Transport: other transport in Canada

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP’s specialist rail group is best known for its strength in regulatory and contentious matters. Vancouver-based Forrest Hume, who has developed significant industry experience through in-house stints at both Canadian National Railway Company and Canadian Pacific Railway, is recognized as a leader in the regulatory area. The firm’s highly regarded PPP practice is a popular choice for rail infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Forrest Hume; John Landry

Key clients

Tata Steel Minerals Canada Limited

Louis Dreyfus Commodities Canada Ltd.

Parrish & Heimbecker, Limited

Univar Canada Ltd.

Emerson Milling Inc.

City of Vancouver

Carnival Corporation

Procureure Générale du Québec

Hudson’s Bay Railway Company

Superior Elevator ULC

Work highlights

  • Advised Procureure Générale du Québec on rail legislation and liability relating to the tragic rail accident that occurred at Lac Megantic, which resulted in the deaths of 47 individuals.
  • Represented Univar Canada in a level of service complaint to the Canadian Transportation Agency, arising from the refusal of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company to repair the Marpole Bridge and unilaterally ceasing service to Univar.

McCarthy Tétrault

Anchored by its expertise in corporate and infrastructure law, McCarthy Tétrault provides a full-service offering to clients in the rail and road sectors. Group head David Blair, who splits his time between Montreal and Quebec City, ranks among Canada’s leading specialists on rail and road regulation. Brian Lipson, based in Quebec City, is an associate to watch and focuses on regulatory compliance, licensing and transactional matters.

Practice head(s):

David Blair

Other key lawyers:

Brian Lipson

Key clients

CSX Transportation Inc.

Versacold Logistics Services Inc.

VIA Rail Canada

Transdev Canada Inc.

Greyhound Canada Transportation ULC

Day & Ross

Keolis Canada inc.

Federal Express Canada Ltd.

Port of Quebec

Uber Freight

Work highlights

  • Represented Via Rail Canada in various cases before the Canadian Transportation Agency relating to access by people with disabilities to Via’s railcars and infrastructure.
  • Advised Greyhound Canada Transportation in the announcement and implementation of a complete discontinuance of all inter-city service passenger bus service in Western Canada.
  • Advised the lenders on the C$172.9m financing of the Tlicho All-Season Road.

Fernandes Hearn LLP

Toronto-based transportation boutique Fernandes Hearn LLP is recognized for its comprehensive coverage of rail and road issues. The practice covers the full spread of regulatory, transactional and contentious matters, and also provides specialist supplementary support in areas such as employment and securities. Gordon Hearn and Rui Fernandes are both highly regarded for their commercial and regulatory expertise.

Practice head(s):

Rui Fernandes; Gordon Hearn

McMillan LLP

McMillan LLP’s broad transportation practice has strong offerings in both rail and trucking law. The group, which counts transport companies, equipment manufacturers and public sector entities among its clients, advises on the full life cycle of matters, from development, to operational regulatory issues, to general corporate and commercial transactions. Recommended contacts in Vancouver include, Lucia Stuhldreier, who advises on a mix of regulatory, contentious and commercial issues, and regulatory expert François Tougas.

Practice head(s):

François Tougas

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright is noted for its deep expertise in infrastructure development in the rail sector, with a particularly impressive record in LRT projects. In addition to development work, the practice also handles general corporate and commercial transactions and contentious matters in the rail space, and links up with the firm's other complementary practice groups to advise on transport matters involving aspects of indigenous law, human resources, and real estate. Montreal-based Alain Ricard heads the Canadian transport team.


A very dedicated team, with broad knowledge of issues and the capacity to rally all areas of the law needed on a given file.’

Key clients

Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC)

CDPQ Infra Inc.

TransLink (Metro Vancouver Transit Authority)

Metrolinx (Greater Toronto Transportation Authority)

Infrastructure Ontario

City of Ottawa

Bombardier Transport

Bechtel Canada

Southern Railway of British Columbia Limited

Energetic Trucking

Work highlights

  • Advised the Réseau de transport de la Capitale on the Quebec City C$3bn public transit network, which is to include tramways, an electric trambus, and reserved bus lanes.
  • Advised CDPQ Infra on the Réseau Express Métropolitain Project, an automated light-rail transportation system in the greater Montreal area.
  • Advising the City of Ottawa on its Stage Two Light Rail Transit Project.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP’s multi-disciplinary practice group focuses on regulatory and contentious matters, and also links up with the firm’s projects and construction teams to advise on infrastructure development. Toronto-based litigator Robin Squires and Vancouver-based transactional specialist Robert Shouldice are the names to note.

Practice head(s):

Robert Shouldice; Robin Squires

Work highlights

  • Representing the defendant Mediterranean Shipping Company, on behalf of its insurer TT Club, in litigation concerning a train derailment in Ontario.
  • Represented BC Rail in several litigation matters.

Conlin Bedard LLP

Trade and procurement boutique Conlin Bedard LLP houses a compact but effective rail offering, which specializes in advising clients on regulatory matters. Areas of expertise include insurance and liability matters, rates and costing, and noise and vibration issues. A key contact is counsel Ian MacKay, who has expertise in transportation regulation.

Practice head(s):

Ian MacKay


Dentons advises rail, trucking, bus and public transit companies on regulatory issues. The multi-disciplinary practice also acts alongside the firm's infrastructure lawyers to advise private and public sector clients on the development of transport projects. Michael Ledgett, based in Toronto, maintains a broad practice spanning general transportation work, PPPs and other corporate matters.

Practice head(s):

Michael Ledgett

Key clients

Canadian National Railway Company (CN)

Canadian Urban Transit Association

Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium

Network Rail Consulting

OmniTRAX Enterprises

Toyota Motor Sales USA

VIA Rail Canada Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised OmniTRAX on the sale of the railway, port and fuel tank facility serving Churchill, Manitoba to Arctic Gateway Group.
  • Advised Network Rail Consulting on carrying on the business of providing rail consulting services to urban rail providers in Canada.


Fasken is recognized for its solid auto sector offering, which routinely acts for by original equipment manufacturers, distributors and suppliers in regulatory and contentious mandates. On the infrastructure side, the firm is noted for its strong record in advising on rail and bus projects. Toronto-based litigator Steven Rosenhek chairs the automotive group.

Practice head(s):

Steven Rosenhek