Other transport in Canada

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

The specialist rail group at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP is recognized for its strong track record in transport disputes. The team is dominant in tariff challenges and shipper protection remedies, and also handles a range of other cases including freight rate and service level cases. A name to note for regulatory litigation is Forrest Hume, who is rated for his experience representing shippers, ports and terminals, short line railways and commuter rail authorities. Hume jointly heads the group with civil litigator John Landry, both of whom are based in Vancouver.

Practice head(s):

Forrest Hume; John Landry

Key clients

Peace River Coal Inc. and Canadian Industrial Transportation Association (now the Freight Management Association of Canada)

Louis Dreyfus Commodities Canada ULC

Parrish & Heimbecker, Limited

ADM Agri Industries Company

Paterson Grain

Tata Steel Minerals Canada Limited

Univar Canada Ltd.

TransLink / West Coast Express Limited


Canadian Wheat Board/G3 Canada Limited

Emerson Milling Inc.

City of Vancouver

Carnival Corporation

Procureure Générale du Québec

Hudson’s Bay Railway Corporation

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented a shipper in two level of service complaints against CN before the ‎Canadian Transportation Agency, the subsequent CN appeals to Federal Court of Appeal, and CN’s ‎leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada which was denied.‎
  • Acted for Canada Malting in a complaint against CP regarding the reasonableness of CP’s ‎Tariff 2, which includes provisions concerning rail demurrage.
  • Provided strategic advice on rail legislation and liability relating to the tragic rail accident that ‎occurred July 6, ‎‎2013 at Lac Megantic, Quebec that resulted in the deaths of 47 individuals.‎

McCarthy Tétrault

A top choice for clients in the rail and road sectors, McCarthy Tétrault's full-service department is rated in particular for its regulatory, compliance and risk management advice. The practice group is headed by David Blair, 'an invaluable asset for transportation regulatory matters'. Dividing his time between Montréal and Quebec City, Blair is highlighted by clients in part for his ability to 'quickly facilitate referrals to partners in other practice groups to ensure complete coverage of any client matter'. In addition to regulatory matters, the team also handles M&A and commercial work for transport companies, investment groups and manufacturers. Brian Lipson is a standout associate in the practice group.

Practice head(s):

David Blair

Other key lawyers:

Kosta Kalogiros; Brian Lipson


‘The team has particular expertise in Canadian Transport law, most specifically in the regulatory space.’

‘David Blair is a knowledgeable, experienced partner who is readily accessible. He is invaluable as an asset for Transportation regulatory matters. He is able to quickly facilitate referrals to partners in other practice groups to ensure complete coverage of any client matter. I greatly enjoy working with David and hope to do so for years to come.’

‘Transport in itself is a highly specialized practice which requires experience and a full and general knowledge of the domain which McCarty Tetrault has.’

‘We mainly work with David Blair who is a partner of the firm and has acquired throughout the years a great experience with many clients of different dimensions and can represent us in any related field. He is always available and provides fast replies to our questions. He is well-renowned by the Boards before which he represents us and is very knowlegeable attorney, recognized as such by his peers.’

‘Experience and knowledge of designated representatives.’

‘David Blair is highly competent and reliable professional’

Key clients

CSX Transportation Inc.

Versacold Logistics Services Inc.

VIA Rail Canada Inc.

Greyhound Canada Transportation ULC

Day & Ross Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented Orleans Express before the Quebec Transport Commission relating to proceedings filed against a bus carrier operating an illegal service in the Province of Quebec.
  • Advised Brookfield Infrastructure and GIC, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund, on the $8.4bn acquisition of Genesee & Wyoming Inc., US freight railroad owner and operator.
  • Acted as the Canadian in-house lawyer for Federal Express Canada Ltd. (FedEx), advising on all regulatory questions in Canada in relation to the operation of heavy vehicles.

Fernandes Hearn LLP

Toronto-based transportation boutique Fernandes Hearn LLP has broad expertise in road transportation and rail-related matters, having developed a reputation in a full range of transactional, regulatory and contentious matters. The firm also has complementary strengths in employment and environmental law. Rui Fernandes and Gordon Hearn are the key figures in the department.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Hearn; Rui Fernandes

McMillan LLP

McMillan LLP's transportation practice is known for its work in both rail and trucking law. In the rail space, the team has advised on a wide variety of regulatory compliance matters, including the transportation of dangerous goods, as well as logistics and commercial distribution and dispute resolution. The trucking team has been particularly active in cross-border matters involving the US. François Tougas in Vancouver is a contact in the team.

Practice head(s):

François Tougas

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright's transportation team routinely works alongside the firm's wider infrastructure service group, handling project finance, development and all manner of regulatory approvals. In this regard, the group is particularly active in the rail sector, where it acts for public sector clients including city transportation authorities, as well as private infrastructure companies and rail operators. Alain Ricard in Montréal is a key contact for project and structured finance; Calgary-based commercial litigator Ray Chartier has experience handling commercial disputes in the sector; and Greg Lewis QC heads the firm's Canadian infrastructure group from the Vancouver office.

Key clients

The City of Quebec

CDPQ Infra Inc.

Translink (Metro Vancouver Transit Authority)

Metrolinx (Greater Toronto Transportation Authority)

Infrastructure Ontario

City of Ottawa

Bombardier Transportation

Bechtel Canada

Southern Railway of British Columbia Limited

Energetic Trucking

BC Rail

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP has extensive experience handling regulatory and planning approvals and contract negotiations for transportation projects. Leveraging the expertise of Toronto-based litigator Robin Squires, the team also has a strong record in claims and commercial disputes in federal and provincial courts. Also recommended is M&A and transactional expert Robert Shouldice in Vancouver, who is key to the firm's ability to handle projects and infrastructure work in the rail sector.

Practice head(s):

Robin Squires; Robert Shouldice

Key clients

Canadian Pacific Railway

Canadian National Railway


BC Rail


City of Ottawa

Southern Railway of BC

ITIC – International Transport Intermediaries Club (Professional Indemnity Insurance for Transport Professionals)

Bison Transport Inc.

Greyhound Canada

Burlington Northern Railway (BNSF)

K&S Potash

Mullen Trucking

Regional Municipality of Waterloo (LRT)

Work highlights

  • Advised the City of Ottawa on a range of rail transit regulatory matters.
  • Represent York Region in connection with the acquisition and expropriation of real estate and property interests required for new and expanded public transit services across the region as well as other significant infrastructure and road expansion projects.
  • Represented NouvLR General Partnership in all legal matters pertaining to the design and construction of a major light rail train in Quebec.

Conlin Bedard LLP

Transportation, procurement and litigation specialist firm Conlin Bedard LLP advises on all aspects of Canadian rail regulation. Key areas of work include accident investigation, transportation of dangerous goods and safety regulations, rates and costing, and insurance and liability issues. Ottawa-based Ian MacKay is the key contact, with experience advising shippers, railways, and federal and provincial governments.

Other key lawyers:

Ian MacKay


Dentons is active in the rail and road sectors, drawing on the strength of the firm's wider infrastructure group. Jointly led by Toronto-based Michael Ledgett and Ilan Dunsky in Montréal, the team is also recognized for its strength in public sector-transportation matters. Ledgett is a recommended advisor for public sector clients, as well as for private sector participants. Dunsky co-chairs the firm's wider infrastructure and PPP group.

Practice head(s):

Michael Ledgett; Ilan Dunsky

Key clients

Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC)

Network Rail Consulting

Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA)

Canadian National Railway Company (CN)

Work highlights

  • Provided legal counsel for CUTRIC, an organization that spearheads, designs, and launches technology and commercialization projects that advance next-generation mobility and transportation technologies across Canada.
  • Advised Network Rail Consulting (a wholly owned subsidiary of Network Rail, the owner and operator of Britain’s railway infrastructure) on its business of providing rail consulting services to urban rail providers in Canada.
  • Advised Canadian National Railway Company on an agreement for the acquisition of the Massena rail line from CSX, which represents more than 220 miles of track between Valleyfield in Canada, and Woodard in the US.


Through its relationship with Canadian Pacific Railway, Fasken has extensive experience handling collision-related litigation and cargo claims, among other commercial litigation. Led by national coordinator Rosalind Cooper in Toronto, the practice lead is broken down further into three regional coordinators: Paul Wilson in Vancouver, Steven Rosenhek in Toronto and Montréal-based Noah Boudreau. The practice group has a variety of skill sets in areas including environmental law, infrastructure project development, and finance and commercial lending.

Key clients

Canadian Pacific Railway

Consortium (Plenary Group Canada, PCL Constructors Canada Inc., and Alberta Highway Services Limited)

Government of Canada

Kriska Transportation

Kuehne + Nagel

National Railroad Passenger Corporation operating as AMTRAK

Penske Canada

Ryder Truck Rental Canada Ltd.

Schneider National Carriers

Wal-Mart Canada Corp.

Government of Canada and the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

Trimac Transportation

XTL Transport

VIA Rail

Work highlights

  • Represented Canadian Pacific Railway Company in a dispute regarding whether CP Rail is obliged to reconstruct a railway bridge over the Fraser River which was destroyed by a fire caused by an unknown third party.
  • Represented CP Rail in connection with a class action brought by all the residents and businesses of the town of Cartier, Ontario, for alleged damages due to property diminution as a result of contamination of the water supply in town resulting from seepage from CP Rail’s property.
  • Acted for CP Rail in development of surplus lands owned by CPR in a joint venture with Dream Asset Management Corp.