutual respect and independent thought are cornerstones of how the firm interacts with clients and colleagues, and their dedication to excellence extends to how they relate to their people. The firm’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. Bennett Jones is proud to have been recognised for eleven consecutive years as one of one of Canada's 50 Best Employers, and has also been chosen as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.
Main Areas of Practice:
Bennett Jones has outstanding multi-disciplinary teams that work closely with clients to convert statutory and business issues into opportunities.
Energy & Natural Resources:
• Mitsubishi Corporation in connection with its acquisition of a 40% interest in Encana Corporation’s Cutbank Ridge natural gas assets in Northeastern British Columbia for approximately $2.9 billion
• Plains Midstream Canada ULC in connection with its $1.67 billion acquisition of the Canadian natural gas liquids and liquefied petroleum gas business of BP Canada
• Sinopec Group in connection with its $2.9 billion acquisition of Daylight Energy Ltd.
Recognised leaders in both the transactional and regulatory spheres, the firm’s international experience includes upstream projects, LNG-related gas sales and NGL matters, pipelines, refining, petrochemical, alternative energies, independent power projects, electricity deregulation, financings, emissions trading and host government upstream petroleum regime work. Distinguished as a domestic and international leader in core energy issues and supporting corporate commercial matters.
Restructuring & Bankruptcy:
• Sino-Forest – representing this multinational debtor in its complicated $6 billion cross-border restructuring under the CCAA (Canada,Hong Kong, PRC)
• Yellow Media Medium Term Notes – representing largest creditor group ($1.4 billion) in this $2 billion restructuring (Quebec)
• Noteholders (largest creditor group in US and Canadian proceedings) in the $6 billion restructuring of Nortel Networks (Ontario and US)
The firm’s Restructuring and Insolvency Practice is especially noted for its pre-eminent Canadian practice in representing bondholders and major foreign creditors in many of Canada’s largest restructurings. The group has a very active cross-border restructuring practice involving the US, UK, continental Europe and Central America.
• Argent Energy Trust in connection with its $244.1 million initial public offering of trust units
• Canadian Utilities Limited in connection with its $300 million public offerings of Redeemable Preferred Shares
• Westport Innovations Inc. in connection with its US$273.5 million public offering of common shares
Bennett Jones lawyers are consistently called upon to bring their hybrid set of skills and experience to assist public, private and institutional entities. Clients include companies in the oil and gas, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals,manufacturing and power industries. Transaction experience includes MJDS offerings, crossborder IPOs, subscription receipts, high-yield debt offerings and financings by royalty trusts and income funds.
Mergers & Acquisitions:
• Glencore International in connection with its acquisition of all the outstanding shares of Viterra for approximately $6.1 billion and the related $2.6 billion spin-off of certain Viterra assets
• RuggedCom Inc. in connection with its defence of an unsolicited take-over bid by Belden Inc. and the subsequent supported acquisition by Siemens Canada Limited by way of a $440 million take-over bid
• NAL Energy Corporation in connection with its $1.9 billion acquisition by Pengrowth Energy Corporation
With clients operating in a wide range of industries, jurisdictions and business sectors,members of the firm’s M&A group rank among the top in Canada, handling the highest number and dollar volume of deals both domestically and across borders. They have worked on some of the most complex mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and corporate reorganisations in Canadian business history.
• Representation of Sino-Forest Corporation in the Ontario and Quebec courts in defence of class actions, including claims asserted under Part XXIII.1 of the Ontario Securities Act, and in connection with investigations by securities regulatory authorities
• Representation of Citibank, N.A. in opposing relief sought by the asset manager of trusts containing $32 billion of assets arising from the restructuring of the third-party asset backed commercial paper market
• Representation of Dow Chemical Canada ULC in an $800 million action against NOVA Chemicals Corporation, in connection with a dispute arising from joint venture operations at their Joffre, Alberta ethylene plant
Bennett Jones is consistently recognised in the marketplace for its expertise in cross-border litigation, and is a domestic national leader in the areas of competition and antitrust, securities, class action, energy, intellectual property, commercial fraud and professional negligence litigation. The firm also has prominent practitioners in alternate dispute resolution, including international commercial arbitration.
Banking & Finance:
• Counsel to the RBC Capital Markets, as lead arranger, and the syndicate of lenders in connection with the US$4.0 billion revolving credit facility for Barrick Gold Corporation
• Counsel to Canadian Natural Resources Limited, one of Canada’s major independent energy companies, in connection with a $1.5 billion credit facility with a syndicate of Canadian and International Banks led by Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Citigroup Global Markets
• Counsel to Precision Drilling Corporation,Canada’s largest energy service (drilling) company, in connection with a US$850 million secured credit facility with a syndicate of Canadian and International Banks led by Royal Bank of Canada and Credit Suisse
Market observers note the firm’s particular expertise in a wide range of activities for borrowers with an unparalleled list of blue-chip clients. The group’s practice covers all aspects of acquisition financing, project financing and cross-border financing with particular expertise in aircraft finance.
• Flint Energy Services in connection with its acquisition by URS Corporation for $1.25 billion pursuant to a plan of arrangement
• Extendicare Real Estate Investment Trust in connection with its conversion from an income trust structure to a corporate structure by way of a plan of arrangement
• Veresen Inc. in connection with the purchase of Encana Corp’s midstream gas gathering and processing plants in Alberta and British Columbia for $920 million
Bennett Jones’ taxation practice has been consistently ranked among the top Canadian law firms by tax industry directories. Members of this group have significant experience in resource taxation, corporate reorganisations, acquisitions and divestitures, corporate finance, international tax planning for foreign investors, cross-border business arrangements, domestic and international equipment leasing and financing syndications, tax loss utilisation strategies, use of partnerships, trusts and joint ventures and real estate transactions.
International Trade & Investment:
• Representing Hyundai Heavy Metal Industries Co., Ltd. before the Canada Border Services Agency and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal against allegations of injurious dumping in trade remedy action directed to certain dielectric transformers originating in or exported from the Republic of Korea
• Representing Telus in an appeal by Bell Canada to the Federal Court of Appeal from a decision of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT)
• Representing Marquis (Canadian importer), the Pakistani exporter and the Government of Pakistan in an investigation by the Canada Border Services Agency in relation to the alleged dumping and subsidisation of exports of Potassium Silicate Solid to Canada
The members of Bennett Jones’ international trade group are among the most highly-ranked and regarded international trade and investment, customs and commodity tax lawyers in Canada, including the former head of Government of Canada’s International Trade Law Bureau from 2009-12.They have represented clients at all levels of court and tribunal in trade and investment matters, including the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, NAFTA and WTO panels, and investment tribunals. The group is also supported by senior advisors and counsel with experience in trade policy matters, including a former Minister of Public Security (with responsibility for the Canada Border Services Agency), former ambassadors to the WTO and the United States, and a former senior advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada.
• Glencore International on Canadian aspects of its proposed US$90 billion all share merger with Xstrata
• Xstrata Coal in connection with its acquisition of the Sukunka hard coking coal deposit from Talisman Energy for US$500 million and its US$435 million sale of a 25% interest in its British Columbia coal operations to JX Nippon Oil & Energy
• Glencore International in connection with two loan facilities with KatangaMining Limited for a total available borrowing of US$635.5 million
Bennett Jones is widely recognised as the leading Canadian law firm in energy and natural resources. In keeping with this standard, the firm’s mining lawyers are practice leaders, known for their extensive industry experience and excellence. They are trusted advisors to clients, which include mining companies of all sizes, investment banks and investors.
• Government of Nunavut in connection with the Iqaluit International Airport Improvement Project
• Infrastructure Ontario in connection with Providence CareHospital n Ameresco Canada Inc. in connection the BC Housing SRO Renewal Initiative
The firm’s public infrastructure projects group represents public and private sector clients in developing and financing public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements, and alternative financing and procurement (AFP) transactions. It has participated in the structuring, financing and completing of P3 transactions for urban redevelopment, schools, hospitals, water and wastewater, justice, gaming, roads and power projects.
Climate Change & Emissions Trading:
Recognised internationally and domestically as a leader, this group has extensive experience with compliancedriven and voluntary carbon trading and carbon finance. In aggregate, the group has helped structure, negotiate and consummate carbon emission transactions involving in excess of 100 million tonnes of international carbon emission reductions and a significant volume of voluntary and Alberta compliance units. The firm is regularly involved with renewable energy projects and financing as well as advising on climate change risk and opportunity management. Increasingly it is assisting clients to obtain the best result as regulatory programs are put in place and advising on regulatory compliance requirements of these programs. Large carbon capture and storage that are commercially driven and/or government supported are a major part of the firm’s work. The group is also a leader in helping clients leverage carbon and sustainability opportunities for reputational and revenue generating purposes, including some exposure to REDD+ opportunities.
The largest public policy group in a Canadian law firm provides clients with integrated policy and legal expertise and advisory services on domestic and international issues. The firm’s team advises on national and global economic developments and their effect on business in Canada and abroad, challenges facing the financial and energy sectors, regulatory issues, Canada-US relations, cross-border challenges and opportunities, pension advisory services, legal and governance advice for boards, carbon emissions and trading, climate change regulation and competition policy.
Strong knowledge of the workings of government, policy development and diplomacy is a key component of the firm’s ability to provide clients with strategic legal advice; especially in a business environment that is increasingly international in scope. A number of key individuals in the firm have been invaluable for their leadership in shaping public policy in the country and influencing leaders throughout the world.
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