The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Bennett Jones LLP

4500 BANKERS HALL EAST, 855 2ND STREET SW, CALGARY, ALBERTA T2P 4K7, CANADA
Tel:
Work +403 298 3100
Fax:
Fax +403 265 7219
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

Always available’, Bennett Jones LLP sets itself apart through its ‘excellent lawyers who act as true partners to the internal legal team’. Led from Vancouver by group co-heads David Bursey and Radha Curpen, the practice also includes impressive Vancouver-based senior associate Sharon Singh (‘knowledgeable, experienced and explains complex subjects simply’). Recent work includes advising Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation on Aboriginal law matters related to the Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery Project, which involved negotiations with 14 First Nations.

Next generation lawyers

Sharon Singh - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Bennett Jones LLP

The ‘very strong team’ at Bennett Jones LLP attracts praise for being ‘very knowledgeable about the industry’ and for providing ‘balanced advice, which prioritises the most important items’. In Calgary, high-profile specialist Philip Backman QC is advising North West Redwater Partnership on the ongoing project financing of the construction of a refinery in Alberta, which recently included a C$1.5bn project bond offering. Also in Calgary, department co-head Patrick Brennan is highly sought after for his leading expertise in aviation finance; he recently advised Chorus Aviation Capital on the purchase, financing and leasing of four aircraft. Toronto-based groupco-lead Steven Lutz and Calgary-based Karen Dawson are also recommended. Mark Rasile rejoined from Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP.

Leading individuals

Philip Backman QC - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 2

Bennett Jones LLP

Excellent in all areas’, Bennett Jones LLP distinguishes itself through its ‘outstanding service’ and ‘great depth’, as well as its prominence in energy and natural resources-related offerings. In a recent example, Osisko Gold Royalties turned to the firm for assistance with its C$274.9m private placement of shares — Toronto-based group co-lead Linda Misetich Dann and Toronto-based mining head Sander Grieve led the work. In Calgary, John Piasta (‘very knowledgeable and solutions-oriented’) acted with Mark Powell to advise Parkland Fuel on its C$662m private placement of shares and its C$500m private placement of high-yield notes. Calgary-based department co-lead Brent Kraus is an ‘excellent lawyer’ and advised Schlumberger Canada Finance on its $1.1bn notes issuance.

Leading individuals

Brent Kraus - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 2

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP impresses with its ‘deep team of excellent people’ and ‘superb expertise in energy and natural resources-related matters’ — it also has strong experience in the TMT and life sciences sectors. The department is considered by some as ‘tier one on the litigation side’, with group co-chair Randal Hughes highly regarded for both contentious and non-contentious matters. Hughes recently acted as Canadian counsel to Apple in the Bureau’s investigation into Apple’s iPhone agreements with Canadian wireless carriers. In a key transactional highlight, Washington DC-based department co-chair Melanie Aitken advised Time Warner on the Canadian aspects of its $85.4bn acquisition by AT&T. John Rook QC is a ‘very strong litigator’ and represented Panasonic in a seminal case regarding indirect purchaser actions. The firm also benefits from an impressive line of younger specialists, including Adam Kalbfleisch and ‘absolutely terrific’ recently promoted partner Emrys Davis.

Leading individuals

John Rook QC - Bennett Jones LLP

Randal Hughes - Bennett Jones LLP

Next generation lawyers

Adam Kalbfleisch - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

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

Bennett Jones LLP

‘Top in the Alberta market, period’, Bennett Jones LLP distinguishes itself through its ‘exceptional bench strength’ and ‘unparalleled knowledge of the energy industry’. In addition, to its ‘first-rate Calgary office’, the department also has an increasingly prominent Toronto platform and robust teams in Edmonton and Vancouver. In Calgary, Patrick Maguire (‘excellent at both the big-picture analysis and the detail’) and John Piasta (‘a top-notch transactional attorney’) advised Cenovus on its C$17.7bn acquisition of assets from ConocoPhillips’, including a 50% interest in FCCL Partnership. Calgary-based M&A co-head Brent Kraus is an ‘excellent lawyer and manager’ and acted for Schlumberger on its joint venture with Weatherford International. In Toronto, M&A co-lead Linda Misetich Dann and mining head Sander Grieve advised Osisko Gold Royalties on its acquisition of a C$1.1bn portfolio of assets from Orion Mine Finance Group. Private equity head John Mercury, vice chairman Perry Spitznagel and seasoned specialist David Spencer are also recommended in Calgary. Abbas Ali Khan is an ‘impressive younger partner’ in Toronto.

Leading individuals

David Spencer - Bennett Jones LLP

Perry Spitznagel QC - Bennett Jones LLP

Next generation lawyers

Abbas Ali Khan - 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 'top-notch team’ is 'loaded with talented lawyers’, according to sources. The 'professional and practical’ group is split mainly between Alberta and Ontario — it also has a solid presence in British Columbia — and handles the full spectrum of contentious matters, with particularly strong skill sets in corporate litigation, construction and energy matters. In Calgary, fraud co-chair Munaf Mohamed represented Wood Group Mustang (Canada) in a construction claim brought by Canadian Natural Resources. Other key names in Calgary include Blair Yorke-Slader QC, who is a 'fantastic counsel’, Chris Simard and up-and-coming partner Michael Mysak, who is a 'meticulous and well-informed lawyer’. In Toronto, the firm has 'quietly built up a surprisingly strong litigation group’, which continues to strengthen its profile through its involvement in major files. Cases of note include Jeffrey Leon — 'a smart, personable, practical and very capable advocate’— representing six Canadian provinces in tobacco-related healthcare cost recovery litigation. Other senior Toronto figures include Michael Eizenga, who is representing Trinity Industries in a complex products liability class action, securities litigation head Alan Gardner, who is 'bright, hardworking, tough and strategic’ and Robert Staley.

Leading individuals

Blair Yorke-Slader QC - Bennett Jones LLP

Jeffrey Leon - Bennett Jones LLP

Michael Eizenga - Bennett Jones LLP

Robert Staley - Bennett Jones LLP

Next generation lawyers

Michael Mysak - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 1

Bennett Jones LLP

Always knowledgeable and well prepared’, Bennett Jones LLP is a regular fixture on the most complex environmental files across Canada as well as project development issues and transactional matters. The Calgary-headquartered firm’s prominence in energy-related cases is almost a given but the sizeable national group also demonstrates strong expertise in transport, infrastructure and marine-related matters. In Toronto, department co-head Leonard Griffiths is lauded as a ‘standout expert’ and continues to lead some of the firm's most critical and sensitive cases, with strong experience in the full spread of corporate support, environmental management systems and litigation. Rising star Sarah Gilbert is also recommended in Toronto for her ability to ‘identify issues independently and without input or instruction’. In Calgary, Brad Gilmour, who heads the regulatory department, ‘consistently provides timely, practical and strategic advice’, while environmental co-lead Shawn Munro has a ‘wealth of experience and great rapport with both clients and intervening counsel’. In Vancouver, office managing partner Radha Curpen is ‘best in class’ and senior specialist David Bursey provides ‘calm and rational insights into municipal and provincial political issues’. Representative clients include ATCO Electric, Canadian Natural Resources and Rio Tinto Alcan.

Leading individuals

Brad Gilmour - Bennett Jones LLP

Leonard Griffiths - Bennett Jones LLP

Next generation lawyers

Sarah Gilbert - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Infrastructure and projects
Infrastructure and projects - ranked: tier 3

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP’s group, which demonstrates ‘broad business acumen and industry knowledge’, ‘excels at achieving fair outcomes for the client’, according to sources. Among the names to note, Toronto-based infrastructure lead Paul Blundy is an ‘infrastructure specialist who is great at solving complex problems’, and Calgary-based capital projects head Jason Roth is a ‘very capable contract development leader’. Highlights included advising Alberta PowerLine on the development of the Fort McMurray West 500 kV transmission project. On the public sector side, it advised the Government of Nunavut on the Iqaluit International Airport improvement project.

[back to top]

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

Bennett Jones LLP

The ‘extremely responsive and business-savvyBennett Jones LLP is held up by multinational clients as a ‘preferred agent for trademark matters in Canada’. The team’s patent capability is equally robust and it also handles designs, copyright and trade secrets. In Calgary, Martin Kratz QC is a senior figure and advised Triwest Capital Partners on the IP aspects of its acquisition of Prostar Well Service and Prostar Manufacturing. Toronto is the seat of ‘super pragmatic, solution-oriented and creative’ IP litigation head Dominique Hussey; she represented Aurobindo Pharma in a number of patent matters involving several drug products. Calgary’s Stephen Burns, who jointly leads the innovation, technology and branding unit, is also noted.

Leading individuals

Martin Kratz QC - Bennett Jones LLP

Next generation lawyers

Dominique Hussey - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

International expertise
International expertise - ranked: tier 2

Bennett Jones LLP

One of the more diverse international practices, Bennett Jones LLP utilizes its offices in Beijing, Doha and Washington DC to provide robust cross-border expertise in competition, international trade, oil and gas, mining and infrastructure. Global competition and foreign investment co-chair Melanie Aitken, who manages the DC office, is a prominent name in her field. US- and Canada-qualified arbitration specialist George Vlavianos, who manages the Doha office, is also highly regarded and regularly acts for clients based in North America, Europe and the Middle East.

Leading individuals

George Vlavianos - Bennett Jones LLP

Melanie Aitken - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

International trade
International trade - ranked: tier 2

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP’s ‘highly knowledgeable and practical’ international trade and investment practice has a well-established reputation for customs matters, commodity taxes, import and export controls, trade remedies, trade agreements, and investment treaties and disputes. Toronto-based department head Darrel Pearson, highlighted for his ‘deep awareness and consideration of business issues’, is particularly noted for his impressive track record in customs issues and trade remedies. In addition, Toronto-based associate Jessica Roberts ‘delivers superb service and specialist expertise’. Milos Barutciski, Matthew Kronby and Jesse Goldman joined Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.

Leading individuals

Darrel Pearson - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP’s group, which is ‘highly business-oriented’ and ‘always quick to respond’ handles a mix of consultancy, corporate support and contentious work. Calgary-based John Gilmore jointly heads the practice and is advising ATCO Electric on all employment aspects of the Eastern Alberta Transmission Line project. In Toronto, the ‘very professional and knowledgeableCarl Cunningham advised Gateway Casinos & Entertainment on the employment aspects of its C$200m acquisition of two bundles of casinos from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and related financing matters.

[back to top]

Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 4

Bennett Jones LLP

The ‘top-notch team’ at Bennett Jones LLP stands out for its ‘highly professional and grounded lawyers’. Most notably, Toronto-based employment services co-lead Susan Seller is ‘very knowledgeable, personable and level headed’; she advised Schlumberger Production Management on the employment and pensions aspects of its C$1.3bn acquisition, together with Torxen Energy, of the Palliser Block assets in Alberta.

[back to top]

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Bennett Jones LLP

Responsive, highly commercial and knowledgeable’, Bennett Jones LLP scores highly for its ability to ‘help clients make good business decisions’. In Toronto, Paul Mantini is highlighted as ‘very intelligent, hardworking and creative’, and sources praise Simon Crawford as ‘the complete package’; they teamed up with the ‘outstanding’ John van Gent to advise KingSett Capital on the acquisition of a portfolio of commercial mortgage loans from Home Capital and a related loan from RBC, TD Bank and CIBC. On the development side, Toronto-based department co-lead Jane Helmstadter is advising Aoyuan Property Group on the redevelopment of Newtonbrook Plaza in North York Centre. Wayne Whitlock QC and practice co-lead Larry Sandrin are also recommended in Calgary and Vancouver respectively.

Leading individuals

Paul Mantini - Bennett Jones LLP

Simon Crawford - Bennett Jones LLP

Next generation lawyers

John van Gent - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 2

Bennett Jones LLP

The ‘smart and dependable team’ at Bennett Jones LLP impresses with its ‘strong knowledge of business practices’ and ‘great ability to get the right result’. An increasingly prominent firm for debtor-side representations, particularly in the energy space, it is best known for advising creditors, acquirers of distressed assets and court-appointed officials. Among the Toronto office’s highlights, group co-head Kevin Zych is representing the monitor in Stelco’s headline CCAA proceedings. Zych also acted with sector specialist Richard Orzy to advise the noteholders’ committee in  Nortel’s Canadian and US restructuring proceedings. Sean Zweig, who is ‘experienced far beyond his year of call’, is advising the Board of Directors of Sears Canada in its liquidation. Calgary-based Chris Simard, an ‘excellent lawyer’, co-chairs the department.

Leading individuals

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’s tax group, which is split between Calgary and Toronto, leverages its top-tier oil and gas practice to advise on a steady stream of energy and natural resources transactions. It also has strong experience in cross-border matters, debt restructurings, private equity and tax litigation. Highlights included Calgary tax lead Darcy Moch advising CST Canada Coal on its $433m acquisition of the coal assets of Grande Cache Coal and Grande Cache Coal Corporation. Toronto managing partner Stephen Bowman and Toronto tax head Thomas Bauer are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Darcy Moch - Bennett Jones LLP

Stephen Bowman - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Technology
Technology - ranked: tier 3

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP’s growing technology practice is well known for its experience in data governance, outsourcing, cloud computing and electronic health systems. Highlights included Martin Kratz QC, who leads the anti-spam group, advising Telecommunications Research Laboratories on the wind-down of its Canadian operations, including negotiating agreements for the disposition of IT assets. Other key contacts are Stephen Burns, who ‘takes a pragmatic approach to technology and IP matters’, and IT lead Michael Whitt QC. All named lawyers are based in Calgary.

[back to top]

Canada: Energy and natural resources

Energy and natural resources: mining
Energy and natural resources: mining - ranked: tier 2

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP’s comprehensive mining practice covers all the bases, with robust expertise in exploration and development, operational matters, streaming transactions, corporation finance deals, regulatory issues and litigation. Group head Sander Grieve is ‘up there with the best in this sector’ and, together with Linda Misetich Dann, advised Osisko Gold Royalties on its C$1.1bn acquisition of a precious metals portfolio from Orion Mine Finance Group. Michael Melanson is a ‘very knowledgeable securities lawyer’ and assisted McEwen Mining with its acquisition of Lexam VG Gold. Abbas Ali Khan is a ‘rising star’. All named lawyers are based in Toronto.

Leading individuals

Sander Grieve - Bennett Jones LLP

Next generation lawyers

Abbas Ali Khan - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Energy and natural resources: oil and gas
Energy and natural resources: oil and gas - ranked: tier 1

Bennett Jones LLP

A ‘leader in the oil and gas space’, Bennett Jones LLP excels across the full range of transactional, project development and regulatory matters and the consensus is that ‘few firms come close to its comprehensive offering’. Among the names to note, Calgary managing partner Patrick Maguire is ‘excellent at both the big-picture analysis and the detail drafting’ and with John Piasta advised Cenovus Energy on its C$17.7bn acquisitions of ConocoPhillips’ Deep Basin conventional assets in Alberta and British Columbia as well as its 50% interest in FCCL Partnership. William Osler is a ‘superb corporate counsel’ and advised Pembina Pipeline on its joint venture with Petrochemical Industries for a proposed integrated propylene and polypropylene production facility. Donald Greenfield QC is another sought-after name for oil and gas deals and acted alongside ‘ very strong’ department co-head Vivek Warrier to advise Schlumberger Production Management on the C$1.3bn acquisition of the Palliser Block assets in Alberta from Cenovus Energy. Robert Booth QC is also an experienced transactional specialist, while Kieran Ryan is a ‘great up-and-comer’. Brad Gilmour provides ‘very strategic and thoughtful service’ and heads up the regulatory side of the practice, which also benefits from the senior expertise of Lawrence Smith QC and Loyola Keough.

Leading individuals

Donald Greenfield QC - Bennett Jones LLP

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

Vivek Warrier - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Energy and natural resources: power
Energy and natural resources: power - ranked: tier 2

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP has a prominent record in energy infrastructure deals — including generation, transmission and distribution projects — and it routinely acts on behalf of utilities, developers, lenders and regulatory boards. The department is particularly strong in Calgary, which is the seat of power and renewable energy group lead David Macaulay; he is representing key client ATCO Power Canada in commercial and contentious matters stemming from the government’s coal phase-out.  Loyola Keough, also based in Calgary, is highly regarded for energy regulation and is advising ATCO Electric on regulatory issues connected to the construction of its Eastern Alberta Transmission Line. David Bursey is a key contact in Vancouver.

Leading individuals

David Macaulay - Bennett Jones LLP

Loyola Keough - Bennett Jones LLP

[back to top]

Canada: Transport

Transport: aviation
Transport: aviation - ranked: tier 1

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP, which ‘takes time to understand the client’s business, key personnel and risk appetite’, stands ‘head and shoulders above other Canadian law firms when it comes to its aviation law’. In Calgary, revered group head Patrick Brennan ‘carefully and appropriately tailors his advice to meet both short-term needs and long-term goals’; he recently advised subsidiaries of key client Chorus Aviation Capital on the acquisition of six used aircraft. In Toronto, the ‘excellent’ Ian Michael is advising Montreal International Fuel Facilities on the Montreal East Jet Fuel Marine Terminal project.

Leading individuals

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
  • BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS IN MORE THAN ONE JURISDICTION: THE IMPORTANCE OF ENSURING A JOINED-UP DEFENCE AP

    Aziz Rahman considers the Ericsson bribery investigation and outlines how best to respond if you are investigated by more than one law enforcement agency
  • Sulphur Cap Ahead - Regulatory

    Sulphur Cap Ahead - Regulatory
  • GTDT Shipping - India

    Mr Shardul Thacker heads the shipping, oil and gas and banking practice group at Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe. Lloyd’s List ranked him third in their top 10 lawyers stating: “Highly regarded for his work in the liquefied natural gas sector, particularly for interesting and highly geared finance deals in relation to infrastructure projects, energy, ports and ships.” india_-_gtdt_shipping_
  • BVI'S NEW ECONOMIC SUBSTANCE LEGISLATION

    The British Virgin Islands are rushing to pass by the end of December the new economic substance legislation to avoid the EU’s blacklist of tax haven jurisdictions.
  • Chambers Guides - Insurance 2018 - India

    India is a common-law jurisdiction. In general, Indian laws borrow heavily from, and are based on, English law. However, insurance law in India has certain unique features that deviate from English insurance law. The primary legislation of insurance law in India is the Insurance Act, 1938 (the “Insurance Act”) and the Insurance Rules, 1939 (the “Insurance Rules”).
  • AVELLUM advised largest Ukrainian brick manufacturer on restructuring and refinancing of its debt

    AVELLUM acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to Private Joint Stock Company with Foreign Investments “Slobozhanska Budivelna Keramika” (“SBK ”) in connection with the restructuring and refinancing of SBK’s debt, valued at approximately EUR20 million. Atlas Advisors, an independent investment banking firm, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to the SBK’s shareholders in connection with the restructuring of the credit portfolio, attraction of financing for the debt’s refinancing, and buy-out of SBK’s shares.
  • AVELLUM advises on Ukraine’s USD2 billion Eurobond issue

    AVELLUM acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine on the USD2 billion sovereign Eurobond issue consisting of two tranches with 5.5 and 10-year tenor. J.P. Morgan Securities, Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas, and Citigroup acted as joint lead managers on the transaction.
  • New Anti-Money Laundering Law

    The new anti-money laundering ( AML ) law of the UAE took effect at the end of October 2018. Containing features recommended by the Financial Action Task Force ( FATF ), the new law introduces subtle but important changes to the AML landscape in the UAE. 
  • Confidentiality Under Renewed Focus

    The UAE federal government has recently issued a raft of important legislation, addressing and in many ways updating areas of law that are key to businesses in the jurisdiction. Amongst this legislation is Federal Decree-Law 14 of 2018 concerning the central bank and the organisation of financial institutions and activities (the New Banking Law ) and Federal Decree-Law 20 of 2018 concerning anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing (the New AML Law ). Both the New Banking Law and the New AML Law repeal and replace the previous legislation on their respective subjects. Importantly, the New Banking Law and the New AML Law have together enhanced the protection afforded to confidential information under UAE law, in particular where financial and legal service providers and their customers and clients are concerned. 
  • Israel Chapter in The Virtual Currency Regulation Review

    Earlier this year, the Israel Tax Authority (ITA) issued two circulars, one on the taxation of digital tokens and the second addressing the taxation of utility tokens in initial coin offerings (ICOs). Additionally, in March, the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) released a detailed interim report by the Committee for the Regulation of Public Offerings of Decentralized Cryptocurrency Coins (Report) (with a follow-up report due to come out around October 2018). Moreover, it is expected that before the end of 2018, legislation will come into force that for the first time will see Israeli primary legislation define virtual currencies as financial assets and mandate licensing for related services, as is later discussed in detail.