The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Bennett Jones LLP

3400 ONE FIRST CANADIAN PLACE, PO BOX 130, TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA
Tel:
Work +1 416 863 1200
Fax:
Fax +1 416 863 1716
Email:
Web:
www.bennettjones.ca
Calgary, Doha, Edmonton, Hamilton, Ottawa, Toronto and 2 more

Canada

Aboriginal law
Aboriginal law - ranked: tier 3

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP distinguishes itself through its ‘deep understanding of Aboriginal law issues’ and its ‘strong knowledge in supplementary areas including tax and banking’. In Vancouver, ‘fantastic’ group co-head David Bursey brings to bear a strong skill set in energy and natural resources-related work; he was retained by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) to advise the Federal Review Panel on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act review of Taseko’s New Prosperity mine project. Radha Curpen, also in Vancouver, co-leads the group. ‘Phenomenal’ Vancouver-based associate Sharon Singh is ‘very perceptive and highly respected in the Aboriginal communities in which she has worked’.

Next generation lawyers

Sharon Singh - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Bennett Jones LLP

Widely acclaimed for its ‘highly responsive and client-focused service’, Bennett Jones LLP is ‘excellent in all factors’. Toronto-based group co-lead Steven Lutz is ‘very knowledgeable about the industry and key trends affecting the client’s business’ and advised Gateway Casinos & Entertainment on a cross-border refinancing of existing debt and a concurrent acquisition financing, worth a combined C$920m. Aviation finance specialist Patrick Brennan jointly heads the group from Calgary and acted for Chorus Aircraft Leasing on the purchase, financing and leasing of four aircraft. Calgary is also the seat of high-profile banking and finance partner Philip Backman QC, who recently advised North West Redwater Partnership on a C$8.5bn project financing of the construction of a refinery in Alberta.

[back to top]

Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 2

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP’s ‘very active’ practice ‘dominates the Calgary market’. In addition, the firm’s signature strength in energy-related matters gives it a global platform and it is regularly involved in cross-border deals. In a recent example, Calgary-based John Piasta acted for Cenovus Energy in filing a $5bn universal base shelf prospectus in both Canada and the US. In another key highlight, Calgary’s Darrell Peterson advised North West Redwater Partnership on its issuance of an additional C$2bn in senior secured bonds as part of its C$8.5bn capital cost program. Calgary-based Brent Kraus and Toronto-based Linda Misetich Dann jointly head the group.

[back to top]

Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 2

Bennett Jones LLP

The competition group at Bennett Jones LLP provides ‘responsive, practical advice based on knowledge of the client’s business’. In particular, Toronto-based Randal Hughes is an ‘expert in his subject area’ and jointly leads the practice alongside the ‘very impressive’ Melanie Aitken, who exclusively practices Canadian law from the firm’s Washington DC office. Among the group’s recent highlights, Hughes successfully represented Apple in the Competition Bureau’s investigation into its iPhone agreements with Canadian wireless carriers. On the merger review side, Aitken advised G&K Services on competition issues relating to its $2.2bn acquisition by Cintas. Toronto-based John Rook QC is a highly respected litigator and advised the Commissioner of Competition in his application against the Toronto Real Estate Board alleging abuse of market dominance.

Leading lawyers

John Rook QC - Bennett Jones LLP

Randal Hughes - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

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

Bennett Jones LLP

The leader in Calgary for corporate and M&A advice’, Bennett Jones LLP stands out for its ‘excellent all-around service, with a focus on efficiency and responsiveness’. Energy is a notable sweet spot and it is widely regarded as ‘the gold standard for work related to the oil and gas industry’, but it also attracts praise for its ‘breadth of experience in unique areas that few firms can match’. In Calgary, David Spencer is a respected name and advised Columbia Pipeline Group on the Canadian aspects of its $13bn acquisition by TransCanada. Patrick Maguire has ‘wide-ranging knowledge and experience in all aspects of energy law’ and advised Devon Energy on the C$1.4bn sale of its 50% ownership interest in Access Pipeline to a portfolio company of CPPIB. Brent Kraus leads the group in Calgary and provides ‘timely service’; he acted as Canadian counsel to Waste Connections in its C$14.8bn merger with Progressive Waste Solutions. Other key names in Calgary include William Osler (‘exceptional business lawyer with the rare ability to give strong technical legal advice through a business lens’) and office managing partner Perry Spitznagel QC. Linda Misetich Dann heads the group in Toronto.

Leading lawyers

David Spencer - Bennett Jones LLP

Perry Spitznagel QC - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution: Alberta - ranked: tier 1

Bennett Jones LLP

Dispute resolution: Ontario - ranked: tier 3

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP’s ‘very strong dispute resolution team’ is split mainly between Ontario and Alberta – although it also has a platform in British Columbia. Lawyers are roundly praised as ‘responsive, client-focused, innovative and savvy’, with Toronto-based Jeffrey Leon highlighted as ‘pragmatic, tough, smart and a pleasure to deal with’. Leon continues to represent six provinces in tobacco-related healthcare cost recovery litigation. Also in Toronto, Michael Eizenga advised five defendants in a class action alleging that Canada’s hotel industry is unlawfully charging their customers destination marketing fees. Litigation co-chair Richard Swan and securities litigation expert Robert Staley are also key names in Toronto. In Calgary, national group co-head Kenneth Lenz QC represented Orphan Well Association in its landmark challenge to the rights of trustees and receivers to abandon environmental liabilities. Also in Calgary, ‘simply fantastic trial lawyerBlair Yorke-Slader QC is considered among the leading litigators in Alberta.

Leading lawyers: dispute resolution - Alberta

Blair Yorke-Slader QC - Bennett Jones LLP

Leading lawyers: dispute resolution - Ontario

Jeffrey Leon - Bennett Jones LLP

Michael Eizenga - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 1

Bennett Jones LLP

The ‘go-to environmental law group’ at Bennett Jones LLP commands respect for its ‘first-class client service’ and ‘practical and timely advice’. Sources hail Toronto-based Leonard Griffiths as ‘the best environmental lawyer in Canada’, who has ‘extraordinary capabilities’ and a ‘results-oriented approach’. Among the other names to note, in Calgary, regulatory head Brad Gilmour is ‘very strong’ and Shawn Munro is ‘first class for regulatory affairs’. In Vancouver, David Bursey and the newly promoted Radha Curpen are key contacts. The firm’s deep bench, which is well distributed between Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia, comprises lawyers with diverse skill sets, ensuring that it acts on a wide spread of projects, risk management and remediation issues. Among other matters, the group acted as counsel to the Federal Review Panel on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act review of the Taseko New Prosperity mine project – and on the subsequent judicial review.

Leading lawyers

Brad Gilmour - Bennett Jones LLP

Leonard Griffiths - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Infrastructure and projects
Infrastructure and projects - ranked: tier 4

Bennett Jones LLP

The ‘very responsive’ group at Bennett Jones LLP is highlighted for its ‘first-rate expertise in sophisticated construction’. Toronto-based Paul Blundy heads the department and is advising the Government of Nunavut on the procurement of the C$376.2m Iqaluit International Airport improvement project. Also in Toronto, Aleksandra Finelli advised Infrastructure Ontario and Providence Care on the DBFM contract for the construction of a new C$810m hospital. The group also works with the firm’s market-leading oil and gas practice on major projects in that sector.

[back to top]

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

Bennett Jones LLP

Clients regard Bennett Jones LLP’s ‘outstanding’ practice as ‘nothing less than exceptional’. It handles contentious and non-contentious mandates for clients across a wide range of sectors, including energy, technology and pharmaceuticals. Group head Stephen Burns, who is based in Calgary, advised Sanjel Corporation on the IP aspects of a complex cross-border restructuring proceeding, including the sale of patent and trademark rights. Toronto-based IP litigation head Dominique Hussey has been defending Aurobindo Pharma in a number of patent matters brought by Eli Lilly before the Federal Court. Also in Toronto, the ‘highly attentive and personableMartin Kratz QC assisted Always Books with the protection and licensing negotiations regarding the client’s brand of sports books. Other clients include Coca-Cola, Telus and Teva.

Leading lawyers

Martin Kratz QC - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

International trade
International trade - ranked: tier 1

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP has ‘the best trade group in the country’, according to one respondent, with the ‘exceptionally deep and strong team’ valued in particular for its ‘rapid-fire responses’, ‘practical and targeted advice’ and ‘keen awareness of the international trade dynamics between Canada and its trading partners’. Milos Barutciski jointly chairs the group and has a ‘deep understanding of trade law that covers all jurisdictions’; he is advising a foreign energy company on sanctions matters. Fellow department co-chair Darrel Pearson is ‘highly strategic and has a wealth of knowledge to draw upon’ and is advising Nestlé Canada before the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) in customs litigation relating to the application of tariff-rate quota. The Toronto-centred group also calls upon the expertise of Jesse Goldman (‘strategic thinker’) and Matthew Kronby (‘thinks outside the box’). The firm’s Washington DC office is also an asset for international investment matters.

Leading lawyers

Darrel Pearson - Bennett Jones LLP

Milos Barutciski - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP’s practice covers a broad range of employment and labour matters, including M&A-related, health and safety, human rights and privacy issues. Calgary-based co-head John Gilmore advised DirectCash Payments on all employment aspects regarding Cardtronics’ acquisition of the company, including restrictive covenants and the drafting of new executive employment agreements. In Toronto, co-head Susan Seller and Carl Cunningham assisted Waste Connections with the employment and pensions aspects of the client’s move to Canada following its C$13bn merger with Progressive Waste Solutions, including a restructuring of the workforce. Also in Calgary, John Batzel advised Patterson-UTI Energy on the employment aspects of the client’s acquisition of Warrior Manufacturing Services. Other clients include Calgary Stampede, Macquarie and Telus.

[back to top]

Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 4

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP has a robust pensions practice under the leadership of Toronto-based sector specialist Susan Seller. Seller recently advised Northern Transportation on the pensions aspects of its CCAA proceedings. Gateway Casinos & Entertainment and Waste Connections are also recent clients.

[back to top]

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP’s team is praised for its ‘excellent industry knowledge’ and ‘very good strength in depth’. The firm’s broad national presence is also a hit with clients, who praise its ability to provide ‘equally strong teams in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary’. In Toronto, Paul Mantini is widely acclaimed for his ‘remarkable commercial acumen’ and advised Gateway Casinos & Entertainment on its acquisition of two bundles of casino facilities from Ontario Lottery and Gaming. He also paired up with Toronto’s John van Gent to advise Omers Realty on the C$90m sale of the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel to InnVest REIT. In Calgary, the ‘very knowledgeable’ Gregory Liakopoulos advised ReidBuilt Homes on several financing transactions. The department also benefits from the senior expertise of Vancouver-based Larry Sandrin, Toronto-based Simon Crawford and Calgary-based Wayne Whitlock QC.

Leading lawyers

Paul Mantini - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 2

Bennett Jones LLP

Great and getting better all the time’, Bennett Jones LLP is the talk of the market due to its ‘increasing visibility on the big cases’. The group also attracts praise for its ‘good bench strength’ and ‘extremely responsive lawyers’. The department is particularly admired for its strong bondholder-side practice but it also regularly represents debtors, DIP lenders and other participants in restructuring and insolvency proceedings. ‘Leading lightRichard Orzy jointly leads the national team from Toronto and alongside Kevin Zych advised the noteholders’ committee in Nortel Networks’ Canadian and US restructuring proceedings. In another highlight example of its bondholder prowess, Zych advised the ad hoc committee of unsecured noteholders in Tervita’s C$3.6bn recapitalization. Calgary-based co-chair Chris Simardprovides sound legal and business advice’, and Toronto-based junior partner Sean Zweig is a ‘future leader in the area’.

Leading lawyers

Kevin Zych - Bennett Jones LLP

Richard Orzy - Bennett Jones LLP

Next generation lawyers

Sean Zweig - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 3

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP has experience in the full spread of tax matters and is highly regarded for its niche expertise in commodity tax. In Calgary, department co-chair Darcy Moch is singled out for his ‘rare skill set’ in that ‘he has extensive corporate tax expertise but can also handle personal tax and estate tax issues’. Moch advised Riverstone Investment Group on its $500m acquisition of a 50% ownership interest in the Utopia Pipeline Project from Kinder Morgan. Toronto-based group co-chair Thomas Bauer advised Columbia Pipeline on the Canadian tax aspects of its $13bn acquisition by TransCanada. Toronto managing partner Stephen Bowman is also recommended for transactional issues, while Calgary-based Robert McCue leads the tax litigation practice.

Leading lawyers

Darcy Moch - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Technology
Technology - ranked: tier 3

Bennett Jones 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.

[back to top]

Canada: Energy

Mining
Energy: mining - ranked: tier 2

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP’s mining practice climbs a tier on the back of its increasing market share, which saw the Toronto-centred group act on a slew of corporate finance mandates over the past year – it also has significant experience in exploration and development. Sander Grieve heads the group and advised Osisko Gold Royalties on a C$173m bought-deal offering. Abbas Ali Khan continues to raise his profile in this space and advised Premier Gold Mines on its $122.5m acquisition of Yamana Gold’s Mercedes Mine property. Senior counsel John Sabine is also a key name.

Leading lawyers

Sander Grieve - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Oil and gas
Energy: oil and gas - ranked: tier 1

Bennett Jones LLP

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.

Leading lawyers

Lawrence Smith QC - Bennett Jones LLP

Loyola Keough - Bennett Jones LLP

Patrick Maguire - Bennett Jones LLP

Robert Booth QC - Bennett Jones LLP

Next generation lawyers

Kieran Ryan - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Power
Energy: power - ranked: tier 2

Bennett Jones LLP

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.

Leading lawyers

David Macaulay - Bennett Jones LLP

Loyola Keough - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Canada: Transport

Aviation
Transport: aviation - ranked: tier 1

Bennett Jones LLP

An ‘industry leader in aircraft finance’, Bennett Jones LLP earns praise for its strong expertise across the sector, and clients say, ‘it’s hard to imagine that any Canadian firm has better knowledge or experience in this space’. Calgary-based group lead Patrick Brennanexcels at finding pragmatic solutions to difficult commercial problems’; he advised Chorus Aviation on its purchase of 13 new Q400 aircraft from Bombardier and on its structured lease financing with Export Development Canada. Toronto-based Ian Michael is also recommended.

Leading lawyers

Patrick Brennan - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]


Legal Developments worldwide

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