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McCarthy Tétrault LLP


McCarthy Tétrault LLP - Toronto
  • Suite 5300, TD Bank Tower
  • Toronto Dominion Centre
  • Toronto
  • Ontario
  • Canada
  • M5K 1E6
  • Tel:+1 416 362 1812
  • Fax:+1 416 868 0673
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:Visit website
  • Chair & CEO: Marc-André Blanchard
  • Managing Partners: Herman Van Ommen (British Columbia), Sean Smyth (Alberta), Kim Thomassin (Québec), Robert Brant (United Kingdom

Firm Overview: McCarthy Tétrault provides a broad range of legal services, advising on large and complex assignments for Canadian and international interests. Built on a unique model of collaboration, the firm provides unequalled legal talent, industry knowledge and practice experience, and delivers customised legal services to help clients achieve the results that are important to them.
With offices in Canada’s major commercial centres and in London, UK, McCarthy Tétrault delivers integrated services in business law, litigation, tax, real estate, and labour and employment law. The firm’s lawyers work seamlessly across practice groups and regions, representing major Canadian enterprises and international clients, including financial services organisations, energy and resource companies, manufacturers, technology players, pharmaceutical companies and other major institutions.
For more than 150 years, McCarthy Tétrault has worked with all levels of government to develop the laws and regulations that have shaped – and continue to shape – the Canadian economy. McCarthy Tétrault’s London office specialises in assisting clients with their international transactions, and is staffed with both English and Canadian-qualified lawyers. A charter member of the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce, it is an integral part in the provision of the firm’s services in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Main Areas of Practice:  

■ Maple Group Acquisition Corporation, a consortium of Canadian banks and pension funds, in its acquisitions of TMX Group (operator of Toronto Stock Exchange) for C$3.8 billion, The Canadian Depository for Securities (Canada’s largest clearing and depository firm) for C$167.5 million and Alpha Trading System (alternative exchange that controls approximately 90% of Canada’s trading activities) for C$175 million. Lead lawyer: Graham Gow
■ BCE in its C$1.07 billion acquisition with Rogers Communications of a 75% interest in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. Lead lawyer: Robert Hansen
■ Agrium in its US$2.8 billion purchase of Viterra’s agriproducts business. Lead lawyers: David Woollcombe, Gary Girvan, Michael McCooe, QC
Key Clients: Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, CIBC, OMERS, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, TD Bank
Contact: Richard Balfour Tel: +1 604 643 7915 Email: rbalfour@mccarthy.ca

Oil & Gas:
■ Grafton Asset Management in its C$100 million investment (minus the over-allotment option) in the C$122 million 29 Notikewin/Falher and Cardium well program in west-central Alberta, a joint venture of Grafton Energy and Bellatrix Exploration. Lead lawyer: Craig Spurn
■ Spectra Energy in its C$8 billion joint venture with British Gas for the development of a 4.2 billion cubic feet/day pipeline connecting to a C$24 billion LNG facility in northeastern British Columbia. Lead lawyer: Robin Sirett
■ Toyota Tsusho in its C$602 million purchase of an interest in Encana’s southern Alberta coalbed methane holdings. Lead lawyer: Craig Spurn
Key Clients: Heritage Oil, Enbridge, Penn West, Toyota Tsusho, Direct Energy
Contact: Craig Spurn Tel: +1 403 260 3525 Email: cspurn@mccarthy.ca

■ Merck Canada and Merck & Co. in its award of more than C$180 million by the Federal Court of Canada in damages against Apotex for infringement of Merck’s Lovastatin patent. Lead lawyer: Andrew Reddon
■ A former Nortel executive in his successful fraud acquittal before the Ontario Superior Court in connection with certain of the company’s financial statements in 2002 and 2003. Lead Lawyer: David Porter
■ AstraZeneca in the Ontario Superior Court’s denial of national class action certification – the first time this Court denied such certification in relation to a pharmaceutical product. Lead lawyer: Frank McLaughlin
Key Clients: Sony, Shell Canada, Phillip Morris International/Imperial Tobacco, Abbott Laboratories
Contact: David Leonard Tel: +1 416 601 7694 Email: dleonard@mccarthy.ca

■ Glencore International in its US$90 billion acquisition of Xstrata. Lead lawyer: Michael McCooe, QC
■ Rio Tinto in securing a controlling 51% interest in Turquoise Hill and in its support of equity, debt and project financing of up to US$9 billion in aggregate. Lead lawyer: Shea Small
■ Inmet Mining in its proposed C$133 million takeover bid for Petaquilla Minerals. Lead lawyer: Gary Girvan
Key Clients: Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Xstrata, Hunter Dickinson
Contact: Brian Graves Tel: +1 416 601 8153 Email: bgraves@mccarthy.ca
Contact: Roger Taplin Tel: +1 604 643 5922 Email: rtaplin@mccarthy.ca

Financial Services:
■ Golden Credit Card Trust in its US$1.15 billion note offerings, and Royal Bank of Canada as the seller. Lead lawyer: Marc MacMullin
■ BCE in its financing for Bell Canada’s C$3.38 billion takeover of Astral Media. Lead lawyer: Barry Ryan
■ CIBC in its establishment of a CMHC-registered covered bond programme and in its €1 billion offering of covered bonds. Lead lawyer: Marc MacMullin
Key Clients: TD Bank, Bank of Montréal, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, National Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, Royal Bank of Canada, CIBC, GE, Manulife
Contact: Barry Ryan Tel: +1 416 601 7799 Email: bryan@mccarthy.ca

Capital Markets:
■ The US dealers as Canadian counsel in Royal Bank of Canada’s US$2.5 billion bond offering – the first-ever US public covered bond offering. Lead lawyer: Marc MacMullin
■ Enbridge in its C$1.85 billion equity offerings. Lead lawyer: John Osler
■ Molson Coors Brewing Company as Canadian counsel in its C$1.9 billion debt offering to support its acquisition of StarBev. Lead lawyer: Philippe Fortier
Key Clients: TD Securities, Scotia Capital, RBC Capital Markets, BMO Capital Markets, CIBC World Markets, Credit Suisse
Contact: Jonathan Grant Tel: +1 416 601 7604 Email: jgrant@mccarthy.ca

Information Technology:
■ Kobo, a global e-reading service with one of the world’s largest digital libraries, in its US$315 million sale to Rakuten. Lead lawyer: George Takach
■ Desjardins Technology Group in the negotiation of a telecommunications services outsourcing agreement with a leading provider that includes fibre-to-branch and call centre services. Lead lawyer: Charles Morgan
■ Scotiabank in strategic sourcing matters, including its outsourcing renewal and various services procurements. Lead lawyer: Barry Sookman
Key Clients: Aastra Technologies, Cirque du Soleil, National Bank of Canada, TD Bank
Contact: Charles Morgan Tel: +1 514 397 4230 Email: cmorgan@mccarthy.ca

■ Anglo American in its US$5.2 billion acquisition of De Beers. Lead lawyer: Oliver Borgers
■ Hynix Semiconductor in the Supreme Court of Canada determination of indirect purchaser claims. Lead lawyer: Madeleine Renaud, AdE
■ BCE in its C$3.2 billion acquisition of CTV Television Network. Lead lawyer: Donald Houston
Key Clients: Rio Tinto, Pepsi, BCE, Unilever
Contact: Donald Houston Tel: +1 416 601 7506 Email: dhouston@mccarthy.ca

Labour & Employment:
■ Ontario Ministry of Education in the Provincial Discussion Table established to perform collective bargaining in Ontario’s education sector. Lead lawyer: Paul Boniferro
■ Major Montréal universities in injunction proceedings related to student strikes/boycotts. Lead lawyer: André Baril
■ Attorney General of Ontario in an application before the Superior Court concerning a pay dispute and involving constitutional process by the association that represents Ontario’s Justices of the Peace. Lead lawyer: Sunil Kapur
Key Clients: CIBC, Catalyst Paper, Fairmont Hotels
Contact: Jacques Rousse Tel: +1 514 397 4103 Email: jrousse@mccarthy.ca

Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation:
■ Morneau Shepell, the administrator of Nortel Networks’ US$9 billion Canadian pension funds, in plan governance, administration and compliance issues during the company’s international insolvency proceedings. Lead lawyers: Randy Bauslaugh and James Gage
■ SSQ Life Insurance Company in the pension aspects of its C$300 million acquisition with its majority shareholder, Fonds de solidarité des travailleurs du Québec, of AXA Life Insurance. Lead lawyer: Lorraine Allard
■ Air Canada’s three-member mediation/arbitration panel in determining the company’s long-term sustainability of its pension plans for its Canadian Auto Workers union members. Lead lawyer: Randy Bauslaugh
Key Clients: Morneau Shepell, OMERS, Siemens Canada, Kimberly-Clark, Knowledge First Financial
Contact: Randy Bauslaugh Tel: +1 416 601 7695 Email: rbauslaugh@mccarthy.ca

■ Boralex, Gaz Métro LP and Valener in the C$725 million non-recourse project financing of their 272 MW Seigneurie de Beaupré wind farm. Lead lawyer: Marc Dorion, QC, AdE
■ Enbridge in its purchase of a 50% undivided interest in the 300 MW Lac Alfred wind project. Lead lawyer: Marc Dorion, QC, AdE
■ Xstrata Copper in the sale to Origin Energy of a 51% stake in the proposed 1,000 MW hydro-electric project being developed in Chile. Lead lawyer: Seán O’Neill
Key Clients: Bruce Power, ENMAX, Enbridge, NextEra Energy
Contact: David Lever Tel: +1 416 601 7655 Email: dlever@mccarthy.ca

Real Estate:
■ RBC Capital Markets in H&R REIT’s C$500 million bond offering. Lead lawyer: John Currie
■ TD Bank in its C$375 million financing for Dundee REIT’s C$580 million acquisition of Whiterock REIT. Lead lawyer: John Currie
■ Shell Canada Products in its sale of 236 retail stations and convenience food stores in Québec and Atlantic Canada to Sobeys. Lead lawyer: James Papadimitriou
Key Clients: Oxford Properties, Brookfield, Costco Wholesale Corporation, Concert Properties
Contact: Lisa Vogt Tel: +1 604 643 7935 Email: lvogt@mccarthy.ca

■ Infrastructure Ontario and Humber River Regional Hospital in the financial close with Plenary Health Care Partnerships of a new C$1.75 billion acute care facility. Lead lawyer: Gordon Willcocks
■ The lenders and the agent National Bank Financial in the financial close of the C$128.6 million threekilometre Airport Rail Link Spur project, which includes a new passenger station at Toronto Pearson International Airport. Lead lawyer: Stephen Furlan
■ Infrastructure Ontario in the structuring, procurement, negotiation and settlement of the C$514 million Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Athletes’ Village project. Lead lawyers: Godyne Sibay and Gordon Willcocks
Key Clients: EllisDon, Laing O’Rourke, Gracorp Capital, TD Securities, Scotia

Capital, National Bank Financial Contact: Gordon Willcocks Tel: +1 416 601 7818 Email: gwillcocks@mccarthy.ca
Contact: Linda Brown Tel: +1 604 643 7191 Email: lbrown@mccarthy.ca

■ Kraft Foods in the spinoff of its North American grocery business to create Mondelēz International, a global snacks business, and Kraft Foods Group, a North American grocery business. Co-lead lawyer: Douglas Cannon
■ A Rio Tinto affiliate in its C$650 million acquisition of Hathor Exploration. Lead lawyer: Ron Mar
■ Sunshine Oilsands in its C$580 million initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Canada’s first oil sands company to list on the HKEx. Lead lawyer: T J Kang
Key Clients: Bell Canada, Chrysler Canada, PepsiCo and Pepsi-Cola Canada, Bank of Montréal, Kraft Foods, Enbridge
Contact: Douglas Cannon Tel: +1 416 601 7815 Email: dcannon@mccarthy.ca

Areas of Practice

  • Aboriginal
  • Bankruptcy & Restructuring
  • Capital Markets
  • Clean Technology
  • Communications
  • Competition/Antitrust
  • Consumer & Retail
  • Energy
  • Environmental
  • Financial Services
  • Health
  • Hospitality
  • Infrastructure
  • Intellectual Property
  • International
  • Trade & Investment
  • Labour & Employment
  • Life Sciences
  • Litigation
  • M&A
  • Mining
  • Municipal Planning
  • Outsourcing
  • Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Privacy
  • Private Equity
  • Private Transactions
  • Procurement
  • Public Companies
  • Real Estate
  • Securities Regulation & Investment Products
  • Tax
  • Technology & Licensing


  • Suite 3300,
  • 421-7th Avenue SW,
  • Calgary,
  • Alberta
  • Canada
  • T2P 4K9
  • Tel +1 403 260 3500
  • Fax +1 403 260 3501
  • Email : info@mccarthy.ca
  • Website : www.mccarthy.ca
  • Suite 2500,
  • 1000 de La Gauchetière Street West,
  • Montréal,
  • Québec
  • Canada
  • H3B 0A2
  • Tel +1 514 397 4100
  • Fax +1 514 875 6246
  • Email : info@mccarthy.ca
  • Le Complexe St-Amable,
  • 1150, rue de Claire-Fontaine,
  • 7th Floor,
  • Québec,
  • Canada
  • G1R 5G4
  • Tel +1 418 521 3000
  • Fax +1 418 521 3099
  • Email : info@mccarthy.ca
  • Suite 5300, TD Bank Tower,
  • Toronto Dominion Centre,
  • Toronto,
  • Ontario
  • Canada
  • M5K 1E6
  • Tel +1 416 362 1812
  • Fax +1 416 868 0673
  • Email : info@mccarthy.ca
  • Pacific Centre,
  • Suite 1300,
  • 777 Dunsmuir Street,
  • PO Box 10424,
  • Vancouver,
  • British Columbia
  • Canada
  • V7Y 1K2
  • Tel +1 604 643 7100
  • Fax +1 604 643 7900
  • Email : info@mccarthy.ca
  • 125 Old Broad Street,
  • 26th Floor,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2N 1AR
  • Tel +44 207 489 5700
  • Fax +44 207 489 5777
  • Email : info@mccarthy.ca

Native Title - Canada

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners

- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Extensive experience in respect of major projects across Canada. Representation of both private and public sector clients in litigation concerning treaty rights, the duty to consult, and the role of proponents and municipalities in consultation. The firm also advises on economic and business initiatives involving First Nations.

Work highlights Advised Enbridge on its acquisition of a 50% interest in the 150 MW Massif du Sud wind project in Québec.

Notable practitioners  

John Doolan is a key contact.

Significant clients Thompson Creek Metals, Union Gas, First Coal, the First Nation Tax Commission, Tsawwassen First Nation.

Banking & Finance - Canada

Basic facts about the department

- 52 partners
- 26 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Singled out for its expertise in corporate lending and regulatory work. Excels in project finance, securitisation and covered bonds, and comes highly recommended for asset-based lending and structured finance. Assists banks, financial services companies, insurance companies and public sector pension funds with capital raising.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Expertise: "They have an impressive amount of expertise, and they are creative and innovative."

What's new? Peter Birkness joined the firm's Calgary office from Bennett Jones LLP in March 2013.

Work highlights Advised RBC Capital Markets, Morgan Stanley and RBS Securities as the book-running managers in Royal Bank's first US public covered bond offering of USD2.5 billion.

Represented Ford Credit Canada in a CAD500 million retail securitisation transaction.

Notable practitioners  

Marc MacMullin is singled out for his expertise in structured finance and covered bond transactions. Clients appreciate his ability to "find a win-win solution." MacMullin acted on the Royal Bank public covered bond transaction.

Barry Ryan is a highly regarded regulatory lawyer, described by sources as "smart, very client-oriented and good to work with." He advised TD Securities and RBC Capital Markets as the underwriters in OPB Finance Trust's CAD500 million debenture offering.

Stephen Furlan earns praise for his expertise in project finance, as well as his considerable experience representing syndicates of lenders in financing matters.

Richard Higa is noted for his strength in bilateral and syndicated financings, as well as private equity and securitisation. Sources enthuse: "He is a practical lawyer who knows how to get a deal done."

Dirk Rueter is highly regarded for securitisation, and recently assisted Ford Credit Canada with a CAD500 million retail loan securitisation transaction.

The "industrious" Gordon Baird represents lenders and borrowers in loan transactions, and is highlighted for his expertise in matters involving the power industry.

Peter Birkness is recognised for his experience handling credit facilities, M&A financings and restructuring matters.

Michel Deschamps is viewed as "a very knowledgeable lawyer," particularly in the areas of structured finance, loan syndications and restructuring. He is also known for his regulatory expertise.

Joel Scoler is highlighted for his prominence in the areas of finance and restructuring. Clients appreciate his responsiveness and ability to "translate complex transactions into language bankers can understand."

Christopher Langdon is a partner in the business law group in Toronto and London. His focus consists of project development and finance transactions in the mining, oil and gas, infrastructure and power sectors. Sources draw attention to his Islamic finance capabilities.

Significant clients Bank of Montréal, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Competition/Antitrust - Canada

Basic facts about the department

- 15 partners

- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Deep experience in both public and private merger transactions and foreign investment reviews. The firm also advises on cartel investigations and litigation. Highly regarded for multi-jurisdictional matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They have a profound understanding of our business – this puts them in a tremendous position to address the issues that we face."

Work highlights Represented Leon's Furniture in its CAD700 million acquisition of The Brick.

Acted for Japan's Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings on its USD655 million acquisition of Qualicaps from the Carlyle Group.

Advised Kraft Foods on the spin-off of its North American grocery business.

Notable practitioners  

Oliver Borgers is "thoughtful, experienced, very practical and a very good manager of the various components of a filing and review." He regularly acts for international clients on transactions involving a foreign investment review in Canada.

Department head Donald Houston stands out for his involvement in both contentious and non-contentious matters. Sources say: "Don is very measured and he's a great sounding board – he listens very carefully and crafts very practical, wise advice." Alongside Borgers, he acted for Leon's on its acquisition of The Brick.

Madeleine Renaud defended SK Hynix in class action proceedings in Ontario, Québec and BC concerning the rights of indirect purchasers.

Neil Finkelstein is an "amazing litigator" who regularly acts on competition cases. He was part of the McCarthy's team that represented Rio Tinto in its strategic partnership with Ivanhoe Mines and subsequent financing plan for the development of the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia.

Significant clients Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Investment Board, Lafarge Canada, Cathay Pacific Airways, Shell Canada, Fairmont Hotels.

Corporate/M&A - Canada

Basic facts about the department
- 56 partners
- 72 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well regarded for its M&A capabilities across Canada, with a strong client base in the mining, telecoms and retail sectors. The firm also has a strong track record in acting for private equity companies and pension plans.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "In addition to a very strong senior team, they have a lot of depth in their more junior people and have a great ability to work as a team across offices."

What's new? Former Québec premier Jean Charest joined the firm in 2013 in Montréal. His legal practice encompasses both public and private transactions, corporate governance and trade law. 

Work highlights Acted for Leon's Furniture on its CAD700 million takeover of The Brick. 

Acted for the Maple Group on its acquisition of TMX Group, The Canadian Depository for Securities and Alpha Group. 

Represented Rio Tinto in connection with its acquisition of a USD5.8 billion controlling interest in Ivanhoe Mines. 

Notable practitioners  

Garth Girvan is described as "an amazing securities and M&A adviser. He has significant knowledge of past deals and structures, takes a strong position and provides clear explanations."

Cameron Belsher is "extremely highly regarded in Vancouver." He led the team in its work for Rio Tinto on its investment in Ivanhoe Mines, and is described as "practical and effective – a guy who wants to get deals done."

Graham Gow represented Primaris REIT in its CAD4.6 billion sale to H&R Real Estate Investment Trust. 

Richard Balfour advised Spectra Energy on its USD1.49 billion acquisition of the Express-Platte Pipeline System from Borealis Infrastructure. 

Practice group co-head David Tennant focuses on M&A transactions and acted for Leon's Furniture on its takeover of The Brick. 

Clemens Mayr has a strong capital markets, corporate finance and international financing practice based in Montréal. One client said: "He has a good decision-making process and is very knowledgeable about what can and can't be done." 

René Sorell regularly acts on contested takeover bids, proxy battles and shareholder disputes. 

David Woollcombe advises on local and international acquisitions, divestitures and reorganisations. 

Robert Brant is the managing partner of the firm's London office, from where he focuses on international M&A work as well as international securities offerings. 

Significant clients Agrium, BCE, Cogeco Cable, Glencore International, Shaw International.

Dispute Resolution - Canada

Basic facts about the department

- 9 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A strong profile for energy regulatory law as well as competition, franchise, securities and IP litigation. Involved in significant arbitration hearings relating to the oil industry. Also operates an active class actions practice.

Work highlights Represented Heritage Oil and Gas in a dispute with Tullow Uganda over tax issues arising from the transfer of petroleum exploration assets.

Advised NovAtel Inc on a trade mark infringement action brought against one of its licensees.

Notable practitioners  

Sean Smyth is noted for his expertise in securities, intellectual property, real estate and product liability litigation.

Mendy Chernos's broad practice covers a range of areas including energy, securities, franchise and tax litigation. He also represents clients in real estate and banking cases.

Significant clients Wenzel Downhole Tools, Emco, Canadian Publishers’ Council, Association of Canadian Publishers, Canadian Educational Resources Council.

Dispute Resolution - Canada

Basic facts about the department

- 11 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Enjoys a strong reputation for class action defence, as well as securities, insurance and tax litigation. Other areas of specialisation include employment, competition and intellectual property law.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Strategic planning: "A terrific practice group – they have the ability to very thoughtfully outline our position."

Work highlights Acted for Inmet Mining on a shareholder dispute relating to its hostile takeover bid for Petaquilla Minerals.

Represented the Toronto Dominion Bank in a class action concerning a Ponzi scheme set up by a former bank customer.

Notable practitioners  

The "tremendous" Leonard Doust is recognised for his broad practice which spans both civil and criminal law. He acted for the Law Society of British Columbia on litigation involving the application of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act to lawyers.

Significant clients Philip Morris International, SK Hynix, Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, SmartCentres.

Dispute Resolution - Canada

What the team is known for Receives high praise for its prominent presence in class action defence, handling some of the most significant competition, securities and product liability cases in the market. Highlighted for its focus on major pharmaceutical and medical device class actions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Expertise: "They are outstanding – they are very responsive, very knowledgeable and they have great resources and research lawyers. They are the top counsel for expertise and practical experience."

Strategic planning: "They are strategic in their advice and demonstrate a keen understanding of risk."

Work highlights Successfully defended AstraZeneca Canada against a national class action motion concerning the allegedly negligent design of an anti-psychotic medicine.

Acted for Merck on a class action involving claims of increased risk of heart attack in patients taking the anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx.

Notable practitioners  

Paul Steep is "a first-rate securities class action lawyer." Peers enthuse: "He is a top lawyer, and excellent in all aspects of advocacy."

Paul Morrison recently defended the Toronto Dominion Bank in a series of class actions concerning price-fixing allegations. He is considered "very effective, very hard-working and persistent."

Since publication, Donald Bisson has been appointed to the Superior Court of Québec.

Significant clients Abbott Laboratories, Microsoft Canada, SK Hynix, Desjardins Group, Ernst & Young.

Dispute Resolution - Canada

Basic facts about the department

- 49 partners
- 104 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Widely viewed as a leading firm for litigation in Ontario. Operates a thriving litigation practice in a broad range of areas, including competition, securities and intellectual property. Also comes highly recommended for class action defence work and appellate law.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

Bench strength: "An excellent firm with great depth. They are one of Canada's top firms, able to recruit the best talent, and I have had good experiences with them right down to the junior lawyers on the files."

Clarity of advice: "They have a very thorough approach to identifying the merits of a case and providing us with timely assessments of a matter."

Work highlights Represented Entertainment Software Association in a copyright case involving SOCAN's royalty entitlements for music downloads.

Defended SK Hynix as a leading manufacturer of DRAM in price-fixing class actions across Canada. 

Notable practitioners  

Neil Finkelstein is "an impressive, skilled and articulate oral advocate" who recently represented Cogeco Cable before the Supreme Court of Canada in an appeal concerning the CRTC's proposed implementation of a TV tax regime. Clients appreciate his well thought-out and cogent advice and his ability to develop effective strategy.

Paul Morrison's broad expertise encompasses securities, competition, insolvency and product liability litigation. He is also active in class actions. Sources say: "He's very open and frank and he is thoughtful in the advice that he gives."

Paul Steep is recognised for his strength in banking cases, securities litigation and class actions. Sources say: "He is very bright, very well respected by judges and he has a very good manner in the courts."

Sarit Batner continues to impress sources with her professional negligence, taxation and franchise work. One client said: "Sarit has a 'take charge' personality and is a very quick study – she is very tough and knows how to get the job done."

Niels Ortved is a prominent figure in commercial litigation and is described as "an absolutely excellent lawyer" by sources.

Significant clients Xstrata Copper Chile, Astra Zeneca Canada, Globalive Wireless Management, Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation.

Dispute Resolution - Canada

Basic facts about the department

- 32 partners
- 38 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Significant expertise in securities, banking, pharmaceutical and product liability litigation. Frequently defends clients in major class actions.

Work highlights Acted for Desjardins Financial Services on a class action concerning claims of misleading distribution of guaranteed investment certificates.

Represented Abbott Laboratories in a proposed class action involving the weight-loss drug Meridia.

Notable practitioners  

Simon Potter is a highly respected litigator with considerable experience in competition litigation, constitutional cases and contractual disputes. He continues to represent Philip Morris International/Rothman's Benson & Hedges in the Québec healthcare cost recovery action brought against the tobacco industry.

Mason Poplaw is "a highly effective advocate" who is commended for his securities and restructuring litigation practice. He recently assisted National Bank Securities with a shareholder dispute relating to a CAD309.5 million transaction.

The "impressive" Marie-Josée Hogue, Ad E joined the firm in January 2014 from Heenan Blaikie. She assists clients with shareholder disputes, securities cases, professional liability matters and class actions.

Significant clients BCE/Bell Canada, Merck, Ernst & Young, SK Hynix, Xstrata Canada.

Employment, Labour & Pensions - Canada

Basic facts about the department

Pensions and benefits - 5 partners, 4 other qualified lawyers

Labour and employment - 16 partners, 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A full-service firm with a nationwide profile for labour and employment, with expertise in areas such as collective agreement negotiations, labour litigation, legislative compliance, and organisational and transactional advice. In pensions and benefits, the firm has a strong reputation for its work in relation to employee and health and welfare trusts.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Expertise: “They ramp up real quick to understand all aspects of the business and are remarkable in getting up to speed and bringing in expertise."

Work highlights Advised Rio Tinto on the labour, employment and pensions aspects of its sale of Alcan Cable to General Cable, including in relation to the transfer of collective bargaining rights and non-unionised employees.

Notable practitioners  

Randy Bauslaugh is viewed as a driving force behind the firm's pensions and benefits practice. One source enthused: "He's full of energy and bursting with creativity. He works very hard and is always thinking of the next opportunity available for us to explore."

Paul Boniferro maintains an excellent reputation for labour and employment. Notably, he recently advised the Government of Ontario on its negotiations with all teaching and non-teaching staff unions.

Clients praise Robb Macpherson for his ability to overcome complex issues. His practice covers executive compensation, wrongful dismissal and collective bargaining.

Lorraine Allard is highly regarded for her expertise in relation to the taxation and regulation of pension plans.

Gregory Winfield is "very detail-oriented and comprehensive," say interviewees. He has been involved in some of the firm's most significant pensions and benefits matters.

Sunil Kapur is highly skilled in collective bargaining as well as other areas of labour and employment law. He advised York University on a dispute concerning a new bargaining unit for research employees.

Significant clients Morneau Shepell, Spectra Energy, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Xstrata, SSQ Life Insurance.

Energy & Natural Resources - Canada

What the team is known for Highly regarded for work relating to the development, operation and financing of mines. Also regularly retained by international clients on corporate deals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Market standing: "They have got a very strong and historic mining practice." 

Work highlights Acted for First Quantum Minerals on the CAD2.5 billion acquisition financing for its acquisition of Inmet Mining.

Continues to advise Rio Tinto in relation to the development of the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia by its 51%-owned public subsidiary Turquoise Hill Resources.

Notable practitioners  

Roger Taplin is highly respected for his "understanding of the mining sector and the important aspects of the business." He has recently acted for Anglo American on its CAD5.2 billion acquisition of a stake in De Beers.

Richard Miner is the chair of the firm's global mining group. He was part of the team advising Xstrata Copper Chile on a dispute with Barrick Gold concerning the ownership of copper and gold deposits.

Frederico Marques is a Brazilian-qualified partner with significant experience in advising on international transactions, with an emphasis on natural resources. He joined the firm in February 2014 from Heenan Blaikie.

Significant clients Glencore Xstrata, Anglo American, Hunter Dickinson Group, Thompson Creek, Vale.

Energy & Natural Resources - Canada

Basic facts about the department

Power - 19 partners, 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Excellent track record in power project finance with deep experience in the renewable energy sector, including a strong profile in wind power. Acclaimed for its multi-jurisdictional platform and its expertise in the commercial and regulatory aspects of electricity law.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "A dominant firm for power project finance."

Efficiency: "They are easy to deal with, clear, concise and able to turn things around quickly."

Work highlights Acted for a coalition of lenders, including a Canadian life insurance company, a Japanese export credit agency and a syndicate of commercial banks, in connection with the CAD1.1 billion financing of a series of wind and solar projects across four provinces.

Notable practitioners  

Of counsel George Vegh "is at the top level of the practice in Ontario" for energy regulation, according to interviewees.

Department head David Lever is a "strategic thinker who is very client-focused." He advised Scotia Capital on the financing of the Kokish River hydroelectric project in British Columbia.

Key partner Michael Weizman was involved in the team advising on the abovementioned portfolio financings for a coalition of lenders.

Marc Dorion QC is well known for project development in Québec. He acted for National Bank Financial on the secured construction and term loan facility for Enerfin Energy/Elecnor Group's De l'Érable wind farm.

Seán O'Neill "is very practical, sharp and has good experience," peers comment. He represents investors and developers in projects across a wide range of asset classes.

Craig Spurn is head of the firm's oil and gas group. He was part of the team advising TransCanada Energy concerning its Clean Energy Supply Contract with the Ontario Power Authority for a 900 MW natural gas-fired power station.

Significant clients Invenergy, Borealis Infrastructure Management, Scotiabank, Bruce Power, Enbridge.

Environment - Canada

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners

- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A focus on the environmental aspects of major projects across a cross-section of industries including mining, waste management, renewable energy and pulp and paper. The firm is also a notable force in environmental litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Industry knowledge: "They have a very thorough understanding not only of our industry but of who we are and how we approach things."  

Resources: "They have a very strong team to help out on commercial litigation."

What's new? Environmental development specialist Pierre Renaud joined the firm in January 2013 as the head of the environmental group in Québec. President of the bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) from 2007 to 2012, Renaud also formerly served as legal adviser to both Hydro-Québec and the Québec Ministry of the Environment.

Work highlights Advised Invenergy Wind on the project financing for the Des Moulins energy project.

Notable practitioners  

Douglas Thomson continues to represent Stillwater Mining in a joint provincial-federal review panel environmental assessment hearing concerning the development of a platinum mine in northern Ontario. Sources say: "He is an excellent adviser - a real first-class professional."

Paul Cassidy joined the firm in April 2014 from Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. He advises on environmental matters across a broad spectrum of industries including oil and gas, mining, forestry and transportation. One source said: "I've never met anybody in any profession who's as good as he is at what they do."

Department head Douglas Hamilton is singled out for his technical background in biology and chemistry, which sources view as a strong asset to his practice. He regularly advises on criminal litigation relating to environmental law, health and safety. One source enthused: "Doug has an intimate knowledge of environmental issues."

Nicholas Hughes is the co-chair of the firm's national mining litigation group. He acted as environmental lead in respect of Rio Tinto's acquisition of Hathor Exploration.

Significant clients Vale, US Steel, Port Metro Vancouver, Miller Waste Systems, Canadian National Railway.

Information Technology - Canada

Basic facts about the department

- 12 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A well-established player in the technology sector in Canada. Renowned for its involvement in high-end outsourcing and M&A transactions. The firm also advises on systems integration, licensing and IT procurement.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Client service: "The firm has always performed well. The client service is excellent - they are there when you need them with a quick response, and are very thorough and very knowledgeable of their subject matter."

Work highlights Advised Kobo on its agreement to acquire Aquafadas, further to its 2012 sale to Rakuten.

Notable practitioners  

Barry Sookman is a name that stands out in Canada for IT. He is widely acclaimed for his knowledge of computer, internet and e-commerce law. One interviewee enthused: "He is terrific, awesome - a great speaker and educator."

Montréal-based Charles Morgan is valued for his well-rounded IT practice. He advises on all matters across the technology law spectrum, including M&A deals, data protection and e-commerce.

Daniel Logan wins plaudits for his experience in outsourcing and systems development in the payment systems and financial services sectors. He joined the firm in February 2014 from Torys LLP.

George Takach is heralded by his peers as a pioneering force in this field. He wins praise for his expertise in technology M&A, financing and licensing.

Significant clients Cirque du Soleil, Desjardins, BlackBerry, Scotiabank, Bell Canada.

Intellectual Property - Canada

Basic facts about the department

- 12 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Acclaimed for its strategic and integrated approach across all aspects of intellectual property management. Recognised as a dominant force in the Canadian IP market, with a strong focus on commercial transactions involving technology assets, as well as copyright and patent litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Client service: "A well-known firm. The lawyers there are very diligent and very focused."

Work highlights Advised Merck on a patent infringement suit brought against Apotex involving damages claims of CAD180 million.

Represented Bell Canada before the Federal Court of Canada in a patent infringement case concerning its Fibe TV business.

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Reddon focuses on patent litigation, with an emphasis on significant, industry-changing pharmaceutical patent cases. Sources describe him as an "exceptionally good lawyer" who "has a good record on the pharmaceutical side."

Barry Sookman is universally regarded as one of Canada's foremost authorities on information technology and intellectual property issues. One client enthused: "He is excellent - he has the knowledge, the passion and the experience of how to navigate a matter to a successful conclusion."

Alfred Macchione acted for E-L Financial on the CAD1.125 billion sale of The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company to The Travelers Companies.

Steven Mason is the co-chair of the firm's Toronto litigation group. He focuses on IP disputes, including both trial and appellate litigation.

Significant clients Kraft Foods, BlackBerry, Allergan, Score Media, Abbott Laboratories.

International Trade - Canada

Basic facts about the department

- 20 partners
- 1 other qualified lawyer

What the team is known for Solid international trade team, with a strong focus on contentious work and specialisms in matters concerning export controls, economic sanctions and anti-corruption. Also a key player with respect to WTO law, government procurement and energy trading.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "Their work, presentation and guidance were very compelling and helpful." 

Notable practitioners  

John Boscariol is viewed as a "leading Canadian authority" on anti-corruption, trade controls and economic sanctions, and has a "thriving practice" in those areas. One source said: "I count him as among the very best in the field, and the best in Canada I've ever found. He stands out for the technical knowledge he has of the pertinent regulations and statutes, and for his practical approach to dealing with those regulations from a client perspective."

Simon Potter advises on commercial and administrative litigation and appellate law, and is frequently a leading figure on the firm's trade and competition cases.

Brenda Swick is widely admired in this market, with one source commenting that she "has enormous experience and background in the areas of trade, procurement and anti-corruption law. She knows the law and is tireless in the detailed research required to fortify the client's position."

Significant clients Danone, Export Development Canada, TimberWest Forest, Canfor, Ministry of the Attorney of General - Government of Ontario.

Projects - Canada

Basic facts about the department

- 18 Partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Widely viewed as a front runner for projects work in Canada. Substantial experience of transportation infrastructure projects, renewable energy project financings and healthcare sector work. Also active on procurement matters for public sector clients in Toronto. The team in Vancouver is well known for its role as counsel on lender-side mandates, and for its representation of developers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Responsiveness: “We were very happy with the end product as well as the service and level of attention we got. They were very engaged and hands-on throughout the whole project.”

Solution-oriented: “They had a practical, solutions-based approach. Their team works well together to understand clients' problems and work to find solutions.”

Work highlights Represented the lenders to EGRT Construction with regards to the CAD1.4 billion rapid transit line project to connect Coquitlam to Vancouver.

Acted for co-sponsors Infrastructure Ontario and Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital on a request for qualifications in connection with the expansion and modernisation of Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital.

Notable practitioners  

Byran Gibson is well regarded for his lender-side practice and is praised for his knowledge of the lending market both in and outside the PPP space. One client said: “He's a calm and rational-thinking head over a project. He has a methodical approach and doesn't get rattled. He has been doing PPP since its inception in Canada.”

Linda Brown "is fantastic at what she does, and knows how to get solutions to difficult problems on the lending side.” She acted for the lenders to PCL Aquatics Centre 2012 in connection with the design, build and financing of the Pan Am Games Aquatics Centre, Field House and Canadian Sport Institute Ontario facility.

Gordon Willcocks is well known for his representation of government authorities, and for his expertise in international projects. One source said: “He's a very skilled lawyer. He is very calm and good to work with, and brings a sense of calm to the deals.”

Godyne Sibay recently acted for Infrastructure Ontario and St. Michael's Hospital in connection with the construction of a patient care tower. One source said: "Her knowledge of the PPP market and financing of major projects is particularly impressive."

Significant clients BMO, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, EllisDon Corporation, National Bank Financial, Citigroup.

Public Procurement - Canada

Basic facts about the department

- 16 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Draws on key firm strengths in infrastructure, energy, technology and international trade to advise on a range of procurement mandates, regularly acting on both the buy and sell sides.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "They are very efficient in turning around complex issues."

Work highlights Advised Halton Healthcare Services on the procurement of a developer for a medical office building on its new Oakville Hospital Campus.

Notable practitioners  

Brenda Swick is described by clients as "a one-woman encyclopaedia of Canadian procurement law." Before joining the team in Toronto, she was the head of the firm's Ottawa office and is well known for her expertise on the modernisation of procurement documents.

Gordon Willcocks is a commercial real estate lawyer who is a regular feature on the firm's Infrastructure Ontario mandates.

Significant clients Canada Forging, GE Healthcare, Infrastructure Ontario, Ryerson University.

Real Estate - Canada

Basic facts about the department
- 33 partners
- 36 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A market-leading practice with a proven track record in advising on major transactions and large financings. Stands out for its national breadth and depth. Its enviable stable of clients includes REITs, insurance companies and other major real estate investors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "It's always a pleasure to deal with them - they're very focused on getting deals done and they have some exceptional clients."

Client service: "In the middle of a deal they are always available and they are very good at getting back to us." 

Work highlights Represented Primaris Retail REIT in its acquisition of two shopping centres in New Brunswick and a portfolio of shopping centres in Alberta, and in its subsequent CAD4.6 billion sale to H&R REIT.

Acted for RBC Capital Markets, as agent, on two series of mortgage bonds offerings and a redemption of unsecured debentures by H&R REIT. The transaction had a combined value of CAD500 million.

Notable practitioners  

Vancouver-based Keith Burrell QC is "one of the top lawyers in the city at any time," according to interviewees. He has a wealth of experience across the full range of real estate transactions and "is down to earth and provides very sound and practical advice."

Abraham Costin is "excellent in every respect - he is pragmatic and succinct, providing timely advice and good counsel." He led the team advising Primaris on its shopping centre portfolio acquisition.

John Currie is well regarded for his work in real estate financing. Described as a "deal facilitator," he is "an exceptional guy and a great lawyer who is always a pleasure to deal with."

Danny Grandilli is held in high esteem for his expertise in acquisitions and leasing. He advised The Great-West Life Assurance Company on its CAD143.4 million acquisition of an office tower in Ottawa.

Tzen Goh is active across a broad range of financing and lending matters, and acted alongside Costin on the Primaris transaction. Sources say: "He is very impressive - he knows what's important and gets the deal done."

Montréal-based James Papadimitriou has a broad real estate practice including acquisitions, financing and development work. He recently advised Oxford Properties on the acquisition of a large residential complex.

The experienced Peter Quinn advises on condominium development, environmental law and leasing.

Gordon Sato continues to be very highly regarded for his extensive experience in advising on high-value transactions.

Significant clients Scotiabank, Deloitte Management Services, RioCan REIT, TD Bank Financial Group, York University.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Canada

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong track record in acting on major restructuring and insolvency matters for a diverse range of clients. Regularly acts for clients buying companies in insolvency. Has significant cross-border expertise and a particularly well-regarded Montréal practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "A good team of professionals and really easy to work with."

Bench strength: "A smart, dynamic, experienced and strong team." 

Work highlights Acted for meat processor and distributor Olymel on its CAD65.25 million acquisition of the Canadian assets of Big Sky Farms and related entities.

Assisted CIBC, as administrative agent, co-collateral agent and lender, in Catalyst Paper’s restructuring.

Notable practitioners  

James Gage draws praise for being "very knowledgeable, creative and a good collaborator." He was one of the lead partners acting for Morneau Shepell with regards to Nortel Networks' insolvency proceedings.

Sean Collins frequently acts for court-appointed monitors and liquidators, often on cases in the natural resources and energy sectors.

Philippe Bélanger frequently acts for secured lenders and borrowers from his Montréal base. Sources describe him as "articulate, smart and knowledgeable."

Barbara Boake is described as "calm and practical, and good at summarising complex matters for people who aren't insolvency practitioners." She was the lead partner acting for Pacific West Commercial on its acquisition of NewPage Port Hawkesbury.

Significant clients Arctic Glacier Income Fund, Morneau Shepell, Pacific West Commercial.

Tax - Canada

Basic facts about the department

- 26 partners
- 19 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A prominent national tax group with a strong reputation for tax planning, compliance and transfer pricing matters. Regularly features on high-profile M&A transactions. Also recognised for its strength in tax litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Technical ability: "A responsive, practical team with a high degree of technical knowledge."

Communication: "Well-versed and organised in terms of presenting information."

Work highlights Represented Q9 Networks in its CAD1.1 billion sale to an investor group consisting of both Canadian and US private equity houses.

Acted for Primaris REIT on the tax aspects of its CAD4.6 billion sale to H&R REIT.

Notable practitioners

Douglas Cannon focuses on cross-border transactions, and "has great foresight and brings a lot of planning ideas" to each file, according to interviewees. Clients praise him as "great to work with - he has a good personality and a calm, steady hand."

Chia-yi Chua enjoys a strong reputation in the area of tax dispute resolution. His experience includes numerous appearances before the Tax Court of Canada, the Ontario Court of Justice and other appellate courts.

Tom Akin is well known for his expertise in tax litigation and tax dispute resolution. He also has extensive experience in relation to transfer pricing matters and GST/HST taxation.

Nigel Johnston is rated for his expertise in investment funds. One client said: "He is very good on the mutual funds side - he is an exceptionally smart lawyer who explains issues well." 

Gabrielle Richards is held in high regard for the depth of her experience of the tax implications of mergers and acquisitions. 

Rosemarie Wertschek QC leads the firm's tax group in Vancouver, where she is regularly sought out for her wealth of experience in public sector matters.

Frédéric Harvey runs the firm's tax group in Montréal and is highlighted for his expertise in the taxation of foreign operations. Sources say he is "extremely competent and thorough."

Ronald Mar is recommended for his expertise in the Canadian resource sector. One client said: "He is a very seasoned tax guy who is very knowledgeable in the oil and gas space."  

Significant clients Enbridge, Scotiabank, Chrysler Canada, Kraft Canada, Rio Tinto Alcan.

Telecommunications - Canada

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A major competitor for communications transactions, regulation and policy. In the telecoms sector, the firm has significant expertise in M&A, debt and equity financings, and regulatory compliance issues. On the broadcasting side the firm has extensive experience in CRTC licensing hearings for pay and specialty TV services. Also advises clients from the film, book and magazine publishing industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Efficiency: "They are very responsive, practical and solutions-driven."

Work highlights Acted for High Fidelity HDTV on the regulatory aspects of its sale to Blue Ant Media. 

Advised BCE on the successful completion of its CAD3.2 billion acquisition of Astral Media.

Notable practitioners  

Grant Buchanan is the leader of the firm's telecommunications practice and a well-known name in the Canadian communications space. Notably, he acted for High Fidelity HDTV on its abovementioned sale to Blue Ant Media.

Hank Intven is described by one source as "Canada's pre-eminent telecoms lawyer. He is well respected by the regulators, and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the legislation and a very practical approach to addressing issues."

Senior statesman Peter Grant is recognised for the pioneering role he has played in the development of Canadian communications law.

Since publication, Bram D. Abramson has moved in-house.

Significant clients Bell Canada, Desjardins Technology Group, Directors Guild of Canada, Score Media, Sirius XM Canada. 

Projects: Mining: Leading Canadian Firms - Latin America-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 34 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A large team with an established reputation and deep knowledge of the mining industry coupled with notable strengths in M&A.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They enjoy a very solid reputation and are very substantial."

Work highlights Advised Glencore International in relation to its high-value acquisition of Xstrata for USD90 billion. Represented First Quantum Minerals in a CAD2.5 billion acquisition financing for the company's CAD5.1 billion acquisition of Inmet Mining.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Miner chairs the firm's global mining group. He handles corporate and financing transactions for domestic and foreign mining clients. His broad practice has seen him handle matters in Africa, Latin America and Australia.

Roger Taplin is also the co-leader of the global mining group and handles securities and M&A pertaining to the mining industry. He is singled out for comment by peers who commend his established practice and industry expertise. 

Since publication Frederico Marques joined the firm. He is a Brazilian-qualified lawyer with deep experience in matters relating to international transactions, with an emphasis on natural resources and renewables. Interviewees single him out for his active practice.

Significant clients First Quantum, Xstrata Copper Chile, IBK Capital Group.