Technology in Canada

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

The technology practice at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP assists clients with transactional and regulatory matters, with practitioners from four domestic offices (Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary) collaborating to work on deals across Canada. In one highlight, Montréal-based practice head Sunny Handa was part of a cross-practice team, which acted for Nasdaq on its $2.75bn acquisition of Verafin. Elsewhere, the team advises clients on matters such as IT and business process outsourcing, strategic alliances and system integration projects, among other matters. In addition, it is sought after for advice on regulatory and compliance issues, which is centered on telecommunications, cybersecurity, privacy and  advertising. In Toronto, Robert Percival is a key contact for IT transactions and David Feldman specializes in negotiating complex, strategic IT commercial arrangements. Working with Handa in Montréal is Marie-Hélène Constantin.

Practice head(s):

Sunny Handa

Key clients

Equinix, Inc.

Nasdaq, Inc.

SecureWorks Corp.

Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners

HgCapital LLC

McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault has a strong track record undertaking technology transactions across a wide range of sectors, such as aeronautics, life sciences, biotechnology, software and hardware. It also provides a ‘high level of experience and expertise‘ in relation to digital transformation projects, machine learning, fintech and data protection. Christine Ing is a leading name for advice on a range of emerging technologies. Charles Morgan and Daniel Glover coordinate the cyber/data group from Montréal and Toronto respectively. In a notable mandate, Morgan and Glover led a large multidisciplinary team which acted for the six most systemically important domestic banks on the preparation of a submission to the Quebec National Assembly committee assessing Quebec’s Bill 64, which looks to modernize Quebec’s privacy regulatory regime. Also notable is that Ing and associate Michael Scherman advised Shoppers Drug Mart on its C$75m strategic investment in virtual healthcare provider Maple Corporation. Barry Sookman, who is a key contact for technology-related litigation, has ‘decades of deal experience that is invaluable at the negotiating table‘. George Takach is noted for his finance and M&A expertise. In Montréal, Véronique Wattiez Larose focuses on M&A, private equity and ongoing business matters for technology clients.

Testimonials

‘Christine Ing has a significant level of industry knowledge. She is curious and always seeks to understand what information is necessary to clarify the business terms, so she can prepare and negotiate a solid agreement. Christine loves her work and this is demonstrated by her throwing herself into any file that we’ve worked on together.’

‘Barry Sookman is a very deep expert in the law, with decades of deal experience that is invaluable at the negotiating table. He is calm and inspires confidence.’

‘High level of experience and expertise, together with practical application of that experience and expertise. Very efficient in how they provide the services.’

‘David Crane is succinct and efficient. His lack of pretension is refreshing.’

Key clients

Mobeewave

Shopper’s Drug Mart

Sirius XM Canada

Bank of Montreal

Bank of Nova Scotia

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

National Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada

Toronto-Dominion Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Shoppers Drug Mart on its strategic investment in virtual healthcare provider Maple Corporation.
  • Advised major Canadian retailers on multijurisdictional privacy and data-related issues in relation to their operations throughout Canada.
  • Acted for Mobeewave on its $100m acquisition by Apple.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP‘s technology department has a first-rate reputation for sophisticated technology and outsourcing transactions, including business functions with technology at their core, such as payment systems, data collection, loyalty card programs, logistics and supply chain management. The team is also focused on the latest business-relevant developments in the sector, with experience of AI, blockchain and robotics, to name a few. Practice head Wendy Gross, who leads the practice from the firm’s Toronto office, is renowned for her counsel to major fintech clients. In addition, fintech is also an area of strength for up-and-coming partner Ted Liu, who handled a significant amount of work for domestic banks in 2020. Simon Hodgett is a key contact for start-ups and emerging companies. Another respected name in the field is Michael Fekete, who acts for major multinational and domestic companies, and has specialist knowledge of IT and internet law, government procurement and data privacy.

Practice head(s):

Wendy Gross

Fasken

Fasken has a first-rate reputation the emerging technology space, fielding a specialist team which acts for Canadian emerging tech companies, investors and acquirers. It also has a strong profile in the IT arena, with a dedicated group handling a wide range of provincial and federal issues. It advises clients on matters such as systems implementation, outsourcing arrangements and new technologes. The firm's strengths in the IT and tech arena are complemented by its capabilities in areas such as corporate and commercial, M&A, tax, IP and employment. Names to note include Christian Jacques, who focuses on corporate finance, technology and commercial law. Also recommended are IP lawyer Jean-Nicolas Delage and Karam Bayrakal, who works with private and public sector clients on IT infrastructure and systems integration, app development, licensing, and related privacy matters. Bayrakal is also noted for having specialist knowledge of the video games industry. Andrew Nunes in Toronto has a focus on M&A and outsourcing matters. Christopher Ferguson and Gabriel Stern, who are also based in Toronto, made partners in December 2020.

Key clients

Canada Healthy Infoway

Nuvei

SmartSweets

Taiga Motors

Sonder Holdings

ACL Services

Lane Technologies

Delve Laboratories

Kardium

Clevest Solutions

Goodmans LLP

Goodmans LLP‘s Toronto-based technology group acts for a host of domestic and international clients with interests in the market, including investors, lenders, public and private companies, and government agencies. The team acts for clients on matters such as corporate and finance transactions, as well as IP and regulatory issues. On the contentious side, Peter Ruby is the key contact for advice on dispute resolution; in an ongoing matter, he is representing Menasha Packaging Company as a defendant in a $50m claim for misappropriation of trade secrets in the ERP software context. Another name to note at the firm is Richard Corley, who has over 25 years of experience in tech M&A, outsourcing arrangements and joint ventures, among other matters. Allan Goodman is noted for his expertise in securities and corporate law. Jamie Firsten advises emerging companies on corporate and commercial matters. Senior associate Jessica Bishop is a recent hire from Torys.

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Firsten; Jessica Bishop

Key clients

Intuit

Interac

SAP Canada

SAP America

Canaccord Genuity Group

Ceridian HCM Holding

Blockstation

Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation

Canadian Institute for Exponential Growth

RatioCity

Round 13 Capital

Lending Loop Financial

AdHawk Microsystems

Torys

Torys' IT practice has a standout reputation in the open banking and fintech space, where it demonstrates 'incredible local market knowledge'. Reflective of the firm's standing in the market, it acts for Payments Canada and a host of domestic banks on the development of the country's payments infrastructure. Other areas of expertise include public sector outsourcing and contracting, and tech innovation and implementation, where the team is becoming increasingly renowned in the healthcare sector. Joel Ramsey assists clients with a wide range of commercial IT matters, particularly in relation to outsourcing, fintech, cloud computing and payment systems. He jointly leads the group with Adam Armstrong, who is particularly noted for outsourcing transactions, software and hardware licensing. Ebad Rahman is recommended for his expertise in technology contracting, outsourcing and sponsorship arrangements, while senior associate Jessica Lumiere has played a key role developing and leading the contracting-as-a-service offering.

Practice head(s):

Adam Armstrong; Joel Ramsey

Testimonials

‘Incredible local market knowledge in terms of precedence and what should matter to a client – really strong team that has legal depth but also deep experience handling clients and pushing them to expedite negotiations with terms in line with market’

‘Joel Ramsey and Steven Slavens really understand the market and have put in the time on both sides of the table to understand how to balance client risk with market realities.’

‘Tremendous amount of insight into the key elements of payments and contractual negotiation related to payment schemes.’

‘Adam Armstrong is highly communicative and very insightful. He has a rare mix of a great client care ethos and material delivery focus.’

‘The team members are very experienced. They are especially knowledgeable about the vendors we deal with and our industry. They are very responsive and their work product is of great quality. They provide practical, business-minded advice.’

‘Adam Armstrong, Ebad Rahman and their associates are very experienced and responsive. They are very easy to do business with, collegial (with us and opposing counsel) and provide practical, business-minded advice that our internal business partners can implement. We are a small company (with a big footprint) and they appreciate the need to be cost conscious.’

‘This is my favourite firm to work with – their value far outweighs the cost of their services. They bend over backwards to make things work for us and the quality of the work is top-notch.’

‘Ebad Rahman – He is our relationship partner and he is an absolute pleasure to work with. He’s put together a great team to support us and is always finding new ways to deliver value to our organization.’

Key clients

Payments Canada

Independent Electricity System Operator of Ontario (IESO)

Prairie Payments Joint Venture

The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)

The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS/Scotiabank)/Tangerine

Home Trust Company

LifeWorks

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP)

Indigo Books & Music

Canadian Football League (CFL)

Gore Mutual Insurance Company

GlobeStar Systems

Work highlights

  • Advised Payments Canada in the negotiation of its agreement with Mastercard’s Vocalink as the clearing and settlement solution provider for the Real-Time Rail, Canada’s new real-time payments system.
  • Acted for a consortium of central Canadian credit unions in the launch of an outsourced payment platform solution for credit unions.
  • Assisted a government entity, as the public authority, with the development of its real time settlement system, including its request for proposal and the negotiation of the related agreements for the support and maintenance of the system.

Bennett Jones LLP

Toronto-based partner Gary Solway leads Bennett Jones LLP's technology, media and entertainment practice, which handles a wide range of mandates for start-up and emerging technology enterprises. Its varied portfolio of work includes M&A and finance transactions, as well as licensing matters. Solway has over 35 years of experience acting for venture capital investors, start-ups, mature businesses and public companies in the IT sector. Also recommended is Sébastien Gittens, who works across both the IT and IP practices from the Calgary office; he focuses on M&A and licensing matters. Bruce Hibbard, who is also based in Calgary, assists private equity and venture capital funds with fund formation and investments in start-ups.

Practice head(s):

Gary Solway

Key clients

Clearpath Robotics

Blue Ant Media

Dye & Durham

SkyHive

Canadian Business Growth Fund – Appnovation

Xontogeny

Zerokey

Volkswagen Canada/Audi Canada

Pioneer Fund II

LendingArch Financial

Work highlights

  • Acted for Blue Ant on the sale of its interest in Youtube gaming platform Omnia Media to Enthusiast Gaming for C$11m cash plus shares.
  • Advised Dye & Durham on its acquisition of DoProcess LP, an Ontario-based provider of practice-specific software for legal professionals, from Omers Infrastructure.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG acts for clients ranging in size from start-ups to multinationals, and its work spans a number of areas, including fintech, insurtech, e-commerce, AI and internet of things. The firm's recent highlights included acting for global technology consultancy Sourced Group on its $75m acquisition by Amdocs; this matter was led by Ottawa-based corporate partner Derek Keay, who focuses on corporate finance and M&A, primarily involving emerging technology companies. Also based in Ottawa is Lorraine Mastersmith, who frequently assists companies specialized in technology with commercial contracts, technology licensing and capital raising. Elsewhere, other notable individuals at the firm are Paul Armitage in Vancouver and Zafar Jaffer in Calgary. The practice is led by Waterloo-based partner Viona Duncan, who advises on tech M&A and finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Viona Duncan

Key clients

Amazon

Ebay

Google

North

Accenture

Ross Video

McRock Fund II

Precision NanoSystems

PlantX Life

National Angel Capital Organization (NACO)

Payfare

Work highlights

  • Advised Sourced Group on its $75m acquisition by Amdocs, a provider of software and services to communications and media companies.
  • Acted for Payfare on its $75.2m initial public offering of common shares, including proceeds from the sale of common shares issued pursuant to the full exercise of the over-allotment option granted to the underwriters.
  • Assisting Amazon with ongoing legal services, government related and strategic advice including the opening of its data services and fulfilment centres in Canada.

Norton Rose Fulbright

In January 2021 Norton Rose Fulbright hired Imran Ahmad from Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP to lead its national technology and innovation practice. In addition, he co-chairs its national data protection, privacy and cybersecurity team with John Cassell. The department includes lawyers from offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa and Québec City. It draws upon expertise from various practice areas to advise on M&A, digital transformations, data protection and commercial contracts. Former practice head Anthony de Fazekas remains a key contact for emerging companies in the IT, AI, fintech and blockchain sectors.

Practice head(s):

Imran Ahmad; John Cassell

Testimonials

‘Very strong technical knowledge.’

‘The NRF team has very deep domain knowledge and makes communication between our research team and their legal team fruitful and a strong collaboration.’

‘NRF took an interest in deeply understanding our tech start-up business which exceeded all expectations. Our work with them transcended “client” relations and we felt that NRF had our back and were always looking forward to give us relevant guidance proactively, which impacted our business in a positive way.’

Key clients

Affirm

Benevity

Enthusiast Gaming

Canaccord Genuity

Scotia Capital

CIBC World Markets

Telus

Flexiti Financial

NordStar Capital

Stack FinTech

Brachium Capital

NortonLifeLock

Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec

Coveo Solutions

Vidéotron

BP Technology Ventures

Seven Aces

Hunter Technology

Work highlights

  • Advised Affirm on its acquisition of PayBright for C$340m.
  • Acted for electronic payments start-up Benevity in its sale to UK private equity firm, HG Capital.
  • Advised Enthusiast Gaming on its C$44.13m acquisition of Omnia Media and related public offering, forming North America’s largest gaming media, e-sports and entertainment platform.

Baker McKenzie

As part of an ‘extensive network of professionals across the globe’, Baker McKenzie‘s Toronto office regularly counsels multinational companies on their regulatory and compliance issues in the technology sector. Data protection and digital transformations are key areas for expertise for the team, which is led by Theo Ling. He assists with a variety of data and technology-based issues across the IT, internet and communications industries. Counsel Lisa Douglas is another name to note, focusing her practice on information governance.

Practice head(s):

Theo Ling

Testimonials

‘Baker McKenzie has a strong and deep team, with many renowned experts in their field. What makes them valuable to us is their extensive network of professionals across the globe who can get up to speed on our company and an issue rapidly, in order to provide timely and practical assistance.’

‘The team is a unique mix of legal, technical and policy expertise in an emerging practice area (information governance), particularly as it applies to large, complex global organizations. This well-rounded set of capabilities makes their offering to clients such as myself, looking for polished and comprehensive deliverables with ongoing support as initiatives roll out amid an ever-evolving regulatory landscape.’

‘Aside from a uniformly high-level of competency, the team stands out for their willingness to problem-solve and collaborate above and beyond my standard client service expectations. When presented with a new or uniquely complex issue, they are always available to discuss and evaluate, resulting in superior outcomes and well-reasoned decision-making that builds confidence across client organizations.’

Dentons

Dentons‘ technology team in Canada stands out for its fintech expertise, regularly counselling entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capital funds, established businesses, government agencies and health institutions. Venture capital financing work remains the heartbeat of the department, but the team works closely with the firm’s banking and finance and cybersecurity groups to assist with a range of commercial matters. Ottawa-based partner David Little, who regularly acts for leading venture capital investors, co-heads the practice with Tom Sides in Edmonton.

Practice head(s):

Tom Sides; David Little

Testimonials

‘Dentons have a great capacity to bring strong experts to the table regardless of the focus area or nuance. This is especially useful when they can add geo-based experience across different markets and jurisdictions. In our many years working with Dentons, we’ve not felt as if anything other than an A team has been put in front of us, and when we’ve needed rapid scale up for last minute deals, Dentons has always come through.’

‘Don Luck follows up on complex engagements to understand how things played out months/year after the deal closed–wanting to ensure that any lessons learned or practicalities can be understood to make the next time easier. This is incredibly unique in my experience.’

Exceptionally responsive, knowledgeable, sharp, positive and professional team lead (Chase) and team.

Chase Irwin is a cut above the rest – highly focused, articulate, quick to understand and always offering high-value guidance. Unlike most, has a strategic and business perspective that adds value beyond just drafting and verifying. Amazing to work with.

Key clients

Celtic House Venture Partners

Information Venture Partners Fund III

Ligado Networks

F12.net

Bitcoin Well

Dapasoft

Moregidge (d/b/a Doorr)

The Sampler App

Tehama

Membio

Founders and other shareholders of Motoinsight

Retispec

Work highlights

  • Advised Ligado Networks LLC on acquisition of $3.85bn in new capital from new and existing investors to support its works to deploy a private L-band network to offer managed network services for enterprise and industrial sectors.
  • Advised F12.net on the sale of C$36m of shares to Clairvest Group.
  • Advised Retispec on its series seed preferred share financing and its partnership with Gentex Corporation, to commercialize Retispec’s technology for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP has a strong track record handling some of Canada’s largest technology ‎transactions and ‎venture exits, and its team has extensive expertise in technology-related corporate law. The practice has gained momentum since a team of six lawyers joined from McMillan LLP in 2020; key arrivals included Ryan BlackMichael Reid and counsel Morgan McDonald, who co-head the team. The recent workload included a mix of commercial transactions in the technology sector, tech implementations and software licensing instructions. All named lawyers are based in Vancouver.

Other key lawyers:

Robert Fonn; Denis Silva

Testimonials

‘I have been working with several of the lawyers in DLA Canada’s technology practice for over 9 years, and they continue to be my first choice if I require legal advice in the technology space. They are committed to understanding their clients’ industry, business, and strategic objectives. This allows them to deliver timely, focused and sound advice which is tailored to the client and the transaction or matter at issue. They do not get hung up on red herrings. This sets them apart from other firms.’

‘I have worked extensively with Ryan Black over the last 10 plus years. I am always extremely impressed with how current he stays, both with developments in the law and the industry. His deep knowledge and genuine interest in the technology/software world allow him to quickly grasp complicated issues.’

Key clients

Autopro Automation Consultants‎

Beanfield Technologies‎

BlueRush‎

British Columbia Automobile Association

CDW Canada‎

Charli.AI‎

CurrencyWorks

Difference Capital ‎Financial

Draganfly

EchoStar

eWebinar Labs‎

FTS Forest Technology Systems‎

Globalme Localization

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment

Match Group

Relic Entertainment / Sega Europe

Rocket Lab ‎

Seequent

Tantalus Labs

Wenco International Mining Systems

Work highlights

  • Advised Accel-KKR and its portfolio company, Seequent Holdings on the sale of Seequent Holdings to Bentley Systems for NZ$1.46bn.
  • Acted as Canadian counsel to the underwriters on the $86.4m offering of common shares in Converge Technology Solutions.
  • Acted for Wenco International Mining Systems on its international acquisition of the business and assets of Smartcap.

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Stikeman Elliott LLP has a strong pedigree for advising clients on the implementation of new technologies and tech transformations, and it is also notably active in handling tech-related M&A, carve-out transactions and outsourcing arrangements. The Toronto-based team is led by Wesley Ng, an IT law specialist whose niche areas of expertise include disruptive technologies, such as blockchain-based products, the internet of things, and artificial intelligence.

Practice head(s):

Wesley Ng