Public procurement in Canada

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP has a full-service procurement practice, which routinely advises public and private sector clients from a broad range of industry sectors on transactional, compliance and contentious issues. Complemented by the wider firm’s top-tier infrastructure expertise, the group is dominant across the country in transport, energy and natural resources projects, with recent strong showings in the rail space. Toronto-based Judy Wilson is widely recognized as one of the market’s leading procurement specialists and remains a popular choice to advise key public sector clients, such as Infrastructure Ontario, on major infrastructure projects. Also recommended is Toronto-based Marianne Smith, whose practice is well weighted between transactional and regulatory procurement matters, and Montreal-based up-and-coming partner Clémentine Sallée, who focuses on infrastructure and project finance.

Practice head(s):

Judy Wilson

Other key lawyers:

Marianne Smith; Clémentine Sallée

Key clients

VIA Rail Canada

Marine Atlantic Inc.

City of Toronto

City of Calgary

City of Hamilton

City of Winnipeg

City of Brampton

City of Burlington

City of Greater Sudbury

Infrastructure Ontario

Liquor Control Board of Ontario

Ontario Power Generation

Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC)

University of Toronto

Laurentian University

Ryerson University

University of Western Ontario

Colleges Ontario (24 individual colleges across Ontario)

Mohawk College

St. Lawrence College

Niagara College

Local Health Integration Networks

Work highlights

  • Advised VIA Rail Canada on its C$1.3bn Corridor Fleet Replacement Project.
  • Acted for the City of Calgary on the development of the Green Line LRT Project.
  • Advised Marine Atlantic on the procurement of a new Ro-Pax Vessel.
  • Advised Ontario Power Generation on a procurement policy review and template development project.
  • Guided the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council through a procurement process to retain educational providers to design, develop and implement a post-graduate diploma program.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

In line with the wider firm’s signature strength, the procurement team at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP has particular expertise in health care-related matters. The national group is also is a popular choice to advise private and public sector clients on procurement matters connected to the energy and transportation spheres, with infrastructure development, outsourcing arrangements and procurement litigation all notable sweet spots. IT group head Mark Fecenko is noted for his procurement experience in the municipal, health care and higher education areas, while construction specialist Richard Shaban is noted for his infrastructure development focus.

Practice head(s):

Mark Fecenko; Rick Shaban

Key clients

The City of Ottawa

Province of Nova Scotia

Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA)

Iron Mountain

Conseil scolaire Viamonde

St. Joseph’s Health Centre Group Purchasing Organization

Selex Sistemi Integrati S.p.A.

Manitoba Hydro

University Health Network

Province of British Columbia

BC Hydro

Champlain Bridge

City of Ottawa Light Rail Transit (LRT)

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

University of Ottawa Heart Institute

University Health Network

Ontario Telemedicine Network

Work highlights

  • Advised Defence Construction Canada on its RFP for the Enterprise Data Centre Borden Expansion Project at its Canadian forces base in Borden.
  • Advised St. Joseph’s Health System, Group Purchasing Organization on the development of a vendor of record methodology for food warehousing and distributions for dozens of hospitals under new CFTA/CETA procurement rules.
  • Advised Atomic Energy of Canada on the procurement of a cloud-based solution for essentially all IT-related functionality.
  • Advised the City of Vaughan on day-to-day procurement matters, including on the procurement of a City-wide external LED lighting system and related central controller computer system.

Cassidy Levy Kent LLP

Ottawa-based Cassidy Levy Kent LLP is highly regarded for its top-level experience in complex bid challenges. The group also consistently acts for government agencies in relation to regulatory and compliance matters, including advising on the development of procurement processes. Gerry Stobo is highly sought after for his senior procurement expertise, particularly in defence-related matters. Associate Marc McLaren-Caux is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Gerry Stobo

Other key lawyers:

Marc McLaren-Caux


Extensive experience in procurement, including P3s, which ensures that we benefit from lessons learned and emerging leading practices on other mandates. When matters arise, they work collaboratively to find solutions which help us to meet our business objectives while ensuring the legal matters are properly considered. They discuss options and work with us to identify the one that is best suited to our requirements and they recognize that the final decision on the strategy rests with us and don’t attempt to “scare” us into adopting their position.’

Gerry and his team make the time to provide input within our timeframes, they take the time to properly explain why certain requirements need to be integrated into the procurement documents in a manner that can be used on other projects. They are very open to mentoring my team on procurement matters.’

The knowledge of Gerry Stobo and Marc McLaren-Caux in procurement law, and in particular the trade agreements, has been instrumental. Gerry and Marc are able to clearly explain complex concepts, which is invaluable in our field.’

Key clients

Oshkosh Defense Canada

Alion Science and Technology Corporation

National Capital Commission

General Dynamics – Missions Systems – Canada

Metcalf & Co.

Bell Canada

P1 Consulting Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented Oshkosh Defence in a challenge to the federal government’s award of a contract for medium support vehicles.
  • Represented Rohde & Schwarz as the successful bidder on a contract for the supply of air traffic radios to the Government of Canada in a case brought by the losing bidder alleging that its bid was not fairly evaluated.
  • Represented Alion Science and Technology Corporation, and Alion Science and Technology Canada Corporation in bringing a bid challenge concerning a C$60bn warship procurement.
  • Advised the National Capital Commission in defending against a procurement complaint filed by a losing bidder in a procurement for architectural services.

Conlin Bedard LLP

Procurement law is an area of strength at regulatory boutique Conlin Bedard LLP, which advises on all aspects of tender drafting to contract negotiation and bid challenges. Founding partner Paul Conlin is highly regarded for his broad expertise in procurement, international trade and litigation. Administrative law specialist Ben Mills is noted for his strong litigation experience.

Practice head(s):

Paul Conlin

Other key lawyers:

Ben Mills


Fasken’s national team has experience in federal, provincial and municipal procurement matters, with high levels of activity across the country, anchored by its platforms in Ontario, BC and Quebec. The group strikes a balance between contentious and non-contentious work, with strong recent showings in bid challenges, infrastructure development and compliance matters. Peter Mantas co-leads the department from Ottawa and is sought after for public procurement disputes. Vancouver-based practice co-lead David Little specializes in infrastructure project procurement.

Practice head(s):

David Little; Peter Mantas


In-depth knowledgeable of client’s suite of contract templates. Extended experience in EPCM/construction affairs, including litigation. Available on short notice making them ideal consultants when dealing with a project environment. Possess easy to reach partners savvy in different industries complementing and supporting client’s legal advisory services on a broader spectrum.’

David Little and Charlene Hiller will gather information and facts at highest possible level, will analyze and timely revert with suite of options based on risk scale and success ratio expectations, thus enabling client to evaluate and proceed with best course for action.’

Key clients

Bronson Consulting Group

Guy Lapierre, GAL Power


Alion Science and Technology Corporation

Thales Canada Inc.

Interior Health Authority

British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority

Government of Canada and the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

Agence Régionale de Transport Métropolitain

Work highlights

  • Represented Alion Science and Technology, before the CITT and the Federal Court of Canada, in its bid challenge to the award of the Canadian Surface Combatant project.
  • Advised Interpaving, a large road works company, after the company was debarred from bidding on future public procurements for the City of Sudbury.
  • Advised the Government of Canada and the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority on the design, construction, financing, operations, maintenance and rehabilitation of the Gordie Howe International Bridge Project.
  • Assisted Thales Canada with its application for judicial review to the Federal Court, as well as a complaint to the CITT, following its unsuccessful bid for a Department of National Defence project.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright houses a thriving procurement practice, which is recognized for its strong public sector client base, composed of local authorities from across the country. Led from Vancouver by infrastructure head Greg Lewis QC, the group is particularly prominent on the infrastructure development front, and also handles bid challenges and anti-corruption issues. Also recommended is Ottawa-based Richard Wagner, who is widely regarded as a leader in complex regulatory and procurement matters.

Practice head(s):

Greg Lewis QC

Other key lawyers:

Richard Wagner


Committed to the delivery of a quality product, on time, with reduced requirements for redrafting.’

Key clients

SNC-Lavalin Inc.

The City of Ottawa

Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO)

CDPQ Infra Inc.


Capital Regional District

Infrastructure Ontario


Department of Justice

Quebec City


BCE Inc.

EMD, Inc.


Partnerships British Columbia

Metro Vancouver (Greater Vancouver Sewerage & Drainage District)

Vancouver Island Health Authority

SaskBuilds Corporation

Lower Mainland Health Authorities

Toronto Hydro

BC Clinical and Support Services Society

Work highlights

  • Advised CDPQ Infra on the procurement of the Réseau Express Métropolitain LRT project.
  • Advised the Province of British Columbia on the Broadway Subway project.
  • Acted for Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx on the DBF Union Station Enhancement P3 project.
  • Advised Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx as the co-sponsors of the Regional Express Rail Enabling Works, a package of 15 projects in support of the Metrolinx Regional Express Rail service.


Equally adept at advising public and private sector clients, Dentons’ procurement team is well versed in bidding processes, compliance issues and bid challenges. Toronto-based Paul Lalonde heads the team and is recognized for his experience in procurement law challenges, where he acts for both suppliers and buyers. On the projects side, Vancouver’s John Haythorne routinely advises municipal, provincial and federal government entities and healthcare authorities on procurement matters.

Practice head(s):

Paul Lalonde

Other key lawyers:

John Haythorne

Key clients

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

  • Advising Harris Corporation and Harris Canada Systems on the Canadian aspects of a major sale of IT and defence-related assets.
  • Represented Montreal’s University Health Centres in a dispute concerning additional costs to a hospital project PPP.
  • Advised The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges on the restoration of the Champlain Bridge and the Honoré-Mercier Bridge.
  • Advised the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority on the Centerm Expansion Project.

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP’s procurement team forms a key part of its broader project finance, infrastructure and PPP practice. The group specializes in project development, where it is a popular choice for both public bodies and private sector bidders on PPP projects. It also handles procurement disputes. Vancouver-based Elizabeth Mayer and Toronto-based Mitchell Mostyn have together recently provided procurement advice to the Toronto Transit Commission, the City of Calgary and the Province of British Columbia, among others.

Practice head(s):

Ian Bendell

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Mayer; Mitchell Mostyn

Key clients

Province of 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.

The City of Calgary

Kiewit Development Company

Work highlights

  • Advised the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology on the development of legal templates for all of SAIT’s requirements for external services and goods.
  • Advised the City of Calgary on the procurement of a new public bus storage and maintenance facility to accommodate the maintenance, refuelling and storage of 400 buses.
  • Advised the Province of British Columbia on the procurement of a DBFM model of new law courts in Abbotsford.

Gowling WLG

Best known for its procurement litigation practice, Gowling WLG also advises on RFP processes and project development, both for bidders and procuring agencies. Led by Ottawa-based litigator and regulatory expert Phuong Ngo, the group distinguishes itself in part by its broad sector focus, with recent expertise spanning the defence, infrastructure and transportation spheres. Montreal-based Luc Lissoir is noted for project finance-related issues.

Practice head(s):

Phuong Ngo

Other key lawyers:

Luc Lissoir


The Gowling team has experience in assisting clients on both sides of the procurement process. They are able to provide a perspective on market practices in various jurisdictions. The advice is customized, up to date and therefore complementary to in-house counsel expertise and reach.’

The team members’ skills are complementary. Each team member has extensive knowledge of its particular field of law and they all worked very hard to provide exceptional quality deliverables in a timely manner. Gowling WLG has exceeded our expectations. Their rates are a bit lower than those of other firms and considering their expertise in infrastructure, they provide excellent value for money.’

Luc Lissoir and Nicolas Cayouette are an absolute pleasure to work with. Both have extensive knowledge of the legal, construction, financial and even technical issues related to DBF, DBFM and PPP projects. They also have experience on the public and private side of projects, which gives them perspective and a practical approach to the procurement process and contract drafting.’

Key clients

Société québécoise des infrastructures and Ministère des Transports du Québec

Nouvelle Autoroute 30, G.P. and its partners, Acciona S.A. and Grupo ACS

Work highlights

  • Advised Société québécoise des infrastructures and Ministère des Transports du Québec Government on the C$1.2bn procurement of the Refurbishment and Rehabilitation of the Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine Tunnel project.

McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault combines top-tier offerings in infrastructure and finance to provide specialist advice to bidding consortia, banks, and construction and services providers on PPP procurement matters. The firm also houses a growing procurement litigation practice. Toronto-based counsel Gordon Willcocks is regularly engaged by public sector clients (including government entities, hospitals and educational institutions) to advise on all aspects of procurement processes.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Willcocks

Key clients

Infrastructure Ontario (Government of Ontario Procurement Agency)

Metrolinx (Government of Ontario Transportation Agency)

Work highlights

  • Advised Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx on the procurement of the Hurontario Light Rail Transit Project.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s multi-disciplinary practice stands out for its ability to advise across a range of industry specialisms, including construction, technology, energy and health care. The group is consistently engaged by both private and public sector clients, and has experience in the full life cycle of procurement matters, from RPF preparation to procurement disputes and challenges. Construction specialist Roger Gillott is a key contact for procurement litigation, while Rocco Sebastiano is noted for his experience in power and infrastructure project procurement.

Practice head(s):

Roger Gillott; Rocco Sebastiano

Key clients

Bruce Power LP

Astaldi Canada Inc.

NextBridge Infrastructure LP

City of Toronto

Bondfield Construction Company Limited

Corner Brook Partnership

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

City of Kingston

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)

Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA)

Brookfield Property Partners

Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)

National Capital Commission (“NCC”)

Aecon Construction

Hydro One Telecom

Work highlights

  • Advised Mapbox and Stratio on bids for government contracts, including those in the AI space.


Torys LLP houses an increasingly active procurement practice, which regularly advises both private and public sector clients. The multi-disciplinary practice group has expertise across a wide range of industries, with recent highlight experience in health care, defence, technology and infrastructure projects. Energy and infrastructure specialist Philip Symmonds and corporate finance partner Thomas Yeo  jointly head the group from Toronto.

Practice head(s):

Philip Symmonds; Thomas Yeo


The entire Torys team was wholly professional, yet friendly and a pleasure to work with. Their collective strength was in their comprehensive understanding of the complete file, which was diverse in its complexity across different technical areas. I was able to communicate with any member of the team, and each would have a good understanding of all of the issues.’

A dynamic, hardworking team with excellent cohesion and customer focus. Team works together to achieve the client’s aim. Provided frank and straightforward advice, which was delivered with exceptional forethought, professionalism and candour. The individuals of the Torys team integrated well with the client team and built trust from day one.’

They definitely work very well as a team; each member bringing an important skill set. They are able to adjust to the corporate culture of the client and join the in-house team seamlessly.’

Philip Symmonds is a natural leader, who provided superb legal wisdom and a measured approach to solving complex issues. Philip’s strength is in providing a fulsome understanding of risk and in directing the team in response to changing priorities.’

Thomas Yeo is very friendly and easy to work with, and is one who can distil a complex issue into an understandable set of terms. His drafting skills are exceptional.’

Key clients

Government of Canada

Ontario Power Generation

Government of the Northwest Territories

Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc. (“SWIFT”)

Infrastructure Ontario


Wataynikaneyap Power LP

Payments Canada

Work highlights

  • Advised the Government of Canada on the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
  • Acted for the Government of the Northwest Territories in the procurement of the Tlicho All-Season Road PPP project.
  • Acted for Payments Canada in its competitive procurement process for Lynx, Canada’s new core clearing and settlement system for payments.