The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Fasken

THE STOCK EXCHANGE TOWER, PO BOX 242, SUITE 3700, 800 VICTORIA SQUARE, MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC H4Z 1E9, CANADA
Tel:
Work +1 514 397 7400
Fax:
Fax +1 514 397 7600
Email:
Web:
www.fasken.com

Canada

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

FASKEN

FASKEN is adept at advising both lenders and borrowers on banking and finance transactions, and has leading Canadian banks (it is on the panel of four of the six largest banks in the country), insurance companies and major corporate and institutional borrowers all featuring among its key clients. The team’s ‘valuable expertise’ and ‘very high level of service’ strike the right note with sources, who rank it ‘among the top finance teams in the country’. In Toronto, John Torrey is a high-profile name and ‘understands business needs very well’; he advised BMO, as agent and lead arranger, and the lending syndicate of banks on a $1bn senior secured credit agreement with subsidiaries of Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund to fund its acquisition of Canexus. In a headline Montreal office highlight, Marc Novello acted for the syndicate of banks, co-led by CIBC, RBC, BMO Capital Markets and National Bank Financial Markets, on the $4bn financing of CDP Financial. Also in Montreal, ‘consistent and responsive’ department co-lead Angela Onesi, together with FĂ©lix Gutierrez, advised Nalcor Energy on the C$7.9bn project financing of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project. The ‘very experienced’ Jon Holmstrom and regulatory specialist Stephen Clark are also recommended.

Leading individuals

John Torrey - FASKEN

Jon Holmstrom - FASKEN

Stephen Clark - FASKEN

[back to top]

Business immigration
Business immigration - ranked: tier 3

FASKEN

FASKEN’s practice, which acts for a spread of clients from start-ups through to multinational corporations, handles a significant volume of temporary work permits. It also has strong experience in labour market impact assessments, permanent residence and Canadian citizenship issues, and bulk work permit applications. Toronto-based Ralph Nero heads a national group that also includes Gilda Villaran in Montreal.

[back to top]

Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 2

FASKEN

FASKEN’s national practice impresses with its relatively even split between Ontario and Quebec highlights — it also has sizeable platforms in Alberta and British Columbia. In Montreal, regional securities head Jean-Pierre Chamberland advised the dealers on several notes offerings by Alimentation Couche-Tard in the US and Canada, including a C$700m issuance. In Toronto, Alex Nikolic and Jon Levin advised TMX Group on a C$300m private placement of debentures. The firm was also involved in several matters in the newly liberalized cannabis sector, including advising GMP Securities, as lead underwriter, on MedReleaf’s C$100.7m IPO — Toronto’s Rubin Rapuch led that work.

[back to top]

Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 3

FASKEN

FASKEN’s national practice is led jointly from Toronto by Huy Do and seasoned specialist Anthony Baldanza, and also has robust platforms in Montreal and Vancouver. On the transactional side, Baldanza, Do and ‘rising star’ Antonio Di Domenico advised BASF on its €5.9bn acquisition of significant parts of Bayer’s seed and non-selective herbicide businesses. On the contentious side, it continues to represent RBC in litigation concerning the alleged overcharging of interchange fees.

Leading individuals

Anthony Baldanza - FASKEN

Next Generation Partners

Antonio Di Domenico - FASKEN

[back to top]

Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 2

FASKEN

FASKEN continues to grow its already extensive national network, with its platforms in Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto and Vancouver now joined by a new office in Surrey, British Columbia. The firm, which has a prominent reputation globally for its mining practice, also draws upon international offices in Beijing, London and Johannesburg. In Toronto, Jon Levin is highly sought after for M&A and advised OneREIT, and the OneREIT Special Committee, on its C$1.1bn privatization transaction. On the mining side, global mining head John Turner partnered with Bradley Freelan to advise Richmont Mines on its C$770m acquisition by Alamos Gold. In Montreal, Michel Boislard ('very capable and great to work with’), Diane Bertrand and Marie-JosĂ©e Neveu advised Parkland Fuel on its acquisition of over 800 gas stations from Alimentation Couche-Tard. Among the Vancouver office’s highlights, Ally Bharmal and Iain Mant advised Daiya Foods on its C$405m acquisition by Otsuka Pharmaceutical.

Leading individuals

Jon Levin - FASKEN

[back to top]

Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution: Alberta - ranked: tier 4

FASKEN

Dispute resolution: British Columbia - ranked: tier 1

FASKEN

Dispute resolution: Ontario - ranked: tier 3

FASKEN

Dispute resolution: Quebec - ranked: tier 3

FASKEN

FASKEN, which houses a ‘deep and diverse’ litigation practice, routinely handles class actions, administrative and public law cases, corporate and securities litigation, arbitration and white-collar crime. Considered ‘top-tier in Vancouver’, which is the seat of national practice head Geoffrey Cowper QC (‘a very senior litigator who excels on high-profile cases’), the group also has effective platforms in Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City, as well as a smaller presence in Calgary. Among its recent cases, Vancouver’s Mark Andrews QC defended a utility on several environmental and construction claims. The ‘very strong’ Tracey Cohen QC is also noted in Vancouver. In Toronto, Laura Cooper defended a professional services company in a multibillion-dollar class action. Robert Harrison and Gerald Ranking are also recommended in Toronto, while Martin Sheehan and Marc-AndrĂ© Fabien Ad E are key contacts in Montreal.

Leading individuals: Dispute resolution: British Columbia

Mark Andrews QC - FASKEN

[back to top]

Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 2

FASKEN

FASKEN’s group impresses with its ‘broad practice scope’ and ‘extensive national coverage’. The firm’s signature strength in mining matters ensures it is particularly sought after for environmental issues in that sphere but it also packs a punch in the energy, real estate, transportation, aquaculture and manufacturing sectors. Toronto-based Rosalind Cooper is a ‘force in the market’ and successfully defended CP Rail in a prosecution under the Environmental Protection Act concerning an alleged failure to report a spill. In Vancouver, Kevin O’Callaghan represented fish farming company, Cermaq Canada, in a court challenge to the environmental regulations relating to the transfer of fish. Vancouver-based energy specialist Ron Ezekiel and ‘very strong’ Montreal-based environmental expert Pierre-Olivier Charlebois are also key contacts.

Leading individuals

Rosalind Cooper - FASKEN

[back to top]

Indigenous law
Indigenous law - ranked: tier 1

FASKEN

FASKEN possesses a genuinely national indigenous law practice, which benefits from sizeable platforms in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Standing out as one of the most comprehensive practices in the market, the group’s expertise spans energy, mining, forestry, real estate, transportation and aquaculture-related issues — it also routinely advises on the Aboriginal law aspects of due diligence matters. Vancouver-based counsel Charles Willms chairs the department and is widely admired as a leading authority in his field. The group also draws upon the senior experience of Vancouver-based litigator and practice group lead Kevin O’Callaghan, who is representing Encana in a case brought by Stoney Nakoda Nation regarding petroleum and natural gas rights that were originally transferred to Canadian Pacific Railway. Vancouver-based transactional specialist Amy Carruthers had a strong year, which included advising BC Hydro on various indigenous engagement matters related to its C$10bn Site C project. In Toronto, Tracy Pratt advised Detour Gold on Aboriginal law issues, and in Montreal Jean Gagné advised Agnico Eagle Mines on the Inuit Impact Benefits Agreement for the Meliadine mine project. Calgary-based rising star Brenden Hunter is also recommended and acted for AltaLink Management on several recent Aboriginal law matters.

Leading individuals

Charles Willms - FASKEN

Next Generation Partners

Brenden Hunter - FASKEN

[back to top]

Infrastructure and projects
Infrastructure and projects - ranked: tier 2

FASKEN

FASKEN’s national projects group, which spans the firm's Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal offices, is adept at advising lenders, developers, contractors and government bodies on infrastructure transactions.  Ella Plotkin leads the infrastructure and PPP group from Toronto and brings to bear a strong record in complex financings; she recently advised the lenders and bondholders on the CAMH Phase 1C redevelopment project. In another Toronto highlight, senior specialist Brian Kelsall and Thomas Barlow advised the Government of Canada and the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority on the ongoing Gordie Howe International Bridge project. David Little, who advised Quanta Services and Valard Construction LP on the Fort McMurray West 500-kV transmission project, is a key contact in Vancouver.

Leading individuals

Brian Kelsall - FASKEN

Ella Plotkin - FASKEN

[back to top]

Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 1

FASKEN

A ‘leading firm in the insurance area’, FASKEN scores highly for its ‘strong regulatory expertise’ and its ‘expansive national spread’. The group, which draws upon specialist partners in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, is led jointly from Toronto by senior financial services heavyweight Robert McDowell and ‘very high-level lawyer’ Koker Christensen; together, they advised Co-operators Life Insurance Company on the regulatory and transactional aspects of the merger of Credential, Qtrade and Northwest & Ethical Investments to create a major Canadian wealth management firm. In another headline transaction, McDowell advised Co-operators on the acquisition of the minority interest in CUMIS Group, which owns two insurance company subsidiaries, from Central 1 Credit Union. Aviva Canada, Swiss Re and Travelers are also on the department’s books. Montreal-based Sylvie Bourdeau is also active in the insurance regulation space.

Leading individuals

Robert McDowell - FASKEN

Next Generation Partners

Koker Christensen - FASKEN

[back to top]

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 4

FASKEN

FASKEN’s group — spread between British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec — is best known for its increasingly prominent patent litigation practice. Additionally, it advises clients on contentious and non-contentious trademark, copyright and design matters. Montreal-based global IP head Julie Desrosiers is noted for IP litigation and represented three newspaper publishers and CEDROM-SNi, the entity responsible for granting licences for the electronic use of the journalistic content published by the three publishers, in a copyright case. Montreal-based Marek Nitoslawski is also recommended.

[back to top]

International expertise
International expertise - ranked: tier 2

FASKEN

FASKEN’s mining prowess is supported by offices in several of the world’s key mining jurisdictions, namely London, Johannesburg and Beijing, which ensures it exerts considerable influence on the global mining front. In addition, the firm’s wider projects practice also has a strong international outlook. Based in Toronto, projects specialist Tanneke Heersche is highly regarded for her expertise in African markets. Toronto’s Brian Kelsall, who is admitted in Canada and the UK, is routinely engaged on infrastructure development and PPPs in the US and emerging markets.

Leading individuals

Tanneke Heersche - FASKEN

[back to top]

International trade
International trade - ranked: tier 3

FASKEN

FASKEN houses a sophisticated and comprehensive trade practice, which shines in trade remedies, anti-corruption matters and trade agreements. Montreal-based co-head Peter Kirby was nominated to preside over a hearing under the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) relating to a dispute between the Province of Alberta and Artisan Ales. Clifford Sosnow jointly leads the team from Ottawa.

Leading individuals

Clifford Sosnow - FASKEN

Peter Kirby - FASKEN

[back to top]

Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 1

FASKEN

FASKEN’s 100-lawyer strong national practice maintains four distinct sub-groups dedicated to federal, provincial, continental and international work and, within those areas, the team excels in all the key pillars of employment and labour law. The team’s litigation prowess particularly impresses and it secured a string of Supreme Court appearances over the past year; most notably, Montreal-based Louis Bernier Ad E represented the Quebec Attorney General in appealing a judgment invalidating certain provisions of the Quebec Pay Equity Act. Toronto-based senior partners Brian Burkett and Douglas Gilbert remain key figures in the practice and, alongside Toronto-based Karen Sargeant, provide ongoing advice to Air Canada on various strategic matters, including collective agreement arbitrations and labour relations board proceedings. The firm also provides ongoing labour advice to Canada Post — Burkett and Toronto-based John Craig lead that work. Other recommended names include StĂ©phane Fillion and Robert Dupont in Montreal, Ian Campbell and Brian Smeenk in Toronto, and Vancouver-based Kevin O’Neill QC.

Leading individuals

Brian Burkett - FASKEN

Douglas Gilbert - FASKEN

[back to top]

Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 2

FASKEN

FASKEN’s practice has a strong record in broadcasting-related issues, particularly on the regulatory side. Rogers is a key client and the firm provides ongoing advice on its pay-per-view sports agreements and other matters — Ottawa-based counsel Stephen Whitehead leads that work. In Montreal, Christian Leblanc advised a coalition of broadcasters in opposing Bell Canada’s attempt to overturn the CRTC’s Wholesale Code. In Toronto, Barbara Miller is a key contact for film financings and production and co-production agreements.

Leading individuals

Barbara Miller - FASKEN

[back to top]

Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 3

FASKEN

Over the past year, FASKEN has advised on several significant pensions-related disputes. Most notably, Montreal-based Dominique Monet represented the City of Montreal in litigation relating to the consolidation of pension plans. Peggy McCallum, who leads the national group, and Ross Gascho are also recommended — both are in Toronto.

[back to top]

Public procurement
Public procurement - ranked: tier 2

FASKEN

FASKEN shines in complex procurement litigation, such as Ottawa-based department co-head Peter Mantas’ advice to Bronson Consulting Group in a landmark case stemming from a cancelled procurement award. On the non-contentious side, Vancouver-based group co-lead David Little advised Interior Health Authority on the development of a new patient care tower at the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. Toronto-based trade specialist Clifford Sosnow is also noted.

Leading individuals

Peter Mantas - FASKEN

[back to top]

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 3

FASKEN

A ‘go-to firm for real estate in Quebec’, FASKEN’s national practice also has a strong presence in Ontario and British Columbia. Among the key contacts in Montreal, ‘real estate guru’ Richard Clare is ‘very hard to match from a business and strategic advice perspective’; he recently advised Magil Laurentian Realty Investments on a complex purchase and sale agreement. Montreal’s Nicolas Leblanc is also singled out as a ‘great talent’. In Toronto, seasoned specialist Martin Emmons and national group co-lead Andrea Centa advised LaSalle Investment Management and its related investment fund on the acquisition and financing of the Place Vertu shopping centre.

Leading individuals

Richard Clare - FASKEN

[back to top]

Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 3

FASKEN

FASKEN acts for all manner of stakeholders in restructuring and insolvency proceedings but is best known for its close links to accountants and lenders. Vancouver-based John Grieve QC is a high-profile figure in the market and is advising HSBC, the main operating lender, in Walton International Group’s CCAA restructuring. In a notable distressed M&A highlight, Toronto-based insolvency chair Stuart Brotman — ‘a regular presence on big files’ — acted for Sonar as the successful bidder in the sale solicitation process of Tricon Films and Television. The team also draws upon the experience of Toronto-based insolvency litigator Aubrey Kauffman and Vancouver-based Kibben Jackson.

Leading individuals

John Grieve QC - FASKEN

[back to top]

Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 4

FASKEN

The well-balanced tax group at FASKEN handles a broad mix of advisory, transactional and contentious matters, with strong skill sets in resource taxation and financial services-related work. In a highlight example of its mining sweet spot, Toronto-based group lead Christopher Steeves, together with Toronto’s Paul Casuccio, advised Orion Mine Finance on the tax aspects of the C$1.1bn sale of a precious metals portfolio to Osisko Gold Royalties. Alain Ranger is recommended in Montreal and advised Novacap and Caisse de dĂ©pĂŽt et placement du QuĂ©bec on their strategic investment in Pivotal Payment.

[back to top]

Technology
Technology - ranked: tier 2

FASKEN

An ‘outstanding practice that continues to improve’, FASKEN impresses with its ‘superior levels of service’ and ‘deep team that can cover a wide variety of technology issues’. Among its highlights, Toronto-based John Beardwood, noted for his ‘thorough knowledge of the law’, advised Canada Health Infoway on the first national e-prescribing solution, PrescribeIT. Andrew Alleyne, also in Toronto, advised a Canadian retail bank in a series of transactions with four different vendors relating to the development, hosting, security monitoring and colocation of a new digital platform. In Vancouver, the ‘excellent’ Karam Bayrakal advised 1QB Information Technologies on four collaboration agreements with Fujitsu. Other key names include Montreal-based Jean-Nicolas Delage and Toronto-based ‘up-and-comer’ Andrew Nunes, who garners rave reviews for his ‘excellent negotiation skills’.

Next Generation Partners

Andrew Nunes - FASKEN

Karam Bayrakal - FASKEN

[back to top]

Telecoms
Telecoms - ranked: tier 1

FASKEN

‘Deservedly top tier’, FASKEN’s communications group is an ‘undisputed leader in the regulatory telecoms space’ and has broad expertise relating to telecoms and broadcasting law. The ‘absolutely terrific’ practice also shines in corporate and commercial matters and draws on the firm's wider resources to provide supplementary strength in competition, finance, tax and IP, among other areas. Laurence Dunbar, based in Ottawa, is a globally renowned telecoms expert and recently advised the Jamaican telecoms regulator (the Office of Utility Regulation) on two major regulatory projects. He also advised Rogers Communications Canada on a CRTC public proceeding concerning the implementation of a new broadband internet subsidy scheme. Ottawa-based counsel Stephen Whitehead has ‘very deep knowledge of the telecoms industry’ and provides ongoing advice to Distributel on its corporate and M&A matters. Scott Prescott is also a key name in Ottawa and advised Rogers on its applications to renew its cable broadcasting licences in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Ottawa-based TMT co-head Gerald Kerr-Wilson and Montreal-based litigator Christian Leblanc are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Laurence Dunbar - FASKEN

Stephen Whitehead - FASKEN

[back to top]

Canada: Energy and natural resources

Energy and natural resources: mining
Energy and natural resources: mining - ranked: tier 1

FASKEN

‘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.

Leading individuals

Brian Graves - FASKEN

John Turner - FASKEN

Michael Bourassa - FASKEN

Next Generation Partners

KrisztiĂĄn TĂłth - FASKEN

[back to top]

Energy and natural resources: oil and gas
Energy and natural resources: oil and gas - ranked: tier 3

FASKEN

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.

[back to top]

Energy and natural resources: power
Energy and natural resources: power - ranked: tier 3

FASKEN

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.

Leading individuals

Peter Feldberg - FASKEN

[back to top]

Canada: Transport

Transport: aviation
Transport: aviation - ranked: tier 3

FASKEN

FASKEN’s aviation practice, which is led by Montreal-based litigator Martin Sheehan, has a focus on dispute resolution - particularly of insurance disputes - as well as labour and employment law. Representative clients include Boeing, International Air Transport Association and Marsh Canada.

[back to top]

Transport: other transport
Transport: other transport - ranked: tier 3

FASKEN

FASKEN’s multidisciplinary practice, which is commended for its ‘great record acting on behalf of the railroad industry’, has experience across the full spectrum of transactional, regulatory and contentious matters. Toronto-based litigator Steven Rosenhek is representing key client Canadian Pacific Railway in a class action stemming from water contamination.

[back to top]


Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to