Public procurement in Canada
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.
City of Calgary
Marine Atlantic Inc.
VIA Rail Canada Inc.
City of Burlington
Town of Innisfill
Ontario Power Generation
Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council
University of Toronto
St Lawrence 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)
- 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'.
Other key lawyers:
‘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.‘
General Dynamics Mission Systems – Canada
Alion Science and Technology Corporation, and Alion Science and Technology Canada Corporation
The National Capital Commission
P1 Consulting Inc.
Horizon Maritime Services Ltd.
- 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 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.
Infrastructure Ontario/ Metrolinx – Ontario Line Subway Project
Government of Canada and Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority
Bronson Consulting Group
Thales Canada Inc.
Alion Science and Technology Corporation
Assembly of First Nations
Parker Johnston Industries Ltd.
- 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.
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.
‘Expertise on the subject matter coupled with a really practical view of the business side of the equation.‘
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.
Other key lawyers:
Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO)
CDPQ Infra Inc.
Province of BC
Capital Regional District
Department of Justice
The City of Ottawa
Partnerships British Columbia
Metro Vancouver (Greater Vancouver Sewerage & Drainage District)
Vancouver Island Health Authority
Lower Mainland Health Authorities
- 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.
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.
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.
Other key lawyers:
‘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.‘
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
VF Worldwide Holdings
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
‘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.‘
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.
- 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'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.
‘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.‘
Province of Ontario
Vantage Airport Group
- 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 '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.
Other key lawyers:
‘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!‘
Government of Canada
Wataynikaneyap Power LP
TransitNEXT (SNC-Lavalin Capital)
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc. (“SWIFT”)
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (“GNL”)
Government of Canada
- 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.