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Index of tables

  1. Energy: oil and gas
  2. Leading lawyers
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Leading lawyers

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

Top tier for energy-related work’, Bennett Jones LLPcannot be beat in regulatory matters’ and also has ‘very good energy transactions capability’ – its ‘first-class strength in litigation’ is also commended. On the transactional side, Patrick Maguire has a ‘wide range of knowledge and experience in all aspects of energy law’; he advised Devon Energy on the C$1.4bn sale of its 50% ownership interest in Access Pipeline to Wolf Midstream. In another headline deal, David Spencer advised Columbia Pipeline Group on the local aspects of its $13bn sale to TransCanada. Up-and-coming partner Kieran Ryan had a banner year, which included advising Penn West Petroleum on the C$975m sale of oil assets to Teine Energy. Oil and gas head Vivek Warrier (‘very solid energy lawyer’), Robert Booth QC and Donald Greenfield QC are also key dealmakers. On the regulatory side, Brad Gilmour advised Tervita on the regulatory aspects of its court-approved plan of arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA). Other recommended regulatory specialists are Lawrence Smith QC and Loyola Keough.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s generous national and international network combines with its expert capability in regulatory and transactional matters to distinguish it as a ‘one-stop shop for oil and gas matters’. Lawyers are ‘a cut above’, with their ‘vast industry knowledge’ and ‘responsive service’ particularly prized by clients. On the transactional side, Mungo Hardwicke-Brown is ‘extremely experienced’ and acted for Kinder Morgan in the C$500m sale of a 50% ownership interest in the Utopia Pipeline Project to Riverstone Investment Group. Oil and gas head Ben Rogers is also highly regarded and advised Imperial Oil on the C$2.8m sale of 497 Esso retail stations in Canada. Rogers was also part of the team, under corporate partner Ross Bentley, who acted for Cenovus Energy in its mammoth C$17.7bn acquisition of natural gas assets from ConocoPhillips, notable for being the largest energy asset acquisition ever undertaken in Canada. Kemm Yates QC is highly sought after for regulatory work and is advising TransCanada PipeLines and Energy East Pipeline on regulatory matters concerning the Energy East and Eastern Mainline pipeline projects. Transactional heavyweight Michael Laffin QC and regulatory specialist Lars Olthafer are also key contacts.

Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP remains ‘at the forefront of energy deals in Canada’ and ‘continues to track that significant bit ahead of its peers’, according to some. The Calgary firm’s ‘unrivalled strength in transactional oil and gas’ is particularly lauded by clients, but it also fields a standalone energy litigation practice that handles a wide range of environmental litigation, royalty disputes, Aboriginal law matters and operating disputes. Industry specialist Alicia Quesnel is a ‘genuine force in the market’ and acted for Murphy Oil Canada in its C$937m sale of a 5% non-operated stake in the Syncrude oil sands joint venture to Suncor Energy. Jody Wivcharuk had a strong year and advised ARC Resources on the C$700m disposition of strategic light oil assets in southeast Saskatchewan to Spartan Energy. In another highlight deal, corporate partner William Maslechko advised Tourmaline Oil on its C$1.3bn acquisition of strategic assets from Shell Canada. The group also benefits from the expertise of transactional ‘market-leader’ John Cuthbertson QC and rising star Carolyn Wright.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s oil and gas department is enviably balanced between transactional and regulatory strength, fielding some of the market’s leading names on both sides of the practice. On the transactional side, energy co-chair Janice Buckingham is a high-profile figure in the market and alongside senior partner Robert Desbarats QC advised Athabasca Oil Corporation on the C$582m acquisition of thermal oil assets from Statoil Canada. Simon Baines is also recommended for energy deals and advised Shell Canada on its C$1.3bn sale of strategic assets to Tourmaline Oil. On the regulatory side, ‘superior’ regulatory specialist Shawn Denstedt QC is ‘beyond compare’; he and Terri-Lee Oleniuk are representing Kinder Morgan Canada in regulatory, environmental and Aboriginal law matters concerning the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. Martin Ignasiak is also recommended for regulatory work and is advising Teck Resources on its Frontier oil sands project.

Outstanding law firm and valued business partnerDentons has a ‘a depth in energy matters that you can rely on’. In particular, regulatory specialist Bernard Roth is ‘very knowledgeable and responsive’; he is advising Enbridge on all regulatory issues relating to the development of the C$7.9bn Northern Gateway Pipelines project. On the transactional side, newer partner George Antonopoulosunderstands business needs and the industry’ and advised Enbridge on the C$1bn sale of its assets in the South Prairie region to Tundra Energy. Michael Hurst heads the department and is also recommended for energy deals. Douglas Crowther QC recently retired, while Cameron Hughes moved to McCarthy Tétrault.

Up there with the best’, Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘excellent group’ scores highly for its ‘great communication skills’ and ‘pragmatic approach’. The team’s skill set in the regulatory area really impresses, with Don Davies QC singled out as an ‘industry expert on regulatory matters, particularly before the National Energy Board (NEB)’. Davies recently represented several prospective shippers before the NEB in regulatory proceedings relating to the Trans Mountain expansion project. Among its highlight transactions, Wayne Fedun advised Paramount Resources on its C$2.1bn sale to Seven Generations Energy, while Richard Borden advised Wolf Midstream on its C$1.4bn acquisition of a 50% interest in the Access Pipeline system from Devon Energy. Justin Ferrara (‘strong commercial instincts’) and Robert Engbloom QC (‘excellent board presence and strong grounding in M&A’) are also recommended for energy deals.

Stikeman Elliott LLP’s recent investment in its oil and gas practice continued in 2016 with the hire of transactional expert Trent Mercier from Norton Rose Fulbright. Chrysten Perry, who joined from Norton Rose Fulbright in 2015, jointly leads the energy group and is also highly regarded for oil and gas deals; she advised Teine Energy on its C$975m acquisition of oil assets from Penn West Petroleum. Also active in this space is Frederick Erickson, who recently advised Cheung Kong Infrastructure and Power Assets Holdings in their C$1.7bn acquisition of a 65% interest in certain oil assets from Husky Energy. Keith Miller is recommended for regulatory matters.

Torys climbs a tier on the back of its increasing involvement top-flight oil and gas mandates. In a major headline, Derek Flaman advised Husky Energy on its C$1.7bn sale of a 65% interest in certain midstream assets to Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings and Power Assets Holdings. Chris Christopher also had a strong year and acted for Inter Pipeline in its C$1.3bn acquisition of the Canadian natural gas liquids midstream business from Williams and also on its $527.5m acquisition of the remaining 15% interest in the Cold Lake pipeline system from Canadian Natural Resources. Calgary office head Ron Deyholos is also recommended.

Led from Calgary, with significant capacity in Edmonton and Vancouver, DLA Piper (Canada) LLP’s oil and gas practice acts for a wide range of exploration and production players, oilfield service companies and other stakeholders in a broad range of regulatory and transactional matters. Brian Bidyk heads the team and advised Mount Bastion on its C$148m acquisition of oil and gas properties in Northern Alberta from Penn West Petroleum.

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP specialises in advising on the regulatory, commercial, environmental and Aboriginal law aspects of major pipeline projects, but it also handles corporate finance matters. Vancouver-based Paul Wilson chairs the energy group and alongside regulatory expert Peter Feldberg, who splits his time between Calgary and Toronto, advised TransCanada on the environmental, permitting and Aboriginal law aspects of its C$5bn Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project.

M&A powerhouse McCarthy Tétrault recently bolstered its ranks in this area with the hire of Cameron Hughes from Dentons. Craig Spurn heads the practice and has a strong profile in energy deals. The group also benefits from the senior expertise of corporate finance specialist John Osler QC, who advised Enbridge on its C$37bn acquisition of Spectra Energy. Gordon Nettleton jointly leads the environmental, regulatory and Aboriginal law group and is ‘among the best’.

Although Borden Ladner Gervais LLP is better known for its power prowess, the firm does house a capable regulatory practice on the oil and gas side, with litigator Randall Block QC regarded as a market leader. Block represented ConocoPhillips in a significant environmental liability case. The group has also recently undertaken work for Arsenal Energy, Devon Energy and Repsol.

At Gowling WLG, Lorne Rollheiser had a busy year; highlights included advising Plains Midstream Canada on its C$200m acquisition of Westcoast Energy’s ownership interest in Spectra Energy’s Canadian natural gas liquids business. On the regulatory side, natural resources head John Cusano and Stuart Olley advised Tundra Energy Marketing on the regulatory aspects of its acquisition of the South East Saskatchewan Pipeline System from an affiliate of Enbridge Income Fund.

Lawson Lundell LLP’s oil and gas practice is split mainly between its Calgary and Vancouver offices and packs a punch in energy regulation – although it also handles exploration, M&A and operational matters. Vancouver-based senior counsel Chris Sanderson QC is recommended for regulatory matters, and Calgary’s Jeff Scobie is a key contact on the transactional side.

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