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Editorial

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  1. Technology
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

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Who Represents Who

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Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s full-service technology practice routinely acts for producers and users of technology, and is well versed across the full spread of transactions, intellectual property, regulatory compliance and cybersecurity issues. In addition, the firm’s pre-eminent banking and finance capability marks it as a popular choice for financial service-related outsourcing and fintech matters, while other industry sweet spots include e-commerce, life sciences, manufacturing and energy. Montreal-based Sunny Handa, who handles both regulatory and transactional work, heads the national group, which was recently bolstered by the arrival of cybersecurity and privacy specialist Imran Ahmad from Miller Thomson.

Practice head(s):Sunny Handa

Key Clients

McCain Foods Limited

Tencent

TD Bank Group

Frontier Capital, LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised TD Bank Group on its acquisition of Layer 6.
  • Advised Tencent on the launch of mobile video games in Canada.

McCarthy Tétrault continued to cement its top-tier position with strong showings across the full range of outsourcing agreements, M&A, fintech and data security. The transactions side of the practice was further strengthened by the arrival of Toronto-based Christine Ing, who joined in 2018 from Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP and has particular experience in the fintech space. Montreal-based Charles Morgan co-leads the team alongside Ing and has a strong record in complex and cutting-edge transactions; he recently advised National Bank of Canada on its $150m debt issuance and innovative blockchain simulation in the US financial markets. George Takach is also highly sought after for transactional matters, while Barry Sookman ranks among the market’s leading regulatory specialists. On the more junior end, Michael Scherman, who provided support on several fintech matters over the past year, is a talented associate in the practice group.

Practice head(s):Christine Ing; Charles Morgan

Other key lawyers:Michael Scherman; Barry Sookman; George Takach

Testimonials

McCarthy’s team consistently brings new perspectives to the table and is always up to date on the most recent trends and developments. ’

The group has been willing to engage not just on pure legal activities, but has also worked closely with our consultation team to ensure complex legal constructs can be understood by our constituent community.’

George Takach has been phenomenal in ensuring that we have access to timely information — he turns products around at lightening speeds. He is also tenacious, dedicated and committed to his clients in a way that gives you unwavering confidence.’

Key Clients

Bombardier Inc.

Capgemini Canada Inc.

CIBC

Compu-Finder

Enbridge Inc.

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)

Kira Inc.

LeddarTech Inc.

National Bank of Canada

Scotiabank

Work highlights

  • Advised National Bank of Canada on its issuance, together with JP Morgan, of a $150m one-year floating-rate Yankee certificate of deposit, with a parallel simulation of the issuance using blockchain technology.
  • Acted for Kira Systems on a $50m minority investment from Insight Venture Partners.
  • Advised Bombardier on the negotiation of a $700m global outsourcing agreement for IT services with IBM.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s highly regarded technology practice differentiates itself through its track record in high-end technology transactions and its considerable strength in outsourcing arrangements, where it is particularly active on the customer side. The firm also houses a dominant fintech practice, which routinely advises leading Canadian banks on strategic IT matters, including payment modernization. Wendy Gross is sought after for her impressive record in advising financial institutions and retail clients on mobile banking, mobile wallet and loyalty-related matters. Michael Fekete, who co-chairs the practice together with Gross, has notable expertise in cloud computing, government procurement and privacy. Up-and-coming partner Ted Liu is also recommended. Named lawyers are based in Toronto, but the national group also utilizes specialists in its Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver offices.

Practice head(s):Michael Fekete; Wendy Gross

Other key lawyers:Ted Liu

Key Clients

Microsoft

Facebook

LinkedIn

Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)

TELUS

General Motors

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Google

Borrowell

Mobify Research and Development, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Assisted Mobify Research and Development to help define their sales processes and streamline their IT systems.

Prominent Toronto boutique Deeth Williams Wall LLP houses a full-service technology practice that is best known for its emphasis on privacy and health care-related matters. The firm focuses exclusively on IT and IP law and has strong expertise in technology transfers, e-commerce and dispute resolution. Names to note include Amy-Lynne Williams, who is considered a top choice for complex outsourcing and electronic payment agreements, and Richard Austin, whose practice spans regulatory and transactional issues.

Practice head(s):Amy-Lynne Williams

Other key lawyers:Richard Austin

Fasken’s IT practice combines a robust regulatory offering with experience in commercial transactions, including outsourcings and infrastructure service agreements. The firm also houses a dynamic start-up and emerging companies practice, which is particularly dominant in Vancouver and Montreal. In Vancouver, department co-head Karam Bayrakal is highly regarded for his experience in all aspects of acquiring, transferring and developing technology, while in Toronto Andrew Nunes advises technology clients on a varied mix of corporate and commercial matters.

Practice head(s):Karam Bayrakal; Jean-Nicolas Delage; Jay Kerr-Wilson

Other key lawyers:Andrew Nunes

Testimonials

The team is knowledgeable, practical and focused on the issues that matter.’

Key Clients

RightMesh AG

Dapper Labs Inc.

ENTR (9361-5003 Québec Inc.)

Transit App (9280-0366 Québec Inc.)

Sonder Canada Inc.

Soundbite Medical Solutions Inc.

Elastic Path Software Inc.

Group of investors, led by APMS Investment Fund and Calvin Ayre

TriNimbus Technologies

Work highlights

  • Advised Sonder Canada on its $90m series C financing and related secondary offering.
  • Advised GCR on its acquisition of MB3 Technologies.

Goodmans’ multi-disciplinary technology group brings together skill sets in M&A, finance, venture capital investing, regulation and commercial matters. The Toronto-based team, which acts for both technology providers and users, is particularly well known for its strengths in outsourcing agreements, corporate transactions, and privacy and data protection law. Richard Corley has a strong profile for outsourcing, where he routinely advises clients on procurement issues and litigation, while Peter Ruby is a go-to name for privacy issues. Also recommended is Jamie Firsten, who is a key contact in the firm’s emerging companies’ practice.

Practice head(s):Richard Corley; Allan Goodman; Peter Ruby

Other key lawyers:Jamie Firsten

Key Clients

Intuit

Interac

Oracle Corporation

SAP Canada Inc. and SAP America Inc.

Canaccord Genuity Group

Ceridian HCM Holding Inc.

Blockstation Inc.

OMERS Ventures

Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation

KIK Custom Products Inc.

Canadian Institute for Exponential Growth (Singularity University Canada)

Work highlights

  • Advised Vivid Seats on its $60m acquisition of Fanxchange.
  • Advised Blockstation on its agreement with the Jamaica Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Searchlight Capital on its $2bn acquisition of Mitel Networks.
  • Advised Ontario Lottery and Gaming on the structuring, procurement strategy and transaction documents for the modernization of land-based gaming in Ontario.
  • Advised the investor group, led by Monashees, on its investment in Brazil-based fintech start-up, Rebel Bank.

Calgary-headquartered Bennett Jones LLP routinely advises energy and natural resources companies on technology issues, including clean tech and licensing matters. Other practice strengths include health care, electronic payments and outsourcing agreements. Key lawyers include Stephen Burns, who advises on outsourcing, IT procurement and privacy issues; data protection expert Martin Kratz QC; and up-and-coming technology specialist Sébastien Gittens, all of whom are based in Calgary. Toronto-based Matthew Flynn recently joined from McCarthy Tétrault to co-head the fintech and blockchain group.

Practice head(s):Stephen Burns; Dominique Hussey

Other key lawyers:Sébastien Gittens; Matthew Flynn; Martin Kratz QC

Testimonials

Bennett Jones has assembled a cross-functional team that are capable of handling a wide array of technology issues (including SAAS, IP, Data Privacy etc.).

Bennett Jones has the bullpen to be able to serve almost any need that develops during a deal or one-off situations that arise.

Sébastien Gittens really stood out to me as an excellent project manager - not only was he able to provide succinct business and practical advice, but he was able to manage foreign firms in achieving the same or similar results.

Stephen Burns is a fountain of knowledge and experience. He knows the technology contracting market exceptionally well and can drive favourable and above market outcomes through negotiation and cogent analysis of transaction dynamics.

Key Clients

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc.

ATCO Limited

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc.

Calgary Police Services

Cancer Care Ontario

Canopy Growth Corporation

Celero Solutions Inc.

Cenovus Energy

CMPA

District Ventures

DrFirst.com, Inc.

FlashStock Technology Inc.

Husky Energy Inc.

Monsanto Canada Inc.

North West Redwater Partnership

LNG Canada Inc.

OMERS Ventures

Paramount Resources

Payments Canada

Pembina Pipeline Corporation

Suncor Energy

TELUS

VinriTechnologies Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised North West Redwater Partnership on an array of technology licensing, outsourcing and intellectual property issues.
  • Acted for Atomic Energy of Canada on the off-boarding of its IT service provider and on the preparation of its RFP.
  • Engaged by Payments Canada to assist with the modernization of Canada's payments infrastructure.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP has an impressive track record in advising public sector entities on major outsourcing transactions, with recent strong showings in the health and defence sectors. The practice group also stand out in technology M&A, intellectual property and privacy matters. Toronto-based group head Mark Fecenko is noted for his procurement expertise and is a popular choice for clients in the health care, energy and education spheres.

Practice head(s):Mark Fecenko

Work highlights

  • Advised Transform Shared Service Organization, comprised of five hospitals that provide public health care for Southwestern Ontario, in the negotiation of a licensing and hosting arrangement for all of their primary clinical systems.
  • Advised Defence Construction Canada on negotiating and finalizing a cloud-based outsourcing arrangement for their IT systems.
  • Advised University Health Network on the renegotiation of a hosting arrangement involving over 20 hospitals.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s ability to plug into its extensive global network makes it an attractive choice for multinational technology clients. In a recent example, the team advised Calgary-headquartered software company Solium Capital on its C$1.1bn acquisition by Morgan Stanley, which involved legal teams in the US and the UK. In addition to a strong corporate transactional offering, the group advises on a variety of related issues including outsourcing, venture capital investments, and data security. The department is led jointly from Toronto by Robert Percival, who spearheads the sourcing and technology contracting team, and intellectual property specialist. Anthony de Fazekas. Toronto-based associate Andrew McCoomb is highlighted as a rising star for contentious matters.

Practice head(s):Anthony de Fazekas; Robert Percival

Other key lawyers:Andrew McCoomb

Testimonials

An experienced and thoughtful team. Lawyers are very professional and willing to listen to ideas.’

Andrew McCoomb is experienced, organized and detail-oriented. He provided good strategies and was easy to talk to.’

Key Clients

FundersClub Inc.

Royal Bank of Canada

Symantec Corporation

Coveo Solutions Inc.

Vivonet

TELUS Corporation

Laserax Inc.

Curve Dental

Flight Centre Group

Purplebricks Group Plc

Ciena Corporation

Accenture

Work highlights

  • Acted for FundersClub on its investment in Bonfire Interactive and also on its related divestiture in connection with the $108m sale of Bonfire to GTY Technology Holdings.
  • Advised Solium Capital on its C$1.1bn acquisition by Morgan Stanley.
  • Represented Symantec in the defence of two related consumer protection class actions.

Torys LLP’s technology group is regularly engaged by major Canadian banks to advise on fintech issues and regulatory compliance. In addition, the firm houses a strong public sector practice, which counts Payments Canada (the provider of Canada’s national payments systems) and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board as key clients. The team is jointly headed by Adam Armstrong, who focuses on outsourcing and licensing transactions, and payments and cards specialist Joel Ramsey. Counsel Ebad Rahman, who specializes in technology contracting, outsourcing and sponsorship arrangements, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Adam Armstrong; Joel Ramsey

Other key lawyers:Ebad Rahman

Testimonials

Torys brings a different approach to deal making than some of the other firms in that they work on trying to bridge client needs with supplier capabilities. Partners seek to find a win/win outcome for both sides as opposed to completely de-risking the deal and putting a disproportionate amount of risk on the supplier.’

Both Joel Ramsey and Steven Slavens have exceptional client relationships and are extremely well versed in marketplace standards. This combination results in a bilateral negotiation that balances risk and supplier performance in deals that work for both sides.’

Ebad Raman is a highly skilled lawyer and technology expert, as well as a calm and professional negotiator.’

Key Clients

The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)

The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS/Scotiabank)

Home Trust Company

Morneau Shepell Ltd.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP)

Indigo Books & Music Inc.

Canadian Football League (CFL)

Payments Canada

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

Work highlights

  • Advised Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan on its acquisition of online financial services marketplace, Kanetix.

Baker McKenzie fields a robust technology practice with strengths in commercial transactions and data protection matters. The group also distinguishes itself through its ability to link up with teams from across its global network to provide advice to multinational clients on the implementation of cross-border IT projects. Department head Theo Ling enjoys a strong market profile for his specialist expertise in privacy and data protection law.

Practice head(s):Theo Ling; Arlan Gates

Testimonials

What makes the Baker McKenzie practice unique and very valuable to us is the global reach of the firm, and the fact that if we have cross-border issues (as we often do) getting relevant advice becomes quite seamless.’

The team are strong across the technology spectrum and also excellent at managing multi-jurisdictional projects.’

Theo Ling is a knowledgeable technology lawyer, with a practical, "can-do" attitude who is excellent at getting things done. He has a very refreshing creative, problem-solving approach and is the go-to person for complex global technology requirements.’

Dentons has demonstrated strengths in commercial transactions, joint ventures and M&A, which transfers well to its increased focus on start-ups and emerging companies. The national technology group is also well versed in licensing, privacy and trade secrets-related matters. Toronto-based Michael Beairsto has a solid record in technology and e-commerce, while Edmonton-based Tom Sides has an emphasis on intellectual property matters.

Practice head(s):Tom Sides; David Little

Testimonials

The Technology practice has provided extremely valuable assistance in negotiations with key strategic customer contracts. The team is able to quickly synthesize the business and legal issues, while their practicable knowledge and suggested solutions to roadblocks has helped us close deals that were stalled. ’

We value the team’s depth of experience and ability to supply practical solutions as well as the continuity of the team. Having the same Dentons team to call upon has allowed us to develop good working relationships and reduce the time taken to ramp up on issues.’

Key Clients

SSENSE Inc.

Celtic House Venture Partners

Portag3 Ventures

CRM Fusion Inc.

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada

Kaloom Inc.

MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund

Whitestar Capital

SecureKey Technologies

Dream Payments Corporation

Power Survey and Equipment Manufacturing Canada

Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute

Servus Credit Union Ltd.

Intuit Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acted for SSENSE in its acquisition of certain of the assets of Polyvore, an online community dedicated to fashion and beauty.
  • Advised CRM Fusion and its shareholders on its sale to Validity.
  • Advised Endy in its C$89m sale to Sleep Country Canada.

Gowling WLG draws on the wider firm’s full service offering to provide multi-disciplinary coverage of the technology sector, from regulatory compliance to venture capital investing to IP concerns. The practice is chaired by Viona Duncan, who is based in the fast-growing tech hub of the Waterloo region. Ottawa-based corporate finance partner Lorraine Mastersmith is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Viona Duncan

Other key lawyers:Lorraine Mastersmith

Testimonials

Gowling WLG’s technology practice is comprised of highly responsive, skilled professionals. Lawyers consistently give pragmatic, thoughtful, business-based advice and if they are unable to answer my question, I know they will be able to quickly access the necessary resources within the firm to do so.’

As in-house counsel, I often have general knowledge regarding a specific issue; I rely on GWLG to augment my analysis and support (or refine) my thinking.’

Lorraine Mastersmith is responsive, very competent, pragmatic and fair in her approach to client service.’

Work highlights

  • Advised the selling shareholders of Bluesun on the company’s cross-border acquisition by iPipeline.
  • Advised CENX on its acquisition by Ericsson.
  • Advised Geosoft on its acquisition by Seequent.

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