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Energy and natural resources: mining

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  1. Energy and natural resources: mining
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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Energy and natural resources: mining clients in Canada using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP’s mining practice ‘leads from the front’. The group, which is split between the firm’s Toronto and Vancouver offices, takes in the full spread of mining law, including corporate finance, exploration, development and regulatory matters. Among its highlights in Toronto, sought-after managing partner Mark Bennett advised Wheaton Precious Metals on a $500m gold and palladium streaming agreement with Sibanye-Stillwater. Securities specialist Jay Goldman, also in Toronto, advised White Gold in a set of corporate finance transactions, which included the acquisition of entities holding the White Gold, Black Fox, JP Ross, Yellow and Battle properties from Kinross Gold. Goldcorp is a key client and turned to the firm for assistance with its C$247m acquisition of Exeter Resource Corporation — Toronto’s Paul Stein led that work. Other senior names in Toronto include senior counsel John Craig. Among the group’s highlights in Vancouver, Gordon Chambers acted for Hecla Mining on its $462m acquisition of Klondex Mines. Other senior contacts in Vancouver are Darrell Podowski and ‘extremely talented’ securities specialist David Redford, while the ‘great technically’ Jen Hansen is ‘one to watch’.

‘A global leader for mining law’, FASKEN houses an ‘absolutely first-tier practice in this space’. The department, which is well represented throughout the firm’s six domestic offices, draws on on-the-ground teams in Beijing, Johannesburg and London, as well as several foreign desks, to ensure a truly international practice. The group has a particularly strong profile for headline corporate finance deals, but covers the full life cycle of mining matters, from permitting and development through to mine closure. Toronto-based global mining leader John Turner is a ‘heavy-hitter in mining law’ and recently paired up with ‘up-and-coming capital markets specialist’ Krisztián Tóth to advise AuRico Metals on its C$310m acquisition by Centerra Gold. In what was arguably the firm’s headline deal of 2017, Toronto’s Nancy Eastman advised Orion Mine Finance on the C$1.1bn sale of a precious metals portfolio to Osisko Gold Royalties. In Vancouver, Georald Ingborg advised Eldorado mining on its C$590m acquisition of Integra Gold. Other senior names in Toronto include Michael Bourassa and ‘leading light’ Brian Graves, while global mining chair Andrew Gabrielson is also recommended in Vancouver.

Stikeman Elliott LLP, hailed as a ‘first-tier corporate firm with a great mining practice’, receives strong praise for its ‘excellent bench strength and deep expertise’. The mining department is a key pillar of the firm and is represented nationally in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, and internationally in New York and Sydney. Among the team’s senior names, Toronto-based managing partner and global mining co-lead Jay Kellerman is an ‘absolute powerhouse in the mining space’; he teamed up with Toronto’s Ivan GrbeĆĄić to advise Nexa Resources and Votorantim on the Canadian aspects of Nexa’s C$728m IPO on the TSX and NYSE. Also in Toronto, John Ciardullo and Amanda Linett advised Tacora Resources and MagGlobal LLC on Tacora’s acquisition of all of the assets of the historic Scully iron ore mine. Vancouver is the seat of ‘extremely experienced’ global mining co-head Quentin Markin, who is acting as Canadian counsel to emerging West African gold producer Avesoro Resources on its acquisition of the Youga and Balogo mines and its accompanying private placement. John Anderson and David Massé are also recommended in Vancouver and Montreal respectively.

Bennett Jones LLP’s comprehensive mining practice covers all the bases, with robust expertise in exploration and development, operational matters, streaming transactions, corporation finance deals, regulatory issues and litigation. Group head Sander Grieve is ‘up there with the best in this sector’ and, together with Linda Misetich Dann, advised Osisko Gold Royalties on its C$1.1bn acquisition of a precious metals portfolio from Orion Mine Finance Group. Michael Melanson is a ‘very knowledgeable securities lawyer’ and assisted McEwen Mining with its acquisition of Lexam VG Gold. Abbas Ali Khan is a ‘rising star’. All named lawyers are based in Toronto.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s mining practice is ‘very strong’ nationally, with respected teams in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary, and a British Columbia group that is hailed as ‘the best in Vancouver’. It also benefits from international platforms in New York, London and Beijing. In Vancouver, transactional mining expert Bob Wooder is ‘fantastic<’ and advised the Special Committee of Exeter Resource Corporation on Exeter’s C$244m acquisition by Goldcorp. Wooder also led the firm’s advice to Ero Copper in its C$127m IPO. Peter O’Callaghan is another senior name in Vancouver and advised Denison Mines on several recent matters, including a C$20m private placement. Toronto-based department head John Wilkin and Montreal-based environmental law specialist Charles Kazaz are also key contacts.

The ‘deep and broad’ group at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP is ‘top of the class for corporate finance transactions’. Toronto-based Melanie Shishler, highlighted as a ‘really capable lawyer’, is a key contact for mining matters and manages the firm’s relationship with Barrick Gold; notable recent transactions for the mining giant include advising on its sale of a 25% stake in the Cerro Casale Project to Goldcorp, and the negotiation of various joint venture arrangements in Chile’s Maricunga district. Elsewhere, Toronto-based senior partner Patricia Olasker — ‘a star in all things corporate’ — acted for Agnico Eagle Mines in its $325m acquisition of the exploration assets of Canadian Malartic Corporation.

Vancouver-headquartered Lawson Lundell LLP is a ‘great mining firm’, with sources quick to commend its ‘strong focus on the industry’. Particular praise is reserved for high-profile partner Chris Baldwin, who is regarded as a ‘go-to specialist for mining law’ and brings to bear a broad skill set spanning project development, corporate finance, mine acquisitions and disposals, and regulatory matters. The group also benefits from the experience of ‘really excellent lawyer’ and ‘future leader’ Khaled Abdel-Barr. Among the team’s recent highlights, Karen MacMillan acted as British Columbia counsel to Coeur Mining in its $250m acquisition of JDS Silver Holdings. Other representative clients include Baffinland Iron Mines, Cliffs Chromite Ontario and New Gold.

McCarthy TĂ©trault impresses with its ‘expertise across a wide range of issues’, which includes recent experience in streaming transactions, capital markets, M&A, joint ventures and project finance. Vancouver-based global co-head Roger Taplin ‘seamlessly blends legal advice with commercial understanding’ and advised Goldcorp on a complex transaction that included the acquisition of a 50% interest in the Cerro Casale project, the acquisition of the Quebrada Seca project and the structuring of a regional joint venture with Barrick for three projects in Chile. Global mining co-head Shea Small, who splits his time between Toronto and London, provides ‘thoughtful and commercial advice’ and advised Newcrest Mining on its $250m strategic investment in Lundin Gold and its $20m earn-in agreement with Lundin Gold. The group was recently strengthened in Toronto by the arrival of ‘fantastic addition’ Eva Bellissimo from Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP.

The ‘client-focused team’ at Norton Rose Fulbright is ‘expert in the mining area’, according to some. Historically known for its ability to plug into a ‘tier one global practice’, sources report that it has been ‘increasingly active on the local mining scene’. Among its highlights, Toronto’s David McIntyre acted alongside the firm’s Beijing and Hong Kong offices to advise a mining company on the purchase of a stake in gold mine and various joint venture arrangements. In Ottawa, infrastructure expert Geoffrey G. Gilbert paired up with of counsel and ‘responsive problem-solver’ Alison Babbitt to advise a mining company on a project finance package with a couple of finance providers. Marvin Singer and Robert Mason are also key contacts — both are in Toronto.

At Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, high-profile group head Fred Pletcher is highly sought after for corporate finance issues and recently advised a mining company on a complex multiparty merger. Erik Goldsilver is a key contact in Toronto and advised a global mining corporation on a private placement of debentures.

Dentons’ ‘very experienced’ mining team can handle ‘the simplest or most complex jobs with ease’. In Vancouver, group co-chair Brian E Abraham QC is acclaimed as ‘the dean of mining law in Canada’; he acted with Gary Sollis to advise Battle Mountain Gold on its acquisition by Gold Standard Ventures. Edmonton-based Leanne Krawchuk jointly chairs the practice and, with Vancouver’s Michael Axford, advised Conuma Coal Resources on several recent issues, including ERP Steel Works’ sale of a 52% stake in Conuma to AMCI Euro-Holdings.

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP finds favour for its ‘broad subject offering’ and ‘extensive network in Canada and the US’. Vancouver-based global mining co-chair David Reid ‘really understands the industry’ and advised Sumitomo on its $195m joint venture with IAMGOLD. Calgary’s Roy Hudson heads the mining practice for the Americas and is ‘well versed in transactional and regulatory resource law’ — he continues to advise New Millennium Iron on the development of the C$8bn Taconite Project.

Goodmans’ group, which is centred in Toronto, is best known for its experience in corporate and finance matters. Grant McGlaughlin is ‘very solid’ and co-heads the department alongside Kari MacKay; together they assisted Orla Mining with its $35m acquisition of the Camino Rojo Project from Goldcorp. Gesta Abols is also a key contact.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP leverages its market-leading corporate practice to shine in corporate finance matters but it also leans on the firm’s environmental law and dispute resolution teams to provide regulatory support to its mining clients. Highlights included Toronto-based James Brown advising Pacific Road Capital Management on the C$21m sale of the Reno Creek Project to Uranium Energy Corporation. Vancouver’s Alan Hutchison jointly leads the department alongside Brown.

The ‘top-notch team’ at Torys LLP is led jointly by ‘very talented lawyers’ Michael Amm and Michael Pickersgill — both are based in Toronto. The group is particularly strong on the finance side and recent highlights include Amm advising the underwriters on Stelco Holdings’ C$230m IPO. Other representative clients include ArcelorMittal, Franco-Nevada and Orion Mine Finance.

Gowling WLG continues to raise its profile in the mining space, particularly on the corporate finance side where it can link with the global firm’s prominent fundraising practice. Key highlights included Vancouver-based Cyndi Laval advising Exeter Resource Corporation on its C$240m acquisition by Goldcorp.

McMillan LLP’s group advises across a broad range of exploration, development and production matters but is best known for corporate finance deals, particularly on behalf of junior companies. Highlights included advising Uranium Energy on its acquisition of the North Reno Creek Project. Vancouver-based Bernhard Zinkhofer is recommended.


Energy and natural resources: oil and gas

Index of tables

  1. Energy and natural resources: oil and gas
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Energy and natural resources: oil and gas clients in Canada using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

All lawyers in this section are based in Calgary unless otherwise stated.

A ‘leader in the oil and gas space’, Bennett Jones LLP excels across the full range of transactional, project development and regulatory matters and the consensus is that ‘few firms come close to its comprehensive offering’. Among the names to note, Calgary managing partner Patrick Maguire is ‘excellent at both the big-picture analysis and the detail drafting’ and with John Piasta advised Cenovus Energy on its C$17.7bn acquisitions of ConocoPhillips’ Deep Basin conventional assets in Alberta and British Columbia as well as its 50% interest in FCCL Partnership. William Osler is a ‘superb corporate counsel’ and advised Pembina Pipeline on its joint venture with Petrochemical Industries for a proposed integrated propylene and polypropylene production facility. Donald Greenfield QC is another sought-after name for oil and gas deals and acted alongside ‘ very strong’ department co-head Vivek Warrier to advise Schlumberger Production Management on the C$1.3bn acquisition of the Palliser Block assets in Alberta from Cenovus Energy. Robert Booth QC is also an experienced transactional specialist, while Kieran Ryan is a ‘great up-and-comer’. Brad Gilmour provides ‘very strategic and thoughtful service’ and heads up the regulatory side of the practice, which also benefits from the senior expertise of Lawrence Smith QC and Loyola Keough.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, which is widely revered as being ‘among the best for Canadian oil and gas matters’,attracts strong praise for its well-balanced energy practice that ‘ evenly combines transactional expertise with regulatory capability’. On the transactional side, Calgary managing partner Ben Rogers paired up with Chris Harris to advise Cenovus Energy on the C$1.3bn sale of its Palliser assets to Schlumberger and Torxen Energy. The same team also advised Cenovus on the C$512m sale of its Suffield crude oil and natural gas operations in southern Alberta to International Petroleum. Keith Byblow leads the oil and gas group and landed a key role in one of the most high-profile deals of 2018, when he advised Kinder Morgan Canada on the C$4.5bn sale of the Trans Mountain Pipeline system and expansion project to the Government of Canada. Sector specialist Mungo Hardwicke-Brown and Michael Laffin QC are also highly regarded for oil and gas deals. On the regulatory front, senior counsel Kemm Yates QC and Lars Olthafer are the names to note. The group has also recently undertaken work for Imperial Oil, Pembina Pipeline Corporation and Suncor Energy.

Alberta heavyweight Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP is a ‘standout specialist for oil and gas law’ and sources suggest that ‘it just can’t be beaten on energy transactions’. The firm also packs a punch in project development and regulatory matters and routinely acts for a diverse roster of industry participants, including explorers, developers, producers, facilities owners and operators and lenders. The increasingly prominent Sean Korney had a banner year, which included advising MEG Energy on the C$1.5bn disposal of a 50% interest in Access Pipeline and a 100% interest in Stonefell Terminal to Wolf Midstream and also advising International Petroleum on its C$512 acquisition of oil and natural gas assets in Suffield and Alderson from Cenovus Energy. In another headline deal, Stuart Money advised Whitecap Resources on its C$940m acquisition of light oil assets in southeast Saskatchewan. Alicia Quesnel, who also had a hand in the MEG Energy deal, and seasoned firm vice chair John Cuthbertson QC are widely regarded as market leaders on the transactional side. Evan Dixon is a key contact for regulatory matters.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s group, which comprises ‘excellent lawyers’, stand out for its ‘great transactional expertise', and also packs a punch in regulatory matters. Sector specialist Janice Buckingham jointly leads the practice and led the firm’s advice to ConocoPhillips on the C$17.7bn sale of its 50% interest in FCCL Partnership and certain Deep Basin assets to Cenovus Energy. Buckingham also acted alongside seasoned expert Robert Desbarats Desbarats QC to advise Canadian Natural Resources on its C$975m acquisition of upstream oil and gas assets in the Greater Pelican Lake region, and other assets in northern Alberta, from Cenovus Energy. On the development front, infrastructure co-chair Paula Olexiuk is advising PetroChina on various matters, including advising on its two oil sands projects and its partnership with TransCanada Corporation to construct and operate the Grand Rapids pipeline system. Shawn Denstedt QC is highly sought after for his regulatory expertise and represented Kinder Morgan Canada on regulatory, environmental and aboriginal matters related to the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. Martin Ignasiak is also recommended for regulatory matters, while Craig Spurn — who joined recently from McCarthy TĂ©trault — is another key name for energy transactions.

Dentons houses a ‘solid and diverse energy practice, which can cover most needs’. However, clients draw particular attention to its ‘unmatched regulatory expertise’, with one source asserting ‘most firms lack the depth of strategic regulatory insight that this team possesses’. Most notably, energy regulatory head Bernard J Roth is ‘exemplary’ and Laura K. Estep ‘excels at strategy and detail’. On the transactional front, energy lead Michael A Hurst, together with ‘rising star’ George Antonopoulos, advised Cenovus Energy on the C$940m sale of its Weyburn oil facility to Whitecap Resources. Elsewhere, Toby Allan and newly promoted partner Courtney Burton advised a consortium comprising MIE Holdings, the Can-China Global Resource Fund and Mercuria on the C$722m acquisition of CQ Energy Canada Partnership.

Norton Rose Fulbright is lauded for providing ‘insightful advice from both a legal and strategic perspective’. Regulatory expert Don Davies QC is a ‘leading light’ and is representing a major energy transmission client in regulatory proceedings. Wayne W. Fedun is a ‘great dealmaker’ and, together with Marcus W. Archer, advised another major petroleum company on a large acquisition. Corporate finance partner Rick Borden had a stellar year on the energy side, which included advising a midstream client on the acquisition of a 50% ownership interest in a pipeline and a 100% interest in a storage terminal. Clients also single out Justin E. Ferrara (‘a senior securities specialist’); Ryan Keays (‘provides to-the-point advice’); Robert Froehlich (‘profound industry knowledge’); and Rujuta Patel (‘very tactical’).

Stikeman Elliott LLP’s practice, which is particularly strong in the midstream sector, combines the firm’s signature corporate finance prowess with expertise in project development and regulatory matters — notably, its regulatory capability was recently boosted with the arrival of Dennis Langen from Dentons. On the transactional front, the ‘very strong’ Frederick Erickson advised Centrica on the C$722m sale of its Canadian oil and gas exploration and production business to the Canlin Energy Corporation consortium. In addition, Keith Chatwin advised AltaGas on its C$8.4bn cross-border acquisition of WGL Holdings, and related financings. On the project development front, Trent Mercier is advising Spirit Pipeline on the construction of a pipeline to supply petroleum products to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Transactional specialist Chrysten Perry and energy regulatory lead Keith Miller are also recommended.

Torys LLP’s group, which is best known for its transactional strength, provides ‘integrated legal and commercial support that demonstrates it cares about business outcomes’. Indeed, satisfied clients state, ‘I can’t say enough positive things about this team’. Group head Derek Flaman is ‘extremely experienced’ and advised Husky Oil China on the development of the Liuhua 29-1 field in offshore China. Chris Christopher, who ‘provides solution-oriented and spot-on advice’, is advising KUFPEC Canada on its arrangements with Pembina Pipeline concerning its infrastructure development and service agreements with Pembina and Keyera Corporation. Stephanie Stimpson, who has ‘strong international transactional experience and corporate governance knowledge’, advised Vermilion Energy on its C$1.4bn acquisition of Spartan Energy. Energy expert Ron Deyholos, the ‘very diligent’ David Cuschieri and ‘thoughtful and thorough’ senior associate Peter Danner are also noted.

The ‘extremely responsive’ group at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP secures praise for its ‘very straightforward advice’ and ‘ability to add value’. The team, which routinely acts for exploration and production companies, oilfield service companies and other industry participants, handles a broad mix of M&A, infrastructure, Aboriginal law and contentious matters. Highlights included advising TORC Oil & Gas on its C$58.5m acquisition of assets from Crescent Point Resources Partnership. Department head Brian Bidyk left to join McCarthy TĂ©trault.

FASKEN’s impressive record in pipeline projects is a significant string in its bow. The group also sets itself apart through its dominance of the British Columbia energy market. Vancouver-based Paul Wilson chairs the global energy group and is advising TransCanada PipeLines on various regulatory and Aboriginal law issues connected to its C$5bn Coastal GasLink Pipeline project. Vancouver’s Matthew Ghikas is sought after for energy and regulatory litigation.

A strong performer in M&A deals, McCarthy TĂ©trault’s energy practice also handles project development, corporate finance and regulatory matters. Cameron Hughes — who now leads the department following the departure of Craig Spurn to Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP — recently teamed up with Vancouver-based Sven Milelli and regulatory expert Gordon Nettleton to advise Parkland Fuel on its C$1.5bn acquisition of Chevron Canada’s downstream fuel business. Sony Gill advised Spartan Energy on its C$1.4bn acquisition by Vermilion Energy. In 2018, the group was boosted with the double hire of Brian Bidyk and Kerri Howard from DLA Piper (Canada) LLP.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP fields a prominent energy regulation practice. In particular, litigator Randall Block QC is highly regarded for his specialist skill set in oil and gas disputes, including commercial litigation, arbitration and regulatory proceedings. Alan Ross is also a regulatory specialist.

In 2018, Gowling WLG bolstered its oil and gas practice with the hires of environmental and Aboriginal law specialist Joshua Jantzi from Dentons and transactional oil and gas partner Jonathan Lalach from Lawson Lundell LLP. John Cusano heads the Calgary energy group and brings to bear a strong track record in contentious and regulatory oil and gas matters.

A ‘go-to firm for operational matters’, Lawson Lundell LLP possesses a comprehensive oil and gas practice, which advises on exploration, M&A, transportation and regulatory issues. Key contacts include Vancouver-based senior counsel Chris Sanderson QC, who is an eminent regulatory specialist, and Paul Negenman, who is the ‘foremost leading expert in Canada for oil and gas title matters’.


Energy and natural resources: power

Index of tables

  1. Energy and natural resources: power
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Energy and natural resources: power clients in Canada using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

‘One of the top energy practices in Canada’, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP provides ‘excellent and effective energy law support nationally’. The firm is particularly praised for its ‘bright and knowledgeable people’, with national electricity team lead Linda Bertoldi singled out as ‘one of the best lawyers in Canada’. Bertoldi has a broad practice covering project development, finance matters and M&A. The Toronto group also benefits from the transactional expertise of Shane Freitag, highlighted as ‘great at solving difficult issues’. Mark Rodger, who jointly chairs the Toronto regional electricity group alongside Freitag, is recommended for regulatory issues. Eminent energy litigator Randall Block QC is a key contact in Calgary, while Robert Shouldice is recommended in Vancouver. In a recent example of its ability to manage multifaceted matters, the team advised a municipality on the sale of an electricity distribution company in a complex deal that also involved significant regulatory elements.

The ‘fantastic all-round group’ at McCarthy TĂ©trault is lauded for its ‘great expertise in all key areas’. Transactional work is a key pillar of the practice, in line with its firm-wide strength, and it is also sought after for its niche expertise in wholesale market governance. In a highlight deal, Suzanne Murphy acted alongside the corporate team to advise NextEra Energy Partners on the $1.2bn sale of a portfolio of four wind and two solar generation projects to an affiliate of CPPIB. Department lead SeĂĄn O’Neill also had an active year on the renewables side, which included advising Samsung Renewable Energy on both the sale of its interest in Windsor Solar LP and on the sale of its interest Southgate Solar LP. Marc Dorion Ad E, who splits his time between Quebec City and Montreal, heads the natural resources group in Quebec and was part of the team that advised Innergex Renewable Energy on its C$1.1bn acquisition of Alterra Power. High-profile senior counsel George Vegh heads the Toronto energy regulation practice and advised on the regulatory aspects of the NextEra deal. Infrastructure and projects lead David Lever and project finance specialist Stephen Furlan are also recommended. Named partners are based in Toronto unless otherwise stated.

Stikeman Elliott LLP’s power practice is represented throughout the firm’s generous national network, with robust footholds in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. The group, which acts for an impressive stable of energy companies, public bodies, project developers and lenders, has strong capability in both transactional and regulatory matters — the recent addition of Calgary-based Dennis Langen from Dentons adds further firepower in terms of the latter. Among its recent highlights, Toronto-based energy co-chair Glenn Zacher advised ITC Holdings on the development of the $1.5bn cross-border ITC Lake Erie Connector project. ‘Rising star’ and project finance co-head Patrick Duffy, also in Toronto, advised Atlantic Power on negotiating enhanced dispatch contracts with the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). Calgary’s Keith Miller heads the energy regulatory practice in Alberta and is advising the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) on its application to the Alberta Utilities Commission for approval of its proposed 2018 independent system operator (ISO) tariff. Key names on the transactional side include Montreal’s Erik Richer La Flùche and Toronto’s Eric Bremermann. High-profile transactional specialist Jim Harbell retired from the partnership in 2018 but continues to advise on several projects.

A ‘standout performer’, Torys LLP impresses with its ‘great understanding of business needs’ coupled with its ability to ‘leverage its commercial awareness to provide strategic business advice’. Balanced between regulatory and transactional expertise, the group is regarded as ‘a top firm for energy law in Toronto’ — it is also ‘very strong in Alberta’. The ‘strategic and knowledgeable’ Krista Hill jointly heads the team and is advising Ontario Power Generation (OPG) in relation to the Ontario Fair Hydro Plan Act, which gives OPG the authority to establish financing entities to raise debt to finance rate reductions, worth around C$1bn-C$2bn annually. Regulatory stalwart Charles Keizer jointly heads the department and, together with Crawford Smith, advised Alectra on its first post–merger rate application and request for incremental capital funding before the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). On the projects front, Keizer and the ‘smart, practical and extremely responsive’ Valerie Helbronner are advising Wataynikaneyap Power on the C$1.4bn development and financing of a high-voltage transmission line in northwestern Ontario. In Calgary, Luigi Cusano is a key contact and advises city-owned utility ENMAX on regulatory matters. Project finance head Jonathan Weisz is ‘extremely good in his field’. Named partners are based in Toronto unless otherwise stated.

Bennett Jones LLP has a prominent record in energy infrastructure deals — including generation, transmission and distribution projects — and it routinely acts on behalf of utilities, developers, lenders and regulatory boards. The department is particularly strong in Calgary, which is the seat of power and renewable energy group lead David Macaulay; he is representing key client ATCO Power Canada in commercial and contentious matters stemming from the government’s coal phase-out.  Loyola Keough, also based in Calgary, is highly regarded for energy regulation and is advising ATCO Electric on regulatory issues connected to the construction of its Eastern Alberta Transmission Line. David Bursey is a key contact in Vancouver.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s power practice is well represented nationally, with robust platforms in Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. M&A and project finance provide the bulk of instructions and the firm also houses a capable regulatory offering. Transactional specialist Peter Keohane is a key contact in Calgary and advised Suncor Energy on the sale of its 50% interest in the Ripley Wind Project joint venture to Acciona Wind Energy Canada. Scott Clarke, also based in Calgary, advised BluEarth Renewables on its C$600m acquisition of four renewable energy facilities from Veresen. On the regulatory side, Toronto’s Bryson Stokes advised the Ontario Ministry of Energy on the new Ontario Fair Hydro Act. Project finance specialistSĂ©bastien Vilder is recommended in Montreal.

‘Among the best globally for nuclear law’, Gowling WLG also shines in the renewable and conventional power areas. On the nuclear side, Ahab Abdel-Aziz is ‘forceful when needed and vastly experienced’; he acted for Rusatom Overseas on the negotiation of four contracts with the Nuclear Power Authority of Egypt to construct four nuclear reactors, worth over $30bn. Paul Harricks heads the energy group and advised Entegrus on the acquisition of unregulated fibre assets and the acquisition and merger of two regulated electricity distributors. On the regulatory side, Ian Mondrow advised Entegrus Powerlines on various matters. Other senior names include Paul Murphy (‘a standout global lawyer on nuclear financing issues’), renewable energy lead Thomas Timmins and Calgary-based regulatory expert James Smellie. Named partners are based in Toronto unless otherwise stated.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s comprehensive national practice benefits from experienced teams in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. The firm’s sector focus is equally broad, with conventional power, renewable energy and climate change all notable areas of expertise. On the transactional front, Ottawa-based Andrew Pritchard advised a hydroelectricy client on various acquisitions in Canada and the US. In Calgary, David A. Eeles and John P. Carleton are acting for an electric system operator a major renewable electricity procurement program. In another regulatory highlight, Montreal partners Éric Dunberry and Marie-Christine Hivon are advising a hydroelectricy client on regulatory applications. In Vancouver, Matthew D. Keen is a ‘rising star’.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s power practice, which is active across the gamut of commercial, financing, corporate and regulatory matters, ‘ranks among the best in Ontario’, according to some. It also has an increasingly strong presence in Calgary, which was further strengthened by the arrival of Craig Spurn from McCarthy TĂ©trault. Toronto-based Rocco Sebastiano heads the department and is advising Bruce Power on the C$13bn Bruce Power Major Component Replacement Program, as part of the refurbishment of the Bruce Power Nuclear Generating Station. Toronto’s Jacob Sadikman ‘knows the power sector inside out’ and advised TransCanada on the C$540m sale of its Ontario solar portfolio to Axium Infinity Solar LP. Richard King, also in Toronto, is recommended for regulatory issues and led the regulatory advice to Hydro One in its $6.7bn acquisition of Avista.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP’s group, which is ‘among the best for complex commercial and finance matters’, is distinguished by its ‘strong expertise and very talented lawyers’. In particular, Toronto-based Nicholas Williams combines ‘incredibly deep experience’ with ‘excellent knowledge of the electricity industry’; he and Montreal’s Franziska Ruf advised PSP Investments on several strategic initiatives with Pattern Energy Group, including the acquisition of a 9.9% interest in Pattern Energy. Toronto-based environmental specialist Sarah Powell is active on the regulatory side.

The ‘good and solid team’ at Dentons ‘works seamlessly across global markets’. In an example of its cross-border capability, the Canadian energy department (with a team including Calgary-based M&A co-head William Jenkins, Toronto-based power lead Vivek Bakshi and Calgary’s David Lefebvre) acted alongside the Berlin and Los Angeles offices to advise Enbridge on the C$1.7bn sale of a 49% interest in certain North American power assets and a 49% interest in two German offshore wind projects to CPPIB. On the regulatory front, Calgary partners Bernard J Roth and Laura K. Estep are ‘experienced counsel’.

FASKEN’s national energy group is led jointly by Ron Ezekiel and AndrĂ© Turmel from Vancouver and Montreal respectively. The team also draws upon the senior expertise of energy regulatory expert and managing partner Peter Feldberg, who splits his time between Calgary and Toronto. Feldberg, together with Vancouver’s Robert Lonergan, is advising BC Hydro on the regulatory and Aboriginal law aspects of its flagship Site C Clean Energy Project. On the transactional side, Ezekiel advised Teck on the C$1.2bn sale and leaseback of a partial interest in a hydroelectric facility to a regulated utility.

Vancouver-headquartered Lawson Lundell LLP is best known for its prominent record in regulatory matters and it also brings to bear a robust record in transactional work. In a recent example of the latter, energy and environmental specialist Lana Shipley advised BC Hydro on the acquisition of Teck’s C$1.2bn interest in the Waneta Hydroelectric Generating Facility. Senior counsel Chris Sanderson QC remains a sought-after name in the regulatory space and litigator Jeff Christian is also highly regarded.

Toronto firm Aird & Berlis LLP attracts strong praise for its ‘excellent commercial expertise’, with Ron Clark highlighted as a ‘leader in his field’. The department also draws upon the specialist experience of litigators Fred Cass and Dennis O’Leary, who together chair the energy group.

Energy and infrastructure are key pillars of Lavery, de Billy’s offering and the firm possesses a broad practice, with robust skill sets in project development, project finance, joint ventures and M&A. Montreal-based Dominique BĂ©lisle is recommended for project development and financing.


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