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Widely regarded as ‘the jewel in the firm’s crown’, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP’s much-admired power practice maintains its position at the top of the market due to its ‘very strong and deep team’ and its ‘extremely broad industry knowledge, which allows it to hit the ground running on even very complex files’. Among the names to note, Toronto-based national lead Linda Bertoldi is a ‘leading energy lawyer in Canada’ and shows a ‘very high level of expertise in energy and transactional matters’. Bertoldi, Toronto-based electricity co-chair Mark Rodger and the corporate group advised Enersource on its multibillion-dollar merger with Horizon Utilities and PowerStream to create Alectra, and on Alectra’s subsequent acquisition of Hydro One Brampton Networks. Shane Freitag jointly chairs the Toronto electricity practice and is an ‘effective problem solver’; he advised the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) on its electricity agreement with Hydro-Québec, which notably marked the largest contract since market deregulation. In Calgary, Kent Howie advised Northwest Territories Power Corporation on the acquisition of a municipal electric distribution system. Vancouver-based transactional partner Robert Shouldice and Calgary-based regulatory expert Randall Block QC are also recommended.

McCarthy Tétrault’s power group leverages the firm’s leading corporate practice in handling sophisticated power deals across the country, while on the regulatory side wholesale market governance is a sweet spot. In a highlight example of the firm’s ability to combine top-tier corporate and regulatory expertise, David Lever (‘first port of call for an energy deal’) and energy regulation head George Vegh (‘simply the best in his field’) – both Toronto based – advised TransAlta on its agreement with the Government of Alberta over transition payments for the cessation of coal-fired emissions from its Keephills 3, Genesee 3 and Sheerness coal-fired plants – it also advised on their agreement to collaborate on the development of a new policy framework. Also in Toronto, national power lead Seán O’Neill advised Samsung Renewable Energy on the C$195.8m sale of its equity interest in the K2 Wind Project to a consortium composed of Axium Infrastructure, Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board and Manulife Financial. The department also benefits from the experience of project finance specialist Marc Dorion Ad E, who splits his time between Montreal and Quebec City, and Toronto-based transactional specialist Michael Weizman.

Stikeman Elliott LLP’s power practice is active in advising clients from all spheres of the power industry on the full spread of transactional, regulatory and contentious work. Toronto-based regulatory expert Glenn Zacher jointly heads the national power practice and is highly regarded in the market; he successfully acted for ITC Holdings in obtaining approval for its C$1bn HVDC submarine transmission cable under Lake Erie, which will connect the Ontario IESO market to the US. Toronto-based Jim Harbell heads the project development and finance group and advised Horizon Holdings on its merger with PowerStream and Enersource to form Alectra, and on Alectra’s subsequent acquisition of Hydro One Brampton Networks – rising star Matt Cameron also played a key role in that work. Also in Toronto, Eric Bremermann advised a consortium of investors (led by Axium Infrastructure) on the acquisition of a one-third interest in the K2 Wind Project. In Montreal, Maxime Turcotte advised Boralex on its C$238.5m acquisition of Enercon Canada’s interest in the Niagara Region Wind Farm project. Other key partners include Montreal’s Erik Richer La Flèche and Calgary-based Keith Miller.

Torys’ houses a ‘market-leading’ power practice comprising lawyers who are ‘immersed in the industry’ and ‘efficient, responsive and highly business savvy’. In particular, infrastructure and energy co-head Krista Hill is a ‘go-to specialist for energy deals’, with her ‘impressive market knowledge’ and ‘strong communication skills’ finding favour with clients. Hill recently acted for Texas Transmission Holdings in its $2.4bn acquisition by NextEra Energy. Hill also teamed up with Valerie Helbronner to advise Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners on its partnership arrangements with Beothuk Energy concerning the development, construction and financing of offshore wind energy projects in Canada. High-profile regulatory specialist Charles Keizer jointly leads the national practice and with litigator Crawford Smith is representing Ontario Power Generation in its payment amounts application to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) for incentive rates for its nuclear and hydroelectric businesses; worth over C$6bn, this work represents the largest rate proceeding ever in Ontario. In Calgary, Luigi Cusano is recommended for regulatory matters and provides ongoing advice to ENMAX on its power business interests, including generation and distribution issues. Jonathan Weisz, who is widely regarded as a leader in project finance matters, is also recommended. All named partners are based in Toronto except where otherwise stated.

Although better known for its top-tier strength in oil and gas matters, Bennett Jones LLP fields a ‘very good power regulatory group’ and is routinely involved in power deals. On the transactional side, Calgary-based department co-lead David Macaulay is an ‘extremely good practitioner with excellent industry knowledge’; he acted for ATCO Power Canada in the development of a cogeneration facility to supply steam and electricity to Inter Pipeline Propylene ¬¬– he also advised ATCO on its negotiations with the government concerning coal phase-out. In Toronto, national co-lead Michael Barrett is ‘very thoughtful and knowledgeable’ and advised Coronal Group on the project financing of an Ontario-based solar energy electricity generating project. On the regulatory side, Calgary’s Loyola Keough is ‘utterly top-notch’ and is advising ATCO Electric on the construction of the C$1.8bn Eastern Alberta Line.

Among the top three power groups in Calgary’, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s national practice also has well-staffed platforms in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Among its recent transactional highlights, Toronto-based ‘up-and-coming’ partner Mark Johnson led the firm’s advice to Ontario Power Generation in the C$12.8bn refurbishment of the Darlington Nuclear Generation Station. In Montreal, project finance specialist Sébastien Vilder acted for the lenders in the C$825.5m project financing of the Niagara Region Wind Farm project. Calgary’s Peter Keohane and Toronto-based Bryson Stokes are also key contacts and are both recommended for transactional work. On the regulatory side, Calgary-based energy, environmental and Aboriginal law expert Sandy Carpenter is highly sought after.

Clients ‘unreservedly recommendGowling WLG’s power practice and highlight its lawyers ‘promptness to contribute and participate’ as well as their ‘strong understanding of the business side of large-scale megaprojects’. The department has a diverse focus but it possesses particularly strong skill sets in nuclear law, regulatory matters and renewable energy projects. Among its most high-profile mandates, Toronto-based global nuclear lead Ahab Abdel-Aziz advised Rosatom on the construction of the $30bn Ed Dabaa nuclear power plant in Egypt. On the M&A side, Toronto’s Robert Hull acted for PowerStream in its combination with Enersource and Horizon Utilities and on the combined company’s acquisition of Hydro One Brampton. Toronto-based Paul Murphy is ‘amply experienced and very knowledgeable about nuclear power generation’ and advised the Parliament of South Australia on the region’s possible development of an international repository for nuclear waste. Toronto-based Paul Harricks and Calgary-based senior specialist James Smellie are also recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s power group shines in regulatory matters, but the national practice also has a solid track record in energy M&A and corporate finance deals. In a highlight example of its strength in the regulatory area, Calgary partners David Eeles and John Carleton were appointed to advise the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) on the design and implementation of a 5,000MW renewable electricity procurement program. The same team is also advising the AESO on the C$1.6bn implementation of the Fort McMurray West transmission project. In Montreal, senior partner Éric Dunberry and Marie-Christine Hivon represented Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie in an administrative review before the Quebec Energy Board. Following its merger with Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP, the department now benefits from a platform in Vancouver, where Matthew Keen and Brian Wallace QC are recommended for regulatory issues.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP continues to strengthen its profile in the power area, with its ‘deep bench, from junior to senior level’ and ‘strong industry knowledge’ striking the right note with clients. Toronto-based department chair Rocco Sebastiano is a dominant force in power deals and is representing Bruce Power in the Major Component Replacement Program, as part of the refurbishment of the Bruce Power Nuclear Generating Station. Toronto-based Richard King is the key contact for regulatory work and along with Sebastiano advised the IESO on the introduction of a cap-and-trade program in Ontario to negotiate amendments to its energy supply contracts with gas-fired generators in the province. Newer partner Elliot Smith, also in Toronto, is leading the firm’s advice to Northland Power in several matters, including the major equipment supply and installation agreements for the $4.2bn Project Gemini offshore wind farm.

One of the best firms from a project finance perspective’, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP has ‘excellent knowledge of the sector’ and ‘excels in large energy infrastructure projects’. Nicholas Williams is a key contact and receives rave reviews from clients for being ‘quick at understanding complex issues’ and for ‘going beyond legal analysis to provide experienced business judgment’. Williams acted for Manulife in several matters over the past year, including the C$60m project financing of ten solar projects. Sarah Powell and Alexandria Pike provide ‘strong environmental support’.

Dentons’ ‘very solid power group’ scores highly for its ‘good depth and ability to meet tight timelines’. In Vancouver, national infrastructure co-lead John Haythorne is advising BC Hydro on a turbine and generators contract as part of the Site C Clean Energy Project. In Montreal, newly promoted partner Charles Côté-Lépine acted for EDF EN Canada in the sale of a 42.5% stake in the Rivière-du-Moulin wind project to the DIM Wind consortium. Key partner Douglas Crowther QC retired in 2017.

Insightful and responsive’, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP scores highly for its ‘in-depth industry knowledge’ and ‘significant experience in practicing regulatory law in Canada’- the large national group also has expertise in power-related M&A, project finance and construction. Calgary-based firm managing partner Peter Feldberg is an expert in regulatory law and alongside Vancouver-based environmental specialist Robert Lonergan advised BC Hydro on environmental assessment issues relating to its Site C Clean Energy Project.

Widely regarded as a leader in Quebec, Lavery, de Billy’s power practice is particularly well known for its strength in project finance. Montreal-based Dominique Bélisle jointly heads the national team and advised the Manulife-led lending syndicate (as co-counsel with Torys) on the Quebec aspects of the C$263m project financing of the Mont Sainte-Marguerite wind farm project. Montreal-based Édith Jacques co-leads the team.

Lawson Lundell LLP’s prominent regulatory expertise is supported by robust capability in transactional matters, resulting in a solid all-round practice that routinely advises utilities, marketers, government agencies and power producers on regulatory and commercial issues. Regulatory specialist Chris Sanderson QC is widely admired as a leader in his field, and Gordon Craig is a key contact for commercial transactions – both are based in Vancouver.

Power is a mainstay at Toronto-based Aird & Berlis LLP and the firm has a strong practice that spans M&A, infrastructure, real estate and regulatory matters. Among the names to note, Ron Clark has an eminent reputation for power transactions, and Fred Cass is highly regarded for energy regulation.

Goodmans has an active power practice, with a strong focus on renewable energy projects and the cleantech sector. Daniel Gormley heads the department and recently advised Enwave Energy on its acquisition of Veresen’s district energy businesses in London and Prince Edward Island.

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