Aviation in Canada

Bennett Jones LLP

The long-standing practice at Bennett Jones LLP is well-equipped to advise clients on both contentious and non-contentious matters. The team often advises Canadian airlines and service providers on financing and leasing matters, the purchase and sale of aircraft and debt restructuring matters. In addition, infrastructure consortiums often rely on the team for its fuel facilities and project development expertise. The handling of long-term technical-logistical contract issues arising from engine and retable parts programs also forms part of the team’s core strengths, while contentious expertise includes cases concerning maintenance standards and aircraft crashes. Patrick Brennan leads the practice from the Calgary office and his practice focus lies within aircraft acquisition, dispositions and financings. Noriko Shimura is a key contact for aircraft leasing and financing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Brennan

Other key lawyers:

Ian Michael; Noriko Shimura; Kenton Rein

Work highlights

    Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

    Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP‘s practice focus lies within strategic aviation finance and regulatory advice. The team often advises aviation municipal corporations, manufactures, lessors and financiers, with its financing expertise including both aircraft and engine financings, aerospace M&A, satellite financing and airport and infrastructure financing. Its breadth of knowledge on the federal government’s National Airports Policy benefits clients seeking advice on the regulations affecting Canadian airports and aerodromes. The practice is solely led by Jason MacIntyre from Toronto as of January 2022; he has over 17 years’ worth of experience in aviation and is entrusted by an array of clients such as investors, lenders and manufacturers. Auriol Marasco is well-regarded for her expertise in finance structuring and aircraft regulatory matters. Aviation law expert Donald Gray has overseen more than 900 aircraft financing and refinancings.

    Practice head(s):

    Jason MacIntyre

    Other key lawyers:

    Donald Gray; Auriol Marasco

    Key clients



    Air Lease Corporation

    Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce


    Carlyle Aviation Partners

    CDB Leasing

    Dubai Aerospace Enterprise

    Orix Aviation

    The Boeing Company

    Work highlights

    • Advised Aviation Working Group in the preparation of a Cross-Border Transferability Practitioner’s Guide.
    • Advised Aergo Capital in connection with the pre-delivery payment financing and sale-leaseback of 3xB737-8 Aircraft to Lynx Air.
    • Advised Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in respect of a multi-lender credit facility with Top Aces Inc.

    DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

    The team at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP is acclaimed for its regulatory and governmental compliance expertise and often assists clients through challenges presented by Canadian aviation laws, regulations and government policies. Its know-how extends into the acquisition, leasing and financing of aviation equipment and flight simulators. The practice’s offering also includes aviation insurance claims, domestic and international baggage loss claims and the defence of air carriers in passenger injury and wrongful death claims. Catherine Pawluch and Laura Safran head the practice from Toronto and Calgary respectively. Pawluch is renowned for her depth of knowledge in aviation regulatory matters, while Safran strengths include airport and travel industry work and financings. Mention is also given to Andrew McFarlane for his extensive experience in equipment, infrastructure and project financing.

    Other key lawyers:

    Andrew MacFarlane; David Neave

    Key clients

    Hi Fly Malta

    Air Canada

    Deutsche Lufthansa Aktiengesellschaft (“Lufthansa”)

    Cameco Corporation

    Avianca; Avianca LASCA; Avianca TACA

    International Air Transport Association

    Qantas Airways

    Hi Fly Transportes Aereos S.A.

    Canadian Helicopters Corp (CHC)

    British Airways

    Aer Lingus

    El Al

    Work highlights

      Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

      The team at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP possesses extensive experience in both contentious and non-contentious matters; it advises clients across all aviation disciplines, such as air carriers, charter operators, engine manufacturers, airports and insures who rely on the group for financing matters including aircraft restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings. The aviation group within its Transportation practice is led by Kate Ayre whose focus lies within civil aviation litigation. Mention is also given to Nigah Awj for her expertise in cargo and insurance claims, aviation financing and the importation and registration of vessels, aircraft and automobiles.

      Practice head(s):

      Kate Ayre

      Other key lawyers:

      Nigah Awj; Robin Squires; Robert Shouldice; Jean-Marie Fontaine; Dionysios Rossi

      Key clients

      Air Canada


      Aéroports de Montréal


      AXA XL



      TT Club

      Swiss Re, Lloyds



      Work highlights

      • Advised insurer on a multi-million claim concerning alleged injury to an infant during international flight and medical malpractice allegations against the air carrier and destination airport.


      The team at Dentons utilizes its global outreach to advise clients on all aviation matters, from leasing and financing issues to complex compliance matters. Its broad array of clients includes international aviation financiers, governmental agencies, private operators, aircraft-chartered companies and airports. Airlines with operations in Canada, as well as those investing into the Canadian market, benefit from the team’s global aviation law expertise across Australia, New Zealand and the UK. The team is led by Vancouver-based Robert Quon, a lawyer noted for his business investment expertise.

      Practice head(s):

      Robert Quon

      Other key lawyers:

      Kathryn McCulloch

      Work highlights

        Stikeman Elliott LLP

        Stikeman Elliott LLP‘s team is often sought by clients to oversee the full lifespan of aviation project financings; this includes initial project design, construction and implementation, and subsequently the refinancing, amendment and sale of the project. The team’s broad knowledge also extends into aviation regulatory issues and transportation insurance matters, and it is co-headed by Pierre-Paul Daunais and Serge Levy. Daunais has extensive litigation expertise and focuses on representing aviation companies, whereas Levy’s focus lies primarily within transactional matters, including cross-border leveraged finance transactions.

        Practice head(s):

        Pierre-Paul DaunaisSerge Levy

        Work highlights

          Conlin Bedard LLP

          Ottawa-based Conlin Bedard LLP caters to a roster of domestic and international airlines, aircraft manufacturers, airport authorities, aircraft leasing and aviation finance companies, supporting them on a variety of finance, regulatory, transactional and dispute matters. The practice is spearheaded by Benjamin Bedard whose core expertise encompasses licensing, charters and tariffs, in addition to the import, registration and export of aircraft.

          Practice head(s):

          Benjamin Bedard

          Other key lawyers:

          Drew Tyler; Greg Landry; Benjamin Mills

          Gowling WLG

          The group at Gowling WLG often integrates with its corporate and litigation practices to provide clients with comprehensive aviation law advice. Expertise includes passenger rights, regulatory litigation and personal injury and wrongful death cases. Cynthia Elderkin‘s broad practice expertise encompasses the purchase and sale of aircraft, as well as regulatory issues, meanwhile David Kierans has extensive experience handling aviation finance matters; the pair co-lead the practice from Ottawa and Montreal respectively.

          Practice head(s):

          Cynthia Elderkin; David Kierans

          Key clients


          CAE Inc.

          Gulfstream Aerospace

          NAV CANADA

          United Airlines, Inc.

          WestJet Airlines Ltd.

          Work highlights