Power in Canada
McCarthy Tétrault's deep involvement in the power industry is evidenced by the range of clients it represents. Acting for lenders and equity investors, developers, power purchasers and industrial users, the department brings together a highly regarded transactional group with an equally skilled regulatory practice best known for its work in the nuclear and renewable sectors. Leading the firm's power group is Seán O’Neill, who has experience acting for financial institutions and borrowers in project financings for renewable energy projects across Canada and the United States. David Lever and Suzanne Murphy are rated for their M&A and corporate finance work, while George Vegh is a name to note in the regulatory space. Named lawyers are based in the Toronto office.
Other key lawyers:
The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife)
Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.
Samsung Renewable Energy Inc.
Bruce Power Inc.
NextEra Energy Inc.
New South Wales Treasury Corporation
Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc.
Whitby Hydro Energy Corporation
Connor, Clark and Lunn Infrastructure
- Advised JERA Co. on the C$977m acquisition of Goreway Power Station Holdings.
- Advised a consortium including Greystone Managed Investments on its definitive agreements with Canadian Utilities Limited.
- Advised The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada on a secured credit facility to First Nation LP, a partnership of 24 First Nations, in order to finance its equity interest in Wataynikaneyap Power LP, the developer of the Wataynikaneyap power transmission line project.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP has expertise across every industry segment, from natural gas, oil, coal and nuclear to wind, hydro, biomass, and solar. Bringing together strengths in transactional and regulatory matters, the team regularly secures roles in transformative mandates. The team is also able to draw on the firm's wider Aboriginal and environmental practices to advise on complex approval processes. A name to note in this space is Richard King, who co-chairs the regulatory, environmental, Aboriginal and land department. Also recommended in the regulatory space is Elliot Smith, who specializes in handling major infrastructure projects. Leading the practice group is Rocco Sebastiano, who focuses on project finance, EPC and construction matters.
'Unmatched' in the words of one client, the team at Torys has expertise in all areas of electricity transmission and distribution, and power generation. The practice is also noted for its cross-border capabilities, particularly in transactions involving the US. Project finance continues to make up a large part of the department's workload, having recently been retained as project counsel to Wataynikaneyap Power to advise on the supply of clean power to residents in remote communities. Based in the firm's Toronto office, the practice is jointly led by M&A and project development specialist Krista Hill and administrative law expert Charles Keizer. Also recommended is Valerie Helbronner, who specializes in project development work. Jonathan Weisz retired in January 2020.
Other key lawyers:
‘Torys is the best legal firm in Calgary that deals with Energy Regulation. They have been integral to my company’s success before the regulator. In terms of strengths and capabilities, the breadth of experience and knowledge that they have is unmatched by other law firms in Calgary. They are always available and their work product is first rate.‘
Ontario Power Generation Inc.
Province of Ontario
Alectra Utilities Corporation
Wataynikaneyap Power LP
Enmax Power Corporation
OMERS Infrastructure (formerly Borealis Infrastructure)
Toronto Hydro Utilities Inc.
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board
- Advised Ontario Power Generation (OPG) on regulatory and other aspects of various acquisitions, including the acquisition of certain gas power plants from TC Energy and the acquisition of an interest in the Brighton Beach power facility.
- Acting as project counsel to Wataynikaneyap Power, a partnership between 24 First Nations Communities and FortisOntario Inc., in various commercial, regulatory and strategic matters related to the partnership and the development, construction, financing and operation of the C$1.9bn Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project.
- Advised Alectra Utilities on its application to the Ontario Energy Board for a novel rate and rate structure referred to as the M-Factor in order to fund incremental capital investment arising from Alectra Utilities’ proposed distribution system plan for 2020-2024, as well as for incentive rate funding and the disposition of accounts arising from the capitalization of expenses.
Bennett Jones LLP
Bennett Jones LLP has developed a reputation in the energy infrastructure space, with strengths in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. The firm's long standing relationship with ATCO means it is instructed on a number of large transmission projects across Canada. Indeed, electricity sector work is an area where the department is very highly regarded. Conventional electricity generation is another of the team's strengths. The group has also been active at the forefront of electricity regulation in Canada, having advised on the development of deregulated electricity markets and coal phase-out initiatives. The practice group is led out of Calgary by David Macaulay. Also recommended is Loyola Keough.
ATCO Electric Ltd.
ATCO Electric Yukon
ATCO Power Canada Ltd.
Canada Trade Law Bureau (Government of Canada)
Canadian Utilities Limited
City of Vancouver
Heartland Generation Ltd.
Industrial Customer Group (Teck Metals Ltd., Weyerhaueser Company Limited, Zellstoff Celgar Limited Partnership, Domtar Inc.)
- Advised Canadian Utilities Limited on the sale of its entire Canadian fossil fuel-based electricity generation portfolio.
- Acted for ATCO Electric Yukon and Yukon Energy Corporation in the development of Standing Offer Program Rules and related long-term electricity purchase agreement for the acquisition of renewable electricity from proponents under the Yukon Government’s Independent Power Production policy.
- Acted for ATCO Power in the negotiation of a design build and O&M contract for the Fort Chipewyan Phase 2 2.2MW ground mount photovoltaic solar project.
Acting both for domestic and international clients, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP advises lenders and investors, project owners and developers, contractors and suppliers on all aspects of alternative power work. The firm runs a nationwide practice group that can call on expertise in all forms of alternative and renewable energy across offices in Montreal, Calgary and Toronto. In recent team developments, Bryson Stokes became the firm's managing partner in January 2020, with Toronto based Vivian Kung taking a lead role on major project developments. Other key names in the practice include Calgary-based Peter Keohane, who focuses on commercial transactions and Sébastien Vilder in Montréal, a contact for project financing work.
BluEarth Renewables Inc.
Fengate Real Asset Investments
Energy Capital Partners
Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.
Government of Gabon – Ministry of Energy
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG)
MUFG Bank, Ltd., Canada Branch (MUFG) and Bank of Montréal (BMO)
KFW Ipex-Bank GmbH and Caixabank, S.A.
DZ BANK AG DEUTSCHE ZENTRAL-GENOSSENSCHAFTSBANK, New York Branch, CRÉDIT AGRICOLE CORPORATE AND INVESTMENT BANK, SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE and CAIXABANK, S.A.
- Advised ENMAX Corporation on its definitive agreement with Emera in which Emera has agreed to sell to ENMAX its interest in Emera Maine, its regulated electric transmission and distribution company in Maine, for a purchase price of $959m.
- Advised BluEarth Renewables Inc. (BluEarth), a Calgary-based renewable energy company, on its acquisition by DIF Infrastructure V, an independent infrastructure fund, from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
- Acted for OLG in negotiating opposite Windsor Utilities Commission and Enwave Energy Corporation, critical district energy and electricity supply contracts of a long-term critical electrical and thermal energy services agreement for Caesars Windsor’s energy requirements.
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
With strengths in financing, tax law, and high-value corporate and commercial deals, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP has the depth of expertise to advise across the spectrum of power-related work. The group advises clients on the full range of electricity generation work including transmission and distribution, and project construction and operations. Shane Freitag leads the national electricity markets group from the Toronto office, while regional chair Mark Rodger (also in Toronto) specializes in the commercial, regulatory and government relations components of electricity and natural gas markets and infrastructure revitalization. Outside of Toronto, the team also has solid presence in Vancouver, Calgary and Montréal.
Government of Canada
Northwest Territories Power Corporation
Alterra Power Corporation
Northland Power Inc.
Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)
Potentia Renewables Inc.
First Nation Power Authority
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd./Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
- Acted for Capital Power Corporation in its $977m acquisition of Goreway Power Station Holdings Inc., from joint owners JERA Co. Inc. and Toyota Tsusho Corporation.
- Acted for Capital Power Corporation in respect of all aspects of the Alberta Electric System Operator’s 2018 tariff application.
- Acting as counsel to Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC), the main generator and transmitter of power in the Northwest Territories (NWT).
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP is active in all stages of the development, financing, construction and operation of power and utilities projects. The practice group represents clients before all levels of court including provincial and federal government agencies, as well as provincial, federal and international tribunals. The energy group is supported by strong capital markets and financing, M&A and regulatory teams, providing a truly integrated approach through a full-service offering. Toronto-based practice head Nicholas Williams is sought after for his expertise in financing and private M&A. Also recommended is Anthony Spadaro, a 'commercial and solution-oriented' partner who is 'quite valuable in getting a transaction complete with a positive outcome for both sides'.
‘Very knowledgeable team that is able to work through complex arrangements efficiently and focus on the key business issues.‘
‘Anthony Spadaro has been an excellent partner on numerous transactions for our business. He quickly gains a deep understanding of the business transaction and is quite valuable in getting a transaction complete with a positive outcome for both sides.‘
‘Solution oriented, commercial, reliable‘
‘Anthony Spadaro, partner, has been instrumental on a number of transaction DIF closed in recent years. Anthony is commercial and solution oriented. We count on him to get past the noise on transactions and focus on the key commercial and legal points and deliver positive outcomes for DIF.‘
The Independent Electricity System Operator
Renewable Energy Systems Canada
Axium Infrastructure Inc.
The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company
Stonebridge Financial Corporation
- Acted for Axium Infrastructure Inc. and The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company in their joint $1.4bn acquisition of AltaGas Ltd.’s remaining 55% interest in three hydroelectric projects in northwest British Columbia.
- Acted for TransAlta Corporation in the $750m strategic partnership with and investment by Brookfield Renewable Partners and its institutional partners in TransAlta to advance TransAlta’s transition to clean energy.
- Acted for Fortis Inc. with the sale of its 51% interest in the Waneta Expansion hydroelectric generating facility in British Columbia to Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) and Columbia Power Corporation (CPC) for approximately $1bn.
'Among the best in Toronto', the team at Gowling WLG handles a full range of power sector work, but is particularly well known for its specialist expertise in four key areas: regulation, nuclear, renewables and Indigenous law. On the regulatory front, the team advises public sector clients and NGOs on energy policy and design, areas where Ian Mondrow is a name to note. Practice co-head Ahab Abdel-Aziz is sought after for his work on national and international nuclear mandates, while joint practice head Thomas Timmins comes recommended for his work in the area of renewables. Adam Chamberlain is the contact for project matters involving Indigenous lands or entities; he has strengths both in Indigenous law and environmental law. Magdalena Hanebach is a star associate, who specializes in the nuclear industry.
‘The Gowlings Energy Team is among the best in Toronto.’
‘Working with them provides me with the legal and regulatory expertise I need, but also allows me to challenge them on certain aspects that I feel could be done differently. These discussions are always handled respectfully and competently.‘
‘On a personal level all of these individuals are a pleasure to work with. Technically and legally talented but approachable, friendly and reasonable. I very much enjoy my interactions with Gowlings.‘
‘Gowling stands out for its senior energy regulatory expertise. Ian Mondrow is my go-to counsel for work on strategic regulatory matters, he has a great depth of experience and cross-jurisdictional knowledge that I have not found in in this practice area elsewhere.‘
‘Ian Mondrow is very practical and customer-focused and is very personable and easy to deal with.‘
‘The practice is respected by the regulator, so was able to influence outcomes. Also, they were very well versed in the issues we were involved in.‘
‘The individuals were engaged and exerted their influence to get a good outcome. They arranged phone calls with other parties to negotiate a favorable outcome.‘
Rosatom group of companies (Rosatom Overseas, TVEL, Rosatom Services, AtomstroyExport, Novobirisk Chemicals Concentrates Plant)
Henvey Inlet First Nation
Town of Ajax
Town of Grimsby
Brookfield Renewable Power
Association des redistributeurs d’électricité du Québec (AREQ)
- Counsel to Henvey Inlet First Nation in 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.
- Counsel to US-based global power leader Cummins Inc. in its cross-border acquisition of Hydrogenics Corporation of Mississauga, Ontario.
- Counsel to the Town of Ajax with respect to general corporate, commercial and regulatory matters pertaining to the planning, negotiation and merger of owned interest in Veridian Corporation and Whitby Hydro Energy Corporation to form Elexicon Corporation, Elexicon Energy Inc. and Elexicon Group Inc., one of Canada’s largest electricity distribution companies.
Based primarily in Vancouver and supported by an office in Calgary, the team at Norton Rose Fulbright has broad experience across asset classes, spanning gas- and coal-fired generation and various renewables such as hydroelectricity. The team has a particular emphasis on regulatory issues, but also undertakes a range of other work including environmental assessments, transmission and distribution interconnection issues, EPC matters, project finance, and power trading. Vancouver-based Matthew Keen leads the practice group and focuses on energy regulatory work, as well as on environmental assessments and permitting, tolls and tariffs, and issues concerning Indigenous peoples.
Toronto Hydro Corporation
Shell Canada Limited
Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO)
TransAlta Corporation / TransAlta Renewables Inc.
Toronto Hydro Corporation
Association of Major Power Customers of BC (AMPC)
Rio Tinto (RT)
SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.
Columbia Power Corporation and Columbia Basin Trust
- Advised Toronto Hydro Corporation on its $750m commercial paper program.
- Advised the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) with respect to the development of P3 contracts relating to the design, build, ownership, operation and maintenance of a 500 kV, 500 km, C$1.65bn transmission line.
- Representing the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) in the Alberta Utility Commission (AUC) Distribution System Inquiry.
Stikeman Elliott LLP
Stikeman Elliott LLP's national power practice is best known for its work on conventional and renewable power projects. Recognized by many for its strength in corporate and financing transactions, the group is supported by a strong regulatory practice and has also developed a track record in dispute resolution, including high-stakes arbitration and administrative proceedings. A key figure in the team is Glenn Zacher in Toronto.
Based in Toronto, Aird & Berlis LLP fields a multi-disciplinary team of experts from across the firm's corporate, regulatory, environmental, litigation, real estate and corporate finance practices to provide end-to-end service in the power sector. The department represents public and private sectors clients and has been noted in the past for its work in large power projects and other matters demanding specialized regulatory expertise. The practice group is led by Fred Cass, an experienced litigator.
Dentons energy team routinely advises on asset acquisitions and disposals and new project developments and regulatory approvals, with an emphasis on natural gas-fuelled power stations. The practice is jointly led by Toronto-based transaction specialist Vivek Bakshi and regulatory expert Bernard Roth, who is based in the firm's Calgary office. Another key name in the team is Helen Newland, who is active in a variety of operational and development matters involving power and utilities projects.
Other key lawyers:
Capital Power Corporation
Rio Tinto Alcan Inc.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc.
Ontario Power Generation Inc. (“OPG”)
- Advising Capital Power Corporation on the sale of its interests to K2 Wind.
- Representing Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. in its intervention and participation in two Ontario Energy Board proceedings.
- Advising Ontario Power Generation on its acquisition of a 50% interest in Portlands Energy Centre LP, a 100% interest in the 900 MW Napanee CCGT power station, and a 100% interest in the 683 MW Halton Hills CCGT power station.
Fasken has a track record of involvement in high-profile projects, having recently acted for the Government of Ontario in relation to the $1.9bn financing of Wataynikaneyap Power. Noted for its strong regulatory practice, the team has further bench strength in the areas of Aboriginal and environmental law. International matters also make up a key part of the work stream, with the group having recently been involved in power projects in Africa. Managing partner Peter Feldberg is an energy infrastructure specialist based in Calgary, and Ron Ezekiel co-leads the firm's global energy group from Vancouver. Other names to note include regulatory experts Christopher Bystrom and Andre Turmel.
Other key lawyers:
Quanta Services, Inc.
Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)/Québec Association of Electricity Industrial Consumers
Nalcor Energy Marketing Corporation (representing one of its subsidiaries, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro)
NELSAP – Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (Eastern Africa – Tanzania – Rwanda – Burundi)
BC Hydro & Power Authority
TransAlta Utilities Corporation
FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc.
EPCOR Water Services Inc.
- Advised Quanta Services Inc. on the sale of its 20% interest in Alberta Powerline (APL).
- Acted for the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines in relation to the Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project.
- Representing Manitoba Hydro as lead counsel before the National Energy Board in its application for a new 500 kV international power line from Winnipeg to the Manitoba-Minnesota border, where it will connect to Minnesota Power’s Great Northern Transmission Line.
Lawson Lundell LLP has experience across a wide range of generation technologies, including co-generation gas, coal, nuclear and renewable sources such as hydropower, biomass, wind, and solar. The group has particular experience advising on regulatory issues before provincial and federal regulators. Vancouver-based Jeff Christian heads the regulatory litigation team, and focuses on the energy, utilities and natural resources sectors.
Other key lawyers: