International trade in Canada

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP continues to consolidate its international trade offering following the arrival of high-profile specialists Milos BarutciskiMatthew Kronby and Jesse Goldman from Bennett Jones LLP in mid-2018. The practice now covers the gamut of trade and investment issues, from customs compliance and trade remedies, to high-profile WTO and FTA disputes. Of particular note, the team recently advised the Government of Ontario on the renegotiation of NAFTA and its pending replacement by the Canada-US Mexico Agreement. The firm also houses a robust anti-corruption practice, which routinely advises domestic and foreign clients on the development and implementation of global anti-corruption policies. Named lawyers are based in Toronto.

Key clients

LNG Canada


Rio Tinto Alcan

Ferrostaal Metals Canada Inc.

International Industries Ltd.

Fluor Corporation

Alberta Softwood Lumber Trade Council

European Public Multinational

Canadian Executive

Canadian Technology Company

Government of Ontario

Work highlights

  • Represented the Government of Ontario on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its pending replacement by the Canada-US Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).
  • Represented a Canadian executive under investigation by the US DOJ and FBI in connection with an alleged conspiracy to contravene the FCPA and related money-laundering allegations.
  • Advised International Industries, Pakistan’s largest steel producer and steel exporter, on a trade remedy investigation and administrative appeal.
  • Advised Rio Tinto Alcan, the largest aluminium produce in Canada, in a trade remedy investigation into silicon metal from China.
  • Represented the Alberta softwood lumber industry association in the largest trade dispute between Canada and the US, the US Softwood Lumber V anti-dumping and subsidy proceedings, and in related WTO disputes.

Cassidy Levy Kent LLP

Ottawa-based trade boutique Cassidy Levy Kent LLP is widely recognized as a leader in trade law. Best known for its deep experience in the trade remedy area, the firm also advises on customs issues, trade policy, bilateral investment and market access strategies. In addition to its strong Canada team, the firm also has a Washington DC office, which makes it an attractive choice for trade matters with US components. Christopher Kent is considered a leading trade expert and has an established record in complex trade remedy cases. Christopher Cochlin is also highly sought after and enjoys a strong reputation for WTO and trade policy matters.


CLK has a great team spirit. Lawyers are client-focused, with unique market insight and understanding.’

The team is composed of very capable lawyers who really know international trade. I have worked with other law firms and CLK are by far the best, they also prepare their clients extremely well.’

CLK, with offices in both Ottawa and Washington DC, offers us the presence we need in both capitals to ensure our interests as an industry are well protected. CLK, beyond its trade expertise, can draw upon on a solid network of key players which it relies on to provide further context to the drivers that are at play. This is particularly valuable for our industry.’

Key clients

Evraz NA Canada Inc.

Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation

Government of Nova Scotia

Elkem AS

ABB, Inc.

CertainTeed Gypsum Canada

Mueller Industries

National Biodiesel Board

American Sugar Coalition

Whirlpool Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Evraz Incorporated Canada in the energy tubular and hot-rolled sheet categories of Canada’s recent steel safeguard investigation.
  • Represented Gerdau Ameristeel in the rebar category of Canada’s recent steel safeguard investigation.
  • Advised the Government of Nova Scotia on several matters, including on the ongoing US anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases on Softwood Lumber from Canada.
  • Represented CertainTeed Gypsum Canada in Canadian trade remedy matters.
  • Represented Evraz Incorporated Canada in the CITT’s expiry review of its 2008 decision regarding the dumping of seamless casing.

McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault’s comprehensive trade practice, which is split between Toronto and Montreal, is a leader in all key areas of trade law. On the investigations and compliance side, it routinely advises on trade remedies, export and import controls, economic sanctions and anti-corruption issues. The team also has strengths in government relations, and trade and investment agreements. Toronto-based department head John Boscariol is held up as one of the leading experts in the market and has deep expertise in investigations, compliance and litigation. Also recommended is Toronto-based up-and-coming trade specialist Martha Harrison, who has developed experience in the retail and consumer goods spheres.

Practice head(s):

John Boscariol

Other key lawyers:

Martha Harrison


Overall, great depth and skills suited to sanctions and international trade law. I can only think of one or two other firms in Canada that come close.’

John Boscariol is clearly one of the leading experts on international trade law and sanctions. He has in-depth knowledge and experience, and has valuable contacts in key positions in the Canadian Government.’

John Boscariol is very promptly responsive, and provides thoughtful regulatory advice that meets the needs of our business and our risk tolerance.’

Key clients

Weatherford Canada Partnership

Woodfibre LNG Ltd.

Québec Border Mills

HSBC Bank Canada

Dow Corning Canada/Dow Corning Corporation

Andriy Portnov, former Deputy Chief of Staff to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych

United States Gypsum Company and CGC Inc.

LNG Canada Development Inc.

TT Trade Services

Toronto-Dominion Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Weatherford Canada on the imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Certain Sucker Rods imported from or originating in the People’s Republic of China.
  • Advising TT Services in the context of a major procurement process by the Government of Canada.
  • Advised United States Gypsum Company and CGC Incorporated on an anti-dumping case brought against gypsum wallboard imported from the US into Western Canada.
  • Advising Québec Border Mills on the new softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the United States.
  • Represented LNG Canada Development on an anti-dumping case brought against fabricated industrial steel components from China, South Korea and Spain.

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP houses a sophisticated international trade practice, which advises on every aspect of international trade law. A strong performer in trade remedy cases, the group also has an impressive track record in customs matters, export controls, economic sanctions and trade treaty disputes. Toronto-based department chair Darrel Pearson has a distinguished record in leading cases; he advised on two of three cases involving customs law and international trade remedy law heard by the Supreme Court of Canada in the last 50 years. In 2018, trade specialist Valerie Hughes joined as senior counsel in the Ottawa office; she was formerly Assistant Deputy Minister and Counsel to the Department of Finance.

Practice head(s):

Darrel Pearson


Bennett Jones combines business consultancy with legal expertise to provide a well-rounded approach to issues. The contacts the group has through years of broad business experience enables the client to reach the appropriate people to advance objectives.’

Bennett Jones is exceptional in having highly qualified and experienced people with an understanding of both law and practice in the international trade area. This is a specialized area where few private practitioners know much about the law at all; knowledge of how things actually work in the pseudo-diplomatic area of international trade law is particularly valuable in this context.’

We appreciate their expertise and practical knowledge, as well as their ability to work seamlessly and productively with the in-house legal team, in-house business team and other professional advisors alike.’

The team at Bennett Jones was very professional and demonstrated extreme proficiency with regard to the subject matter. I felt that all the advice provided was reasonable, practical and tactical. The firm was always consistent in their message regarding the matter.

Darrel Pearson speaks authoritatively and a has a great mastery of the law; I was always comfortable that Darrel was leading us down the most strategic path in terms of being able to prevail. He also had longstanding relationships in the CBSA and I do believe his relationships were helpful in getting meetings, having our side of the story heard and facilitating a conclusion.’

Valerie Hughes in-depth knowledge of international trade agreements, enabling her to speak with credibility to stakeholders but also to talk in layman’s terms for the client, was invaluable. Leveraging her contacts and expertise allowed us to advance our position and gain support across government.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation in judicial review proceeding arising from trade remedy into large diameter line pipe from Japan and China.
  • Represented Fluor in the judicial review of a CITT decision following a trade remedies investigation into fabricated industrial steel components.
  • Represented Cardinal Health Canada in appealing the tariff classification advance ruling of surgical gloves before the CITT.
  • Advised Woodfibre in a tariff classification appeal to the CITT concerning the classification of a floating storage and offloading unit that is part of a natural gas liquefaction facility.
  • Represented Prairie Provident Resources in an expropriation and minimum standard of treatment claim under NAFTA against the Government of Canada concerning provincial regulatory action that extinguished the client’s right to exploit shale gas exploration and development rights.

Conlin Bedard LLP

Highly regarded trade boutique Conlin Bedard LLP is recognized for its prolific trade remedy practice, which ranks among the most active in Canada. The Ottawa-based firm also routinely advises clients on customs matters, trade treaty disputes, export controls and economic sanctions. Founding partners Benjamin Bedard and Paul Conlin are both recommended for international trade law and foreign investment matters; both have argued before a WTO dispute panel.

Practice head(s):

Benjamin Bedard; Paul Conlin

McMillan LLP

McMillan LLP’s highly regarded international trade practice regularly works in conjunction with the firm's competition group, with Toronto-based regulatory heavyweight Neil Campbell co-chairing both departments. The firm has an impressive record in trade remedy cases and also has noted expertise in customs issues, economic sanctions and anti-corruption matters. Also recommended is Ottawa-based department co-chair Geoffrey Kubrick, who is rated for his deep expertise in anti-dumping and countervail investigations.

Practice head(s):

Neil Campbell; Geoffrey Kubrick

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie stands out for its expertise in customs law, with extensive expertise in tariff classification, rules of origin, and the development of customs strategies and compliance programs. The Toronto-based practice group combines with its colleagues across the globe to act for an impressive roster of multinational clients, having advised on trade remedies, economic sanctions and trade agreements. Department head Paul Burns is rated for his specialist experience in international trade and commodity taxation.

Practice head(s):

Paul Burns


The two greatest strengths of the team are its depth of experience (on almost every issue, lawyers can provide examples of how the government agency might react and how they handled a similar matter for other clients in the past) and its ability to work through complex issues while carefully and patiently explaining each point to the client.’

The team demonstrated strong knowledge of the legal area and strong understanding of the commercial realities.’

Paul Burns blends the right balance of legal knowledge and practical advice that I find invaluable. He also genuinely cares about the clients and follows up on matters to assure that decisions are being made and that work is progressing.’

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s trade group is distinguished by its ability to link up with the firm’s top-tier tax practice to provide a fully integrated customs and commodity tax offering. Other strengths include trade treaty disputes, economic sanctions, trade remedies matters and anti-corruption compliance. Toronto-based group head Greg Kanargelidis is routinely sought after by Canadian and foreign clients for advice on global trade and investment law.

Practice head(s):

Greg Kanargelidis


Dentons’ diverse trade practice handled several high-profile trade matters over the past year for major Canadian corporates and foreign multinationals. In line with its signature oil and gas practice, the firm is a popular choice for energy companies looking for support on trade issues, but also has solid experience in matters involving the manufacturing and transportation sectors. Toronto-based Paul Lalonde heads the practice and has a strong record in trade remedies, customs issues, sanctions and trade treaty matters.

Practice head(s):

Paul Lalonde

Key clients

Enbridge Pipelines Inc.

General Dynamics Land Systems Canada Inc. (GDLSC)

Kik Custom Products

OmniTRAX Enterprises Inc.

Scierie Lemay

Suncor Energy Inc.

Welspun Group

Yanda Canada and Yanda Entities

Work highlights

  • Represented Enbridge Pipelines before the CITT in a major steel safeguards inquiry.
  • Represented General Dynamics Land Systems Canada Corporation (GDLSC) in an application for judicial review by Daniel Turp seeking to quash export permits issued to GDLSC for the export of military vehicles to Saudi Arabia.
  • Represented Kik Custom Products before the Federal Court of Canada in a judicial review of a CBSA determination dealing with drawback on imported goods.
  • Advised OmniTRAX Enterprises on a C$150m claim against the Government of Canada under Chapter 11 of NAFTA.
  • Advised Scierie Alexandre Lemay et fils on an expedited review by the US Department of Commerce of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports.


Fasken is staffed by an impressive bench of former politicians and regulatory counsel, including a past Minister of International Trade and a former senior lawyer at the CITT, and is thus noted for its unique insight into the regulatory regime governing trade. The group handles the full gamut of international trade and foreign investment law matters, with notable expertise in trade treaty concerns, customs issues, trade remedies and anti-corruption compliance. Clifford Sosnow, who splits his practice between Toronto and Ottawa, co-leads the group together with Montreal-based Peter Kirby.

Practice head(s):

Clifford Sosnow; Peter Kirby


Fasken has a breadth of knowledge on a variety of international trade topics. This includes both macro trade policy issues, as well as more technical regulatory and trade barriers such as Cuban sanctions.’

Fasken has provided critical expertise in our trade issue. The team has developed expert knowledge of our business, the risks and the most effective means of advancing our concerns with both international and national regulators.’

Clifford Sosnow demonstrates strong experience, attention to detail and commitment to customer service.’

Gowling WLG

Over the past year, Gowling WLG’s trade practice handled several matters related to Canada’s retaliatory tariffs against the US on steel products. Other recent areas of activity include trade and investment litigation, trade remedies and trade treaty matters. The group, which regularly represents leading Canadian and foreign manufacturers, importers, exporters, and industry associations, is led from Ottawa by Wendy Wagner. Also in Ottawa, senior litigator Richard Dearden is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Wendy Wagner


The team, led by Wendy Wagner, completed our file in a very timely fashion and exhibited very insightful understanding of the task at hand. They took the lead on addressing the key components of the appeal and had a very quick grasp of how to present the same. They articulated the argument extremely well with little guidance required from ourselves.’

Gowling WLG is my go-to law firm for Canadian export controls and sanctions matters. Wendy Wagner knows the Canadian trade control regulations in and out, but is also very practical and hands-on. She is a phenomenal lawyer.’

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Complemented by its first-rate corporate practice, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP has a growing focus on advising multinational clients on the anti-corruption, investment protection and regulatory dimensions of cross-border transactions. The group also handles a significant volume of trade remedy, economic sanctions and customs cases. Toronto-based Riyaz Dattu heads the department and advises across a broad range of trade policy and investment matters and market-access concerns.

Practice head(s):

Riyaz Dattu

Key clients

TransCanada PipeLines Limited (TCPL)

NOVA Chemicals Corporation

Platinum Equity Advisors, LLC

Canadian Tire

Canadian Natural Resources Limited


Work highlights

  • Advised TransCanada PipeLines in the CITT’s inquiry into steel safeguards.
  • Retained by NOVA Chemicals to provide ongoing advice regarding international trade and customs laws.
  • Advised Canadian Tire on the renegotiation of NAFTA, informing the client of the status of negotiations and  key issues of relevance.

Tereposky & DeRose LLP

Tereposky & DeRose LLP is highly regarded for its specialist offering in international trade and investment law. The Ottawa-based boutique fields a sizeable team dedicated to trade matters and has strengths in trade disputes, export control, sanctions and trade remedies. High-profile litigator Gregory Tereposky handles the full scope of trade issues, with notable experience in WTO dispute settlement proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Gregory Tereposky

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright’s national trade team handles a range of contentious, regulatory and policy matters, with notable expertise in trade remedies, economic sanctions and export and import controls. The group, which is steered from Ottawa by department co-heads Martin Masse and Richard Wagner, also benefits from its ability to plug into the wider firm’s formidable global network to advise on multi-jurisdictional issues.

Practice head(s):

Martin Masse; Richard Wagner

Key clients


Dow AgroSciences LLP

Skechers USA Canada Inc.

Jockey Canada Limited

J. Cheese Inc.

SMS Equipment Inc.

The Pampered Chef

Stampin’ Up! Canada

Sable Offshore Energy Inc.

Sandvik Tamrock Canada Inc.


Work highlights

  • Represented Nutricia in a customs appeals file with the CBSA relating to customs classification and goods and services tax applicability.
  • Represented SSAB Central, and its Swedish parent company SSAB AB, in the safeguard proceeding relating to certain steel goods imported into Canada.
  • Represented Sobi AB and Sobi Canada in an anti-dumping inquiry concerning the importation of nitisinone from Sweden by the CBSA and the CITT.

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Stikeman Elliott LLP fields a dynamic multi-disciplinary trade practice, which is split between the firm’s Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto offices. The group routinely advises importers, producers, exporters and investors on a range of issues, with strong activity in customs matters, trade remedies and dispute resolution. Ottawa-based regulatory expert Susan Hutton and Montreal-based tax specialist Jean-Guillaume Shooner are the key contacts.


Torys LLP’s practice has a distinct focus on trade and investment disputes and also handles compliance and policy matters. Toronto-based John Terry is respected for his experience advising corporations and government entities on NAFTA and WTO matters.

Practice head(s):

John Terry

Work highlights

  • Represented Infinito Gold in its arbitral claim against the Republic of Costa Rica concerning the expropriation and unfair treatment of the Crucitas gold mining project.