Borden Ladner Gervais LLP’s full-spectrum international trade practice demonstrates premier offerings in all facets of trade and investment regulation, including customs and trade remedies, trade policy, sanctions and export controls, World Trade Organization (WTO) and free trade agreement (FTA) dispute resolution and anti-corruption law. Vancouver-based regulatory partner Jeffrey Thomas brings expertise to domestic trade laws, sanctions and Competition Act-related matters. Talented Toronto-based associate Jacob Mantle is also noted. Former department co-heads Jesse Goldman and Matthew Kronby departed in October 2023.
International trade in Canada
Other key lawyers:
Jeffrey Thomas; Jacob Mantle
Alberta Softwood Lumber Trade Council
Government of the UK, Department for International Trade
Hardwoods Specialty Products
Dairy Farmers of Ontario
Ashley Furniture Industries
Vallourec, VCI/Vallourec Tianda
With offices in Ottawa and Washington DC, Cassidy Levy Kent LLP is a leading international trade boutique that attracts rave reviews for its ‘commitment to client collaboration and custom solutions’. Among its other key attributes, the group’s ability to draw on a highly regarded US platform marks it as a top-choice for US-Canadian related issues, while it also shines in trade remedy cases before the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT). Founding partner Christopher Kent, go-to trade expert Christopher Cochlin and trade litigator Andrew Lanouette co-head a deep and broad team that also draws on up-and-coming specialist Michael Milne and senior counsel Gerry Stobo. At the junior level, Susana Lee and Hugh Seong Seok Lee are increasing prominent counsels.
Christopher Kent; Christopher Cochlin; Andrew Lanouette
Other key lawyers:
Michael Milne; Gerry Stobo; Susana Lee; Hugh Seong Seok Lee; Marc McLaren-Caux
‘The firm’s commitment to client collaboration and custom solutions sets it apart. Its transparent billing, diverse team and forward-thinking practices exceeded our expectations.’
‘The team impresses with a detail-oriented approach, attending to even minor details with precision and resolution. This exceptional focus on nuances sets it apart, ensuring confidence and satisfaction in its legal services.’
‘Its exceptional ability at both communication and technical legal work is what makes this firm stand out. Very complex legal matters are explained to the client in a way that non-lawyers can understand.’
‘The team is very responsive and welcoming. Christopher Cochlin and Andrew Lanouette are both incredibly knowledgeable and responsive.’
‘Michael Milne understands client service. He is quick to respond and values pragmatic solutions. We enjoy working with him a lot.’
‘I want to recommend Hugh Seong Seok Lee. He always gives the best advice.’
‘The CLK team is excellent with regards to preparing and executing trade cases. Lawyers are extremely thorough in their analysis and data gathering.’
SSH Bedding Canada (wholly owned subsidiary of Serta Simmons Bedding)
Restwell Mattress Co
United Sleep Products
TempurSealy Canada, Tempur Sealy International
Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation
ChampionX Canada – Alberta Oil Tool
Hitachi Energy Canada
Northern Transformer Corporation
Transformateurs Delta Star
Government of Nova Scotia
Dairy Farmers of Canada
Dairy Processors Association of Canada
Government of Alberta
Société Générale Haïtienne de Banque (Sogebank)
ADM Agri-Industries (wholly owned subsidiary of Archer Daniels Midland Co)
The Heico Companies (including Ivaco Rolling Mills 2004, Infasco, and Sivaco Ontario and Sivaco Quebec)
Welded Tube of Canada Corporation
- Successfully represented a coalition of Canadian mattress producers, including SSH Bedding Canada, in the prosecution of the first-ever antidumping complaint concerning mattresses from China.
- Successfully secured a CBSA determination of the existence of a ‘particular market situation’, with respect to Concrete Reinforcing Bar from Türkiye on the basis of ongoing hyperinflation and low-priced Russian imported raw materials.
- Successfully secured the second and third ever retroactive duty assessments on behalf of Evraz Canada concerning imports of small diameter line pipe from Korea and oil country tubular goods from China.
Conlin Bedard LLP
A destination practice for trade remedies, Conlin Bedard LLP secures a enviably large market share of work in this sphere, accounting for approximately half of all Canadian proceedings. The increasingly broad group also advises on economic sanctions and export controls, WTO dispute settlement proceedings, trade policy and anti-corruption issues. Benjamin Bedard and Paul Conlin co-head the Ottawa-based boutique and both are equipped to advise on all key pillars of international trade law. Other key names include Anne-Marie Oatway, who specializes in international trade, government procurement and federal regulatory issues; counsel Jean Bédard, who was formerly chair of the CITT and supports on international trade, procurement, customs and arbitration work; and Drew Tyler, who handles a mix of international trade, customs, government procurement and transport-related matters.
Benjamin Bedard; Paul Conlin
Other key lawyers:
Drew Tyler; Anne-Marie Oatway; Jean Bédard; Michael Phelan
‘The team has a very personal touch and great expertise in the area of international trade law.’
‘Lawyers are approachable, thorough and extremely knowledgeable.’
‘Conlin Bedard is a leading firm in the trade arena. The team acts on most of the trade remedies cases in Canada.’
Canadian Steel Producers Association
Columbia Forest Products
- Represented ArcelorMittal Long Products Canada and AltaSteel on the successful continuation of antidumping and countervailing duties in respect of concrete reinforcing bar from Belarus, Hong Kong, Japan, Portugal, Spain and Taiwan.
- Represented Marmen in an antidumping and countervailing duty proceeding against wind towers from China.
- Advised the Canadian Steel Producers Association on trade policy matters.
McCarthy Tétrault’s comprehensive international trade and investment law practice thrives across the full scope of compliance, enforcement and contentious matters. The group is particularly sought after for its expertise in economic sanctions and trade control and also for its experience in representing clients before major trade and investment law bodies, including the CITT, FTA binational panels, and the WTO. Department co-head John Boscariol is widely acknowledged as an authority in the field and is equipped to advise public and private sector clients on an array of trade issues, including economic sanctions, anti-corruption laws, export controls and the enforcement of international trade and investment protection agreements. Other recommended names include group co-head Martha Harrison, who specializes in international trade and product regulatory law; next-generation partner Robert Glasgow; and capable associate Ljiljana Stanic.
John Boscariol; Martha Harrison
Other key lawyers:
Robert Glasgow; Carmen Francis; Ljiljana Stanic
Siemens Energy Canada
Canadian Renewable Energy Association
Demonstrating robust activity in trade remedy cases, Bennett Jones LLP’s full-service international trade and investment group is also well positioned to advise on treaty disputes, economic sanctions and trade controls, customs issues and anti-corruption law. Led in Toronto by veteran trade specialist Darrel Pearson, who has notably acted on more than 200 trade remedy matters, the team also includes talented up-and-coming Toronto-based partners George Reid and Sabrina Bandali, who are establishing broad trade and investment practices. Toronto-based Jessica Horwitz is also recommended. Senior counsel Valerie Hughes left to go freelance in July 2023. Alison FitzGerald, who co-headed the team at Norton Rose Fulbright, joined in October 2023, and specializes in international arbitration.
Other key lawyers:
Sabrina Bandali; George Reid; Jessica Horwitz
Crate & Barrel Canada
Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems
Hyundai Steel Company
International Institute for Sustainable Development
Lone Pine Resources Inc. (Prairie Provident Resources)
Michaels of Canada
Nippon Steel Corporation
Retail Council of Canada
World Trade Organization
- Representing Hyundai in a complex antidumping case relating to special tariffs imposed on importations of large power transformers exported from the Republic of Korea.
- Representing Amalgamated Dairies in a judicial review and an action at the Federal Court of Canada.
- Representing Fine Home, and its related furniture manufacturing entities Dongguan Advantech Polyurethane Foam Products Co and Jiashan Foamtech Furniture, in an expedited review under Canada’s Special Import Measures Act of certain upholstered domestic seating exported to Canada by the exporters.
Dentons has been busy on the economic sanctions and export controls front of late, where it has advised major domestic and multinational clients — and law firms — on complying with Canadian rules on Russia, among other jurisdictions. The group also handles customs law, trade remedies and trade policy matters. Toronto-based regulatory specialist Paul Lalonde heads the department and specializes in government procurement and international trade. Of counsel Sean Stephenson, also in Toronto, possesses growing experience in international trade, including investment treaty arbitration, WTO law and trade remedies.
Other key lawyers:
Kik Custom Products
World Vision Canada
Scierie Alexandre Lemay et fils
West-Can Seal Coating
- Represented Trimark in the antidumping investigation into certain oil country tubular goods 3 from Austria.
- Represented West-Can Seal Coating in an arbitration under the New West Partnership Trade Agreement bid protest mechanism and the Canada Free Trade Agreement against the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure.
- Advised Motorola Solutions on trade and export compliance due diligence concerning three M&A transactions during 2022.
Fasken houses a prominent economic sanctions offering that has seen — like many of its peers — an influx of compliance-related engagements following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Other practice sweet spots include export controls, supply chain due diligence, customs law and trade agreements. Clifford Sosnow steers the group from Ottawa and combines strength in trade, investment and anti-bribery law. Former department co-head Peter Kirby struck out on his own in January 2022 but continues to act as a consultant to the team; he advises on regulatory compliance, trade agreements and trade remedies.
Other key lawyers:
Peter Kirby; Raymond Chrétien; Andrew House; Nabila Abdul Malik
‘Fasken has a very diverse team of lawyers that cover a full range of services for private and business needs.’
‘Clifford Sosnow is very engaged with the company and with his team.’
Thales DIS Canada
- Advised Thales DIS Canada on an Ontario government decision to introduce fundamental and significant changes to the requirements of a procurement, prohibiting Thales DIS from sourcing goods from the European Union.
Norton Rose Fulbright operates across all key facets of international trade law, with notable expertise in treaty interpretation, treaty disputes, economic sanctions and export controls. The team also stands out for its ability to plug into an extensive international network of WTO and international trade lawyers for additional support on complex matters. Martin Masse heads the Ottawa-based group and is well versed in trade litigation, customs law, sanctions and export controls. Department co-head Alison FitzGerald departed in October 2023.
Other key lawyers:
‘Norton Rose Fulbright provides significant experience and professional insights in complex trade-related matters.’
‘Martin Masse has been an essential and valued source, with wide-ranging experience on complex trade issues. He contributes significant experience and insights, with an ability to focus on the primary issues and avoid secondary matters.’
Sucro Can Sourcing
Akme Poultry, Butter and Eggs Distributors
- Represented Sucro Can Sourcing in an appeal before the CITT disputing a decision of the CBSA to impose antidumping duties on certain imported sugar.
- Advised Akme Poultry, Butter and Eggs Distributors on a judicial review application relating to the reasonable bounds of administrative action in duty relief programs related to imported goods.
- Advised Aliments Sunchef on an action before the Federal Court in relation to the Duties Relief Program.
Baker McKenzie is primarily recognized for its strengths in trade compliance, customs law and economic sanctions, where it benefits from its extensive global network to specialize in representing domestic and multinational clients on cross-border matters. Following the retirement of former department head Paul Burns in November 2022, the firm hired dispute resolution and international trade specialist Julia Webster from Borden Ladner Gervais LLP to lead the Toronto-based team. At the associate level, Jacqueline Rotondi and Jing Xu provide core support. Brian Cacic left the firm in December 2022.
Other key lawyers:
Jacqueline Rotondi; Jing Xu
‘Julia Webster is an amazing, detail-orientated lawyer.’
‘The addition of Julia Webster on international trade has been a great add to the firm. Julia’s authentic engagement, passion for the meaningful details and ability to stay on top of industry issues is top class.’
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s multidisciplinary trade team is particularly active in advising on customs law, economic sanctions, export controls, government contracting and trade policy-related matters. Less frequently, it also handles trade-related contentious work, including investment arbitrations as well as antidumping, procurement, and other disputes before the CITT. The department is led jointly by Toronto-based tax specialist Zvi Halpern-Shavim, who is noted for customs and import controls, together with Vancouver-based litigator Roy Millen, whose broad practice takes in commercial litigation and international trade.
Zvi Halpern-Shavim; Roy Millen
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
- Representing several subsidiaries for Capstone Infrastructure in the CITT antidumping investigation into wind towers from China.
- Advising law firm Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, on potential extradition of non-Canadian directors resulting from overseas corporate operations.
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP’s group leverages extensive experience in representing national governments, trade associations and corporate clients on international trade law. The team counts export controls, customs matters, economic sanctions and trade litigation among its key areas of expertise, while it also fields complementary offerings in anti-corruption law and government contracting. Toronto-based Brenda Swick anchors the practice and advises on a mix of compliance, enforcement and contentious matters; notably, she has handled more than 15 WTO and NAFTA dispute resolution proceedings.
The ‘prompt, pragmatic and solutions-focused’ international trade practice at Gowling WLG is routinely engaged to advise on export controls, economic sanctions, customs compliance and trade litigation, including trade remedies. Ottawa-based trade and cyber security expert Wendy Wagner fronts the group and maintains a broad trade practice, demonstrating strong recent activity in customs and sanctions-related matters. The team additionally draws on Ottawa-based associate Hunter Fox, who sits in the advocacy group and provides support on trade-related disputes.
Other key lawyers:
‘We’ve been so pleased with all our interactions with Gowlings. Its team is prompt, pragmatic and solutions-focused. Lawyers who understand that businesses want practical, actionable advice.’
‘With Gowlings, one gets a straightforward answer to a straightforward question, together with practical advice. Wendy Wagner encompasses all the traits of the best lawyers.’
‘Wendy Wagner and the international trade team at Gowling WLG provide practical global trade compliance advice for our US and multinational clients. The group is easy to work with and very knowledgeable in the area of export controls, sanctions, privacy and trade remedies.’
‘Wendy Wagner is our go-to partner at Gowling WLG on export control and controlled goods matters. Wendy is always super-responsive and provides us with business-centric advice. She is able to provide us with succinct summaries of complex areas of the law.’
‘The team uses key individual strengths to provide a fulsome service in international trade law. Lawyers are easy to work with and honour their commitments at all times.’
‘We highlight the group for its excellence in customs law and its top-notch CITT work.’
Canadian Society of Customs Brokers
BioNeutra North America
Canada Infrastructure Bank
- Represented Atrium Innovations in a four-day CITT hearing regarding the tariff classification of natural health products.
- Advised Canada Infrastructure Bank on the trade-related aspects of a $277m financing transaction.
- Advised the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers on revisions and updates to the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers’ standard trading conditions to accommodate the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Assessment and Revenue Management project.
Torys’ international trade expertise is particularly weighted towards contentious matters, with a focus on investment treaty arbitrations and international commercial arbitrations. That being said, the group also leverages a significant regulatory offering that covers economic sanctions, anti-corruption law and export controls, among others. Department head John Terry brings to bear a strong record in complex disputes, where he represents corporations and federal, provincial and municipal governments on NAFTA and WTO cases. Senior associate Ryan Lax is additionally noted for contentious and regulatory trade work.
Other key lawyers:
Peter Aziz; Ryan Lax; Emily Sherkey; Chris Kinnear Hunter
‘Very smart and complete lawyers, who are hands on and demonstrate great teamwork.’
‘John Terry, Emily Sherkey, Chris Kinnear Hunter and Ryan Lax are remarkable and outstanding. Strong attention to details, very hands on and great collaboration when making teams.’
‘The experience and expertise the firm has in international arbitration has been a great asset to the bank. The availability of the partners and senior counsels, their guidance and, most of all, the fact that they are always one step ahead of the problem gives the bank great confidence in team.’
‘John Terry and Emily Sherkey are a great team to work with. They are always available, provide timely opinions and are always looking ahead of the issue to solve the problem. They have great insights, impressive negotiation skills and are fun to work with.’
‘Total professionals at the top of their game. We value lawyers for their professionalism and responsiveness.’
Alamos Gold Holdings Coöperatief and Alamos Gold Holdings
Bilcon of Delaware
Bank of Nova Scotia
- Leading a team of Canadian and Turkish lawyers representing Alamos Gold in an investment treaty claim brought by its Netherlands-based subsidiaries against the Republic of Türkiye under the Netherlands-Türkiye BIT.
- Representing Bilcon of Delaware to bring an application to set aside the tribunal’s decision on damages in relation to a dispute against the Government of Canada under NAFTA.
- Representing Windstream Energy in securing a C$25m arbitral award and a C$3m costs award against the Government of Canada under the NAFTA, arising from the application of a moratorium on offshore wind energy facilities to Windstream’s proposed 300 MW offshore wind facility.