Borden Ladner Gervais LLP > Vancouver, Canada > Firm Profile

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Canada > International trade Tier 1

Canada > Labour and employment Tier 1

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP is a well-established leading force in the labour and employment law market, with it fielding a sizeable team that handles the full gamut of matters. One area in which it particularly stands out is in its advice to public and private sector clients on collective bargaining. In addition, the group works with other departments to assist with pensions and benefits issues, as well as immigration matters. On the contentious side, the firm is prominent in disputes ranging from wrongful dismissal claims to employment suspensions. The team is notably active in the retail sector, as was recently evidenced by Matthew Certosimo acting for Loblaws in a judicial review of an arbitral reward. André Royer leads the national practice group from the Montréal office, which is also home to labour relations expert Robert Bonhomme. Danny Kaufer frequently acts for clients in high-profile certification matters. Another name to note is Maryse Tremblay, who has experience of acting for federally-regulated employers. Katherine Poirier has niche expertise in industrial accidents and occupational illness cases, as well as occupational health and safety. In Toronto, Clifford Hart has been particularly busy in some of the practice’s foremost cases. Marie-Pier Emery in Montréal is a standout lawyer at associate level.

Practice head(s):

Work highlights

  • Represented MSC and Medlog Canada in an application for the issuance of a safeguard order against a member of its management by a competitor, Axsun, its former employer.
  • Advised Bell Canada on a judicial review application before the Federal Court, brought by a former employee challenging a decision from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that found that she was not discriminated against when her employment was terminated.
  • Acted for Loblaws (as its subsidiary National Grocers) in an application for judicial review of a labour arbitrator’s grievance award.

Transport > Shipping Tier 1

One of the oldest marine law practices in Canada, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP acts for shipowners, operators, shipbuilders, insurers, and charterers. It has a broad national practice, with expertise covering East Coast, Great Lakes, Arctic and West Coast shipping lanes. Disputes are a core practice area for the firm, which is frequently involved in major collision matters, cargo claims, ship arrests and customs disputes. Other areas of work include advising on transactional and regulatory issues. Jean-Marie Fontaine leads the team out of the Montreal office, acting for major clients on both transactional and litigation matters. Other key names are Dionysios Rossi and Graham Walker, both based in Vancouver.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Graham Walker; Dionysios Rossi; Jean-Francois Bilodeau

Work highlights

  • Served as counsel to Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale in all Canadian Federal Court legal proceedings relating to the arrest of the M/V India in the Port of Nanaimo, British Columbia.
  • Served as counsel to Algoma Central Corporation (TSX:ALC), a leading provider of marine transportation services, on a vessel refinancing of its senior secured indebtedness which included.
  • Serving as counsel to Mitsui O.S.K Lines Ltd. and NYK Line in all ongoing Federal Court civil proceedings arising from a vessel fire that occurred on board the M/V MOL Prestige in January 2018.

Canada > Dispute Resolution

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP‘s dispute resolution offering has a strong presence across the country, where it acts for a broad client base that includes multinationals and domestic heavy-hitters from a variety of industries. In Western Canada, the Calgary office is frequently engaged in commercial litigation and regulatory disputes in the energy and oil and gas sectors, with Randall Block a standout lawyer in that office, along with regional group manager Michael Marion. Class actions are among the strengths of the firm’s disputes group in Vancouver, where Brad Dixon was part of a cross-region team acting for the Bank of Nova Scotia in certified competition class action litigation relating to merchant acceptance fees in credit card transactions. Transportation law, environmental law and insurance claim defence are among the team’s other strengths in British Columbia; Robert Deane and Michelle Maniago have been particularly active in these areas and others recently. David Di Paolo heads the national dispute resolution group from the Toronto office and specializes in securities litigation, class actions and shareholder disputes, and senior counsel Guy Pratte, noted for his expertise in class actions and complex constitutional law, splits his time between Ontario and Quebec. A dedicated fraud law group distinguishes the Montréal office in the market, and it is also recommended for its strengths in bilingual class actions. Mathieu Piché-Messier and Patrick Plante are among the key contacts there.

Work highlights

  • Acted for Richardson GMP (RGMP) in an action commenced by four representative investors under Alberta’s Class Proceedings Act.
  • Representing the Bank of Nova Scotia in a certified competition law class action relating to merchant acceptance fees in credit card transactions.
  • Acting for Bell Canada in a proposed class action relating to charges for collect calls.

Energy and natural resources > Mining Tier 2

With bench strength nationally, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP draws upon the legal expertise of all groups within the firm to provide comprehensive services to financial institutions and major, mid-tier and junior mining companies operating across all segments of the sector in Canada and internationally. Led by Fred Pletcher in Vancouver, the department handles a significant volume of high-value M&A transactions, securities and capital markets deals, though it is also active in dispute resolution and tax-related matters. In the same office, Graeme Martindale is experienced in disclosure obligations, M&A and equity and debt financings. Andrew Powers, who is based in Toronto, is skilled at handling domestic and cross-border public and private offerings, with an emphasis on the mining and precious metals sector.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Work highlights

  • Advised K+S Aktiengesellschaft on the sale of its Canadian salt business, including Windsor Salt, to Stone Canyon Industries Holdings LLC and affiliates.
  • Represented Pan American Silver Corporation in a dispute with Southern Peaks Mining L.P, arising from a share purchase agreement by which Southern Peaks acquired the shares of Pan American’s then-subsidiary, Pan American Silver S.A. Mina Quiruvilca and control of the Quiruvilca Mine in the Republic of Peru.
  • Advised a syndicate of agents led by TD Securities Inc on Cameco Corporation’s $400m debenture offering.

Energy and natural resources > Power Tier 2

Canada > Indigenous law Tier 2

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP acts for a stellar client base, comprising project proponents, Indigenous groups and the Crown, in a host of Aboriginal law and treaty rights mandates, most notably project permitting and approval issues. Recent areas of growth include advising Indigenous-owned businesses operating in the oil and gas, energy, infrastructure, banking and cannabis industries in relation to strategic partnerships with industry clients. The team’s impressive litigation track record is also noteworthy, as is its ability to assist with Northern Land Claims Agreements. The indigenous law group is spearheaded by Cherie Brant in Toronto, whose experience covers transactions, financing and land development on First Nations territories. Montréal-based Nadir André is go-to counsel for both Aboriginal clients and corporations involved in land claims’ negotiations in Québec and elsewhere in Canada, and in connection with natural resources development. Patrick Foy QC in Vancouver has notable expertise in appellate and judicial review matters involving Aboriginal law.

Practice head(s):

Work highlights

    Canada > Infrastructure projects Tier 2

    Borden Ladner Gervais LLP provides support to clients throughout all stages of construction and infrastructure projects, including procurement, governance, financing, development and disputes. The practice demonstrates strength in both the public and private sectors, where it acts for an array of contractors, sponsors, governmental entities, lenders and equity investors. Department head Robert Shouldice excels in project and procurement planning, especially in the energy, transportation and public infrastructure spaces. He receives key support from a specialized team, that includes Douglas Sanders, who is seasoned in PPP projects, construction and industrial EPC contracts. Project finance and development are core ares of activity for Sarah Bird, who has acted as lead counsel for proponents and lenders in all phases of social infrastructure and transportation projects.

    Practice head(s):

    Work highlights

    • Advising BC Hydro on a wide range of procurement and commercial contracting matters, project governance, property matters and claims and disputes matters relating to the Site C Dam.
    • Advising the Province of Nova Scotia on the Halifax Infirmary and the Community Outpatient Centre (Bayers Lake) elements of its Queen Elizabeth II New Generation Project.
    • Advising the City of Ottawa on ongoing work in relation to the Confederation Line LRT Stage 1 and Stage 2 (light rail) and Trillium Line (commuter rail).

    Canada > Insurance Tier 2

    Known for its high-quality litigation bench, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP acts for insurers and insureds on a number of key disputes. The team is involved in a number of cases relating to business interruption as a result of Covid-19, with Patrick Heisen representing Lloyds Underwriters, HDI Global Specialty SE and Grenville mutual in separate class actions. It often acts on behalf of large insurers’ national programs but is also known to act for large entities including municipalities, hospitals and school boards. The firm also offers regulatory services. The team is headed by Rebecca Bush and Donna Spagnolo in Toronto and Graham Walker in Vancouver. Other key names include regional group manager Kevin McGivney in Toronto and Jean-Maire Fontaine in Montreal. Cyber insurance expert Eric Charleston joined from Miller Thomson.

    Work highlights

    • Defending a proposed class proceeding against HDI Global Speciality SE and Grenville Mutual Insurance Company including a potential Covid-19 business interruption class action.
    • Assisted the Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company with its acquisition of Gerber Life Insurance Company’s Canadian insurance business.
    • Assisted Sterling Capital Brokers with its merger with Luedey Consultants Inc..

    Canada > Banking and finance Tier 3

    With a notable lender-side practice, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP advises on banking matters across all five Canadian legal markets, as well as acting in cross-border matters. The group was instrumental in the establishment of key business relief funds guaranteed by the Canadian government, most notably advising Export Development Canada on the C$55bn Canada Emergency Business Account program. It also offers a solid financial regulatory practice, which is particularly known for its work with non-traditional lenders, including credit unions and private equity, and is increasingly active in the fintech space. Toronto-based Gus Karantzoulis is noted for his work for the Bank of Nova Scotia and others in a broad range of sophisticated lending transactions. Also in Toronto is Howard Silverman, who often acts for borrowers. Its Montreal-based lawyers include transactional and regulatory advisory expert Olivier Tardif, as well as national and regional group heads Claudine Millette and Stephen Redican.

    Work highlights

    • Acting for Export Development Canada in connection with the C$55bn Canada Emergency Business Account program.
    • Acting for HSBC and the syndicate of lenders in connection with a refinancing and recapitalization transaction for Calfrac Well Services.
    • Served as counsel to Algoma Central Corporation, a leading provider of marine transportation services, on a vessel refinancing of its senior secured indebtedness.

    Canada > Business immigration Tier 3

    Borden Ladner Gervais LLP fields a business immigration team that provides the full range of immigration and visa services to a client base that stands out for its comprehensive coverage of the media and entertainment sectors. Practice head Brian Dingle in Toronto is a go-to name in that field but he also has strong experience managing immigration issues in IT, mining, oil and gas, finance, and sports. In Montreal, Valérie Marcas and Darren McGuire are key contacts, while in Calgary immigration-focused labour and employment partner Brian Portas is the name to note.

    Practice head(s):

    Canada > Capital markets Tier 3

    Canada > Competition and antitrust Tier 3

    Canada > Corporate and M&A Tier 3

    Energy and natural resources > Oil and gas Tier 3

    Borden Ladner Gervais LLP‘s oil and gas lawyers balance a busy workload with a significant proportion of its matters involving regulatory issues, litigation and corporate transactions in the sector, with an emphasis on the midstream segment. On the contentious front, the group has the ability to assist oil and gas clients in disputes involving court and administrative proceedings. Peter Bryan in Calgary leads the national oil and gas group; he primarily advises on sector-related financing, M&A and projects. Also in the Calgary office, Alan Ross is skilled at handling national and provincial regulatory proceedings, while Michael Marion oversees the litigation offering. Vancouver-based Rick Williams assists clients with a mix of environmental law, indigenous issues, and dispute resolution.

    Other key lawyers:

    Work highlights

    • Advising LNG Canada Development Inc. on all operational and regulatory (federal and provincial) aspects of its $40bn LNG Export Terminal in Kitimat, British Columbia.
    • Representing CEPA in a constitutional reference case from the Alberta Court of Appeal.
    • Advising ConocoPhillips on the Canada Energy Regulator’s review and approval of NOVA Gas Transmissions Ltd.’s  application to construct and operate the North Corridor Expansion Project.

    Canada > Environment Tier 3

    The environmental law practice at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP offers legal support to clients operating in a variety of sectors, including transport, manufacturing, energy and waste management, on a multitude of business transactions, regulatory matters and in litigation. Contentious issues are a key strength for the group, which is equipped to handle civil environmental claims, contaminated sites litigation, administrative proceedings and judicial appeals. Rick Williams oversees the national team from Vancouver; the practice head is singled out for his experience in environmental issues pertaining to project development and permitting, with a special emphasis in the oil and gas segment. He receives key support from other practitioners based in Vancouver: Dionysios Rossi has a strong track record in federal and provincial environmental assessment processes and pollution-related matters, while Graham Walker leads on tort cases. Jonathan Cocker, who focuses on environmental compliance issues, recently joined from Baker McKenzie.

    Canada > Intellectual property Tier 3

    Borden Ladner Gervais LLP assists an eclectic client base of domestic and multinational companies with strategic acquisition and IP protection matters across North America and internationally. Jason Howg heads the national department from Calgary while over at the Toronto office, Justine Wiebe runs a specialised trademarks practice, distinguished through her focus on non-traditional marks, pharmaceutical marks and trade dress.

    Practice head(s):

    Work highlights

    • Responsible for preparing and directing the prosecution of Cryptomill’s international patent portfolio, and advising the company on technology and IP commercialization matters.
    • Representing the clients against all marketing generic companies in a number of appeals relating to patent infringement matters relating to the CIALIS and ADCIRCA tadalafil products.
    • Representing BIOTECanada, which has been granted leave to intervene before the Quebec Superior Court, in support of the applicants as part of an application for judicial review challenging the constitutional validity of the provisions pertaining to patented medicines in the Patent Act, as well as the Patented Medicines Regulations (including recent amendments).

    Canada > Pensions Tier 3

    Borden Ladner Gervais LLP‘s cross-practice pensions and benefits group comprises of lawyers whose experience spans employment, corporate, finance, tax and litigation. Its areas of strength include pension plan and fund governance, plan transactions, and support on corporate and commercial matters. Andrew Harrison leads the department from the Toronto office, which is the base for most of the team. Sonia Mak acts for a range of stakeholders, including employers and their non-Canadian parent companies. Scott McEvoy is another name to note in Toronto. Frédéric Massé is a key contact in Montréal.

    Practice head(s):

    Work highlights

    • Assisted Hewlett Packard Enterprise Canada with bringing a court application for directions as to which of two competing individuals should receive a pre-retirement death benefit payable in respect of a former employee’s participation in its pension plan.

    Canada > Public procurement Tier 3

    Canada > Restructuring and insolvency Tier 3

    Borden Ladner Gervais LLP is known for undertaking restructuring and insolvency mandates on behalf of energy sector and retail clients. In addition, the firm is noted for its work on behalf of the big four banks and other key financial institutions, particularly in the context of formal and informal workouts. Its team also advises court officers and other stakeholders on cross-border Chapter 11 and other bankruptcy proceedings. Alex MacFarlane and Marc Duchesne lead the team out of the Toronto and Montréal offices respectively. Other key practitioners are based in Alberta and British Columbia.

    Practice head(s):

    Other key lawyers:

    Roger Jaipargas; Josef Kruger; Francois Gagnon

    Key clients

    Bank of Montreal

    The Royal Bank of Canada

    The Bank of Nova Scotia

    National Bank of Canada

    Ernst & Young





    Grant Thornton

    Work highlights

    • Acting for Universal in the Cirque du Soleil et al CCAA Proceedings.
    • Advising BNY in its capacity as note trustee, in connection with the Hertz Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
    • Acting for BMO in its role as agent for the lending syndicate of bankers regarding the CCAA and Chapter 15 insolvency filing of the Aldo Group (Retail).

    Canada > Technology Tier 3

    Transport > Aviation Tier 3

    Known for its contentious offering, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP represents aircraft operators, manufacturers and insurers in major disputes and claims cases. The team handles all forms of major litigation regarding aerospace operation, construction and ground handling, including a wide number of insurance claims work as well. Other work includes aircraft restructuring and insolvency cases, with recent involvement in various bankruptcy proceedings. Leon Beukman leads the aviation team from Vancouver, offering over 30 years of experience in civil litigation for aviation stakeholders.

    Practice head(s):

    Other key lawyers:

    Robin Squires; Robert Love

    Work highlights

    • Representing Alberta Health Services in a case involving the award of the contract for fixed-wing air ambulance services in the province of Alberta.
    • Settled a complex case in mediation on behalf of AGCS involving an aircraft crash at take-off in Muskoka that resulted in two fatalities.
    • Appealed to the Canadian Transportation Agency under CANSCA to dispute fees on NetJet levied by NAV CANADA.

    Transport > Other transport Tier 3

    Borden Ladner Gervais LLP handles a range of matters across the road and rail sectors. It counts among its clients a number of major railways and rail operators, urban transit authorities, shippers and other key industry stakeholders. The group is particularly known for work on infrastructure projects, handling regulatory and planning approvals. Robert Shouldice leads the regulatory and commercial arm out of Vancouver. Robin Squires leads the litigation team from Montreal; his practice focuses on commercial disputes and insurance claim in the transport industry.

    Other key lawyers:

    Aaron Bowler

    Key clients

    Canadian Pacific Railway

    Canadian National Railway


    BC Rail


    City of Ottawa

    Southern Railway of BC

    ITIC – International Transport Intermediaries Club

    Bison Transport Inc.

    Greyhound Canada

    Burlington Northern Railway

    K&S Potash

    Mullen Trucking

    Regional Municipality of Waterloo (

    Canadian Pacific Railway

    Work highlights

    • Represents NouvLR General Partnership with respect to all legal matters pertaining to the design and construction of a major light-rail train in Quebec.
    • Acted for a consortium of AECOM and Duit Construction throughout the bid phase of the Gilcrease Expressway West Project.
    • Representing the defendant, on behalf of the TT Club, with respect to a train derailment in Ontario.

    Canada > Real estate Tier 4

    With particular strength in the hospitality sector, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP fields a team of lawyers specialised in real estate transactions, financing, leasing portfolio management and construction law. Vancouver-based David Longcroft manages the national commercial real estate department, steering the team on a range of transactions and development matters on behalf of developers, publicly listed real estate companies and institutional investors. Patricia Morrison in Calgary, who has a wealth of experience in large-scale infrastructure, industrial and commercial projects, leads the nationwide construction group. Brennan Carroll is a key contact in Toronto for municipalities, commercial and retail players.

    Other key lawyers:

    Canada > Tax Tier 4

    Borden Ladner Gervais LLP undertakes a wide ambit of contentious and non-contentious tax work, under the leadership of Craig Webster in Toronto, who has particular expertise in the investment management industry. In addition to representing clients in tax litigation, the team advises clients on the tax aspects of M&A, restructurings, foreign direct investments and finance transactions, as well as employment, pensions and benefits issues. Steve Suarez provides tax support on major corporate transactions, while Calgary-based partner Laurie Goldbach offers dispute resolution expertise, with experience before all levels of court.

    Practice head(s):

    Other key lawyers:

    Steve Suarez; Laurie Goldbach; Daniel Lang; Joseph Takhmizdjian; Bobby Solhi; Richard Eisenbraun; Kevin Bianchini

    Work highlights

    • Representing the St. Christopher’s Trust (the “Trust”), which was wound up in 2002, and an individual affiliated with the Trust.
    • Representing individual target and various related closely-held corporations in the first publicized tax evasion investigation to arise in Canada from the leak of the “Panama Papers”.
    • Acted for Berkshire Hathaway Energy in connection with the acquisition of the Montana Alberta Tie-Line and acted in all Canadian matters related thereto.


    As the largest full-service Canadian law firm, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) delivers the most comprehensive legal solutions and client services for domestic and international clients – across more practice areas and industry sectors – than any other Canadian firm.


    With over 750 lawyers, intellectual property agents and other professionals, BLG services businesses and institutions across all of their legal needs – from M&A and capital markets; to complex disputes, financing, and trademark and patent registration.


    BLG is the largest of Canada’s few AmLaw Global 100 firms, with five full-service offices located in each of Canada’s principal business markets, and the nation’s capital. As a bilingual English-French firm, BLG excels under both the common and civil law systems in Canada.


    BLG has a legacy of ‘firsts’ – from being Canada’s first-founded law firm, to one of the first in North America to implement client service standards, and receives numerous legal industry recognitions for innovation in client service and value.


    BLG takes great pride in the communities it serves, and supports a variety of initiatives including pro bono legal services, fundraising and volunteer programs, such as the BLG Reads to Kids Program.


    International work

    BLG provides business law, dispute resolution and intellectual property solutions to a wide range of clients internationally in virtually every area of law. Special expertise includes mergers and acquisitions, infrastructure and public-private projects, financings, international trade law, commercial litigation and arbitration. BLG has acted in international banking transactions (including sovereign risk lending); international insolvencies, liquidations and restructurings; international joint ventures, reorganisations and acquisitions; commercial contracts; and international and multi-jurisdictional disputes.


    Diversity and inclusiveness are critical to the firm’s success. The principles of employment equity, diversity and human rights are an integral part of our culture. As Canada’s Law Firm, BLG champions diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in the wider legal community. BLG actively participates in and promote programs aimed at improving and celebrating diversity within the legal profession and the broader business community, including our robust Transgender Accommodation and Inclusivity Policy, BLG’s mental health strategy, unconscious bias training, and the development and continued growth of the Driven By Women™ initiative. BLG is a proud partners of Catalyst Canada, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and Pride at Work Canada.

    Clients & Community

    BLG is proud to support its clients and communities. The firm provides insight to domestic and international public and private corporations across all business sectors. BLG advises governments, governmental organisations and agencies, as well as trade groups and broader public sector clients. The firm’s ability to make a positive impact in the communities in which it lives and works directly connects to how it cultivates its relationships, both inside and outside of the office. BLG supports nearly 200 different non-profit organizations annually, ranging from local charities and grassroots community initiatives to international charitable missions. The firm’s cross-practice and cross-country firm provides more than 20,000 pro bono hours of legal support to nearly 200 not-for-profits and vulnerable individuals.

    For further information, visit


    Banking and financial services
    Securities and capital markets
    Mergers and acquisitions
    Litigation and arbitration
    Insurance and tort liability
    Competition and antitrust
    Energy, oil and gas and mining
    Infrastructure and PPP
    Labor and employment
    Intellectual property
    Real estate
    Environmental law
    Privacy, cyber and data security
    Public policy and government relations
    Information technology
    Life sciences
    Health law
    Charities and not-for-profit
    Robert Deane photo Robert DeanePartner
    Patrick Foy photo Patrick FoySenior Counsel and regional group leader of the firm’s Public Law Group
    Fred R. Pletcher photoMr Fred R. PletcherPartner and National Leader of BLG’s Mining Group
    Dionysios Rossi photo Dionysios RossiPartner
    Robert R. Shouldice photo Robert R. ShouldicePartner
    Number of Partners : 372
    Number of Other Fee-Earners : 331
    Africa and Asia
    Farsi (Persian)