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Canada > Technology > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

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Leading lawyers

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Next generation lawyers

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    • Jamie Firsten - Goodmans

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Strong in all areas’, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s ‘premier technology practice’ is ‘at the forefront of developing industry trends’, say clients. The team excels across the full spread of M&A, outsourcing and regulatory matters and clients include major users of technology, developers, IT vendors and e-businesses. In a headline piece of M&A, Toronto-based department co-chair Christine Ing (‘great commercial mindset’) acted for Suncor Energy on the technology aspects of the sale of its Petro-Canada Lubricants business to HollyFrontier. In other headline matters, the firm advised Cognizant Technology Solutions on its acquisition of Idea Couture and assisted Imperva on the Canadian aspects of its acquisition of data masking company Camouflage Software. Montreal-based national co-lead Sunny Handa is an ‘industry expert’ and recently advised Pokémon Company International on privacy issues. Other representative clients include TD Bank, Evok Innovations Tech Fund and XO Communication.

McCarthy Tétrault’s ‘pre-eminent senior partners’, ‘deep national bench’ and ‘strong experience in landmark cases’ mark the firm as a ‘clear market leader’, according to many. Particular praise is reserved for Toronto-based Barry Sookman, who is acclaimed as ‘Canada’s standout IT specialist’; he played a lead role in the firm’s advice to a group of interveners (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Music Canada, Canadian Publishers’ Council, Association of Canadian Publishers, International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, International Confederation of Music Publishers, and the Worldwide Independent Network) in a precedent-setting case ordering a search provider to de-list websites from search indexes. In another highlight piece of litigation, Sookman and Montreal-based national IT lead Charles Morgan represented Académie de gestion Compu-Finder in defending a notice of violation for breaking Canada’s new anti-spam law and also in challenging the constitutionality of the new law. Among its transactional matters, Toronto-based George Takach (‘extremely knowledgeable and experienced’) advises Constellation Software on M&A and corporate finance matters. On the commercial side, Vancouver’s David Crane recently acted for the Province of British Columbia (Ministry of Finance) in the procurement of application management services.

The diverse practice at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP has a broad industry focus, which encompasses IT and outsourcing transactions, public policy issues, emerging companies, and privacy and data management. Department co-chair Wendy Gross (‘creative and client-focused’) is particularly sought after for outsourcing matters and recently advised Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation on a competitive procurement for the outsourcing of its IT systems to Accenture. In another headline procurement, Simon Hodgett advised the Toronto Transit Commission on a request for proposal process, and on the subsequent negotiation of a multi-year contract, for the procurement and ongoing maintenance of a computer-aided dispatch and automatic vehicle location system. Among its highlight M&A deals in this space, Chad Bayne acted for Hootsuite Media, a platform for managing social media, in several transactions over the past year, including its acquisitions of AdEspresso and Sales Prodigy. Group co-chair Michael Fekete advised the Information Technology Association of Canada on several policy matters, including the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s consent consultation. Other representative clients include Microsoft, Facebook and LinkedIn. All named partners are based in Toronto.

Toronto boutique Deeth Williams Wall LLP specializes in IT and IP law and brings to bear strong expertise in e-commerce, outsourcing, M&A, privacy matters and anti-spam regulations. High-profile founding partner Amy-Lynne Williams has a ‘wealth of knowledge in the technology sector’ and represents producers and users of IT in a wide scope of issues, with strong showings in outsourcing and electronic payment agreements. Richard Austin is also highly active in the area. In 2017, founding partner Michael Erdle retired from practice.

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP’s robust IT offering spans outsourcing, M&A, data protection, IT security and energy technologies. Toronto-based John Beardwood represented Canada Health Infoway, a not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government, in the procurement of a provider to develop and operate national e-prescribing solution, PrescribeIT. On the contentious side, he is defending Netflix and Spotify in a large consumer class action that challenges a fundamental aspect of how some companies contract online. In Vancouver, Karam Bayrakal advised Rubikloud Technologies on its negotiations with AS Watson to implement its Rubicore product.

The ‘top-notch team’ at Goodmans impresses with its ‘practical advice that is grounded in business reality’. Richard Corley chairs the outsourcing and cleantech groups and possesses ‘deep knowledge of both the industry and the technology’; he advised Ontario Lottery and Gaming on the IT and outsourcing components of its lottery terminal replacement project and its lottery player platform project. Allan Goodman jointly chairs the technology group and, alongside Grant McGlaughlin, advised HomeAdvisor on its acquisition of Toronto-based HomeStars. Litigator and group co-chair Peter Ruby advised Trader Corp, the operator of the website, on a claim against competing website operator CarGurus. In 2017, the firm hired ‘true business partner and valuable counsel’ Jamie Firsten from Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP.

Bennett Jones LLP has strong expertise in outsourcing, procurement, e-commerce and development matters, and also regularly handles M&A and corporate finance transactions in the technology sphere. Toronto-based Barry Reiter leads the technology, media and entertainment group and advised Halogen Software on its C$293m acquisition by Vector Capital. Calgary-based Martin Kratz QC leads the anti-spam practice and is also recommended.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP advised on a string of significant procurements over the past year on behalf of both public and private sector clients, and it also advises on M&A, licensing and contentious matters. Toronto¬¬¬¬-based group lead Mark Fecenko has a strong track record in advising on healthcare-related procurements; he recently advised the Hospital for Sick Children on the procurement and implementation of a hospital information system. St Joseph’s Health System and Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre are also representative clients.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s national team, which is led from Toronto by Robert Percival, stands out for outsourcings, technology licensing and corporate finance matters. Toronto-based Michael Caruso advised start-up Amgine Technologies on its partnership arrangement with American Express. Other notable clients include CGI Group, Desjardins Group and Enabil Solutions.

Torys has experience across a wide scope of technology issues, but had a particularly strong showing in the fintech sector over the past year. Recent highlights include Edward Fan representing Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in negotiating an outsourcing arrangement with Tata Consultancy Services. Technology contracting head Adam Armstrong and payments and cards co-chair Joel Ramsey are the key contacts.

Professional, organized and very responsive’, Baker McKenzie is valued for its ability to ‘advise on matters outside of the specific parameters of the project undertaken’. Group head Theo Ling is ‘very knowledgeable on data privacy’ and regularly acts for major financial institutions and multinational companies on data protection and outsourcing issues.

Among Gowling WLG’s recent matters, Calgary-based corporate partner Stuart Olley advised Hon Hai Precision Industry on the $60m acquisition by its subsidiary Foxconn Technology Group of Smart Technologies. In 2017, the Toronto team was boosted by the arrival of Parna Sabet-Stephenson from Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP.

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