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Canada > Public procurement > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Public procurement
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Paul Conlin - Conlin Bedard LLP
    • Paul M Lalonde - Dentons
    • Peter Mantas - FASKEN
    • Phuong Ngo - Gowling WLG
    • Marianne Smith - Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
    • Gerry Stobo - Cassidy Levy Kent LLP
    • Judy Wilson - Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Ben Mills - Conlin Bedard LLP

Who Represents Who

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A renowned leader in procurement law, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s ‘superior expertise and industry knowledge instils confidence’, according to clients. A firm public-side fixture on major infrastructure projects, the group is also retained by private companies — particularly in the gaming and energy spheres — to advise on procurement issues. Department head Judy Wilson stands out as ‘the go-to procurement specialist in the country’, with her enviable public sector record distinguishing her as the most sought-after name in that space. Wilson’s recent activities included advising VIA Rail on pre-procurement matters in relation to the renewal of its rolling stock. Wilson is also advising the City of Calgary on the approximately C$4.5bn development of the Green Line LRT project. Marianne Smith is the other senior figure on the team and is leading several high-profile files, including advising the City of Toronto on the procurement of rehabilitation services for the C$2.3bn FG Gardiner Expressway. Mark Johnson, who acted alongside Smith to advise Ontario Power Generation on a procurement review, is also recommended. All named partners are in Toronto.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP adds value through its ability to ‘form strategy based on deep industry knowledge and effective negotiation capabilities’. Equally adept in advising private and public sector clients, the team’s expertise covers a wide range of asset classes, with notable strength in power and outsourcing. Toronto-based construction expert Richard Shaban is highlighted for his ‘expert negotiation skills and problem-solving approach’; he advised a crown corporation on an RFP process. IT specialist Mark Fecenko, also in Toronto, uses his ‘vast knowledge and experience in healthcare procurement to cut through dense and difficult situations quickly’.

In 2017, international trade specialist Cassidy Levy Kent LLP significantly boosted its profile in the procurement area with the hire of ‘leading procurement lawyer’ Gerry Stobo from Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. The practice has an impressive track record in representing clients in procurement challenges before the CITT and the courts and it also routinely advises on non-contentious matters. The firm advised an international defence sector client on Canada’s C$2.6bn National Shipbuilding Strategy.

Conlin Bedard LLP’s group, which is composed of ‘specialized experts’, secures praise for its growing national and international prominence, with sources commenting: ‘it continues to increase market share at the expense of the traditional players in this area’. Practice head Paul Conlin is an ‘impressive counsel’ and a top choice for firm referrals. The Ottawa-based team also includes Ben Mills, who is recommended for his focus on contentious matters. Among its highlights, the firm represented a global defence company on a bid complaint and litigation concerning a major procurement contract.

FASKEN shines in complex procurement litigation, such as Ottawa-based department co-head Peter Mantas’ advice to Bronson Consulting Group in a landmark case stemming from a cancelled procurement award. On the non-contentious side, Vancouver-based group co-lead David Little advised Interior Health Authority on the development of a new patient care tower at the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. Toronto-based trade specialist Clifford Sosnow is also noted.

Gowling WLG has a thriving procurement litigation practice, which routinely represents clients in bid protests and challenges before the CITT and courts. The team, which is particularly active on behalf of clients within the defense, aerospace, transport and infrastructure sectors, is also well versed in advisory matters. Ottawa-based group head Phuong Ngo is widely recognized as a leader in her field.

The ‘exceptionally client-oriented’ Norton Rose Fulbright provides ‘high-quality legal advice’ that incorporates ‘deep regulatory, commercial and political understanding’. Among its highlights, Vancouver-based infrastructure head Greg Lewis QC (‘a forthright lawyer who is always sensitive to the needs of his clients’) and Vancouver’s James LeMoine advised a transportation authority client on a notable project. Ottawa-based Richard A. Wagner is a ‘market leader’.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s group, which strikes a good balance between contentious and non-contentious work, has notable expertise in the infrastructure, technology, energy, healthcare and gaming areas. In a headline mandate, Toronto-based Rocco Sebastiano is advising Bruce Power on the C$13bn procurement of various services connected to the refurbishment of six nuclear reactor units. On the litigation side, Toronto’s Roger Gillott represented Atomic Energy of Canada in an $18.5m action brought by Canada Forgings.

Dentons impresses with the ‘excellent expertise and knowledge’ of Toronto-based group head Paul M Lalonde. Lalonde, who is highly regarded for his strong experience in government contracting law, anti-corruption and contentious matters, advised Harris Corporation on the Canadian aspects of its $690m sale of IT and defence-related assets. On the projects front, Vancouver’s John Haythorne is advising Vancouver Fraser Port Authority on the procurement of the Centerm Expansion Project.

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP specializes in advising on the procurement aspects of major infrastructure projects, with a focus on transportation, education and social infrastructure-related matters. In a recent example, Vancouver-based Elizabeth Mayer and Toronto’s Mitchell Mostyn advised the province of British Columbia on the procurement of new law courts in Abbotsford. The same team also advised the Toronto Transit Commission on the procurement of a new bus garage and maintenance facility.

McCarthy Tétrault’s national group advises private sector clients and government entities on the full life cycle of procurement matters. In 2018, the firm advised Eurovia on its acquisition of civil engineering company Groupe TNT — Montreal-based Marc-Alexandre Hudon led the procurement aspects of that deal. The team also includes Martha Harrison, who joined in 2017 from Dentons, and senior counsel Gordon Willcocks — both are based in Toronto.

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