Tax in Canada

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP has a full-service tax practice, with extensive experience of complex domestic and cross-border transactions, large-scale corporate reorganizations, funds structuring, energy taxation, and complex financing transactions. The team is recognized for its strength in complex multi-jurisdictional transactions and transfer pricing matters, but also stands out for its tax controversy work. In addition, it is also noted for its strength in indirect taxation, with a bench of specialists devoted to commodity tax and customs, including HST, GST and QST. Contacts include corporate tax specialist Paul StepakJeffrey Shafer and Scott Wilkie, two names to note for transfer pricing advice; and Mark Tonkovich, who specializes in contentious tax work. Jeffrey Trossman is also recommended. Robert Kopstein, Nancy Diep and Jean-Marc Gagnon all left the practice for separate destinations between December 2019 and June 2020; however, the team welcomed partners from Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and Dentons, and also promoted Casey Richardson-Scott to the partnership in January 2020.

Key clients

AnheuserBusch-InBev SA

BCE Inc.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

ViacomCBS Inc.

KraftHeinz Canada ULC

PSP Investments

Power Corporation of Canada

Suncor Energy Inc.

CIT Group Securities (Canada) Inc.

ExxonMobil Canada Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Counsel to Starlight Investments, KingSett Capital and other investors in the C$4.8bn acquisition of Northview Apartment REIT, including a spin-out of certain selected properties into a new public REIT.
  • Advised Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners on its acquisition of Xplornet Communications Inc., Canada’s largest rural-focused broadband service provider.
  • Represented Kinder Morgan in connection with the C$4.35bn acquisition of KML and the Cochin pipeline system by Pembina Pipeline Corporation.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP's tax team is spread across the firm's Toronto and Montréal offices, and also provides 'seamless' advice on cross-border matters involving the US, thanks in part to its on-the-ground presence in New York. The department advises on the full range on work, with particular expertise in tax litigation and tax planning. Indeed, it is often involved in market-leading transactions, which recently included advising Barrick Gold Corporation on the $750m sale of its 50% interest in Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines. The practice is jointly led from Toronto by John Ulmer, Elie Roth and Ian Crosbie, while Marie-Emmanuelle Vaillancourt heads up the Montréal team. Also recommended is tax appeals specialist Guy Du Pont Ad EBrian Bloom and next generation partner Christopher Anderson.

Testimonials

Tax law is complex, Davies make it accessible for the courts. Very knowledgeable, no-nonsense team.  Formidable opponents in court, firm but fair.

Guy Du Pont is probably the best litigator in Québec, bar none.

When it is necessary to have more than one office involved (or more than one partner), it is seamless for the client. You never have to chase for answers and -or updates. You get the same professionalism from all Davies’ teams.’

Marie Emmanuelle Vaillancourt is a very professional lawyer. Very rigorous, very knowledgeable. Respects the deadlines, keeps you regularly updated on the progress of the work.  Very easy to talk to and is flexible in her approach.

John Ulmer is exceptional. His breadth of knowledge, creativity and professionalism is superb.

Key clients

McKesson Corporation

Barrick Gold Corporation

Fortis Inc.

Restaurant Brands International Inc.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust

Schlumberger Limited

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.

Nutrien Ltd.

Stericycle Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acted for funds managed by The Blackstone Group Inc. and its affiliates in Blackstone’s C$6.2bn all-cash acquisition of Dream Global Real Estate Investment Trust.
  • Acted as lead Canadian tax advisor for Barrick Gold Corporation in the $750m sale of its 50% interest in Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines in Western Australia to Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited.
  • Acted as tax counsel to Apotex International Inc. in the merger of its Australian and New Zealand generic pharmaceutical and over-the-counter operations with Arrow Pharmaceuticals, creating Australia’s largest generic pharmaceutical and private label OTC business, Arrotex Australia Group.

McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault's fields a nationally recognized team of tax experts, spread across offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montréal. Headed by Raj Juneja in Toronto, the team is especially standout in the areas of financial services and financial products taxation, as well as in REITs and private funds taxation. Moreover, the group has considerable experience of cross-border transactions and tax litigation. Of recent note, the team was strengthened by the arrival of Robert Kopstein, who joined from Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP in June 2020 and brings with him a wealth of experience both of domestic and cross-border taxation. Other key figures include corporate transactions specialist Gabrielle Richards and Douglas Cannon, who advises on domestic and cross-border divestitures, corporate reorganizations and financing transactions. Chia-Yi Chua specializes in contentious tax matters.

Practice head(s):

Raj Juneja

Testimonials

Dedication – will work hard and spend however long it takes to get the job done. Never failed to deliver and very intelligent in the legal, tax and commercial front.

Raj Juneja was also helpful, kind, and took the time to explain tax aspects for us in Canada.

Key clients

Airbnb

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

BCE/Bell

Brookfield Asset Management

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Enbridge Inc.

Restaurant Brands International Inc.

Fortis Inc.

Nestlé S.A.

Newcrest Mining

Rio Novo Gold

Slate Properties

Summit Industrial Income REIT

Uber

Walter Surface Technologies

Fairfax

PepsiCo

Work highlights

  • Represented UK-based Cineworld Group in its proposed acquisition of Cineplex for C$2.8bn.
  • Assisted Rhone Capital and Abu Dhabi Investment Council with the C$1.9bn privatization of Hudson’s Bay Company.
  • Representing employees of D2L Corporation before the Tax Court of Canada.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP has a notably well balanced tax practice, in which tax planners and litigators work together on a wide range of matters including the structuring and negotiation of M&A and asset deals, joint ventures, equity investments and debt financings. The group's reputation in high-value transactions generates a significant amount of headline instructions, a recent example of which was the team's advice to Dream Global Real Estate Investment Trust on its $6.2bn acquisition by affiliates of Blackstone-managed real estate funds; Firoz Ahmed led that transaction. On the contentious side, Al Meghji has become a fixture in the Tax Court and the Federal Court, where he has developed a strong reputation for representing Canadian and multinational corporations. The department is jointly led by Patrick Marley and Monica Biringer, who has expertise in all aspects of corporate income tax. All named lawyers are based in Toronto.

Practice head(s):

Monica Biringer; Patrick Marley

Key clients

Cameco Corporation

Entertainment One

BC Partners Advisors

Vale Canada Limited

Wheaton Precious Metals

Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

Bank of Montreal (BMO)

The Bank of Nova Scotia

TD Bank

The Stars Group

ConocoPhillips Canada Resources Corp.

TELUS Communications

Encana Corporation

BlackRock, Inc.

Restaurant Brands International

Kinross Gold Corporation

Canadian Tire Corporation

Work highlights

  • Tax counsel to The Stars Group Inc. relating to an agreement to merge through an acquisition of The Stars Group Inc. by Flutter Entertainment pursuant to a plan of arrangement.
  • Advised Dream Global Real Estate Investment Trust on its $6.2bn acquisition by affiliates of real estate funds managed by Blackstone Group.
  • Advised BC Partners on its C$5.2bn acquisition of Rhône Group’s equity interest in GardaWorld.

Goodmans LLP

Goodmans LLP' tax team is recognized for its expertise in high-end corporate transactions, from headline M&A and public financing deals to corporate reorganization mandates and standalone structuring advice. Though the team is best known for its transactional and advisory tax work, the department also features tax dispute resolution capabilities. Carrie Smit leads the department from the firm's Toronto office, where she has experience handling the tax aspects of a huge variety of corporate and private equity transactions, public and private financing deals, and cross-border reorganizations. Other contacts in Toronto include Mitchell Sherman, Jon Northup and Jarrett Freeman.

Practice head(s):

Carrie Smit

Key clients

Newmont Corporation (formerly Newmont Mining Corporation)

Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P.

Ceridian HCM, Inc.

Welltower Inc.

Tricon Capital Group Inc.

ONEX Corporation

Minto Properties and Minto Apartment REIT

Advent International

Northwest Healthcare

Invesque Inc.

Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acted for Onex Corporation in the $5bn acquisition of WestJet Airlines Ltd.
  • Advised Tricon Capital Group Inc. on a $1.4bn all-stock acquisition of Starlight US Multi-Family.
  • Advised Northern Private Capital on its $1bn acquisition of MDA from Maxar Technologies.

Torys

'Combining top tax technical knowledge with top-notch legal work', Torys' tax team works closely with the firm's premier corporate group to assist financial institutions, pension funds and companies with a wide range of transactional matters. The team also stands out for its ability to handle complex international deals, with a strong track record of transactions involving parties in Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. Practice head Jerald Wortsman specializes in domestic and international corporate tax planning and is recognized by clients for his 'vast tax experience'. Also recommended is Corrado Cardarelli, who maintains a broad corporate tax practice covering M&A, private funds, tax-exempt investments and structured financial products.

Practice head(s):

Jerald Wortsman

Testimonials

Always available and gets things done even when timing is tight –  Industry thought leaders with deep experience –  Can speak with authority since they know the industry and what is considered market

The tax team that I work with are some of the smartest lawyers I have ever worked with — combining top tax technical knowledge with their top notch legal work.

Jerald Wortsman is always available, has vast tax experience, and knows my company inside and out.

Key clients

Brookfield Group of Companies

Scotiabank

Thomson Reuters

Bank of Montreal

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (OTPP)

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)

Norbord Inc.

First Capital Realty Inc.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Work highlights

  • Acting as Canadian tax counsel to Thomson Reuters in connection with the proposed $27bn sale of Refintiv to the London Stock Exchange Group plc.
  • Advising FCR on its planned transformation from a corporation to a REIT structure, including its related reorganization.
  • Advising Brookfield Infrastructure Partners on its proposed unit split and special distribution of class A shares to create a new dual-listed Canadian corporation, Brookfield Infrastructure Corporation.

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP houses a robust corporate tax practice that is particularly specialized in the area of natural resources, in line with the wider firm's strengths in oil and gas, power and mining. On the contentious side, the practice group assists clients with income and commodity tax-related controversies, from initial audits and administrative appeals through to litigation and court appeals. Toronto-based Thomas Bauer jointly leads the practice alongside Darcy Moch in Calgary. Edwin Kroft QC heads up the tax litigation and transfer pricing group, splitting his time between Vancouver and Toronto. Other key names in the team include Calgary-based litigator Jehad Haymour and Toronto managing partner Stephen Bowman.

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Bowman; Jehad Haymour

Key clients

BP Canada Energy Group ULC

CBS Corporation

Connacher Oil and Gas Limited

Cresco Labs LLC

Devon Canada Corporation / Devon Canada Crude Marketing Corporation

Extendicare Inc.

ExxonMobil Canada Resources Company

Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited

Osisko Gold Royalties

Vale Canada Limited

Zedi Inc.

Zekelman Industries

Work highlights

  • Counsel to Devon Energy Inc. and its Canadian subsidiaries providing advice on their approximately $3.8bn sale of oil and gas assets to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., including pre- and post- closing tax-driven reorganizations.
  • Advised on the acquisition Cresco of CannaRoyalty Corp d/b/a “Origin House”.
  • Counsel to Canadian Utilities Ltd; most recently, provided advice on the sale of its entire Canadian fossil fuel-based electricity generation portfolio in a series of three transactions for aggregate proceeds of approximately $835m.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Leveraging strong bases in commercial centres across Canada in addition to an expansive office network worldwide, Norton Rose Fulbright is sought after by international clients to advise on the full range of Canadian tax matters. Among the team's clients are large corporations in the energy and infrastructure sectors, domestic and multinational lenders and asset managers. Key areas for the practice include transactional tax advice, tax planning and structuring, investigations and litigation services, as well as corporate restructurings and alternative financing arrangements. The team is jointly led by transaction specialist Dion Legge and litigator Dominic Belley from Calgary and Montréal, respectively. Wilfrid Lefebvre QC is also highly regarded for his work on contentious income tax matters, representing clients before the tax authorities and courts.

Practice head(s):

Dion Legge; Dominic Belley

Other key lawyers:

Wilfrid Lefebvre QC

Key clients

Aquilini GameCo Inc.

Bombardier Inc.

Fiducie Rhéo Lalancett

Fonds Immobilier Devimco Investissment

HIS-Merit Travel Inc.

SNC-Lavalin

Solium Capital

Special committee of the board of directors of WestJet Airlines

Whistler Medical Marijuana Company

Tervita Corporation

Brookfield Asset Management and Brookfield Infrastructure

Wolf Midstream Inc.

Crescent Point Energy Corp.

Canadian Tire

Royal Bank of Canada

Tidewater Midstream

NorthRiver Midstream Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised the special committee of the board of directors of WestJet Airlines Ltd. on its acquisition by Onex Corporation and its affiliated funds.
  • Represented Aquilini GameCo and assisted the Aquilini Investment Group, owner of the Vancouver Canucks, to simultaneously complete an unprecedented, complex triple play transaction in the e-sports sector: two acquisitions, a subscription receipt financing, a debenture financing and a reverse takeover, creating one of the world’s largest publicly-traded gaming industry player.
  • Advised SNC-Lavalin on the sale of 10.01% of the outstanding shares of 407 International Inc., owner and operator of Highway 407, a toll highway outside of Toronto, to companies controlled by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), for an aggregate closing purchase price of C$3bn.

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Stikeman Elliott LLP is recognized for its broad capabilities in domestic and international tax matters, particularly in relation to private and public debt and equity financings and M&A. The team also has strengths in tax controversy matters, where it represents clients in tax disputes at every level of court, from first instance to appeals. National group head John Lorito in Toronto is highly regarded for his work both on transactional and contentious matters. Frank Mathieu leads the Montréal tax group and advises domestic and international clients on the tax implications of M&A, corporate reorganizations and restructurings. Energy sector specialist Julie D’Avignon is a key contact in Calgary, and Dean Kraus is also recommended in the Toronto office.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP has a solid track record of advising on the tax aspects of a variety of transactions in the energy, life sciences and financial services sectors. Craig Webster leads the nationwide tax group, and is particularly experienced in the investment management industry. Another name to note is Stephen Fyfe, who has expertise in energy sector taxation.

Practice head(s):

Craig Webster

Work highlights

  • Advising Imperial Metals Corporation, a TSX listed Canadian metals and mining company, on its $804m sale of a 70% interest in the Red Chris mine in British Columbia to Newcrest Mining Limited.
  • Advised RFA Capital Holdings Inc. on its $85m acquisition of Street Capital Group Inc.
  • Advised on all aspects of the $1bn acquisition by CP of the Goreway Power Station, an 875MW natural gas combined cycle generation facility in Brampton, Ontario, from JERA Co. Inc. and Toyota Tsusho Corporation.

Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP

Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP is widely recognised as a leader in the energy sector, and has a strong track record of creating tax-assisted financing vehicles in this industry. Given its sector strength, the tax team has particular experience of the taxation of limited partnerships, joint ventures and hybrid vehicles, and has also handled tax disputes. The department is led by John Brussa in Alberta.

Practice head(s):

John Brussa

Dentons

Dentons is recognized for its experience of transactions in the fields of technology, entertainment and energy. Joint practice head Mark Jadd and up-and-coming partner Larry Nevsky lead the M&A segment of the practice group, working closely with the firm's corporate and securities group, and financial services team. The team also has strengths in tax litigation. Edmonton-based Mark Woltersdorf leads the national tax group. The practice group has a presence across Canada, but is especially strong in Toronto and Edmonton.

Practice head(s):

Mark Jadd; Mark Woltersdorf

Other key lawyers:

Larry Nevsky

Key clients

Ontario Power Generation Inc.

Bonnefield Financial Inc.

Bayer AG

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp.

Riverstone Holdings LLC and Meritage Midstream Services III LP

Portag3 Ventures

Renewi PLC

Canadian National Railway

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Teledyne Technologies Inc.

Root Data Centres

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.

Comweb Corporation

AB Volvo

Work highlights

  • Advised Ontario Power Generation Inc. on its acquisition of a series of power generation assets valued at over C$3bn.
  • Advised Portag3 Ventures LP on its initial and second venture capital fund as lead counsel for the manager and its funds in connection with various private equity funds and their investment in portfolio companies.
  • Advised Bayer on its acquisition of the remaining 59.2% stake in BlueRock Therapeutics, a biotech company established by Bayer and Versant Ventures.

EY Law LLP

EY Law LLP advises on the full range of tax work, including tax controversies. Clients benefit from the firm's extensive global network, making it a popular choice for cross-border transactions. Litigator Daniel Sandler leads the department from Toronto, representing clients in disputes with federal and provincial tax authorities. Angelo Nikolakakis in Montréal is a name to note for corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Sandler

Other key lawyers:

Angelo Nikolakakis

Fasken

Fasken is best known for advising clients in the energy and natural resources sectors, particularly in respect of the tax structuring and planning for large public and private M&A. The team works closely with the firm's premier mining group which generates a significant amount of work demanding specialized tax advice. Christopher Steeves leads the tax practice group from Toronto, and focuses on corporate restructurings and acquisitions involving Canadian businesses.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Steeves

Work highlights

  • Advised Katanga on its definitive agreement with Glencore International AG pursuant to which Glencore will acquire the common shares of Katanga Mining.
  • Advised Quanta Services Inc. on the sale of its 20% interest in Alberta PowerLine, which is being sold concurrently with Canadian Utilities Limited’s sale of its 80% interest, for combined proceeds of approximately $300m and the assumption of $1.4bn of debt.
  • Acted for Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) in its acquisition of Plenary Americas, a leading investor, developer and operator of public infrastructure in North America.

Felesky Flynn LLP

Boutique tax firm Felesky Flynn LLP has a strong presence in Western Canada, where it advises clients on the tax aspects of cross-border corporate transactions, standalone tax planning and energy taxation. The team is also well versed in tax litigation and audits. Calgary-based Brent Perry QC is a key contact.

Other key lawyers:

Brent Perry QC

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG is distinguished by its strength in multi-jurisdictional private equity fund formation and inbound and outbound downstream investment structuring. The firm also features robust tax disputes and executive compensation practices. Paul Carenza leads the national tax practice from Toronto, alongside Steven Novoselac, who heads the tax disputes group. Ottawa-based Dale Hill is another name to note; he leads the firm's transfer pricing and competent authority group. In 2019, Ted Thiessen joined the Calgary office from Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and Christine Perry joined in Toronto from Keel Cottrelle LLP.

Other key lawyers:

Ted Thiessen; Christine Perry

Key clients

Alectra Inc.

LaSalle Investment Management – LaSalle Canada Property Fund LP

Raymond Toth

Cummins Inc.

Tesla Inc.

Party City Canada

Investment Management Corporation of Ontario – Workers Safety and Insurance Board

Work highlights

  • Advised Alectra Inc. on its acquisition by way of merger, the municipal electrical distribution system of the City of Guelph, Ontario.
  • Counsel to promoter and general partner on the structuring, establishment and ongoing investment of one of Canada’s largest open-end core value real estate funds.
  • Assisted Cummins Inc. with the acquisition of Hydrogenics Corporation.

McMillan LLP

McMillan LLP 'can be counted on to give high-quality and practical tax advice', both on corporate transactions and tax disputes. Headed by Michael Friedman, the team has expertise in the areas of natural resources, pharmaceuticals and automotives, where it advises a variety of domestic and multinational clients on cross-border transactions and transfer pricing matters. The firm is also developing a reputation in PPP project and cannabis-sector transactions. Clients have also singled out Michel Ranger as 'highly responsive and business friendly'.

Practice head(s):

Michael Friedman

Other key lawyers:

Michel Ranger

Testimonials

McMillan’s tax team can be counted on to give high-quality and, crucially, practical tax advice on complicated tax matters. Their practice is very client focused with an emphasis on helping their client achieve their objectives, rather than simply highlighting problems.

Michel Ranger has worked for on a number of files in recent years. He is knowledgeable about the area of the law, and takes a practical approach to managing risk. In contrast to some of his competitors, he is highly responsive and business friendly and provides great value for work done.

Key clients

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi

Bank of Montreal

Royal Bank of Canada

Citibank Canada

GE Capital

MasterCard International Incorporated

Honda Motor Company

Tyco International Ltd.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

The Catalyst Capital Group Inc.

Sun Capital Partners, Inc.

Kilmer Group

Fortress Investment Group

Huron Capital Partners

Boehringer Ingelheim

Gruppo Campari

Great Canadian Gaming Corporation

Hines Interests Limited Partnership

Assa Abloy

Work highlights

  • Advised The Catalyst Capital Group Inc. on its proposed acquisition of, and subsequent disposition of interests in, Hudson’s Bay Company.
  • Advised EnerSys on its acquisition of Alpha Technologies Group of Companies.
  • Advised iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. on its combination with MPX Bioceutical Corporation.

Thorsteinssons LLP

Boutique tax firm Thorsteinssons LLP is particularly well known for its expertise in resource taxation, customs work and funds taxation. Led by managing partner Michael Colborne in the Toronto office, the team has capabilities in tax controversies, in addition to corporate transactions and structuring mandates.

Practice head(s):

Michael Colborne

Aird & Berlis LLP

The team at Aird & Berlis LLP handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious tax matters, from cross-border M&A and corporate reorganizations through to tax disputes. Francesco Gucciardo leads the department from the Toronto office.

Practice head(s):

Francesco Gucciardo

Baker McKenzie

Working seamlessly with the firm's global network, Baker McKenzie's Toronto-based tax team stands out for its ability to advise multinational corporates on cross-border tax mandates and transfer pricing concerns. In particular, the team has been especially active in the automotive, manufacturing, natural resources and technology sectors. Litigator Jacques Bernier heads up the 'solutions-driven' practice group, and Peter Clark is highlighted by clients as 'a pleasure to work with'.

Practice head(s):

Jacques Bernier

Other key lawyers:

Peter Clark

Testimonials

Candid, objective advice. Has the interest of the client in mind and how to resolve any issues.

The team clearly cared about our issues. Consequently the advice given reflected more than just professional concerns but also personal.

Very professional and responsive, as well as being solution-driven.

Peter Clark is very knowledgeable and responsive, and a pleasure to work with.

Key clients

Express Gold Refining Ltd.

SPX Flow

Work highlights

  • Providing general Canadian tax advice to SPX Flow regarding cross-border transactions and capital flows.
  • Advised client regarding the newly-introduced QST and PST registration obligations in Quebec and Saskatchewan.
  • Provided comprehensive Canadian tax advice to a US-based franchisor on its market entry into Canada.

PwC Law LLP

With offices in every one of Canada's major commercial centres, PwC Law LLP is recognized not just for its ability to support the global firm's international work, but also for its strength in purely domestic tax matters, both contentious and non-contentious. Litigator Patrick Lindsay leads the department from Calgary.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Lindsay