Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Canada > Banking and finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Banking and finance clients in Canada using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP distinguishes itself through its deep bench and seamless strength across the country, with the practice holding dominant positions in all of Canada’s four largest commercial centres. The team also leans on international platforms in New York, London and Beijing, marking it as a top choice for cross-border mandates, where it acts for a mix of Canadian and foreign lenders and borrowers. In a highlight example of its multi-jurisdictional prowess, the firm was selected by JPMorgan Chase to advise on a $2.3bn DIP facility to Toys ‘R’ Us Canada, and its US parent, connected to the retail chain’s high-profile liquidation, which involved coordination between US and Canadian teams; up-and-coming partner Aimee Yee led that deal, which is testament to the strength of the firm's younger talent. Among the senior transactional specialists in Toronto, Michael Matheson is a leading name for major deals, particularly syndicated loans and acquisition financings; Simon Finch continues to impress on the alternative lending side; and Michael Harquail maintains a broad banking and finance practice. In Calgary, local group head Michael McIntosh QC is sought after for transactions in the oil and gas space, along with the increasingly prominent Nick Tropak. In addition, SĂ©bastien Vilder and Michael Birch are the chief transactional contacts in Montreal and Vancouver respectively. The firm’s regulatory expertise is equally as respected as its deal-making capabilities, with Toronto-based national financial services lead Paul Belanger rated for his advice on governance issues, product development and banking M&A. Toronto-based Dawn Jetten is also noted for financial services regulation.

Practice head(s):Paul Belanger; Michael Birch; Michael McIntosh QC; Sébastien Vilder

Other key lawyers:Simon Finch; Michael Harquail; Dawn Jetten; Michael Matheson; Nick Tropak; Aimee Yee

Testimonials

Blakes stands out for its strong experience in both transactional and regulatory work - and for its massively deep bench.’

The firm is clearly a leader in the field, based on its quality of work and strong partners. It is involved in 90% of the deals that come to market.’

Key Clients

Caisse centrale Desjardins

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Coast Capital Savings Credit Union

Element Fleet Management Corp.

ECN Capital Corp.

Financeit

MCAP Financial Corporation

Royal Bank of Canada

Scotiabank

The Toronto-Dominion Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Bridging North America General Partnership on the C$5.7bn financing of the Gordie Howe International Bridge Project.
  • Acted for TD Bank, as agent for a syndicate of lenders, on the C$3.9bn acquisition of Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust by Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust.
  • Advised JPMorgan Chase, as DIP agent, on the $2.3bn DIP facility to Toys 'R' Us Canada and its US parent.
  • Advised RBC on credit facilities to Wolf Midstream to support its C$1.4bn acquisition of a 50% ownership interest in the Access Pipeline from Devon Energy.
  • Advised TD Bank on its C$792m acquisition of Greystone Capital Management.

Considered by many as a top choice for finance transactions, McCarthy TĂ©trault’s broad practice also houses significant regulatory firepower, with financial services co-head Barry Ryan noted as ‘simply terrific’ for his capabilities in both areas. The group, which benefits from strong platforms in Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver, is best known for its experience in large, multi-layered transactions, where it can draw upon other departments within the firm to provide comprehensive multi-disciplinary advice. In a recent example, up-and-coming partner Justin Lapedus advised Credit Suisse, Cayman Islands Branch as agent on a $1.4bn debt financing and a $100m revolving facility to Searchlight Capital Partners, connected to its acquisition of Mitel Networks; the deal drew on supplementary support from the business, bankruptcy, tax and pensions teams. Infrastructure specialist Stephen Furlan is a key contact for project finance matters, while national financial services co-lead Marc MacMullin has a strong profile in the structured finance space. Other areas of note include oil and gas, where Calgary-based Joseph Palin is a key contact, and fintech, where Ana Badour is establishing herself as a future star. The group also benefits from the senior experience of cross-border expert Richard Higa and Montreal-based counsel Michel Deschamps Ad E.

Practice head(s):Marc MacMullin; Barry Ryan

Other key lawyers:Ana Badour; Michel Deschamps Ad E; Stephen Furlan; Richard Higa; Justin Lapedus

Testimonials

McCarthys is one of our two preferred firms to act as lenders’ counsel in the infrastructure space.

Aside from the standard expectations (legal knowledge, appropriate staffing, etc.) two key criteria are being able to distill issues and be practical — McCarthys excels in all facets.

We appreciate the team’s practicality (sorting out what issues are important, and what are not, from a lenders’ point of view) and its industry knowledge. We consider McCarthys to be the leading firm in Canada for project finance and PPPs.’

This team is composed of strong people from associate to senior partner; at the senior level, lawyers are stand-out performers.

Key Clients

Bank of Montréal

Toronto-Dominion Bank

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

National Bank of Canada

Deutsche Bank

Equitable Bank

Capital One N.A.

Royal Bank of Canada/RBC Dominion Securities Inc.

Golub Capital

Morgan Stanley

Work highlights

  • Advised Credit Suisse on a $1.4bn financing for Searchlight Capital Partners in connection with its acquisition of Mitel Networks Corporation.
  • Acted for CIBC, as agent and lender, and BMO, as lender, on a C$65m secured non-revolving term loan to Cronos Group.
  • Advised BMO, as agent, and the other lenders on a C$2bn credit facility to Maple Leaf Foods to help finance the construction of two manufacturing facilities in Ontario and Indiana.
  • Acted for Jefferies Finance, as the joint lead arranger and bookrunner, on a $908m debt financing by Dentalcorp Health Services.
  • Advised MUFG Bank, and the lenders, on the project financing of a 102 MW natural gas-powered cogeneration facility owned by Fengate Capital Management.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP’s practice, split between the firm’s Toronto and Montreal offices, is a popular choice for borrowers on sophisticated event-driven transactions, particularly complex leveraged finance and acquisition finance deals. Project finance is another sweet spot, with Toronto-based specialist Carol Pennycook highlighted for her ‘terrific reputation, particularly on the infrastructure side’, while Nicholas Williams is a key contact for energy projects. The team also handles a fair amount of lender-side work. Toronto-based Joel Scoler, noted by many as a ‘fantastic lender-side counsel’, is credited with increasing the firm’s share of bank mandates. Of particular note, the firm acts for all of the ‘Big Six’ banks, with recent highlight instructions from National Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, TD Bank and HSBC Bank Canada. Other recommended names in Toronto are Derek Vesey, highlighted for his ‘great ability to identify key business risks and adapt to a variety of situations’, and Scott Hyman, as well as up-and-coming partners William Buchner and Anthony Spadaro. In Montreal, private equity specialist SĂ©bastien ThĂ©riault is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Carol Pennycook; Dan Wolfensohn

Other key lawyers:Joel Scoler; Nicholas Williams; William Buchner; Anthony Spadaro 

Testimonials

The team is exceptionally knowledgeable and know what market terms are for leveraged-financed deals. Lawyers are very responsive, produce zero-defect work and able to synthesize complex issues down to the most important attributes.’

Davies exhibits an in-depth knowledge across industries, asset classes and structures. The firm is very responsive and I do not just get communication from partners at the beginning of a file and then at the end, like some firms.’

Partners are engaged throughout the deal and I hear from them often; which makes me feel well supported and comforted knowing there is a senior set of eyes following progress.’

Key Clients

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.

Bank of Montreal

Bank of Nova Scotia

Barrick Gold Corporation

Birch Hill Equity Partners

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Fortis Inc.

Manufacturers Life Insurance Company

National Bank of Canada

Northleaf Capital Partners

Royal Bank of Canada

Toronto-Dominion Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of lenders, led by Scotiabank, in the third amendment of $2.2bn revolving credit facilities provided to Magna International and its subsidiaries in North America, Europe and Asia.
  • Acted for a syndicate of dealers on several issuances of mortgage bonds by Canada Housing Trust No. 1, a special-purpose securitization trust of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
  • Acted for Axium Infrastructure and Manulife on a private placement of over $1bn worth of bonds in Canada and the US, which was used to refinance bridge loans used to complete their acquisition of AltaGas’ interest in three hydroelectric projects in northwest British Columbia.
  • Advised the lending syndicate, led by National Bank of Canada, TD Bank and HSBC Bank Canada, on a $150m syndicated revolving credit facility to Medical Facilities Corporation.
  • Acted for BMO, as agent for a syndicate of lenders, on a $135m senior secured credit facility to Summit Industrial Income REIT.

Fasken’s national practice strikes a balance between transactional and compliance matters, with project finance, mining-related deals and financial services regulation all standing out as strong suits. On the transactional front, the firm enjoys close links with lenders (it is on the panel of four of the six largest Canadian banks, and it is also a preferred counsel for foreign financial institutions, credit unions and alternative lenders) as well as major borrowers. Names to note in Toronto include John Torrey, who is lauded as a market heavyweight and is particularly experienced in mining-related matters. The group also benefits from the senior experience of finance stalwart Jon Holmstrom and regulatory specialist Stephen Clark. Among the next generation of partners, up-and-coming specialist Thomas Meagher continues to impress. Also recommended is Montreal-based Marc Novello, who is highly regarded for bank financing.

Practice head(s):Andrew Jackson; Thomas Meagher; Angela Onesi

Other key lawyers:Stephen Clark; Jon Holmstrom; John Torrey

Key Clients

Nalcor Energy

Dorel Industries Inc.

Parkland Fuel Corporation

Royal Bank of Canada

National Bank Financial Markets

Sprott Private Resource Lending (Collector), LP

The Bank of Nova Scotia

Detour Gold Corporation

The Toronto-Dominion Bank

Bank of Montreal

CIBC

KingSett Capital

Windset Farms (Canada) Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Lead counsel to Nalcor Energy on the C$7.9bn financing of the Muskrat Falls Project.
  • Advised TD Bank, and a syndicate of lenders, on various private equity committed capital call facilities in favour of Northleaf Capital Partners’ funds.
  • Acted for Scotiabank, as agent for a syndicate of lenders, on the cross-border senior secured financing of Accord Financial Corporation and certain US and Canadian subsidiaries.
  • Advised Scotiabank, as agent, and a syndicate of lenders on an acquisition financing to support Trevali Mining Corporation’s acquisition of mines in Burkina Faso, Namibia and Peru.
  • Advised National Bank of Canada, as agent, and a syndicate of six lenders on a $200m revolving term facility to Cobalt 27 Capital to finance the Ramu cobalt-nickel stream.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s extensive global network helps fuel a steady stream of multi-jurisdictional mandates, with recent strong showings in US and Africa-related deals. Nationally, the practice group is well weighted among six domestic offices, with Calgary, Montreal and Toronto all standing out as key deal-making centres. In terms of its practice strength, the firm packs a punch in debt finance, asset-based lending and project finance. High-profile figures include Calgary-based Rick Borden, who is widely considered ‘a leader in Alberta’. Best known for his strength in energy-related transactions, Borden is held up by many as a go-to partner for large-scale projects and financings in the oil and gas sector. In Montreal, national banking and finance practice coordinator Peter Wiazowski is noted for his track record in cross-border transactions, while asset-based lending group co-chair David Amato is a name to note in Toronto. Other key contacts include Arnold Cohen and David Lemieux, both of whom are based in Montreal.

Practice head(s):Peter Wiazowski

Other key lawyers:Rick Borden

Testimonials

The team is able to anticipate and address industry trends, and bring a detailed recommendation to negotiations. Partners have very detailed understanding of the structure of our commercial arrangements and can identify opportunities that other individuals might miss.’

Norton Rose Fulbright has a practical and dynamic approach, with good cross-border capability.’

Key Clients

Bank of America

Bank of Montreal

Bombardier Inc.

JPMorgan Chase Bank

National Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada

Toronto-Dominion Bank

Wells Fargo

CDPQ Infra (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec’s project/infrastructure entity)

Bank of Nova Scotia

VanCity

BCMP Mortgage Investment Corporation

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Bausch Health Companies Inc.

Metro Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised TD Securities, CIBC Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets, as lead arrangers, on the C$800m financing of SemCAMS Midstream ULC, a new joint venture formed by SemGroup Corporation and KKR.
  • Assisted Metro with the multi-tranche debt financing required for its C$4.5bn acquisition of The Jean Coutu Group.
  • Acted for CAE, as borrower, on the financing of its $645m acquisition of Bombardier’s business aircraft training business.
  • Advised TransAlta on its C$345m secured bond offering, by way of a private placement.
  • Advised Lundin Gold on the $1bn development of the Fruta del Norte mining project in Ecuador, including the recent closing of phase 2 of its debt financing, which involved a $350m senior secured project finance facility.

Among Torys LLP’s key attributes, market sources draw particular attention to the firm's market-leading regulatory practice, which is spearheaded by financial services expert Blair Keefe, ‘one of the the best in his field’. The group also continues to broaden its footprint on the transactional front, where it regularly links up with other key departments in the firm to provide a full-service offering to corporate borrowers and lenders. Up-and-coming partner Tom Zverina took the helm for a couple of very high-profile recent deals, including advising Mizuho Bank on the politically sensitive — and ultimately terminated — $2.6bn financing of the acquisition of US energy company Avista by Ontario-headquartered Hydro One. He also led the firm’s advice to Choice Properties REIT on the C$2.5bn financing of its acquisition of Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust’s assets, which created Canada’s largest REIT, valued at approximately C$16bn. The national department also draws upon the expertise of Calgary-based Kevin Fougere (noted as ‘a top pick for energy-related financings’), project finance specialist Jonathan Weisz, and joint practice co-heads Adam Delean and Amanda Balasubramanian. Named lawyers are based in Toronto unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):Adam Delean; Amanda Balasubramanian

Other key lawyers:Kevin Fougere; Blair Keefe; Jonathan Weisz; Tom Zverina 

Testimonials

Torys has a well-led team with great bench strength.’

Practical, effective and business-minded lawyers. They raise the issues and tell you which ones matter most.’

Deep and broad market knowledge that adds tremendous value.’

Key Clients

The Toronto-Dominion Bank/TD Securities Inc.

The Bank of Nova Scotia/Scotia Capital

Bank of Montreal/BMO Capital Markets

National Bank of Canada/NBFG

Royal Bank of Canada/RBC Capital Markets

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

CPPIB Credit Investments Inc.

Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

Mizuho Bank Ltd.

Fairfax Financial

Work highlights

  • Acted for Mizuho Bank on the $2.6bn financing of Hydro One’s, ultimately terminated, acquisition of Avista Corporation.
  • Advised Choice Properties REIT on the C$2.5bn financing of its acquisition of Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust’s assets.
  • Acted for RBC and TD Bank as the lenders on an Export Development Canada guarantee-backed corporate facility to provide interim project financing to Trans Mountain Pipeline LP, prior to Trans Mountain being transferred to the Canadian Government by Kinder Morgan.
  • Acted for bus and motor manufacturer, NFI Group, on the establishment of a revolving credit facility with a total borrowing limit of C$1bn.
  • Advised the CIBC-led lending syndicate on a new C$425m senior secured syndicated credit facility to Winnipeg-based Ag Growth International.

Bennett Jones LLP’s longstanding dominance in the oil and gas sector has produced an energy-focused finance practice specializing in advising corporate borrowers on project finance, acquisition finance, syndicated lending and leveraged finance transactions. In Calgary, Philip Backman QC’s name is synonymous with energy finance; he continues to advise North West Redwater Partnership on the financing of the construction of its C$10bn bitumen refinery in Alberta, one of the largest projects ever constructed in Canada. Outside of the energy sphere, Calgary-based financial services co-head Patrick Brennan is highlighted as ‘the first name you think of for aviation finance in Canada’. Karen Dawson is also a key contact in Calgary. On the lender side, Toronto-based Mark Rasile has recently undertaken work for China Construction Bank. Steven Lutz, who co-leads the financial services group, is also recommended in Toronto.

Practice head(s):Steven Lutz; Patrick Brennan

Other key lawyers:Philip Backman QC; Karen Dawson

Testimonials

I am very fortunate to work with an experienced team who make me, as a client, feel like my requirements are on the front burner every time.’

While Bennett Jones is a large firm, they offer a uniquely "small firm" feel. I know that when there is an issue I can call the partner and have a conversation about legal and business risk, which is very valuable to me.’

Key Clients

AIMCo- Alberta Investment Management Corp.

Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB)

ATCO Group

Bank of America

Bank of Montreal (BMO), BMO Capital Partners and various affiliates

Chorus Aviation

Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited

Newalta Inc.

Parkland Fuel Corporation

Wells Fargo Capital Finance Corporation Canada and Wells Fargo Bank NA

Work highlights

  • Advised North West Redwater Partnership on a syndicated credit agreement with RBC and CIBC to support the ongoing construction of its C$10bn bitumen refinery in Alberta.
  • Advised Veresen Midstream on a restatement of its credit facilities.
  • Acted for China Construction Bank, as lead arranger, on a $870m credit facility to help finance Zijin Mining Group’s C$1.8bn friendly takeover of Nevsun Resources.
  • Assisted Stantec with the amendment and restatement of its C$1.1bn senior unsecured term and revolving credit facilities.
  • Counsel to TriWest Capital Partners (as sponsor) and Lithion Power Group (as borrower) on an acquisition financing provided by an RBC-led syndicate of lenders.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP’s increasingly prominent banking team combines a strong presence in both Eastern and Western Canada with strengths in corporate lending, structured finance, project finance and regulatory matters. The firm is a key counsel to major banks such as BMO, Scotiabank and HSBC Bank Canada, and also consistently acts for credit unions, funds and borrowers. Key contacts include Vancouver-based national lead Donald Bird, who regularly acts for lenders and borrowers, Montreal-based Vincent Frenette, and Calgary-based corporate finance partner David Whelan QC. Also recommended is Montreal-based senior counsel Kenneth Atlas.

Practice head(s):Donald Bird; Vincent Frenette; Stephen Redican; David Whelan

Other key lawyers:Kenneth Atlas

Key Clients

Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union

Bank of Montreal

The Toronto-Dominion Bank

The Bank of Nova Scotia

Ares Capital Corporation

RFA Capital Partners Inc. and RFA CMBS Limited Partnership

Roynat Capital Inc.

Auto Canada Inc.

Her Majesty in Right of Canada (The Government of Canada)

Finning International Inc.

Sun Life Financial

Capital Power

HSBC Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada

National Bank of Canada

CIBC

Work highlights

  • Acted for Coast Capital, as borrower, on a C$1.5bn syndicated loan led by CIBC.
  • Advised BMO, as agent, on a C$700m syndicated credit facility to Innergex Renewable Energy to support its C$1.1bn acquisition of Alterra Power.
  • Advised TD Bank, as the administrative agent, and the lenders on the refinancing of Bell Canada’s credit facilities.
  • Advised the administrative agent and the lenders on new credit facilities for Vision 7 International to finance the acquisition of San-Francisco-based creative agency Eleven.
  • Acted for Scotiabank, as administrative agent and co-lead arranger, on C$800m senior secured credit facilities to Cineplex.

Goodmans is rated for its strong borrower-side relationships. The practice also secures a significant volume of lender-side mandates, where it often acts alongside its market-leading restructuring and insolvency group to advise on complex restructuring-related matters. Jean Anderson remains an active figure in the market and recently teamed up with the restructuring group to advise lenders on several recent deals. On the borrower-side, Celia Rhea led the finance aspects of the firm’s advice to Onex Corporation on its headline C$5bn acquisition of WestJet Airlines, including its connected acquisition financing. Other key contacts include Jeffrey Citron, whose practice also takes in hospitality and sports law matters, David Nadler and Dan Dedic, who ‘quickly engenders trust’.

Practice head(s):Jean Anderson; David Nadler

Testimonials

Lawyers are very knowledgeable, pragmatic and easy to deal with.’

Goodmans has good institutional relationships with corporate borrowers.’

Key Clients

The Bank of Montreal

The Royal Bank of Canada

The Toronto-Dominion Bank

The Bank of Nova Scotia

Wells Fargo Capital Finance Corporation Canada

PNC Bank

Bank of America

OMERS

HUB International

Citizens Bank, N.A.

US Bank

Mandalay Resources

Work highlights

  • Advised Onex Corporation on its C$5bn acquisition of WestJet Airlines, which included acting as Canadian counsel to Onex on the  related acquisition financing.
  • Advised Wells Fargo on structuring a $1bn exit financing for American Tire Distributors to support operations and future growth initiatives.
  • Advised Brookfield Real Estate Services on amending its finance arrangements with CIBC.
  • Advised Penfund on a C$100m second lien credit facility to Goodlife Fitness Centres.
  • Acted for the syndicate of lenders on a C$70m secured term loan to Conifex Power Limited Partnership to refinance its existing loan.

McMillan LLP draws upon its extensive regional network, includes offices across Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, to provide comprehensive national coverage of banking and finance matters. Further afield, the group also benefits from an international platform in Hong Kong. Toronto-based Paul Avis, who co-chairs the financial services practice, handles all areas of debt financing, including syndicated loans, asset based lending and structured finance. Jeffrey Rogers, also based in Toronto, co-chairs the syndicated finance department and enjoys a strong reputation in the market. Other key contacts include John Morrison and Eric Friedman, who operate from Vancouver and Toronto respectively.

Practice head(s):Paul Avis; Jeffrey Rogers

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP benefits from robust platforms in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver and New York, and has handled several high-profile acquisition financings over the past year. The department also stands out in private equity, project finance, restructuring-related deals and regulatory matters. Following the retirement of Laurie Barrett, Toronto-based Kevin Morley is one of the most experienced names in the group; he blends his debt finance expertise with a strong record in restructuring matters. Other key figures in Toronto include financial services chair Chris Bennett (‘a great project finance lawyer’), Toronto-based Richard Borins (‘strong attention to detail, proactive and commercial’) and Michael Hart, who deserves praise for his growing reputation in major deals. Outside of Toronto, Vancouver’s Martha Martindale and Montreal-based Etienne Massicotte are the names to note.

Practice head(s):Chris Bennett

Other key lawyers:Kevin Morley

Testimonials

Lawyers at Oslers are impressive and a pleasure to work with.’

Key Clients

CIBC

Bank of Montreal

Royal Bank of Canada

TD Securities

National Bank

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC

Morgan Stanley Senior Funding Inc.

Hootsuite

Blackstone Property Partners

Penfund

Deutsche Bank AG

BC Partners Advisors

Work highlights

  • Acted for the syndicate of lenders and the underwriters on Brookfield Infrastructure’s C$4.3bn acquisition of Enbridge’s Western Canadian midstream business.
  • Advised Ensign Energy Services on the C$1.2bn financing of its acquisition of Trinidad Drilling.
  • Advised Blackstone Property Partners on its C$3.8bn buyout of Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust.
  • Acted for HPS Investment Partners on its financing to Madison Dearborn Partners for a management-led buyout of its minority capital partner.
  • Acted for RBC, as agent for a syndicate of lenders, on Northern Crane Group’s C$300m recapitalization transaction, implemented under the CBCA.

Calgary-based Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP has an impressive record in energy-related financings, with solid showings in debt capital markets, structured finance and syndicated loans. The firm stands out on the borrower side, with recent engagements for PrairieSky Royalty and Strad Energy Services; it also routinely acts for banks. Key contact Kathy Pybus and seasoned veteran John Wilmot are the senior names to note. Experienced up-and-coming partner Nancy Smith and Simina Ionescu-Mocanu are also recommended.

Practice head(s):Kathy Pybus

Other key lawyers:Nancy Smith; John Wilmot

Testimonials

Burnet Duckworth & Palmer is leader in Alberta.’

A top choice for energy borrowers.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for PrairieSky Royalty on a $200m syndicated extendable revolving credit facility and a $25 million extendable operating credit facility.
  • Advise the agent and a syndicate of ten lenders on a C$750m secured credit facility to Canada-based Superior Plus Corporation, and its US and Chilean affiliates.

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP’s signature mining practice continues to attract the bulk of finance deals; however, it is increasingly sharing the workload with the firm’s dominant cannabis practice, which has risen to become a significant driver of corporate finance work. Jason Arbuck, who sits in the financial services, private equity and hospitality teams, heads the practice from Toronto. Marc Mercier, Alison Manzer and Charles Rich — all of whom are based in Toronto — are also names to note for banking transactions.

Practice head(s):Jason Arbuck

Traditionally strong on the borrower side, Dentons’ national banking group continues to raise its profile among lenders, with recent weighty mandates for both domestic and foreign financial institutions. Most notably, Toronto-based Dennis Wiebe (‘every deal he’s on runs smoothly’) acted for HSBC Bank Canada on two deals over the past year. The team also benefits from the firm’s increasingly prominent cannabis practice, and recently advised a major Canadian bank, as agent, on a C$200m syndicated loan to Aurora Cannabis, which represented the first conventional debt financing of a cannabis company in Canada — Toronto-based Tom Hunter led that matter.

Practice head(s):Dennis Wiebe

Testimonials

Dentons understands business needs and takes great care to manage the legal process and its costs. The quality of workmanship is outstanding.’

The firm is very responsive and client-focused. They provide very practical legal and business advice.’

They are a highly capable group of lawyers; very good technically and they also understand the importance of forging good relationships with their clients

The team takes the time to truly understand the client’s businesses and what they value in a lawyer.’

Dentons Canada is excellent at transaction management and a pleasure to deal with, which results in a very smooth and effective transaction process.’

Key Clients

HSBC Bank Canada

National Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada

The Bank of Nova Scotia

RoyNat Inc.

The Toronto-Dominion Bank

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Alberta Treasury Branches

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Canadian Western Bank

GE Capital

Comerica Bank

MUFG Union Bank, N.A., Union Bank - Canada Branch

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (Canada)

Toronto Community Housing Corporation

Citibank Canada

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Greystone Managed  Investments

Business Development Bank of Canada

Bank of America

BNP Paribas

PNC Bank

Natixis

Laurentian Bank of Canada

Bank of New York (BNY) Mellon

Brookfield

Société Générale

First National Financial

Work highlights

  • Acted for HSBC Bank Canada, as agent for a syndicate of lenders, on a C$250m credit facility to a mining company.
  • Advised ARI Financial Services on a C$600m syndicated financing led by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
  • Advised Credit Suisse AG on a financing to Flexiti Financial to support its C$250m acquisition of TD Financing Services’ Canadian private label credit card portfolio.
  • Advised a major Canadian bank, as agent, on a C$200m syndicated loan to Aurora Cannabis.
  • Advised HSBC Bank Canada on a C$90m syndicated acquisition financing to support Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC’s acquisition of State Group and its subsidiaries in Canada and the US.

Spread across six Canadian offices, DLA Piper (Canada) LLP fields a dynamic banking practice with significant experience in energy, commodities and project finance-related deals. Though it does act for banks, the group is best known for its borrower-side practice. Montreal-based practice lead Marc Philibert and Toronto-based debt finance specialist Eric Belli-Bivar are key contacts, and corporate finance partner Ilia Danef recently joined the Toronto office from Baker McKenzie.

Practice head(s):Marc Philibert

Key Clients

Polynt Composites Canada Inc.

Crestmark Bank

Siemens Financial Services, Inc.

Appvion Canada Ltd.

Canaccord Genuity Corp.

CanWel Building Materials Group Ltd.

Altus Group Limited

Sprott Private Resource Lending (Collector), L.P.

Sprott Resource Lending Corp.

Work highlights

  • Assisted INEOS Enterprises Holdings on the refinancing of its existing facilities, worth €350m.
  • Advised Appvion Canada on a $100m DIP facility.
  • Advised Valiant on the amendment of a $70m credit facility with BMO.
  • Acted for Lloyds Bank on providing a £100m revolving credit facility, with a £50m accordion option, to Rainy City Investments.
  • Acted for Siemens Financial on the amendment to the C$300m credit facility provided to US Steel Canada.

Gowling WLG’s banking and finance practice covers all the major bases, with its extensive national network attracting a diverse regional deal flow spanning the real estate, energy, manufacturing and technology sectors, among others. The firm’s international dimension is also a significant string to its bow, and it remains a popular choice for foreign as well as domestic borrowers and lenders. Cost-effectiveness is a recurring theme among market sources, a trait that underlies the group’s success in leveraging the wider firm’s tech-savvy approach to legal services delivery to provide industry-specific tools supporting fixed-fee arrangements. David Cohen has a strong record restructuring and distressed M&A and heads the team from Toronto. In Calgary, Elizabeth Burton impresses with her ability to ‘find the most effective alternative by considering many different views and ideas’; she is noted for energy and real estate finance.

Practice head(s):David Cohen

Testimonials

The team’s knowledge in the commercial banking finance sector, coupled with its partners’ ability to address the viewpoints of in-house counsel, differentiates Gowlings from other law firms.’

Gowling WLG’s responsiveness, contacts and knowledge makes it unique and, from a client perspective, results in efficient deal flow and lower legal bills.’

Gowlings is a solid firm with international links. As our clients grow, using a form with global reach becomes more and more important. Lawyers are all top-flight and really understand our client base.’

We value the firm’s strong internal communication, depth of knowledge across the entire team and deep industry knowledge.’

We can always count on Gowlings to come to us in advance to discuss and walk through the structure of the deal which leads to the most efficient, cost effective approach to any proposed transaction.’

Key Clients

RBC Royal Bank

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Bank of Nova Scotia

Toronto Dominion Bank

Bank of Montreal

HSBC Bank Canada

National Bank of Canada

Crédit Mutuel – Banque Transatlantique

Banque Maroccaine de Commerce Extérieur (BMCE)

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of lenders, led by TD Securities, on a C$500m committed financing to Painted Pony.
  • Advised the developers of Westman Village, a mixed-use community development in Calgary, on a C$210m loan from a syndicate of banks led by BMO.
  • Canadian counsel to PSC Metals, Cappco Tubular Products Canada and certain of their affiliates on a new credit agreement, including a $65m asset-based revolving credit facility agented by Bank of America.
  • Advising the underwriters, co-led by TD Securities, CIBC Capital Markets and Scotiabank, on Firm Capital Mortgage Investment Corporation’s C$25m bought deal financing of convertible unsecured subordinated debentures.
  • Advised Meridian Credit Union on regulatory issues concerning the establishment of new entrant digital bank, Motusbank.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments worldwide

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

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to