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Canada > Capital markets > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Capital markets
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Stephen Abrahamson - Torys
    • Jeff Bakker - Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

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Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP continues its impressive record in equity deals, for both issuer and underwriter clients, and it also shines in debt transactions. In a mandate that demonstrates its skills in both, Toronto-based Tim Andison advised the equity underwriters (led by Scotia Capital, Morgan Stanley and BMO Capital Markets) and the debt underwriters (led by BMO Capital Markets and Raymond James) on Source Energy Service’s C$175m IPO and its C$130m bond offering. In Calgary, Ross Bentley, rising star Jeff Bakker and Daniel McLeod advised Cenovus Energy on the Canadian aspects of its C$3bn share offering in connection with its C$17.7bn acquisition of assets from ConocoPhillips. Jeffrey Lloyd, Michael Gans and Chris Hewat are also active members of the team.

At Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, ‘peerless market knowledge’ and ‘excellent experience in resolving difficult issues’ stand out as major attractions for clients. The sophisticated practice also scores points for its combination of ‘strong senior names and great younger partners’. On the equity side, the ‘very strong’ Mindy Gilbert advised Pershing Square Capital Management on a $1.4bn cross-border secondary offering of Canadian Pacific Railway shares. On the debt side, James Reid advised Fortis on two note offerings worth $2bn and C$500m respectively. Senior corporate specialist Patricia Olasker and Franziska Ruf (Montreal) are also highly recommended. Named individuals are based in Toronto except where otherwise noted.

Highly technical but also commercial and user friendly’, McCarthy Tétrault’s capital markets team is ‘strong in all respects’. In Toronto, Andrew Parker is a ‘leading name in the area’ and jointly heads the capital markets group alongside Patrick Boucher in Montreal. Marc MacMullin also has a strong profile in the market and jointly leads the structured finance group alongside Dirk Rueter – both are based in Toronto. Among the firm’s recent equity highlights, it acted as Canadian counsel to Aquinox Pharmaceuticals on its $75.4m common stock offering. On the debt side, it represented CIBC on its issuance of €1.2bn of covered bonds as part of its C$20bn global covered bond program listed on the London Stock Exchange. The firm has also recently undertaken work for Bruce Power, Enbridge and TD Bank.

In a significant boost to Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s national capital markets practice, the firm hired two new corporate finance partners in 2016: mining specialist Alan Hutchison joined in Vancouver from Dentons and dual New York and Quebec qualified Niko Veilleux arrived in Montreal from Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. Toronto-based corporate finance and securities chair Desmond Lee is widely regarded as ‘fantastic’ and brings to bear an impressive record in equity matters; he and Toronto-based Mark DesLauriers advised the underwriters on a C$735m equity offering and C$850m senior note offering by Fairfax Financial Holdings. Also in Toronto, group co-chair Michael Innes is ‘extremely active in the area’ and advised Roger Communications on a $500m cross-border offering of senior notes. Toronto-based John Macfarlane is also recommended.

Among Stikeman Elliott LLP’s recent highlights, Toronto-based corporate finance and securities co-chair Joel Binder advised a syndicate of agents (led by JP Morgan and Scotiabank) on Emera’s C$500m private placement of senior unsecured notes in Canada – he also advised the syndicate on the $3.2bn private placement of senior notes by a US subsidiary of Emera. Capital markets co-lead D'Arcy Nordick is a ‘very experienced partner with a commercial approach to the law’; he advised the joint bookrunners on CPPIB Capital’s C$1.2m offering of notes. In a headline equity-side deal, the firm advised Canada Goose on its high-profile C$391m IPO. Toronto-based corporate head John Ciardullo is also a key name. In Montreal, Steeve Robitaille left to become chief legal officer at WSP Canada.

Torys sets itself apart through its ‘responsive, knowledgeable, practical and client-focused lawyers’. Calgary-based Scott Cochlan jointly chairs the capital markets group and is a ‘standout specialist’; he advised CIBC World Markets, TD Securities and the syndicate of underwriters on a C$115m bought-deal offering by Bonavista Energy, and he also advised the underwriters on a C$149m bought-deal offering by Mullen Group. Toronto’s David Chaikof ‘truly thinks about business needs and provides creative input’; he advised Blackberry on the redemption of $1.2bn of unsecured convertible debentures and on a $605m private placement of unsecured convertible debentures. Among the other names to note, Glen Johnson is ‘always available and provides quick answers on a broad range of securities law issues’, while senior associate Stephen Abrahamson is an ‘up-and-coming lawyer with strong technical and client skills’ – both are based in Toronto.

Bennett Jones LLP’s ‘very active’ practice ‘dominates the Calgary market’. In addition, the firm’s signature strength in energy-related matters gives it a global platform and it is regularly involved in cross-border deals. In a recent example, Calgary-based John Piasta acted for Cenovus Energy in filing a $5bn universal base shelf prospectus in both Canada and the US. In another key highlight, Calgary’s Darrell Peterson advised North West Redwater Partnership on its issuance of an additional C$2bn in senior secured bonds as part of its C$8.5bn capital cost program. Calgary-based Brent Kraus and Toronto-based Linda Misetich Dann jointly head the group.

The ‘responsive and service-oriented’ group at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLPunderstands the need to balance risk mitigation with commercial reality’. The group excels in mining deals, leveraging its global reputation in the area, but it is also a significant player in energy, financial services and communications transactions. In a key highlight, Toronto-based global mining lead John Turner advised Iamgold on a $230m bought-deal offering. In Calgary, Sarah Gingrich provides an ‘excellent level of service’ and advised Tervita on a $360m senior bond offering. In Montreal, Jean-Pierre Chamberland advised the underwriters on Laurentian Bank’s C$155.4m public offering of subscription receipts. Robert Paré and the ‘strategic and very smart’ Aaron Atkinson are also recommended in Montreal and Toronto respectively.

At Toronto-based Goodmans, REIT specialist Stephen Pincus is a ‘good "out-of-the-box" thinker’ and heads an ‘astute and pragmatic team’, which is staffed by ‘creative, confident and innovative’ partners. The practice is equally adept in both equity and debt transactions and it shines in real estate, infrastructure and deals involving special purpose acquisition companies. Recent highlights include advising the underwriters on C$3.4bn worth of debt and equity offerings issued by various Brookfield entities in 2016/2017 – William Gorman, Allan Goodman and Brenda Gosselin jointly led that work. Other representative clients include Acasta Enterprises, Milestone Apartments REIT and Timbercreek Financial.

In 2016, Norton Rose Fulbright boosted its Toronto offering with the hires of ‘proactive, responsive and thorough’ capital markets partner Elana Hahn from Dentons and corporate finance partner Vanessa Grant from Gowling WLG. The group’s ‘deep bench’ and its ‘wide range of supplementary expertise to draw upon’ finds favour with clients, and it continues to act on a steady stream of debt and equity deals for issuers and underwriters. Highlights included Calgary’s Kevin Johnson QC acting as Canadian counsel to the underwriters (led by JP Morgan Securities, RBC Capital Markets and Bank of America Merrill Lynch) on Cenovus Energy’s $2.9bn notes offering. He also advised the underwriters (led by RBC Capital Markets and JP Morgan Securities) on the Canadian aspects of Cenovus Energy’s C$3bn bought-deal offering.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP had a strong year, acting on a string of high-profile mandates. Most notably, Toronto-based group lead Alfred Page advised Anheuser-Busch InBev on the Canadian aspects of its C$2bn maple bond offering, which was notable for being the largest corporate maple bond issuance ever. In another issuer-side highlight, Calgary’s Louise Lee represented Birchcliff Energy on its C$690.8m bought-deal financing. Vancouver-based mining chair Fred Pletcher and Toronto-based M&A lead Paul Mingay are also recommended.

Alberta’s Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP utilises its leading energy practice to specialise in capital markets deals in that space, and it routinely advises underwriters and issuers on debt and equity transactions. On the equity side, the firm advised the underwriters on Crescent Point Energy’s C$650m public offering. On the debt side, it acted for Canadian Natural Resources on its C$1.8bn note offering. Steven Cohen and Alyson Goldman are key contacts.

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP’s securities practice is well known for its expertise in mining deals, but it also advises issuers and underwriters on transactions relating to the real estate, TMT and food and beverage industries. Among its recent matters, Toronto partners Mark Bennett and André Boivin advised New Gold on its $173m bought-deal financing. The firm welcomed new corporate finance partner Kenton Rein from Stikeman Elliott LLP into its new Calgary office in 2016.

Dentons has a diverse capital markets offering but is particularly active in energy and natural resources deals. Among some recent examples, the firm advised Capital Power on its C$160m private placement of notes, and also advised the underwriters on Parkland Fuel’s C$500m private placement of high-yield notes. Calgary-based corporate finance specialist William Gilliland is recommended.

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