Banking and finance in Canada

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Combining standalone offerings in both banking regulation and financial transactions, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP fields one of the broadest financial services practices in the market. Through its well-staffed platforms in Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver, the team enjoys close relationships with major Canadian banks, and its New York and London offices also mark it as a popular choice to advise multinational financial institutions. On the regulatory side, national financial services head Paul Belanger is widely regarded as a market leader; in a notable pathfinder mandate, he advised Definity Financial (formerly Economical Mutual Insurance Company) on the first property and casualty demutualization in Canada. Jacqueline Shinfield and up-and-coming partner Bonny Murray are also key contacts for regulatory work. On the transactional front, Michael Matheson represents financial institutions and alternative lenders on many of Canada’s largest financings; he recently advised BMO, and a syndicate of lenders, on providing $1.4bn of credit facilities to support Brookfield Infrastructure’s C$8bn acquisition of Inter Pipeline. Other senior names include Calgary-based Michael McIntosh KC, who specializes in energy-related financings; Simon Finch, who routinely acts for both lenders and corporate borrowers; and seasoned finance expert Michael Harquail. The group also leans on Calgary-based next-generation partner Nick Tropak and counsel Mena Bellofiore, whose practice is dedicated to regulatory compliance. Named lawyers are based in Toronto unless otherwise stated.

Key clients

Bank of Montreal

Calgary Airport Authority

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Capstone Mining Corp.

Definity Financial Corp, formerly Economical Mutual Insurance Company (“Economical”)

Enerplus Corporation

ENMAX Corporation

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board

PayIt LLC

Royal Bank of Canada

Scotiabank

TC Energy Corporation

TD Bank Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Bank of Montreal/BMO Capital Markets, and a syndicate of lenders, in respect of the acquisition of Inter Pipeline, pursuant to a statutory plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act.
  • Advised TC Energy and Coastal GasLink Pipeline Limited Partnership on the landmark construction project financing for the construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project.
  • Advised Definity Financial (formerly Economical Mutual Insurance Company) on the first property and casualty demutualization in Canada.

McCarthy Tétrault

Noted for its ‘knowledge of industry precedents‘, McCarthy Tétrault possesses an enviable track record of involvement in many of the country’s landmark finance transactions. The firm also houses a prominent regulatory practice, which frequently advises domestic and foreign financial institutions on financial services policy development and implementation. Names to note in the former sphere include high-profile specialist Richard Higa, who shines in major, large-scale lending transactions. Higa led on one of the market’s marquee deals for 2021 when he acted as Canadian counsel to Bank of America Securities and Bank of America (Canada Branch) — as financial advisor, underwriter and lead arranger to Rogers Communications — in relation to Rogers’ C$26bn acquisition of Shaw Communications. The group also includes Justin Lapedus, whose practice takes in a broad range of secured and unsecured lending transactions; project finance specialist Stephen Furlan; and Montreal-based Michel Deschamps. On the non-transactional side, Ana Badour is recommended for her strong skill sets in banking regulation and fintech, while Nancy Carroll combines strength in financial services and insurance law matters. Seasoned counsel Barry Ryan is also highly regarded for his long-standing reputation in the banking and finance field. Up-and-coming names include partner Ian Mak and talented associate Noel Chow, both of whom focus on transactional work. Debt capital markets expert Marc MacMullin spearheads the broader financial services department.

Practice head(s):

Marc MacMullin

Testimonials

‘Being able to call on experienced partners in the industry is extremely valuable when negotiating, as their knowledge of industry precedents is very helpful. The collaboration between groups at McCarthy Tétrault is also helpful.’

‘The firm provides excellent support and representation for trade finance and supply chain finance matters, particularly Michel Deschamps.’

‘James-Scott Lee and Sydney Hamilton are fantastic and so easy to deal with. The knowledge and anticipation in managing the process makes life so much easier.’

‘Lawyers at McCarthy always make themselves available to be our sounding board. The team has gone above and beyond by offering us proactive training or has volunteered to provide ad-hoc training to my team regarding specific matters. Even in the pandemic, it held virtual training sessions.’

‘Mary Jeanne Phelan is a standout in the market. She is always available, extremely knowledgeable and, most importantly, she is solution-orientated. MJ has mastered the art of getting the deal done.’

Key clients

Bank of America Securities Inc. and Bank of America N.A. (Canada Branch)

National Bank of Canada, National Bank Financial

ATB Financial

Credit Suisse

Morgan Stanley

Bank of Montreal

Barclays Bank PLC

Fiera Capital

Wells Fargo & Company

Société de financement et d’accompagnement en performance énergétique s.e.c. (SOFIAC)

Pinch Financial Inc.

Brookfield Infrastructure

KPS Capital Partners

Canadian Market Infrastructure Committee

Instar Asset Management Inc.

Fairfax India Holdings Corporation

Natixis Canada

Uni-Select Inc.

Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications Inc.

MUFG Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted as Canadian counsel to Bank of America Securities and Bank of America (Canada Branch) as financial advisor, underwriter and lead arranger to Rogers Communications in relation to its C$26bn acquisition of Shaw Communications; Bank of America provided partial financing for the transaction in the form of a bridge loan.
  • Advised Fairfax India Holdings Corporation on its C$175m unsecured revolving credit facility with a syndicate of lenders.
  • Advised KPS Capital Partners, as Canadian counsel, on the cross-border acquisition of Metra Holding S.p.A. and Metra S.p.A.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP‘s focus on strengthening its lender-side practice has paid dividends over recent years, as evidenced by its recent marquee mandates for several of Canada’s Big Six banks. Most notably, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) turned to the team for support on financing dentalcorp Holdings’ C$950m IPO. Led jointly by Carol Pennycook and Dan Wolfensohn out of Toronto and Montreal respectively, the group also includes high-profile lender-side specialist Joel Scoler, who advised the lenders on VersaCold Logistics Services’ financing of its acquisition of a portfolio of cold storage warehouse assets. Among its borrower-side highlights, Scott Hyman advised Toromont Industries on a C$500m revolving credit facility from a syndicate of lenders. Senior corporate finance specialist Derek Vesey is also recommended. The group additionally benefits from an increasingly prominent band of next-generation partners, including Peter Martorelli, who led on the dentalcorp work, William Buchner and Anthony Spadaro.

Testimonials

‘The team as a whole is outstanding. Its strengths as a team include being able to combine lawyers’ skill sets and experience (from the junior level all the way to the most senior partner) to provide seamless legal advice to clients.’

‘Its work product is of superior quality to other firms. It adds value in the review and drafting of transaction documentation through lawyers’ collective knowledge and experience. This is extremely valuable because it provides comfort that the legal diligence and contractual aspects of our transactions are structured properly.’

‘The team’s primary strengths include strong industry and sector-specific knowledge, being highly-experienced in contractual negotiations with counterparties and responsiveness to transaction timelines and deadlines.’

Key clients

Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation

The Blackstone Group

TPG Global LLC

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)

Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)

Bank of Montreal (BMO)

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

National Bank of Canada

Rogers Communications Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation on Air Canada’s approximately C$6bn financing agreements with the Government of Canada through the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) program.
  • Acted for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce on financing dentalcorp Holdings’ C$950m IPO, which involved a C$1.3bn senior credit facility; C$250m bridge facilities; and C$250m margin loan facilities for material shareholders of dentalcorp Holdings.
  • Advised a syndicate of lenders led by the Bank of Nova Scotia, as administrative agent, on credit facilities to VersaCold Logistics Services to help finance its acquisition of a portfolio of cold storage warehouse assets from H&R REIT and Crestpoint Real Estate Investments.

Fasken

Fasken‘s banking and finance practice is distinguished both by its extensive national platform, which spans offices across Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Colombia, as well as its international capability, which includes offices in Beijing, Johannesburg and London. A stand-out performer in mining-related financings, leveraging its firm-wide strength, the department also shines in energy and private equity transactions. In Toronto, Thomas Meagher is sought after for mining-related work and advised Scotiabank and the syndicate of lenders on the financing of Equinox’s acquisition of Premier Gold and its flagship assets, which involved five distinct intercreditor agreements. Toronto is also the seat of John Torrey, who stepped down to counsel in January 2022, and impressive associate Daniel Conrad. In Montreal, Marc Novello and Angela Onesi are the names to note, while Scott Sangster is a key contact in Calgary. Onesi co-heads the national practice alongside Vancouver-based Andrew Jackson and Toronto partners David Johnson and Dev Singh.

Testimonials

‘Fasken provides exceptional, prompt, business-customized, and responsive service to us. We are a long-time client and we feel that our legal needs are prioritized and attended to with care and high quality service.’

‘Fasken’s banking and finance team provides exceptional legal advice while working alongside our internal finance and legal department to ensure their advice is consistent with our business objectives and needs. They are a trusted counsel to and extension of our internal legal team.’

‘It is a pleasure to work with the team, led by Angela Onesi. Lawyers are always professional, friendly, and courteous, and enjoyable team members. They collaborate well together, internally, and also externally with our business team members and counterparties’ external counsel.’

‘The team at Fasken has an ultimate can-do attitude, always able to take on work and meet client deadlines. Fasken has expertise across sectors and specializations, and team members always bring in the experts when required. Capacity/resourcing and responsiveness are two areas where Fasken stands out compared with other firms.’

‘Dev Singh is a wonderful partner to work with, he always strikes the right balance between being thorough and pragmatic, and can recommend the most commercially fair approach to ensure efficient resolution. Dev’s management of tricky client relationships and dynamics is second to none.’

Daniel Conrad is an absolute workhorse and has a deep knowledge of technical legal matters. Daniel always goes above and beyond to ensure deliverables are timely and accurate, and is willing to go the extra mile to meet deadlines.

‘The people are very strong. The partners care about the client service, they do not outsource all the work to senior associates. Our partner, despite having a big book, makes himself available in a short period of time, knows everything about a file and is very commercial and pragmatic.’

‘Thomas Meagher is an excellent mining lawyer, always leads with the best advice and counsel, but is prepared to walk back and compromise based on feedback from banking partners (a very practical approach).’

Key clients

The Big Six: Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montréal, Toronto-Dominion Bank, and National Bank of Canada

Bank of America

Bank Mandiri

Export Development Canada

Desjardins Financial Group

Macquarie Group

Goldman Sachs

BNP Paribas

ING Capital LLC

Société Générale

Anjac Health & Beauty

Anglo Pacific Group plc

LifeSpeak Inc.

Fairfax Financial

Just Energy

Foraco International

Echelon Fitness

Novacap

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead counsel to the ‘Big Six’ banks (BNS, TD, BMO, RBC, CIBC and National Bank) and the lending syndicate on Fortis Inc’s C$1.3bn revolving credit facility.
  • Advised Bank of Nova Scotia and Bank of Montreal (and managed the coordination of syndicate’s counsel in the US, Brazil, British Virgin Islands and Guernsey) on Sandstorm Gold’s landmark credit facility linked to sustainability goals.
  • Acted as lead counsel to the Bank of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and the lending syndicate on the $500m multi-jurisdictional refinancing of the existing secured credit facilities of Pan American Silver Corp.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Very practical lawyers with a deep bench‘, Norton Rose Fulbright impresses clients with its extensive international reach, cited as ‘useful when looking at cross-border transactions‘. Equally adept at advising both lenders and borrowers, the group handles the full-range of corporate leveraged loans, asset-based lending, acquisition finance, project finance and structured finance, with particular expertise in multi-jurisdictional deals. High-profile names include Calgary-based Rick Borden, who is acclaimed for project finance and energy-related matters; he recently advised Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Bank of Montreal on providing C$420m syndicated and bilateral credit facilities to the Calgary Airport Authority, as part of the latter’s debt restructuring. In Montreal, national practice coordinator Peter Wiazowski, asset-based lending co-head Arnold Cohen and corporate finance partner David Lemieux are recommended. Key names in Toronto include David Amato, who co-chairs the asset-based lending group, and Elana Hahn, who maintains a broad banking and finance practice. Vancouver’s Matthew Choi and Toronto’s Russell Dufault were both elevated to the partnership in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Peter Wiazowski

Testimonials

‘We value the firm for its very strong partners, best-in-class legal advice and large international network if required. Excellent turnaround time and service level from everyone in the team.’

‘David Lemieux is most likely the best banking counsel in Montréal. In addition to strong legal advice, he has excellent business acumen and can be a good sounding board for business matters/strategy as well.’

‘Very practical lawyers with a deep bench. Global capabilities are useful when looking at cross-border transactions.’

‘Very knowledgeable but at reasonable rates. The lawyers make my life as a banker much easier as they handle most of the legal negotiations directly with the counterparty’s counsel.’

Key clients

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Bank of Montreal

Royal Bank of Canada

ATB Financial

CMHC – Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation

National Bank of Canada

Porter Airlines

Transat A.T. Inc.

GreenFirst Forest Products Inc.

Bausch Health Companies Inc.

CAE Inc.

Flexiti Financial Inc.

SNC Lavalin

Mantos Copper/Mantoverde: Syndicate of lenders

Work highlights

  • Advised Porter Airlines on a C$270.5m loan from the Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation under the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF).
  • Advised CAE on several matters, including on the multi-tranche financings of its acquisitions of Sabre Corporation’s AirCentre airline operations portfolio, and L3Harris Technologies’ military training business.
  • Acted for Bank of Montreal, as administrative and collateral agent, on Dorel Industries’ new $450m senior secured asset-based revolving financing with institutional lenders.

Stikeman Elliott LLP

M&A powerhouse Stikeman Elliott LLP utilizes its strong relationships with major Canadian and foreign companies to excel in representing corporate borrowers on complex financing transactions. The group also acts for lenders and sponsors and in a recent highlight example of its practice sweet spot, Toronto-based national group head Jennifer Legge acted for GFL Environmental on the amendment, restatement and upsize of its senior secured syndicated credit facilities, which included a C$905m revolving operating facility, among other features. The Toronto team also includes former banking and finance head Daphne MacKenzie and Craig Mitchell, whose practice spans banking, restructuring and private equity. Additionally, Peter Hamilton and next-generation partner Meaghan Obee Tower are also noted in Toronto for their combination of regulatory and transactional expertise. The national group further benefits from a capable Montreal team, which includes corporate finance partner Howard Rosenoff, who is recommended for his track record in advising both lenders and borrowers on finance transactions. Montreal office highlights included Serge Levy advising Navacord on its C$1bn financing.

Torys

Lawyers at Torys strike the right note for being ‘willing to shape documents to fit unique transactions‘. The group’s diverse client base includes major banks, pension funds, corporate borrowers and public sector entities, whom it advises on a range of lending transactions and strategic regulatory matters. On the transactional side, Toronto-based Adam Delean ranks among Canada’s leading lights; he recently advised Royal Bank of Canada, and the lending syndicate, on providing C$485m senior secured credit facilities to Pet Valu Canada. Amanda Balasubramanian, who co-heads the banking and debt finance practice alongside Delean, and Tom Zverina are also noted for transactional matters in Toronto, while pre-eminent specialist Blair Keefe and the increasingly prominent Jill McCutcheon are optimal choices for regulatory issues. Outside of Toronto, the firm’s Calgary office is held up by one banking client as ‘the best in the city‘, with Kevin Fougere recommended for his strength in energy-related matters. Fougere recently advised ATB Financial on the project financing of the East Strathmore 20 MW Solar Project in Alberta. Calgary-based senior associate Tyrel Henderson is also highlighted for his ‘excellent work‘.

Testimonials

‘We appreciate the team’s responsiveness and connection with the inner workings of the relevant regulators (OSFI, FINTRAC, FCAC). The team is highly experienced and very practical.’

‘Responsiveness and practicality – the ability to look at the question from multiple angles and come up with pragmatic solutions. A fantastic team.’

‘The Torys banking team in Calgary is the best in the city. It handles the most complicated transactions in my portfolio, is willing to shape documents to fit unique transactions and helps bring transactions to the finish line. Lawyers are commercial, very well respected, and are some of my most trusted partners.’

‘Kevin Fougere is the best lawyer I have ever worked with. (I run a major corporate banking division and Kevin and his team are one of the two firms we always rely on).’

Tyrel Henderson works with us and provides excellent work. He is highly respected, always available and is a critical piece of our deal teams. I trust Ty and his advice implicitly.’

Key clients

Canadian Development Investment Corp. and Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation

Department of Justice Canada and the Government of Canada

George Weston Limited

The Toronto-Dominion Bank

Brookfield Group of Companies

Royal Bank of Canada

Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group

TMX Group Limited

ATB Financial

Bank of Montreal

Imperial Capital Limited

Credit Union Central of Saskatchewan

National Bank of Canada

Sagard Capital

The Bank of Nova Scotia

Work highlights

  • Advised the Government of Canada on the development of the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) program.
  • Acted for the Department of Justice, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Industry on Canada’s C$1.5bn financing for Telesat’s Lightspeed Low Earth Orbit Satellite constellation.
  • Advised George Weston on its credit arrangements for its C$1.1bn sale of Weston Foods fresh and frozen bakery businesses to affiliated entities of FGF Brands.

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP is recognized for its strength in infrastructure, and energy and natural resources-related financings, acting for both borrowers and lenders. It also shines in representing alternative lenders, including private equity clients and hedge fund debt investors. In a recent highlight, Toronto-based Mark Rasile advised the lead arrangers and syndicate on the amendment and restatement of Cameco Corp’s C$1bn syndicated revolving credit facility. Toronto’s Steve Lutz co-heads the national practice alongside Calgary-based aviation finance expert Patrick Brennan. The group also includes the increasingly prominent Karen Dawson in Calgary, while regulatory specialist John Teolis and cannabis sector specialist David Rotchtin are noted in Toronto.

Practice head(s):

Steven Lutz; Patrick Brennan

Work highlights

  • Advised Canadian Pacific Railway on its cross-border merger with Kansas City Southern, including advising on a $500m term loan facility with Bank of Montreal, as administrative agent.
  • Acted as Canadian counsel to TMV Corp in connection with substantial amendments to an existing credit agreement, and an increasing commitment agreement under New York law-governed credit documents, for Tenaska and certain of its subsidiaries.
  • Advised SECURE Energy Services on its combination with Tervita Corporation, which included a new negotiated C$800m syndicated credit agreement for the combined entity.

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

On the borrower side, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP is distinguished by its relationships with major mining and cannabis companies. In a recent example of its mining strength, banking and speciality finance, co-head Jennifer Wasylyk acted alongside mining and banking partner David Budd, who splits his time between Toronto and Vancouver, to represent Sandstorm Gold on its amended and restated credit facility, which increased its revolving credit agreement to $350m. On the lender front, the group advises alternative lenders, fintechs and financial institutions on financing transactions. Charles Newman co-chairs the banking and speciality finance practice, while Charles Rich steers the financial services department. Other key finance contacts include Marc Mercier, Alison Manzer and Jason Arbuck. Named lawyers are based in Toronto unless otherwise stated.

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

CIBC Bank USA

HSBC Bank Canada

Bank of Montreal

Canopy Growth Corporation

Fiera Capital Corporation

Stonebriar Commercial Finance

Business Development Bank of Canada

Timbercreek Mortgage Servicing Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acted for Canopy Growth Corporation on a credit agreement with, among others, funds advised by King Street Capital Management as the anchor lender, which provided for a $750m senior secured term loan facility.
  • Advised Sandstorm Gold on its amended and restated credit facility, which increased its revolving credit agreement to $350m and incorporated sustainability-focused performance targets.
  • Acted for Kirkland Lake Gold on its $24bn combination with Agnico Eagle Mines, including advising on debt-related diligence and debt-related review of the merger agreement and other transaction documents.

Goodmans LLP

Historically focused on corporate borrowers, Goodmans LLP continues to strengthen its lender-side practice as demonstrated by its recent representations of Canadian and foreign banks as well as alternative lenders, particularly private equity funds. In a notable example of its work on the lender-side, department co-head David Nadler advised King Street Capital and Centerbridge Partners on a C$700m financing for a private Canadian fitness facility operator. Seasoned specialist Jean Anderson co-leads the practice and handles a mix of finance transactions and regulatory matters. The group also benefits from the corporate finance experience of Jeffrey Citron, Celia Rhea and dual New York- and Ontario-qualified Michael Bertrand.

Practice head(s):

David Nadler; Jean Anderson

Key clients

Bank of America

Berkshire Partners

Brookfield Asset Management

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Centre Lane Partners

Citizens Bank, N.A.

Colbeck Capital Management LLC

Fiera Private Debt

HUB International

King Street Capital

Klirmark Capital

Mandalay Resources

Macquarie Bank Limited

OMERS

Onex Corporation

Penfund Partners

PNC Bank

Sherritt International Corporation

Source Energy Corporation

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

The Bank of Montreal

The Bank of Nova Scotia

The Toronto-Dominion Bank

US Bank

Wells Fargo Capital Finance Corporation Canada

West Jet

Work highlights

  • Advised King Street Capital and Centerbridge Partners, as lenders, on a C$700m financing for a private Canadian fitness facility operator.
  • Advised Fiera Private Debt, as lender, on a construction, acquisition and term loan facility to BioNorth Energy to finance a biomass-fired power generation facility in Canada.
  • Advised a syndicate of banks on C$2bn of secured acquisition facilities for a large insurance company.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP‘s banking and financial services practice enjoys a significant international dimension, with a strong record in representing foreign lenders and US sponsors on financing deals. Other notable sweet spots include project finance and corporate borrower-side work. Toronto-based department chair Chris Bennett is widely acknowledged as a leading name in project finance and also handles syndicated loans, acquisition finance and other leveraged finance transactions. Additional key names in Toronto include structured finance specialist Lisa Mantello and Joyce Bernasek, who has a focus on debt finance and lending. Infrastructure and corporate finance partner Etienne Massicotte is noted in Montreal.

Practice head(s):

Chris Bennett

Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP

Calgary stalwart Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP is best-known for its record in advising oil and gas clients on sophisticated lending transactions; it also acts for an increasingly prominent base of aviation, healthcare, cannabis production and infrastructure companies. On the lender front, it represents chartered banks, other financial institutions and financial services providers in banking and finance matters. Experienced department head Kathy Pybus spearheads the team with support from Simina Ionescu-Mocanu, who advises lenders and borrowers on secured and unsecured financings, debt finance specialist, Nancy Smith, and newly promoted partner Nicole Chorley.

Practice head(s):

Kathy Pybus

Testimonials

The team takes the time to understand our business needs and is extremely responsive, which we appreciate.’

Simina Ionescu-Mocanu is extremely practical and wise. She seems to have a good handle on when we should push on certain points and when to compromise. Her opinion is always informed by a strong understanding of our business.’

Key clients

ARC Resources Ltd.

The Toronto-Dominion Bank

Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission (APMC), an agent of the Crown in right of Alberta

ATB Financial

TransAlta Corporation

PrairieSky Royalty Ltd.

Perpetual Energy Inc.

Graham Group of Companies

WestJet (an Alberta Partnership)

RBC Capital Markets & Royal Bank of Canada

Decibel Cannabis Company Inc.

Ag Growth International Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Toronto-Dominion Bank, as administrative agent, and a syndicate of lenders on a covenant-based C$1.5bn credit facility in connection with the amalgamation of Strathcona Resources, Caltex Resources and Stickney Resources.
  • Acted for NuVista Energy on a covenant-based C$440m sustainability-linked syndicated loan.
  • Advised Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission (APMC) on, among other matters, the loan guarantee provided by APMC in support of the financing for the construction of the Keystone (KXL) Expansion.

Dentons

Dentons draws on its enviable international platform to handle a significant volume of multi-jurisdictional financings. The group also shines in matters relating to emerging legal markets, including the cannabis, fintech, and cryptocurrency and payments spheres. Toronto-based national group head Ryan Middleton is recognized for his representation of major Canadian banks in technology lending, while Toronto-based Dennis Wiebe co-chairs the global group and specializes in lending and restructuring transactions. Michael Henriques, who has an emphasis on sponsor/fund finance work, and financial institutions head Heidi Clark are also recommended in Toronto. Joel Cabelli spearheads the department in Montreal.

Practice head(s):

Ryan Middleton

Testimonials

‘A professional team, everyone pitches in when we need them.’

‘Lawyers are very solution-oriented, and they can explain the situation in a way that clients can understand. I would say this is their main strength.’

Key clients

The Bank of Nova Scotia

The Toronto-Dominion Bank

National Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada

HSBC Bank Canada

IDEXX Reference Laboratories Ltd.

JPMorgan Chase

Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec.

Credit Suisse Securities

Citibank

Work highlights

  • Advising Bank of Montreal — as administrative agent, lead arranger, sole bookrunner and sustainability structuring agent — on a C$1.5bn senior unsecured sustainability-linked revolving credit facility provided to Premium Brands Operating Limited Partnership.
  • Advising Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec, as administrative agent, on a secured financing connected to the acquisition by Turcotte Group and Home Hardware Stores of the 21 branches and distribution centre of Patrick Morin.
  • Advising National Bank of Canada as administrative agent for a syndicate of lenders on a C$310m (with an additional C$60m accordion) syndicated credit facility made available to certain entities of the Metro Supply Chain Group.

Aird & Berlis LLP

Toronto firm Aird & Berlis LLP houses a robust banking and finance practice that enjoys strong relationships with major Canadian and US banks, as well as non-traditional lenders. Financial services co-head Aaron Collins recently advised Waygar Capital on a financing arrangement with The Very Good Food Company. Steven Graff co-heads the group and has a focus on restructuring, lending, M&A and commercial litigation.

Practice head(s):

Aaron Collins; Steven Graff

Testimonials

‘Lots of expertise in a broad range of legal areas. Practical approach and solutions to matters. Does not get lost in micro details, minutia, non-material matters. Responsive, quick to answer the phone. Common sense-oriented as opposed to a “pie-in-the-sky” approach.’

‘A diverse team. Lots of women in positions of client delivery. Billing is always reasonable; no fluff and nonsense.’

‘We value the team’s practicality, demeanour, speed of response and politeness. Lawyers are not risk averse; they are focused on deal completion as opposed to digging in heels on foolish issues.’

‘Aird & Berlis is always very responsive to our needs and very efficient in its work. Lawyers are very knowledgeable in all areas but particularly so for our asset-based lending group. While (like all firms) it has had some turnover of key personnel servicing our needs as an ABL lender, it has deep enough bench strength to not miss a beat!’

‘Robb English and Jacqueline Goslett are very knowledgeable and responsive to our needs. They turn work in a timely fashion and provide considerable experience and subject matter knowledge to each varying deal (and, in the rare occasion, they don’t know, they are quick to tie in those that do know).’

Key clients

Waygar Capital Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Waygar Capital, an asset-based lender and agent for Ninepoint Canadian Senior Debt Master Fund LP, on a financing arrangement with The Very Good Food Company and certain of its affiliates.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG houses a broad financial services practice, which advises all six of Canada’s major banks from its extensive network of national offices, and also acts for foreign banks and domestic and foreign insurers. In Toronto, national lending head Christopher Alam is noted for his experience in advising both lenders and borrowers meanwhile Dom Glavota is particularly acclaimed for his lender-side representation. Over in Calgary, Elizabeth Burton leads the local practice and has a focus on financings in the energy, real estate and agricultural sectors.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Alam

Testimonials

‘Thomas Subic and his team are personable; they anticipate my needs and they are very timely.’

Key clients

Pipestone Energy Corp.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Henvey Inlet First Nation

McMaster Innovation Park

CIBC World Markets Inc.

RBC Dominion Securities

Scotia Capital Inc.

BMO Nesbitt Burns

TD Securities Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Pipestone Energy Corp on the amendment (and renewal) of its syndicated borrowing base credit facilities with a syndicate of banks, re-affirming its borrowing base at C$280m.
  • Acted for Henvey Inlet First Nation on the development of an on-reserve 300 MW wind generation project and transmission line on Henvey Inlet First Nation lands and other reserve and traditional territory.
  • Advised joint leads and joint bookrunners (CIBC World Markets, RBC Dominion Securities and Scotia Capital, and co-agents BMO Nesbitt Burns and TD Securities) on Calgary Airport Authority’s inaugural bond offering, which raised C$2bn of private placement bonds.