Public procurement in Canada

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Acting for public- and private-sector clients in a range of transactional and contentious matters, the team at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP is in a league of its own in the public procurement space. Working in conjunction with the firm's top-tier infrastructure group, the procurement team has noted expertise in the transit and transportation, water and wastewater, energy and mining sectors. Other key areas of work include healthcare and education procurement. Montréal-based Clémentine Sallée focuses her practice on project finance and construction, while Toronto-based practice head Judy Wilson is recognized for her work supporting public organizations with outsourcing and procurement. Also based in Toronto is Marianne Smith, who has extensive experience of risk management. Senior associate Alyssa Shivji is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Judy Wilson

Key clients

City of Calgary

Marine Atlantic Inc.

VIA Rail Canada Inc.

Infrastructure Ontario

City of Burlington

Town of Innisfill

Ontario Power Generation

Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council

University of Toronto

Mohawk College

St Lawrence College

Niagara College

Health Shared Services Ontario

Exo (Réseau de transport métropolitain)

Société québécoise des infrastructures

Inter-American Bank of Development

Propulsion Québec (in collaboration with the Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain)

Consortium composed of Pomerleau Inc. and American Iron and Metal (AIM)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx in a design, build, operate, maintain, finance project intended to transform of the GO Transit rail transportation network in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
  • Advised Marine Atlantic Inc. on the procurement of a new build Ro-Pax vessel.
  • Advised the Société québécoise des infrastructures on the public procurement of six seniors’ and alternative housing infrastructure projects.

Cassidy Levy Kent LLP

Ottawa-based Cassidy Levy Kent LLP is known for its work in large complex bid challenges, acting both for private companies and government entities. Rated for its 'knowledge of procurement law and trade agreements', the practice group active at every level of federal and Ontario courts, as well as in proceedings before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal. Practice head Gerry Stobo and associate Marc McLaren-Caux are recommended by clients for their ability to 'clearly explain complex concepts'.

Practice head(s):

Gerry Stobo

Other key lawyers:

Marc McLaren-Caux

Testimonials

Cassidy Levy Kent’s knowledge of procurement law, and in particular the trade agreements, has been instrumental in mandates that we have delivered for our clients. I have total confidence in their abilities.

I work closely with Gerry Stobo and Marc McLaren-Caux. Gerry and Marc are able to clearly explain complex concepts, which is invaluable in our field. Providing a good understanding of the matter, what the legal considerations are and the recommended approach is one of the many talents of Gerry and Marc.

Key clients

General Dynamics Mission Systems – Canada

Alion Science and Technology Corporation, and Alion Science and Technology Canada Corporation

The National Capital Commission

P1 Consulting Inc.

Bluenose Transit

Horizon Maritime Services Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Represented Alion in litigation before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and Federal Court over bidding on the C$70bn warship procurement to replace the ageing fleet of Royal Canadian Navy frigates.
  • Represented P1 Consulting in litigation before the Ontario Superior Court when a losing bidder alleged that it was unfairly disqualified and sued P1, along with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and Infrastructure Ontario, for damages in excess of C$150m.
  • We represented the National Capital Commission in a bid challenge at the CITT alleging that its bid was evaluated unfairly by the NCC.

Conlin Bedard LLP

Ottawa-based regulatory boutique Conlin Bedard LLP offers support throughout the entire procurement cycle. Paul Conlin has of international trade, controlled goods compliance and federal, provincial and municipal government contracting. Ben Mills is noted for his administrative law and public sector litigation experience.

Fasken

Fasken operates nationwide at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, with key offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa. The group is recognized throughout the market for its expertise in dispute resolution, while on the non-contentious side, it is instrumental to the firm's ability to handle public-private infrastructure development matters. It is also unique for its cross-border procurement expertise, especially in US-facing procurement. Practice head Peter Mantas divides his time between Ottawa and Toronto and is noted for his experience in procurement litigation.

Practice head(s):

Peter Mantas

Other key lawyers:

Marcia Mills; Tom Barlow

Key clients

Infrastructure Ontario/ Metrolinx – Ontario Line Subway Project

Government of Canada and Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

Bronson Consulting Group

Interpaving

Thales Canada Inc.

Alion Science and Technology Corporation

Assembly of First Nations

Parker Johnston Industries Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised the Assembly of First Nations and has been leading negotiations with Indigenous groups and the Government of Canada to work towards the design and redevelopment of the former US Embassy, a heritage building, gifted to the Indigenous People of Canada.
  • Advised Alion on its legal challenge to a procurement contract to replace the Royal Canadian Navy’s fleet of destroyers and frigates.
  • Advised Infrastructure Ontario/Metrolinx on the free-standing subway which will connect Ontario Place/ Exhibition through Downtown Toronto to the Ontario Science Center.

Gowling WLG

Perhaps best known for its work in bid protests and related litigation, the public procurement team at Gowling WLG is hailed by clients for its legal expertise as well as its 'practical view of the business side of the equation'. The practice group also advises on RFPs and tender designs. Also of note is the firm's Indigenous law group, through which the procurement team advises indigenous governments and organizations on a variety of procurement matters. Ottawa-based litigator Phuong Ngo leads the team, which counts healthcare, manufacturing and transportation among its sector strengths.

Practice head(s):

Phuong Ngo

Other key lawyers:

Graham Ragan; Luc Lissoir

Testimonials

Expertise on the subject matter coupled with a really practical view of the business side of the equation.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has a nationwide procurement practice spread across offices in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montréal. Headed by Greg Lewis QC in Vancouver, the team acts for clients in a wide variety of industry sectors, including defence, security, transportation, energy, healthcare, education, and technology, advising on contracting agreements, bid challenges and a host of regulatory matters. Lewis also heads the firm's infrastructure group, and indeed the procurement team stands out in particular for its work in public infrastructure and transit projects.

Practice head(s):

Greg Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Richard Wagner

Key clients

TransLink

Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO)

CDPQ Infra Inc.

Province of BC

Capital Regional District

Infrastructure Ontario

Metrolinx

Department of Justice

The City of Ottawa

Seaspan

BCE Inc.

EMD, Inc.

Telus

Partnerships British Columbia

Metro Vancouver (Greater Vancouver Sewerage & Drainage District)

Vancouver Island Health Authority

Lower Mainland Health Authorities

Toronto Hydro

Work highlights

  • Represented Lockheed Martin Canada in a judicial review  challenging the award of the $60bn contract to LMC for the Canadian Surface Combatant fleet of frigates for the Canadian Navy.
  • Advised TransLink on a C$3.1bn rapid transit rail project in Vancouver.
  • Advised on the Quebec City C$3bn public transit network, which is to include tramways, an electric trambus, and reserved bus lanes.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP has a strong base of public sector clients, with a notable track record in the fields of healthcare, infrastructure projects, energy and technology outsourcing, particularly for financial services clients. Toronto-based Roger Gillott has experience in construction law, and in tendering and procurement both in the public and private sectors. Tendering disputes and competitive procurement litigation are key areas of work for the group.

Practice head(s):

Roger Gillott

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

The procurement team at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP has a track record in the technology outsourcing and energy sector procurement. Acting for private- and public-sector clients, the team advises on a litany of project tender issues, contract documents and agreements, and dispute resolution. Contacts include David Sherriff-Scott in Ottawa; Milos Barutciski and Eric Boehm in Toronto; and Alan Ross in Calgary.

Dentons

With offices in Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver, Dentons handles procurement matters nationwide, and is experienced in both supplier and buyer side work. Among the team's sector strengths are technology, energy, infrastructure and construction, and defence. Toronto-based Paul Lalonde is recognized by clients as a 'top-notch procurement lawyers', who 'adds great value to every discussion about procurement law'. Lalonde is noted also for his work in government-contracting disputes, and the team as a whole has extensive experience representing clients in high-profile bid challenges.

Practice head(s):

Paul Lalonde

Other key lawyers:

Mathilde Carriere

Testimonials

Denton’s public procurement practise is very strong. Paul Lalonde is a top notch procurement lawyer.

Paul Lalonde is very knowledgeable, and very strategic. He adds great value to every discussion about procurement law. He is also a terrific person to work with.

Key clients

TeamDynamix

Harris Corporation

Medi+Sure Canada Inc.

Montreal’s University Health Centres CHUM, MUHC, Sainte-Justine UHC

The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

Waterfront Toronto

VF Worldwide Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised TeamDynamix on a broad range of procurement opportunities in Canada.
  • Advised Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation on its landmark Quayside Redevelopment Project.
  • Represented VF Worldwide Holdings in two ongoing court cases regarding its successful bid on a major global procurement for Visa Application Centre services for the Government of Canada.

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP's public procurement group is especially active in project development mandates, with a strong background in infrastructure and PPP supported by the firm's project finance and infrastructure groups. Another key area of work is in technology and software procurement. A key figure in the team is Vancouver-based Elizabeth Mayer, an 'exceptional, solutions-oriented lawyer', who has additional experience of procurement matters in the transportation sector.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Mayer

Other key lawyers:

Mitchell Mostyn

Testimonials

Elizabeth Mayer is a very responsive, solutions-oriented and knowledgeable lawyer in the industry. She brings in juniors to ensure appropriate resourcing on files but is always available to provide advice or oversight as needed. Exceptional lawyer & work product.

Key clients

Province of British Columbia

Fraser Health Authority

Partnerships British Columbia

Toronto Transit Commission

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc.

SNC-Lavalin Capital Inc.

HOCHTIEF PPP Solutions North America Inc.

Dragados Canada, Inc.

Bermuda Airport Authority

Bede Gaming Canada Limited

Kiewit Development Company

EllisDon Capital Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Fraser Health Authority on phase one of the redevelopment of Burnaby Hospital.
  • Advised the Bermuda Airport Authority on all aspects of the ‎redevelopment of Bermuda’s only international airport, the L. F. Wade ‎International Airport.‎
  • Advised a bidder on the novel alliance model procurement for the Union Station project.

McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault's procurement group 'has extensive experience in public procurement in a variety of markets' and is rated by clients for its ability to  effectively 'drill down the most essential changes worth debating with a public authority'. Acting both for public and private entities, the team also benefits from its ability to draw on the firm's wider industry groups in a range of areas, particularly project finance. The department also has a growing procurement litigation practice handling bid disputes. Calgary-based practice head Catherine Samuel has particular experience in the areas of energy, telecoms, technology, retail and financial services.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Samuel

Other key lawyers:

Gordon Willcocks; Anca Neacsu

Testimonials

The McCarthy team has extensive experience in public procurement in a variety of markets. As such, they are able to both (a) advise on risk allocation changes that have a potential to be considered/effected (in more mature markets), and (b) draw examples and experience from other markets to effectively sell new approaches (in less mature markets). In any event, they are able to drill down the most essential changes worth debating with a public authority, avoiding time consuming and aggravating lengthy and unfruitful reviews of comments.

Anca Neacsu is well-respected by her peers amongst partners, including public authorities. Her deep experience, credibility and hard work make her an ideal business partner.

It was a pleasure to work alongside Anca, she was simply superb while we had to combat this other large competitor who pulled out every trick in their arsenal. We persevered in the legal and commercial discussions with an end result of us winning the pilot and being selected as the vendor. Anca added significant value in the strategic work at the beginning and very much so during the business case phase where the client brought in an outside consultant for an NPV analysis. With Anca’s support we ended up improving our position. The relationship we formed with Anca and McCarthy is what we deem a true partnership and she has set the bar high for our other partners in other countries.

Key clients

Infrastructure Ontario

Metrolinx

ENGIE

EllisDon

Vinci

York University

Province of Ontario

Vantage Airport Group

Ledcor

ACS/Aecon Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx on all aspects of the procurement phase of the Hurontario LRT project.
  • Advised ENGIE on closing a 35-year PPP contract with the Government of Canada to modernize and operate the district energy system.
  • Advised York University on its response to the proposal call to all universities in the Province of Ontario interested in developing a satellite campus.

Torys

Torys 'provides dynamic, thoroughly reasoned and strategic support to its clients in challenging environments'. The procurement team has a particularly strong reputation for advising government clients, with noted expertise in the areas of defence, healthcare and life sciences, telecoms, transportation and energy. The group is also becoming increasingly active in the procurement of large technology projects. Corporate and commercial lawyer Thomas Yeo jointly heads the team from Toronto with infrastructure and energy specialist Philip Symmonds.

Practice head(s):

Philip Symmonds; Thomas Yeo

Other key lawyers:

Adam Banack

Testimonials

The dynamic amongst the members of the Torys team was incredible.

Phil Symmonds was the primary lawyer that I dealt. Phil’s ability to deal with difficult individuals was outstanding. It was a total pleasure to interact with him. He was respectful, always calm and very perceptive of the key players role and personability. To top it off, his insight and legal advice advanced the project substantially.

Adam Banack and Tom Yeo were both an incredible asset to the legal team. Adam has the personality to bring people together and resolve matters to everyone satisfactory.

The work performed by Torys LLP Public Procurement practice has consistently been of exceptional quality with excellent delivery time.

Overall expertise in extremely complex public procurement and intellectual property; plus the expertise of their partners and associates. In particular, Phil Symmonds, Adam Armstrong, Thomas Yeo and Emma Sako.

The lawyers I have worked with are very experienced, knowledgeable, creative and responsive. I especially appreciate that they are practical minded when working with our business people, including presenting complex legal issues in clear business terms that they can understand and deal with.

I highly recommend Adam Armstrong, Ebad Rahman, Adam Banack, Jessica Bishop and Danielle Colliver.

Public procurement is a niche area that requires an intimate knowledge of complex rules flowing from Canada’s international trade agreements. The project-based nature of the files necessitates a sophistication and professionalism to advise a team of clients with diverse expectations and goals. Tory’s provides dynamic, thoroughly-reasoned and strategic support to its clients in challenging environments. They were key to the success of one of Canada’s largest procurements and they possess expertise that is unmatched in this field.

An unwavering commitment to excellence; unflinching attention to detail; delivery without compromise. Phil Symmonds, Adam Banack (Counsel),Tom Yeo (Counsel) and Emma Sako (associate) brought a superior level of professionalism to a demanding exercise with poise and resolve. Without them, delivery would have been impossible. They made everyone around them rise to a level of excellence that was unparalleled. Not only are they excellent lawyers, but they are terrific people and a true benefit to any team. They are simply the best!

Key clients

Government of Canada

Wataynikaneyap Power LP

TransitNEXT (SNC-Lavalin Capital)

Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc. (“SWIFT”)

Infrastructure Ontario

Metrolinx

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (“GNL”)

Government of Canada

Haldimand County

Work highlights

  • Represented the Government of Canada in six procurements falling under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
  • Advised Wataynikaneyap Power, a partnership between 24 First Nation Communities and FortisOntario Inc., on matters related to the development, construction, financing and operation of the C$1.9bn Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project.
  • Represented SWIFT, a partnership of rural and regional municipal groups, as the public authority for the C$288m Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology AFP project.