Banking and finance in Canada

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

A dominant force nationally for financial services legal work, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP is recognized for its strength in complex transactional and regulatory matters, acting from well-staffed platforms in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and British Columbia. The firm’s comprehensive domestic offering marks it as a popular choice for headline Canadian work, while its ability to marshal support from its offices in New York, London and Beijing ensures that it is also routinely involved in multi-jurisdictional financings for both local and foreign financial institutions and borrowers. Additionally, the group is distinguished by its ability to pair up with complementary market-leading practices within the wider firm (including capital markets, corporate and tax) to advise on multi-layered transactions. Names to note in Toronto include national group lead Paul Belanger, who advises financial institutions and insurance companies on myriad regulatory matters; Michael Matheson, considered among the country’s leading transactional specialists; Michael Harquail, who handles a mix of corporate lending, debt restructuring and general corporate matters; Simon Finch, recommended for private debt transactions, as well as for mining and project finance; up-and-coming partner Aimee Yee; and counsel Mena Bellofiore. In Calgary, Michael McIntosh QC is acknowledged as a market leader for energy-related work; he recently advised TC Energy Corporation on the sale of a 65% equity stake in the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project and a related financing transaction, which marked largest project financing in Canadian history. Nick Tropak is another increasingly prominent name for banking and finance in Calgary. The national group also includes Montréal practice head Sébastien Vilder and Michael Birch, who spearheads the Vancouver banking team. Dawn Jetten retired from active practice in 2019.

TEST7-tony

Practice head(s):

Paul Belanger; Michael Matheson TEST8-tony

Key clients

Bank of Montreal

Blue Cross Life Insurance Company of Canada

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

ENMAX Corporation

Equinox Gold Corp.

HSBC Bank Canada

Jupiter Resources Inc.

Republic Financial Holdings

Royal Bank of Canada

Scotiabank

TC Energy Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised TC Energy Corporation on its sale of a 65% equity stake in the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project to KKR and AIMCo, and the concurrent execution of a credit agreement providing non-recourse project-level financing to fund the majority of construction costs for the project.
  • Acted for Republic Financial Holdings in its acquisition of Scotiabank (British Virgin Islands) Limited from The Bank of Nova Scotia.
  • Advised Equinox Gold on its $578m all-stock acquisition of Leagold Mining Corporation and concurrent $170m private placement and $500m debt financing.

McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault’s comprehensive financial services practice is rated market-wide for its expertise in all core areas of banking and finance. Widely acknowledged as a market leader for project finance, the group also brings to bear strong skill sets in traditional corporate lending, debt capital markets, fintech and regulatory matters, including litigation. The team acts for a diverse portfolio of clients and is a fixture on bank-side mandates for major local and international financial institutions; it is also consistently instructed by trust companies, insurance companies and corporate borrowers. Richard Higa in Toronto is recognized for his close bank relationships; he recently advised CIBC, as lead arranger, on a C$2.6bn financing to support the C$4.8bn acquisition of Northview Apartment REIT by Starlight Investments and KingSett Capital. Justin Lapedus is active in a range of lender and borrower-side transactions; he counts corporate borrowers, private equity funds and financial institutions among his key clients. Stephen Furlan is also noted in Toronto for his strong track record in project finance deals. Other key transactional contacts include Joseph Palin in Calgary, who is recommended for energy-related work, and Montréal-based Michel Deschamps Ad E and Marie-France Gagnon, who spearheads the Quebec business law practice. On the regulatory front, Toronto-based fintech specialist Ana Badour advises a mix of government departments, financial industry associations and banks on financial institution regulatory matters. Barry Ryan in Toronto is also highly regarded for his senior expertise in regulatory and transactional matters; he recently stepped down to counsel but still co-heads the bank regulatory group together with Badour. Marc MacMullin now solely steers the wider financial services group from Toronto; he focuses on structured finance, asset-backed programmes and covered bond transactions. The firm has offices across Canada, as well as robust international footholds in London and New York.

Practice head(s):

Marc MacMullin

Testimonials

‘They know the specialty finance (lend to lender) space well. We get a lot of comfort from their advice given they know market terms, can draw upon comparable deals and are always available to provide their opinions pre and post transaction.’

‘Quick turn around times, friendly professionals and willing to discuss deals and the market both during and after business hours. DJ Lynde has been great to work with on a number of deals and has gone out of his way to set-up lunch and learns with various firm partners, networking events and other social gatherings where we get to meet the firm’s partners and associates and pick their brains on topical items.’

‘Strong partnership with clients and clearly puts clients interests/deadlines firsts. Processes are always well managed, well communicated and completed with strong quality. Sound and practical advice is always provided.’

‘Justin Lapedus is a strong partner with the ability to execute complex files for new industries and ensures straightforward execution of transactions.’

‘DJ Lynde has excellent communication skills and ensures easy execution of transactions.’

‘Ana Badour’s experience covers a wide range of banking areas from traditional finance and lending to new and emerging payment and regulatory matters. This allows her to have a full end to end understanding of banking and finance which is a huge asset!’

Key clients

The Financial Advisor (Brookfield/Genworth)

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and GIC

Varagon Capital Partners

Ontario Infrastructure and Land Corporations and Metrolinx

Goldmoney Inc.

National Bank of Canada and Desjardins

Scotia Capital Inc.

Le Groupe Maurice

Government of Quebec

MUFG Bank

Newcrest Mining

Canadian Dealers

The Bank of Montreal

Agricultural Bank of China

National Bank of Canada

BMO Harris Bank

Kruger Packaging Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised Bank of Nova Scotia, BMO Capital Markets, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Canada and TD Bank, as financial advisors, on Brookfield’s C$2.4bn acquisition of a controlling stake in Genworth and the related financing.
  • Represented the Government of Québec, as debt holder and equity provider, in the restructuring of Stornoway Diamond Corporation, including C$1bn in debt financing.
  • Acted for Agricultural Bank of China in its applications under the Bank Act to the Minister of Finance to establish a full-service branch in Canada, and to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) for approval to carry on banking business in Canada.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Traditionally associated with borrower-side matters, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP has continued to ramp up its lender-side practice, with all of Canada’s ‘Big Six’ banks (National Bank of Canada, RBC, BMO, CIBC, Scotiabank and TD Bank) included among its key clients. The practice is well versed in the full spread of banking and finance transactions, with acquisition and project finance standing out as notable sweet spots. Active across the country from its Toronto and Montréal bases, the department also benefits from its ability to utilize its New York office in cross-border deals. Carol Pennycook heads the Toronto team and is recognized for her senior experience in complex corporate finance, project finance, debt capital markets and structured finance transactions; she recently advised BMO, RBC and Scotiabank on a C$1.1bn loan facility to shareholders of GFL Environmental Holdings. Lender-side specialist Joel Scoler, also in Toronto, is highly regarded for his relationships with most of Canada’s leading banks, including BMO, CIBC and TD Bank. Other names to note in Toronto include project finance-focused Nicholas WilliamsScott Hyman, who handled a slew of borrower-side matters over the past year; and Derek Vesey, who has significant experience in private equity financing. Up-and-coming Toronto-based partners Anthony Spadaro and William Buchner are noted for energy and project finance-related work. Dan Wolfensohn is a key contact in Montréal, acting for Canadian and US lenders and borrowers.

Practice head(s):

Carol Pennycook; Dan Wolfensohn

Testimonials

‘Very deep bench strength with several highly experienced partners that can handle challenging and complex transactions both individually and collectively as a team.’

‘Anthony Spadaro: practical and efficient approach to tackling challenges. Approaches issues from a business perspective (in legal context), can boil down issues into simple easy to understand explanations. Doesn’t over-staff or waste unnecessary resources ”boiling the ocean” when unique or complex issues arise. Practical approach to dealing with technical points avoids unneeded formal opinions and minimizes hours (key for the client / borrower) where other firms may attempt to over-engineer answers to perceived problems that don’t exist.’

‘Very knowledgeable and experienced in the renewable energy sector. Provides practical advice to protect our interests but also never loses sight of the other.’

Key clients

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank)

The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)

The Bank of Montreal (BMO)

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

National Bank of Canada

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company

Fortis Inc.

Barrick Gold Corporation

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acted for Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada and The Bank of Nova Scotia, as lenders, in providing C$1.1bn in secured margin loan facilities to a number of shareholders of GFL Environmental Holdings.
  • Acted as Canadian counsel to Bank of Montreal, as administrative agent, and a syndicate of lenders in a $600m incremental-term credit facility to BRP Inc.
  • Advised Barrick Gold on the establishment of its historic joint venture with Newmont Goldcorp, which combined their respective mining properties in Nevada to create the world’s largest gold complex.

Fasken

Fasken’s banking and finance team is distinguished by its close relationships with major lenders, routinely acting for domestic and foreign banks and alternative lenders, including private equity funds, in corporate lending transactions and project finance. The firm is also engaged by borrowers, with its notable roster of mining-sector clients supplying a steady flow of borrower-side mandates. The group also sets itself apart through its ability to handle complex international transactions in conjunction with colleagues in its Beijing, Johannesburg and London offices. In a highlight example of its multi-jurisdictional capability, Toronto-based lender-side specialist John Torrey advised private equity fund Taurus Mining Finance Fund No. 2 on the $225m secured financing of Teranga Gold Corporation’s acquisition from Barrick Gold of the Massawa gold project in Senegal; the acquisition financing involved taking security in Africa, Australia, Europe and Canada. Also in Toronto, Thomas Meagher is an increasingly prominent banking expert, with strong skill sets in commercial debt deals and an emphasis on mining-related work. Other contacts in Toronto include Jon Holmstrom and talented associate Daniel Conrad. Marc Novello is a name to note in Montréal. In 2019, regulatory expert Stephen Clark left for Air Canada.

Key clients

The Bank of Nova Scotia

National Bank of Canada

Bank of Montréal

The Toronto-Dominion Bank

Royal Bank of Canada

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Leagold Mining Corporation

Investec Bank plc

BNP Paribas

La Coop fédérée

Taurus Funds Management

Cupric Canyon Capital, LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised the Bank of Nova Scotia and TD Securities, as co-lead arrangers, as well as two international syndicates of lenders, on a new revolving credit facility for CAE and the concurrent amendment to its term loan facility.
  • Acted for National Bank of Canada and a syndicate of lenders in Triple Flag Mining Finance Bermuda’s senior secured four-year credit agreement, which provided for a $300m revolving term facility and a $100m accordion feature.
  • Advised Toronto-Dominion Bank and a syndicate of lenders on the C$350m cross-border secured financing of various members of the Alpha Automotive Group.

Norton Rose Fulbright

A 'strong team with excellent international capabilities', Norton Rose Fulbright stands out in part for its broad national presence combined with its ability to draw upon the wider firm's extensive global network, marking it as a solid choice for resource-heavy, multi-jurisdictional deals. The group is a major player in energy-related matters, especially in Calgary, but also counts infrastructure and health care financings, as well as structured finance, among its areas of focus. The team handles a good mix of lender and borrower-side mandates and continues to increase its share of traditional and alternative lender representations, with recent engagements by Bank of America, Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation and RBC, among others. In Calgary, Rick Borden is highly sought after for his expertise in energy and project finance transactions, where he handles both lender and borrower-side matters. David Amato co-chairs the firm’s asset-based lending practice from Toronto. Senior associate Noah Schein is also noted in Toronto; he has experience in all aspects of corporate finance. Montréal-based Peter Wiazowski is the national practice coordinator for banking and debt finance and has an emphasis on cross-border debt capital markets and banking. Other recommended names in Montréal include David Lemieux and Arnold Cohen, both of whom handle financing and restructuring matters.

Other key lawyers:

David Lemieux; Noah Schein

Testimonials

‘Norton Rose has a very deep bench of lawyers both in Calgary and around the world. Since many of our borrowers operate on a cross-border basis, Norton Rose is able to leverage its international network which differentiates the firm from some of its more domestically/North American-focused competitors.’

‘The banking lawyers that we interact with at Norton Rose are very accessible and approach things from a very practical perspective. They tend to handle purely legal issues on their own with limited involvement from myself, but are also very good about keeping me informed as to progress/timelines.’

‘Strong team with excellent international capabilities. Approachable and strong advise. Always available.’

‘Nicole Sigouin is main contact and strong quarterback. Works well with bank counsel and has strong soft skills so that she never drives the underlying business transaction.’

Key clients

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

Royal Bank of Canada

Telus International (Cda.) Inc.

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners

Bausch Health Companies

Toronto-Dominion Bank

Bank of America

Bank of Montreal

Parmalat Canada

Pieridae Energy

Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec

Investissement Québec

Work highlights

  • Advised Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation, as lender, on a C$1.3bn credit facility to Toronto Community Housing Corporation.
  • Acted for Royal Bank of Canada, as the joint lead arranger and joint book runner, on the C$6.6bn financing of TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink Pipeline.
  • Advised TELUS International on the secured debt financing for the acquisition of Competence Call Center.

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Stikeman Elliott LLP is rated for its dominant borrower-side practice, which historically shines in complex, pathfinder transactions. The diverse national group—spread across the firm’s Toronto, Montréal, Calgary and Vancouver offices—also acts for lenders and sponsors in finance matters. Additionally, its New York and London offices are well primed to provide support on cross-border banking and finance deals. On the regulatory front, the team consistently acts for domestic and foreign banks, insurance companies and other financial entities in relation to governance, compliance and enforcement issues. Toronto-based Peter Hamilton is a high-profile name for financial services, with expertise covering the full range of corporate finance, project finance, structured finance and regulatory matters. Daphne MacKenzie heads the banking and finance group in Toronto and has a focus on corporate lending for both borrowers and lenders, as well as insolvency and restructuring. Craig Mitchell and Marie Garneau are also experienced names in Toronto; both advise on a mix of banking, restructuring and private equity work. Toronto-based Meaghan Obee Tower is an impressive up-and-coming lawyer, who advises on a good balance of regulatory and transactional matters. Howard Rosenoff heads the group in Montréal and has a strong record in syndicated loans, project finance and asset-based finance.

Torys

A top choice for borrowers in corporate finance deals, Torys is also a prominent name for lender-side work, where it regularly advises Canada’s ‘Big Six’ banks, as well as pension funds and, increasingly, private equity funds. On the transactional side, the group handles a raft of purely domestic and cross-border matters, with leveraged finance, acquisition finance and project finance all notable strong suits. The firm also houses one of the market’s most admired bank regulatory practices, which is regularly called upon by major financial institutions (including Canada’s three largest banks), insurance companies, securities dealers and trust and loan companies to advise on complex governance, product development and consumer law issues. Key names in Toronto include banking and debt finance co-head Adam Delean, who is recommended for his broad experience in corporate banking, leveraged finance and structured finance, both for lenders and borrowers. Amanda Balasubramanian co-heads the banking and debt finance department and acts for lenders and borrowers in domestic and multi-jurisdictional transactions. Up-and-coming partner Tom Zverina is also noted for his transactional expertise in Toronto. On the regulatory front, Blair Keefe is widely considered a market leader for advising financial institutions on corporate, finance and regulatory issues. In Calgary, Kevin Fougere is highly regarded for corporate lending and project finance, with an emphasis on energy-related matters. Jonathan Weisz recently retired.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Balasubramanian

Testimonials

‘Torys has a very strong group of individuals at all practices – including banking and finance. The group is viewed accurately as being collegial and easy to work with. They are without issue one of the best banking groups in the city. I would suggest that compared to other firms, Torys is clearly one of the top banking groups.’

‘Tom Zverina is not the most senior of the group, but he is the most conversant with private equity acquisition financings and considered one of the top practitioners in the city. His clients think the world of him and he is exceptionally pragmatic and reasonable. He is always a pleasure to work with.’

‘Amanda Balasubramanian is considered a rising star among younger banking partners. She is very well liked and respected. I envision that she over time will be one of the elite banking lawyers in the city.’

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/National Bank Financial Group

Royal Bank of Canada/RBC Capital Markets

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (“CIBC”)

CPP Investments

Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

Mizuho Bank Ltd.

Fairfax Financial

Work highlights

  • Acted for Home Trust Company in its first private multi-class offering of series 2019-1 mortgage-backed notes, backed by residential mortgages originated by Home Trust Company.
  • Advised Pala Investments on its C$501m acquisition of Cobalt 27 Capital Corp.
  • Acted for 123Dentist in its C$425m refinancing.

Bennett Jones LLP

Market by a market-leading oil and gas offering, Bennett Jones LLP has a significant borrower-side practice, which is recognized for its expertise in representing energy sector clients in sophisticated financing transactions. On the lender side, the firm continues to increase its market share of non-traditional lenders, particularly pension funds, private equity funds and hedge funds; it also acts for banks. In Calgary, Philip Backman QC is widely regarded as a go-to adviser for energy financings; Patrick Brennan co-heads the national group and is recognized for his first-class aviation finance practice; and New York- and Alberta-qualified Karen Dawson is an increasingly prominent name for cross-border deals. In Toronto, department co-head Steven Lutz is noted for his strong lender-side experience, while Mark Rasile acts for borrowers, banks and non-traditional lenders in finance and debt capital markets matters. Newly promoted partner David Rotchtin is also recommended in Toronto. Moreover, the firm recently boosted its Toronto team with the hires of John Teolis and Suzana Lobo from Norton Rose Fulbright.

Practice head(s):

Steven Lutz; Patrick Brennan

Key clients

ATB Financial Servies

ATCO Group

Bank of Montreal

BMO Capital Partners

Canadian Pacific Railway Company

Canso Investment Counsel

Chorus Aviation

Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited

Parkland Fuel Corporation

RBC Capital Markets

Royal Bank of Canada

Third Eye Capital

Wells Fargo Capital Finance Corporation Canada

Wells Fargo Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted for RBC Capital Markets, and the joint lead arrangers, in the amendment and restatement of Barrick Gold’s C$3bn syndicated revolving credit facility.
  • Advised Obsidian Energy on amendments to its C$550m syndicated revolving credit facility and C$100m worth of private notes.
  • Acted for Canso Investment Counsel, and the other second lien lenders, in relation to a C$150m second lien financing to support the acquisition of MDA Systems by a consortium of private equity buyers.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

The national group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP has continued to raise its profile in lender-side work. Over the past year, it secured a steady stream of mandates from major domestic and foreign banks, including HSBC Bank of Canada, Scotiabank and TD Bank. It also acts for non-traditional lenders, particularly credit unions and private equity funds, as well as corporate borrowers. The firm’s full-service offering and expansive national presence fuel a diverse portfolio of banking work, with its recent highlights covering the oil and gas, power, manufacturing and real estate spheres. Toronto-based Gus Karantzoulis is a key contact for bank lending, structured finance, project finance and debt capital markets matters; he leads the firm’s relationship with Scotiabank. Other Toronto-based contacts include Howard Silverman, who advises lenders and borrowers on finance transactions, and regulatory specialist Stephen Redican. In Montréal, Olivier Tardif is a strong up-and-coming partner, who advises on both transactional and regulatory matters. The Montréal team also includes national financial services lead Claudine Millette and regional group lead Vincent Frenette.

Key clients

Bank of Montreal

The Bank of Nova Scotia

The Royal Bank of Canada

HSBC Bank of Canada

Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation

Bank of America

CIBC

National Bank of Canada

The Toronto-Dominion Bank

RFA Capital Partners Inc. and RFA CMBS Limited Partnership

Work highlights

  • Acted for real estate investment company RFA Capital on its C$85m acquisition of mortgage lender Street Capital Group and related securitizations.
  • Advised HSBC Bank of Canada, as Canadian lender, on a $1.1bn syndicated credit facility to Nabors Industries.
  • Advised the agent and the syndicate of lenders on the C$95m financing of a private equity takeover of a private agricultural manufacturing company.

Goodmans LLP

Goodmans LLP is primarily known for its borrower-side work, where the banking group routinely teams up with the firm’s highly regarded corporate group to advise on sophisticated lending transactions. The Toronto-based team is also distinguished by its ability to lean on the firm’s top-tier insolvency and restructuring department to handle restructuring-related matters, including debtor-in-possession (DIP) loans and debt restructurings. The practice group does also act for lenders, including banks and alternative lenders. Department co-head Jean Anderson is a senior banking specialist and brings to bear over 35 years of experience in banking and finance transactions. David Nadler co-leads the group and is recognized for his niche strengths in the senior housing and hospitality sectors, among other areas. Celia Rhea handles a mix of finance and corporate deals and recently led the firm’s advice to funds affiliated with Onex Corporation on the financing of the C$5bn acquisition of WestJet Airlines. Other recommended partners include Jeffrey Citron, who focuses on corporate lending and credit restructurings, and Michael Bertrand, whose developing practice strikes a balance between lender and borrower-side work. Chris Payne is a recommended associate in the team.

Practice head(s):

David Nadler; Jean Anderson

Key clients

The Bank of Montreal

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

Bridging Finance Inc.

Fiera Private Debt

CIBC

Centre Lane Partners

Onex Corporation

Brookfield Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Represented funds affiliated with Onex Corporation in the financing of the acquisition of WestJet Airlines.
  • Acted as Canadian counsel to Brookfield Principal Credit LLC as DIP term loan agent for Bumble Bee Foods.
  • Advised Sienna Senior Living on a C$200m unsecured revolving credit facility provided by a group of lenders.

McMillan LLP

McMillan LLP houses a broad financial services practice, which brings together distinct skill sets in bank finance transactions, debt capital markets, regulatory banking matters and fintech. Spread across the firm’s offices in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, the sizeable group enjoys close relationships with domestic and international banks, government institutions and corporate borrowers. Toronto-based Jeffrey Rogers co-heads the syndicated finance team and acts for Canadian and foreign financial institutions and borrowers on finance deals. Also in Toronto, Paul Avis co-chairs the financial services department and primarily advises lenders on syndicated lending, asset-based lending and real estate finance.

Practice head(s):

Paul Avis; Jeffrey Rogers

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s robust borrower-side practice is complemented by the firm’s first-rate corporate and M&A offering, which helps fuel a steady stream of corporate finance transactions. The group also acts for lenders (mainly in infrastructure finance) and debt issuers. In fact, infrastructure is a growing industry strength, generally, with the department continuing to gain ground in the project finance market. In Toronto, financial services chair Chris Bennett is lauded as a ‘go-to specialist for project finance’ and recently advised the syndicate of lenders on the financing of the high-profile Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project. Senior partner Kevin Morley is a key contact for complex lending transactions, with an emphasis on asset-based lending and acquisition finance. Michael Hart has a solid record in advising lenders on a mix of structured finance, commercial lending and asset-based lending. Up-and-coming partner Lisa Mantello is recommended for her specialist focus on structured finance, derivatives and banking. Outside of Toronto, the national practice also includes Vancouver-based Martha Martindale and Montréal’s Etienne Massicotte.

Practice head(s):

Chris Bennett

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

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board

OpenText Corporation

HPS Investment Partners, LLC

Chemtrade Logistics

Procera Networks

JP Morgan Chase

Work highlights

  • Advised Maple Leaf Foods on the amendment to its existing C$2bn credit facilities, which secured sustainability-linked terms that reduce the interest rate as key sustainability targets are met.
  • Advised a syndicate of lenders on the financing of the C$1.9bn Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project
  • Advised Bank of Montreal on its $500m offering of additional tier 1 notes.

Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP

In line with its Calgary base, Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP is a force in energy-related financings, acting both for lending banks and borrowers. It also continues to broaden its representation of clients in the aviation, health care, cannabis and infrastructure sectors. Kathy Pybus heads the department and has strong experience in syndicated lending and project finance, principally in the oil and gas sphere. Nancy Smith continues to impress and recently advised the administrative agent and a syndicate of lenders on the provision of increased credit facilities to Cona Resources to support its C$740m acquisition of Pengrowth Energy. Simina Ionescu-Mocanu, who had strong recent showings in the health care and cannabis sectors, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Pybus

Key clients

ATB Financial

WestJet

Maxim Power Corp.

RBC Capital Markets & Royal Bank of Canada

Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission

Canadian Helicopters Limited

BMO Financial Group

ARC Resources

Toronto Dominion Bank

Decibel Cannabis Company Inc. (formerly Westleaf Inc.)

Work highlights

  • Advised Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission on a C$6bn loan guarantee in connection with the construction of the Keystone Pipeline expansion.
  • Advised the administrative agent and a syndicate of lenders on C$740m in increased credit facilities provided to Cona Resources.
  • Acted for Maxim Power Corp in three credit arrangements totalling C$127m to fund the construction and development of a 204 MW power plant.

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Well known for the strength of its full-service mining practice, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP stands out in that sphere, where it advises on corporate lending, debt capital markets and streaming deals. The firm’s dominant cannabis offering is also a significant source of finance mandates. Toronto-based Jason Arbuck chairs the banking and speciality finance group and handles a mix of lending, structured finance, real estate and fintech-related transactions. Other names to note in Toronto include Marc Mercier, Alison Manzer and Charles Rich.

Practice head(s):

Jason Arbuck

Dentons

The Canadian arm of global firm Dentons has worked hard to raise its profile in banking and finance over recent years. A safe pair of hands for mid-market domestic and cross-border lender-side work, the group also has experience in representing borrowers. Toronto-based Dennis Wiebe leads the national group and focuses on lending transactions and restructuring and insolvency work. Michael Henriques is another key contact in Toronto and is recognized for his solid lender-side practice. The group also draws upon the experience of Toronto’s Heidi Clark and Montréal-based Joel Cabelli, both of whom advise on a full spread of finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Dennis Wiebe

Key clients

Credit Suisse AG

The Toronto-Dominion Bank

Mizrahi Commercial (the One) LP

The Bank of Nova Scotia

National Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada

HSBC Bank Canada

Citibank

BNP Paribas

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised Credit Suisse AG, Cayman Islands Branch on amending a credit agreement with Flexiti Financial connected to its C$250m acquisition of TD Financing Services’ Canadian private label credit card portfolio.
  • Advised the Bank of Nova Scotia on a C$140.7m construction financing.
  • Represented Mizrahi Commercial (the One) LP and Mizrahi Development Group (the One) in a C$565m supplier credit facility from KEB Hana Bank Canada to finance the construction of The One, a mixed use development in downtown Toronto.

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP’s finance practice acts for a relatively even balance of borrowers and lenders, including non-traditional lenders, with a strong niche in infrastructure finance. The firm is also recognized for its ability to plug into its global network to advise on the Canadian aspects of cross-border transactions. Montréal managing partner Marc Philibert heads the department and is noted for project finance and corporate finance matters. Toronto-based Eric Belli-Bivar is another key contact and focuses on debt finance, secured lending and structured finance.

Practice head(s):

Marc Philibert

Other key lawyers:

Eric Belli-Bivar

Key clients

Polynt Composites Canada, Inc.

Crestmark Bank

Siemens Financial Services, Inc.

Appvion Canada

Canaccord Genuity Corp.

CanWel Building Materials Group

Altus Group

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

Sprott Resource Lending Corp.

CBI Health Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank

G3 Canada

G3 Terminal Vancouver Limited Partnership

G3 Global Holdings Limited Partnership

Work highlights

  • Advised Royal Bank of Canada and a syndicate of Canadian lenders on an amended and restated credit agreement with a major Canadian forestry company.
  • Acted as local counsel to the Canadian subsidiaries of Vernacare on the negotiation of a $42.5m senior facilities agreement.
  • Acted as Canadian counsel to Tosca Debt Capital LLP on a £13m senior term and revolving facilities agreement.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG’s banking and finance practice is adept in corporate lending, debt capital markets, structured finance and project finance transactions. The firm has been particularly active on behalf of corporate borrowers of late, but it also acts for banks and alternative lenders, including credit unions and pension and private equity funds. Toronto-based David Cohen heads up the national financial services group and is recommended for restructuring, private equity and lending transactions. Christopher Alam, also in Toronto, spearheads the national lending group. In Calgary, Elizabeth Burton specializes in financings in the energy, real estate and Indigenous business spheres.

Practice head(s):

David Cohen; Christopher Alam

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Burton

Testimonials

‘From our perspective, the quality of the work produced by Calgary’s banking & finance group at Gowlings is very good. Our experience with them has been in their capacity as lenders’ counsel, primarily in the bilateral and mid-market space.’

‘We have primarily worked with Elizabeth (Beth) Burton. Beth is responsive, practical and exhibits great expertise in her field, particularly in the cannabis financing sphere. Reagan Chornoboy also stands out, even though she is a fairly junior associate. Reagan is incredibly keen, has an astute business mind and shows experience well beyond her year of call (2018).’

Key clients

ATB Financial

Silversmith Capital Markets

NAV Canada

TD Greystone Infrastructure Fund (Global Master) LP and IST3 Investment Foundation

Absorb Software

Acciona, Aecon

Mattamy Homes Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised ATB Financial on providing increased credit facilities to Westleaf, concurrent with Westleaf’s business combination with We Grow BC.  
  • Represented Aecon and Acciona, as part of the consortium joint venture, in the financial close of the Pattullo Bridge Replacement Project in British Columbia.  
  • Advised Mattamy Homes Corporation on a notes offering.