Corporate and M&A in Canada
One of the most consistent national practices in the market, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s corporate department distinguishes itself through its ability to lead multibillion-dollar deals from across its well-staffed platforms in Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. In addition, the full-service heavyweight can draw upon its international outposts in New York, London and Beijing for support in multi-jurisdictional transactions. Michael Gans, who splits his time between Toronto and New York, had a banner year, which saw him advise The Stars Group on its C$6bn acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming — the seventh biggest deal in Canada during 2018. Jeffrey Lloyd, who handles M&A and securities matters, is also a key contact in Toronto. Calgary-based Ross Bentley is a premier name in Western Canada, with his recent experience spanning the energy, airline and infrastructure spheres. Other key names include firm chair Brock Gibson QC, who splits his practice between Calgary and Toronto, and Calgary-based corporate and finance specialist Noralee Bradley.
Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.
Atlantic Gold Corporation
Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec
Kinder Morgan Canada Limited
Laricina Energy Ltd.
Nevsun Resources Ltd.
Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan
Siemens AG / Siemens Canada Limited
Suncor Energy Inc.
The Stars Group Inc.
The Toronto-Dominion Bank
WestJet Airlines Ltd.
- Advised The Stars Group on its C$6bn acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming.
- Advised WestJet on its proposed acquisition by Onex for approximately C$5bn.
- Acted for Kinder Morgan Canada on the C$4.5bn sale of the Trans Mountain Pipeline system and the Trans Mountain Expansion Project to the Canadian government.
- Advised Nevsun Resources on its C$1.8bn sale to Zijin Mining Group.
- Advised Starlight Fund 5 on its $1.4bn acquisition by Tricon Capital Group.
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP’s deep bench and premier experience at the top level ensures it is routinely involved in Canada’s most high-profile transactions, with notable strength in complex, hostile M&A. Split nationally between its offices in Toronto and Montreal, the group also leans on the firm’s robust New York platform for assistance in cross-border matters. Among its recent work, the firm’s close relationship with Barrick Gold led to several major highlights, which included advising on its $18.3bn share-for-share merger with Randgold in what was the largest mining deal of 2018. The team’s performance in the mining sphere was equalled by strong showings in the energy, financial services, infrastructure and life sciences sectors. In Toronto, Patricia Olasker is held up as ‘a leader in the Canadian corporate and securities bar’ and Vincent Mercier is also sought after for his senior experience in both hostile and friendly transactions. In Montreal, Franziska Ruf is noted for her broad corporate and finance practice. The firm recently hired Aaron Atkinson into Toronto from Fasken, while senior partner William Ainley joined investment manager Edengen and Peter Hong left to become general counsel at AutoCanada.
‘Davies’ extremely creative corporate lawyers have a broader perspective due to their generalist training, which leads to better insights and problem solving. There is also incredible depth and consistency of quality across the team.’
‘You’re not just getting the senior partner with the big reputation, but incredible talent and client service at every level. I wouldn’t do an important deal without my Davies team.’
‘The firm provides seamless coverage, flawless execution and exceptional service — they never miss anything, ever.’
‘Davies is unique in that it has leading experts in each key discipline related to negotiating and completing an M&A transaction (other firms may have strength in several areas but DWPV has it across the board) – this means that there is leading market expertise in securities, corporate, tax, competition, employment, environment and litigation, which makes it efficient and seamless.’
Barrick Gold Corporation
Toromont Industries Ltd.
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Shaw Communications Inc.
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.
The Public Sector Pension Investment Board
- Acted as lead Canadian counsel to Barrick Gold on its $18.3bn share-for-share merger with Randgold Resources.
- Acted for Enercare on its $4.3bn sale to Brookfield Infrastructure, and its institutional partners, by way of plan of arrangement.
- Advised Barrick Gold on the establishment of its joint venture with Newmont Mining, which will combine their respective mining operations, assets, reserves and talent in Nevada in a transaction valued at approximately $20bn.
- Acted for Arizona Mining on its C$2.1bn sale to South32.
- Acted for the Michelin Group on its $1.7bn acquisition of Camso.
The corporate department at Toronto-based Goodmans handles a significant portion of Canada’s largest M&A deals. A favourite with seasoned acquirers such as Newmont Mining and private equity giant Onex Corporation, the firm also attracts a steady stream of one-off transactional engagements. In addition, the group leverages the firm’s gold-standard REITs practice in cutting-edge REIT-related transactions. Other sweet spots include healthcare, special purpose acquisition companies and, complemented by its leading restructuring practice, distressed M&A. Neill May, who co-chairs the corporate securities group together with Robert Vaux, has a strong record in M&A, corporate reorganizations and financing transactions. In 2019, May paired up with corporate heavyweight Jonathan Lampe to advise Newmont Mining on its $10bn acquisition of Goldcorp, which created the world’s largest gold producer. The group includes corporate securities counsel Stephen Halperin, who ranks among the top deal-makers in the market, and capital markets head Stephen Pincus, whose practice covers capital markets and M&A.
Other key lawyers:
Searchlight Capital Partners
Clairvest Group Inc.
Kew Media Group
Minto Apartment REIT
Newmont Mining Corporation
OMERS Private Equity
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
- Advised Onex on its C$5bn acquisition of WestJet.
- Advised Newmont Mining on its $10bn acquisition of Goldcorp.
- Advised Cura Partners on the C$1.2bn sale of its state-regulated cannabis business to Curaleaf Holdings.
- Advised Tricon Capital Group on its $1.4bn acquisition of Starlight US Multi-Family (No. 5) Core Fund.
- Acted for Invesque on its $340.4m acquisition of Commonwealth Senior Living and 20 of its communities.
McCarthy Tétrault’s national group, which draws upon sizeable platforms across the country as well as international footholds in London and New York, stands out for its strong industry-focused approach. The firm, which ranked sixth for Canadian M&A by deal count in 2018, maintains a pre-eminent reputation for finance and private equity-related deals and also stands out in infrastructure, energy and mining transactions. Cameron Belsher, who works between Vancouver and Toronto, heads the M&A group and is highly regarded for his strong private equity and financial institutions relationships; he is the key contact partner for CVC Capital Partners, as well as HSBC and TD Bank. Other key names include Toronto’s David Woollcombe, who advises on M&A, private equity and capital markets transactions, and up-and-coming private equity specialist Shevaun McGrath, also based in Toronto. Over the past year, the firm bolstered its corporate team in Toronto with several strategic hires: it added a corporate-focused cannabis practice with the additions of Ranjeev Dhillon and Rami Chalabi from Bennett Jones LLP; it boosted its transactional technology expertise with the arrivals of Christine Ing and Domenic Presta from Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP; it also reinforced its financial services offering with the arrival of Robert Richardson, who rejoined the firm after a 17-year stint in-house at CIBC. Garth Girvan and Graham Gow retired.
‘Lawyers are available, timely and very knowledgeable. The firm provides excellent service and support staff are top-notch as well.’
‘We received good value – McCarthy Tetrault is a highly respected firm.’
‘Cameron Belsher has the ability to provide various scenarios as possible solutions so our board’s decisions were based on multi-level information and not simply legal advice, however important that is.’
Bell Canada (BCE)
Brookfield Asset Management
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
CVC Capital Partners
Innergex Renewable Energy
Oaktree Capital Management
Point Loma Resources
Vista Equity Partners
- Advised Brookfield Asset Management on the C$4.3bn acquisition of Enercare by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners.
- Advised NextEra Energy Partner on its $1.2bn sale of wind and solar generation assets to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).
- Advised Enbridge on a series of transactions, which included its $4.3bn acquisition of Spectra Energy Partners and its $1.7bn sale of select renewable power assets in North America and Europe to CPPIB.
- Acted for Noverco on its C$1.1 bn acquisition of Valener.
- Advised OMERS Infrastructure on its, ultimately terminated, C$3.2bn acquisition of a 10.01% stake in 407 International from SNC-Lavalin Group.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Transactional powerhouse Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP houses several standalone speciality groups within its corporate department, including M&A, capital markets, private equity, emerging companies and oil and gas. A regular fixture at the top of deal rankings for both deal value and deal count, the firm secures a sizeable share of the most high-value mega-deals in the market. It also has an impressive mid-market practice, which is particularly active in the technology and emerging company spheres. Emmanuel Pressman, relationship partner for private equity giant Blackstone as well as KingSett Capital and Constellation Brands, heads the corporate group; he was the point man for the firm’s advice to Constellation Brands on its C$5.1bn strategic investment in Canopy Growth Corporation, which marked the largest deal to date in the Canadian cannabis industry. Jeremy Fraiberg heads the M&A group and has a strong record in the mining and energy sectors. Douglas Bryce, managing partner of the firm, is also noted for his mining expertise. Douglas Marshall is a key name for financial services deals and is lead relationship partner for M&A matters for Royal Bank of Canada and BMO. All named lawyers are based in Toronto.
Bank of Montreal
Royal Bank of Canada
- Advised Constellation Brands on its C$5.1bn strategic investment in, and partnership with, Canopy Growth Corporation.
- Advised the independent committee of the board of directors of Goldcorp on its $10bn acquisition by Newmont Mining.
- Acted for Morgan Stanley on its C$1.1bn acquisition of Solium Capital.
- Advised South32 on its C$2.1bn acquisition of Arizona Mining.
- Acted for Scotiabank on the sale of its banking operations in nine markets in the Caribbean to Republic Financial Holdings.
Stikeman Elliott LLP
Stikeman Elliott LLP’s formidable M&A offering is complemented by the firm’s dominant private equity, mining and real estate practices. It also benefits from its ability to draw on supplementary expertise in competition, corporate governance and tax. The national group enjoys a well-balanced, coast-to-coast presence, and it also leans on the firm’s international offices in London, New York and Sydney. Toronto-based John Ciardullo, who heads the corporate department, has a focus on M&A, proxy contests and corporate finance transactions. Montreal-based John Leopold, who is widely considered among the leading transactional lawyers in Quebec, and securities specialist Simon Romano, based in Toronto, are also senior names to note. Among the up-and-coming partners Sean Vanderpol, who co-heads the Toronto M&A practice, and Montreal M&A head Sophie Lamonde are stand-out practitioners. Former firm chair William Braithwaite recently stepped down to counsel.
Torys LLP’s close relationships with many of Canada’s most active acquisition funds and corporations, particularly Brookfield and leading Canadian pension funds, ensures that it is consistently engaged in headline corporate transactions. From its core offices in Toronto and Calgary — along with a smaller office in Montreal — the firm is active across the country, with its recent work for clients such as Quebec-based CDPQ and British Columbia-based Canaccord Genuity demonstrating the scope of its national coverage. It also benefits from one of the broadest New York platforms among domestic firms, which provides capable support on both inbound and outbound deals. John Emanoilidis co-leads the department and advises domestic and foreign acquirers, targets, special committees, selling shareholders and investment banks on complex M&A. Cornell Wright, who also co-heads the group, has recently led on some of the firm’s most high-profile corporate matters, including advising Thomson Reuters on its strategic partnership with Blackstone, which marked one of the largest private equity deals globally in 2018. Matthew Cockburn is a top choice for private equity funds and has recently undertaken work for TorQuest Partners and Clairvest Group.
Other key lawyers:
‘Torys handles all aspects of an M&A deal and goes above and beyond to ensure all aspects are handled in a timely and professional manner.’
Thomson Reuters Corporation
Loblaw Companies and George Weston Group
Choice Properties REIT
Brookfield Asset Management Inc.
Husky Injection Molding Systems
Caisse de Dépôt and Placement of Quebec
TorQuest Partners, Inc.
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P.
The Bank of Nova Scotia
- Advised George Weston and Loblaw Companies on the spin-out of Loblaw’s 61.6% effective interest in Choice Properties REIT.
- Advised Thomson Reuters on its strategic partnership with Blackstone, which involved the $17bn sale of a 55% stake in its financial and risks business to private equity funds managed by Blackstone.
- Advised TSX-listed Brookfield Asset Management in its $11.4bn acquisition of NYSE-listed Forest City Realty Trust.
- Advised Brookfield Property Partners on its $9.2bn acquisition of the 66% stake (the remaining shares it didn’t already own) in GGP Inc. (now Brookfield Properties Retail Group), a mall operator based in Chicago.
- Acted for Precision Drilling on its proposed C$1bn acquisition of Trinidad Drilling Limited.
Bennett Jones LLP
Widely recognized for its top-tier Calgary offering and natural resources expertise, Bennett Jones LLP houses a dominant transactional oil and gas practice. Its broad industry experience also encompasses the mining, technology, cannabis and financial services spheres. The firm’s increasingly prominent Toronto practice was recently boosted by a pair of high-profile hires from Stikeman Elliott LLP: Curtis Cusinato, who was formerly co-managing partner of Stikeman’s Toronto office, joined alongside Matthew Hunt. The firm also bulked up its Vancouver platform through its 2018 merger with McCullough O'Connor Irwin, which saw the arrival of new corporate head for British Columbia, Jonathan McCullough. David Spencer, who is sought after for sophisticated energy deals, and firm vice-chairman Perry Spitznagel QC are both key contacts in Calgary. Abbas Ali Khan continues to build up his profile in the Toronto market.
‘Lawyers and law firms are like tools, where it is necessary to select the right tool for the job. When the job in question is an M&A deal in the many millions of dollars, it is important to recruit a top-tier law firm to provide counsel. Unquestionably, Bennett Jones is my first choice to support this kind of job.’
‘Responsive full-service team that provides the necessary legal advice with strong transaction management and anticipates roadblocks and hurdles so they can be overcome as they (inevitably) happen.’
‘They are experts in the area of investment agreements. There is very little that they have seen and they are able to use their experience and expertise to get us the best possible terms.’
‘The team has exceptional bench strength. Brent Kraus has business knowledge, intellect, experience and is the most responsive lawyer we use.’
‘I can trust this team’s advice to be accurate and I can trust the counsel to be honest with me, and not simply tell me when I want to hear. Mia Bacic and her team are thorough; no stone is left unturned. The legal intricacies are explained to the client in a manner that allows the client to make informed decisions on next steps.’
Aecon Group Inc.
Baker Technologies Inc.
BlackPearl Resources Inc.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.
Cenovus Energy Inc.
CIP Capital Management LLP
Civeo Canada Inc.
Cresco Labs, LLC
Crius Energy Trust
Dalradian Resources Inc.
First Majestic Silver Corp.
Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited
Japan Canada Oil Sand Limited
Katanga Mining Limited
Klondex Mines Inc.
Longview Aviation Capital Corp.
NEP Canada ULC
Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd.
Pembina Pipeline Corporation
Premier Gold Mines Ltd.
S.I. Systems Ltd.
TriWest Capital Partners
Unsecured Bondholders of Concordia International
Velvet Energy Ltd.
VIVO Cannabis Inc.
Waste Connections, Inc.
ZCL Composites Inc.
- Advised Anamered on the formation of an investor consortium, together with ANTA Sports Limited, FountainVest Partners and Tencent Holdings, and on the subsequent €4.6bn acquisition of Amer Sports Corporation by the consortium.
- Acted for Klondex Mines on its $462m acquisition by Hecla Mining.
- Advised NEP Canada on the C$479.1m sale of NEP Canada ULC, its Canadian exploration and production operating subsidiary, to Aspenleaf Energy.
- Advised BlackPearl Resources on its C$675m acquisition by International Petroleum Corporation.
- Advised Longview Aviation Capital on its C$300m acquisition of the entire Dash 8 program from Bombardier.
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP handles a steady stream of both private and public M&A, with a strong record in cross-border, particularly US-related, transactions. Its Vancouver office, which is the seat of mining head Fred Pletcher, continues to increase its presence in sophisticated mining transactions, while financial services and energy are sweet spots for the Toronto team. Its Calgary office had a banner year, which saw it advise on several big-ticket energy transactions, including its recent advice to the Government of Canada on its highly publicized acquisition of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. It also benefits from a well-staffed Montreal platform. Public M&A head Paul Mingay and private M&A head Graham King are the key contacts, both based in Toronto.
Other key lawyers:
Pan American Silver Corp.
CanniMed Therapeutics Inc.
Cuda Energy Inc.
Ikkuma Resources Corp.
Pitney Bowes Inc.
MD Financial Group
Orient Overseas International Ltd.
Alterra Power Corp.
First Coin Capital Corp.
Greystone Capital Management Inc.
Canoe Financial LP
CiToxLAB Amérique du Nord Inc.
East River Oil and Gas Ltd.
Capital Power Corporation
- Represented The Special Committee of Nevsun Resources on its successful defence against an unsolicited C$1.4bn takeover bid from Lundin Mining Corporation, and also on its subsequent friendly C$1.8bn acquisition by Zijin Mining Group.
- Acted as Canadian counsel to Pan American Silver on its $1.2bn acquisition of Tahoe Resources.
- Acted for the MD Financial Group of companies on their acquisition by Scotiabank from the Canadian Medical Association for C$2.5bn.
- Acted for The Government of Canada on its C$4.5bn acquisition of the Trans Mountain and Puget Sound Pipelines, and related terminals, from Kinder Morgan.
- Advised Imperial Metals Corporation on the sale of a 70% interest in the Red Chris mine to Newcrest Mining for $806.5m and a follow-on joint venture between the parties for the ongoing operation of the Red Chris mine.
Globally renowned for the strength of its mining practice, Fasken also secures a significant share of life sciences, technology, aviation and cannabis sector transactions. The firm handles an array of public and private deals, with a recent strong run in contested M&A for both targets and bidders. A popular choice for cross-border transactions in the national resources sector, its offices in Beijing, Johannesburg and London are key assets for global clients looking for multi-jurisdictional support. Toronto-based securities and M&A head John Turner (who also leads the global mining group) is a go-to lawyer for mining companies. M&A and private equity partner Gesta Abols recently joined from Goodmans.
Other key lawyers:
Intact Financial Corporation
Just Energy Group Inc.
Parkland Fuel Corporation
The Co-operators Group Limited
United Rentals, Inc.
Zijin Mining Group
- Advised Air Canada on its C$2.3bn acquisition of the Aeroplan business from Aimia.
- Advised Zijin Mining Group on its C$1.8bn acquisition of Nevsun.
- Advised Aphria on its successful defence against Green Growth Brands hostile takeover bid.
- Acted for Cambrex Corporation on its $425m acquisition of Halo Pharmaceuticals.
- Advised Intertape Polymer on its $146m acquisition of Polyair Inter Pack Inc
Norton Rose Fulbright has local strength across all of Canada’s four largest provinces and also boasts a broad sector focus on national stage. Energy and natural resources remains a key source of deal flow, though the team has also been active in technology, agribusiness and aviation. In addition, the firm leverages its global network to post a strong record in multi-jurisdictional deals. In Toronto, office managing partner Terence Dobbin is highly regarded for his experience in M&A and corporate governance matters. Toronto-based Walied Soliman, who is Canadian chair, is known for his track record in special situations, including hostile M&A, shareholder activism and complex reorganization transactions.
‘Norton Rose Fulbright stands out for its dedication and commitment to get all work done on time and to the highest standard.’
‘Senior lawyers are exceptional negotiators with strong legal, strategic and business skills.’
Special Committee of the Board of Directors of WestJet Airlines Ltd.
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited
Quebecor Media Inc.
Pieridae Energy Ltd.
Whistler Medical Marijuana Corporation
Independent Directors or Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd.
Columbia Power Corporation/Columbia Basin Trust
Solium Capital Inc.
- Advised the special committee of the board of directors of WestJet Airlines on its C$5bn acquisition by Onex Corporation and its affiliated funds.
- Advised Canadian Tire Corporation on its C$985m acquisition of Helly Hansen.
- Advised Bombardier on the sale of its business aircraft flight and technical training activities to CAE.
- Acted for Québecor on its C$1.7bn repurchase of all of the share capital of Québecor Média still held by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
- Advised Pieridae Energy on its C$150m acquisition of Ikkuma Resources.
Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP
Premier Calgary firm, Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP handles a wide range of M&A, private equity and joint venture matters. Best known for its close relationships with junior oil companies, its corporate practice often works hand-in-hand with its energy group to advise on transformative oil and gas transactions. The team also routinely acts for clients within the technology, engineering, manufacturing and financial services sectors across Canada. Senior partner William Maslechko has a broad corporate and securities focus, which includes strong expertise in shareholder activism cases.
‘The team provides very practical, down-to-earth advice. Lawyers instinctively understand our priorities and risk-tolerance levels. They have their fingers on the pulse of current affairs and how this directly affects our industry.’
‘The BDP team always provides pragmatic business and legal advice.’
‘The team has a wide range of expertise, and all locally, which means we can use is as a one-stop-shop for all our legal requirements. We frequently can meet face to face which enables better discussions and clearer communication.’
‘All individuals are very strong in their fields and also are able to simplify the legal terms to ensure the clients understand the content of their legal documents.’
MEG Energy Corp.
Raging River Exploration Inc.
PrairieSky Royalty Ltd.
Freehold Royalties Ltd.
Inter Pipeline Ltd.
NuVista Energy Ltd.
Whitecap Resources Inc.
Baytex Energy Corp.
Parex Resources Inc.
Tourmaline Oil Corp.
Canyon Technical Services Ltd.
Cardinal Energy Ltd.
Corex Resources Ltd.
Lithion Power Group
International Petroleum Corp.
Savanna Energy Services Corp.
Paramount Resources Ltd.
Bellatrix Energy Ltd.
Spur Petroleum Ltd.
- Advised Raging River Exploration on its C$4.5bn acquisition by Baytex Energy Corporation.
- Advised Newalta Corporation on its C$1bn merger with Tervita Corporation.
- Advised MEG Energy, and its board of directors, on Husky Energy’s C$6bn hostile takeover bid.
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP’s sophisticated corporate practice works closely with its mining and cannabis groups to handle headline transactions in those spheres. In particular, its strong relationship with the extremely prolific Canopy Growth led to several high-profile deals over the past year. Managing partner Mark Bennett and mining specialist Paul Stein are the names to note, both based in Toronto.
Dentons' corporate practice is widely recognized for its experience in energy deals. Other strings to its national bow include a robust venture capital practice, and a firm-wide strength in media and telecoms. The firm's broad Canadian footprint (including offices across Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec) is also complemented by the its ability to plug into its extensive global network. The group is led jointly by Charles Spector and Dan Shea from Montreal and Calgary respectively.
‘Dentons’ team is the most practical, responsive and effective of all of the law firms that we work with or alongside. Their advice is to the point and they very effectively communicate key deal issues without getting bogged down in minutia that is not relevant to a transaction. ’
‘We never have trouble accessing the partners or associates and their responsiveness helps keep deals progressing. I find that they are far more likely to listen to input from clients and consider a client’s needs more than other firms.’
‘Dentons understands that not all corporate clients are the same and lawyers continually strive to better understand every aspect of our business. While they are a large firm with large clients and extensive resources, they do not take a one-size-fits-all approach toward us; they take the time to understand our specific and nuanced circumstances, and craft solutions that work for us.’
‘Dentons Canada provides the best legal work at a reasonable cost in the marketplace. I have used many of the largest firms over my career and I keep coming back to Dentons, not only in Canada but abroad. When I use Dentons I know I am getting the best service, advice and value for my legal spend.’
BMO Capital Markets
Capital Power Corporation
Portag3 Ventures LP
- Advised Capital Power on the C$216m sale of its minority interest in K2 Wind to a consortium of investors led by Axium Infrastructure.
- Advised Mohawk Medical Properties REIT on its C$177m acquisition by Invesque.
- Advised Posco Daewoo on the C$9.5m sale of oil and gas assets in Alberta to Bellatrix Exploration.
Gowling WLG is a strong performer in the mid-market, both domestically and internationally through its ability to lean on platforms across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The firm’s market-leading IP offering complements its thriving life sciences transactional practice, while other areas of activity include energy and natural resources, infrastructure and technology. A name to note is Toronto-based Ian Palm, who counts private and public companies, pension funds and private equity investors among his clients.
‘The Gowling team is extremely easy to work with; lawyers are responsive, provide accurate and great work, and have depth of knowledge across all the corporate functions we’ve required.’
‘Ian Palm is excellent to work with. He is highly responsive and understands the quick pace of work that we require. He is always able to deliver high-quality work on our timelines, and will engage the team as required across different practices.’
Johnson Controls Inc
Scythian Biosciences (now SOL Global Investments Corp)
The Cooper Companies
Blackhawk Network Holdings
- Advised OMERS Infrastructure-owned Teranet on its acquisition of D+H Collateral Management Corporation.
- Acted as Canadian counsel to Boston-based Silversmith Capital Partners, which led a $71m growth equity investment in PDFTron Systems.
- Acted for Scythian Biosciences on several transactions, including on its C$193m sale of its Latin American and Caribbean assets.
Toronto-based Aird & Berlis LLP has solid expertise in mid-market M&A, punching above its weight in the cannabis, technology and infrastructure sectors. The group also regularly teams up with the firm’s IP, privacy and tax departments to provide full-service advice on sophisticated transactions. Practice head Paige Backman has a broad practice covering corporate transactions, data protection and sports-related matters.
The Toronto office of global giant Baker McKenzie continues to raise its profile locally. Traditionally strong in servicing the domestic aspects of multi-jurisdictional corporate deals, the Canada group is now leading cross-border transactions in its own right, for clients such as Brookfield Business Partners and Camso. David Palumbo, whose practice has an emphasis on healthcare, life sciences and financial services, heads the group.
Brookfield Capital Partners LLC
Frontera Energy Corporation
- Advised Brookfield Business Partners LP on the global (non-US) aspects of its $13.2bn acquisition of the power solutions business of Johnson Controls.
- Advised Camso on its acquisition by Groupe Michelin, which involved over 28 jurisdictions globally.
- Advised Sika on a carve-out and acquisition of the King Packaged Materials business from KPM Industries.
DLA Piper (Canada) LLP
DLA Piper (Canada) LLP’s corporate offering is particularly prominent in Western Canada, where it has strong coverage of the forestry, mining and energy sectors. In Toronto, it is establishing itself as a key firm for cannabis matters and it also handles a significant volume of venture capital transactions. The national department is led jointly by Toronto-based Ted Maduri, who also sits in the emerging growth and venture capital group, and Edmonton-based David Stratton QC.
‘The team at DLA Piper is incredibly response, commercial and pragmatic. I find tremendous value for the cost, compared to some other firms I have worked with.’
‘The individuals in the corporate group are fantastic at taking a thoughtful and commercial approach to risk.’
‘The team that represents us on M&A activities is composed of lawyers with specialized skill sets, who leave no issue unaddressed.’
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd.
Coca Cola Company
Acreage Holdings, Inc.
CDW Canada Corp.
Island Timberlands Limited Partnership
Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.
Marubeni Corporation and Daishowa North America Corporation
Canacol Energy Ltd.
Canadian Forest Products Ltd.
Partners Group AG
- Advised The Coca-Cola Company on the sale of its Canadian bottling operations.
- Advised Acreage Holdings on its $300m acquisition by Canopy Growth Corporation.
- Advised Accel-KKR, and its portfolio company, Seequent, on Seequent’s acquisition of Geosoft.
McMillan LLP’s corporate group, which spans offices in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, is well versed in private and public M&A deals, private equity investments and joint ventures. Internationally, the firm is distinguished by its focus on Asia and it benefits from distinct Japan and South Korea desks, as well as an office in Hong Kong. Toronto-based Paul Davis, who co-chairs the capital markets and M&A teams, has a strong background in complex corporate mandates, including proxy fights and contested transactions.