Firm Profile > Fasken > Toronto , Canada


Energy and natural resources: mining Tier 1

Fasken’s signature mining practice is recognized as a global leader across the full spread of transactional, development and contentious matters. In addition to its seven domestic offices, the group also draws upon sizeable platforms in key mining finance hubs such as London, Johannesburg and Beijing, and it ranks among the most active firms for new listings on the TSX, the AIM Market, and the JSE. Global mining head John Turner is widely regarded as a go-to specialist for corporate finance matters, while Michael Bourassa is sought after for his broad experience in Canadian and international mining projects. Brian Graves, who is dual qualified in New York and Ontario, is also rated for his cross-border M&A expertise. Among the up-and-coming partners, Krisztián Tóth and Vancouver-based Johanna Fipke are names to note. Also of note, in 2018 mining-focused corporate finance partner Grant McGlaughlin joined from Goodmans. Named lawyers are based in Toronto unless otherwise stated.

Indigenous law Tier 1

Fasken houses one of the largest indigenous law groups in the market, providing specialist expertise across all key areas of the practice area, including consultation issues, litigation, joint ventures arrangements and reserve land development. Acting for a mix of natural resources and energy companies, First Nations and public sector clients, the group is a top choice for support on major energy and natural resources projects, particularly in the mining space. Litigator Kevin O’Callaghan leads the practice from Vancouver and has deep expertise in precedent-setting Aboriginal law cases. Brenden Hunter, who is highly regarded for his experience in projects-related matters, is a key name in Calgary.

Insurance Tier 1

Fasken’s specialist insurance practice is especially standout on the regulatory and transactional fronts, where it is well versed in an array of M&A-related matters, policy work and product development. A top choice for both domestic and foreign insurers, the group enjoys strong relationships with property and casualty insurers (Intact, Travellers), life insurance companies (Manulife, Foresters) and major global giants (Aviva, Swiss Re). Robert McDowell ranks among the leading insurance specialists in the market and advises across the spectrum of regulatory, governance and transactional matters. Koker Christensen, who co-chairs the financial institutions group alongside McDowell, is also highly regarded for his high-level transactional and regulatory experience. On the contentious side, Peter Pliszka is noted for his focus on product liability, class actions and insurance litigation. Named lawyers are based in Toronto.

Labour and employment Tier 1

Fasken’s impressively broad practice stands out across all the key pillars of labour, employment and human rights law, with strong skill sets in strategy, transactions and contentious issues. The firm’s extensive national footprint marks it as a top choice for federal employment and labour matters, particularly in the airline, TMT, banking and  energy sectors, and it also has leading cross-border practice. In terms of the latter, Toronto-based sector specialist Brian Burkett was invited by the Canadian Government to serve on the NAFTA Labour Consultation Group to assist in the formulation of the labour and dispute resolution provisions of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Seasoned litigator Douglas Gilbert, also based in Toronto, is another key figure in the practice group.

Telecoms Tier 1

Though it is perhaps best known for its formidable regulatory practice, Fasken houses a full-service communications group that is also standout on the transactional and contentious fronts. The team enjoys close relationships with some of Canada’s most significant radio, television and telecoms service providers, including Rogers Communications, TELUS Communications and Shaw Communications, and is also a popular choice for major multinational telecoms clients. Ottawa-based Gerald Kerr-Wilson co-leads the wider TMT department and has strong skill sets in communications and public law. Also in Ottawa, regulatory specialist Laurence Dunbar is routinely sought after by domestic and foreign governments for legislative and policy advice, and counsel Stephen Whitehead is also recommended. Barbara Miller is a name to note in the Toronto office.

Banking and finance Tier 2

Fasken’s national practice strikes a balance between transactional and compliance matters, with project finance, mining-related deals and financial services regulation all standing out as strong suits. On the transactional front, the firm enjoys close links with lenders (it is on the panel of four of the six largest Canadian banks, and it is also a preferred counsel for foreign financial institutions, credit unions and alternative lenders) as well as major borrowers. Names to note in Toronto include John Torrey, who is lauded as a market heavyweight and is particularly experienced in mining-related matters. The group also benefits from the senior experience of finance stalwart Jon Holmstrom and regulatory specialist Stephen Clark. Among the next generation of partners, up-and-coming specialist Thomas Meagher continues to impress. Also recommended is Montreal-based Marc Novello, who is highly regarded for bank financing.

Capital markets Tier 2

In line with the firm's global reputation, Fasken’s most high-profile deals are driven by the firm's mining industry expertise. The team also secures a significant, and increasing, flow of securities transactions involving the financial services, cannabis and TMT sectors. A solid performer in both debt and equity offerings for both issuers and underwriters, the group draws upon its extensive national and international network to handle complex, multi-faceted transactions. In a recent example, Calgary’s Sarah Gingrich led the firm’s advice to trophy client First Quantum Minerals on a dual-tranche offering of notes totalling C$1.8bn, which involved input from partners in Vancouver and London. Other key names include global mining heavyweight John Turner in Toronto, and Montreal-based Jean-Pierre Chamberland.

Corporate and M&A Tier 2

Globally renowned for the strength of its mining practice, Fasken also secures a significant share of life sciences, technology, aviation and cannabis sector transactions. The firm handles an array of public and private deals, with a recent strong run in contested M&A for both targets and bidders. A popular choice for cross-border transactions in the national resources sector, its offices in Beijing, Johannesburg and London are key assets for global clients looking for multi-jurisdictional support. Toronto-based securities and M&A head John Turner (who also leads the global mining group) is a go-to lawyer for mining companies. M&A and private equity partner Gesta Abols recently joined from Goodmans.

Environment Tier 2

In addition to its strengths in key areas such as contaminated sites, transactional support and permitting, Fasken’s comprehensive practice group advises on complex environmental assessments, environmental defence work and carbon markets. The team is best known for its experience in major energy infrastructure projects, where it often teams up with its indigenous law and energy practices to provide seamless regulatory advice. Most notably, the team is advising TransCanada PipeLines on its mammoth Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline project; energy and environmental specialist Paul Wilson is leading a cross-departmental team on that matter. Names to note in Toronto include Rosalind Cooper, who is noted for her strong litigation expertise. Montreal-based Pierre-Olivier Charlebois, who heads the environmental, energy and climate change group for the Quebec region, is a notable up-and-comer.

Infrastructure and projects Tier 2

Fasken’s national group routinely advises lenders, sponsors and consortia in social, transportation and energy projects, both in Canada and abroad. Traditionally known for its robust project finance expertise, the group has also has strong showings in public sector mandates. Of particular note, it assisted the Canadian Federal Government with two of its three recent major P3 infrastructure procurements, including the high-profile Gordie Howe International Bridge project, which was led by experienced Toronto-based specialists Brian Kelsall and Thomas Barlow. Department chair Ella Plotkin, also based in Toronto, advises on projects in the infrastructure, energy, telecoms and natural resource spheres.

International expertise Tier 2

Global mining giant Fasken benefits from strong footholds in some of the world’s key mining hubs, namely London, Johannesburg and Beijing. It also utilizes its well-staffed UK office as a launch pad into Africa as well as Europe. London managing partner Al Gourley stands out for his expertise in cross-border mining-sector transactions involving Europe, Africa, Australia and Canada.

Media and entertainment Tier 2

Best known for its regulatory focus, Fasken’s robust media and entertainment team also capabilities in intellectual property and commercial transactions. Moreover, the industry group is further complemented by the firm’s impressive strength in communications law. Toronto-based Barbara Miller has a strong profile in the market and advises clients within the telecoms and broadcasting industries on investment matters, financing issues and asset acquisitions and disposals.

Public procurement Tier 2

Fasken’s national team has experience in federal, provincial and municipal procurement matters, with high levels of activity across the country, anchored by its platforms in Ontario, BC and Quebec. The group strikes a balance between contentious and non-contentious work, with strong recent showings in bid challenges, infrastructure development and compliance matters. Peter Mantas co-leads the department from Ottawa and is sought after for public procurement disputes. Vancouver-based practice co-lead David Little specializes in infrastructure project procurement.

Technology Tier 2

Fasken’s IT practice combines a robust regulatory offering with experience in commercial transactions, including outsourcings and infrastructure service agreements. The firm also houses a dynamic start-up and emerging companies practice, which is particularly dominant in Vancouver and Montreal. In Vancouver, department co-head Karam Bayrakal is highly regarded for his experience in all aspects of acquiring, transferring and developing technology, while in Toronto Andrew Nunes advises technology clients on a varied mix of corporate and commercial matters.

Business immigration Tier 3

Fasken’s immigration group sits within its market-leading labour and employment practice and routinely assists organizations with obtaining temporary work permits for executives, professionals and specialized employees. The sizeable team has partners in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, and is also supported internationally by senior staff in Johannesburg. Gilda Villaran and Ralph Nero jointly lead the department from Montreal and Toronto respectively.

Cannabis Tier 3

Fasken’s cannabis practice is best known for its robust regulatory offering, which is complemented by the wider firm’s strength in securities and M&A. The team acts for the full range of industry clients, including licensed producers, distributors and suppliers, and also draws on firm’s financial services expertise to act for lenders to and insurers of industry participants. Communications specialist Barbara Miller heads the department from Toronto and has a strong background in regulatory and transactional matters.

Competition and antitrust Tier 3

Fasken has continued to broaden the scope of its competition and antitrust practice. The firm boosted its behavioural expertise in 2018 with the hires of John Pecman (the most recent former Commissioner of Competition) who joined as a senior business advisor in Ottawa, and counsel Chris Margison, who also joined from the Bureau. The double hire brings the number of former enforcers with the Bureau up to five and demonstrates the firm’s growing profile for contentious work. In addition, the firm is well-placed to handle merger filings, particularly mining-related transactions, and cross-border cases. The practice group is jointly led by Antonio Di Domenico and Huy Do, who specializes in M&A reviews and criminal investigations. Anther name to note is Anthony Baldanza, who focuses on a range of competition and foreign investment law matters. Named lawyers are based in Toronto unless otherwise stated.

Energy and natural resources: oil and gas Tier 3

Fasken’s multi-disciplinary oil and gas group routinely works alongside the firm’s prominent indigenous law and environmental law practices to excel in infrastructure project development. The firm is also a popular choice for contentious regulatory matters in the oil and gas sphere, where Vancouver-based energy and regulatory litigator Matthew Ghikas is a key name.

Energy and natural resources: power Tier 3

Fasken brings a robust regulatory practice together with highly regarded Aboriginal and environmental law practices. A popular choice to advise on complex, and often contested, infrastructure projects, the team routinely manages environmental assessment, permitting and consultation processes. Calgary-based managing partner Peter Feldberg enjoys a strong reputation for his regulatory expertise, while Vancouver’s Ron Ezekiel is the key contact for commercial transactions. Also in Vancouver, regulatory partner Christopher Bystrom has been highlighted by clients as a future star.

International trade Tier 3

Fasken is staffed by an impressive bench of former politicians and regulatory counsel, including a past Minister of International Trade and a former senior lawyer at the CITT, and is thus noted for its unique insight into the regulatory regime governing trade. The group handles the full gamut of international trade and foreign investment law matters, with notable expertise in trade treaty concerns, customs issues, trade remedies and anti-corruption compliance. Clifford Sosnow, who splits his practice between Toronto and Ottawa, co-leads the group together with Montreal-based Peter Kirby.

Pensions Tier 3

Fasken is distinguished in part by its record in contentious matters, where it routinely utilizes the wider firm’s deep bench of litigators to handle complex disputes, including class actions. In addition, in the non-contentious space, the team advises on plan design, administration and restructuring. Former department head Peggy McCallum recently stepped down to counsel and Ross Gascho now leads the team. Michael Wolpert joined from Lawson Lundell LLP and splits his time between Calgary and Toronto.

Real estate Tier 3

Fasken has continued to raise its profile on the investment side, with recent mandates for Oxford Properties Group, Ivanhoe Cambridge and LaSalle Investment Management (Canada). The practice is also noted for its expertise in development and leasing matters. In Montreal, transactional specialist Richard Clare has varied experience in financings, acquisitions and dispositions, while Toronto-based Andrea Centa has an established profile for her work in property development, property finance, and acquisitions and dispositions.

Restructuring and insolvency Tier 3

Fasken’s practice has a strong record in advising accountants and lenders on insolvency and restructuring cases, and enjoys close relationships with enviable clients such as PwC, Deloitte, HSBC Bank Canada and Royal Bank of Canada. The firm also stands out for its regional strength across all of Canada’s key centres, including Vancouver, where John Grieve QC is the name to note, and Toronto, which is the seat of global restructuring head Stuart Brotman. The firm’s signature mining practice is a significant driver of work and thus the team deep expertise in advising a variety of stakeholders on multi-jurisdictional mining-related insolvencies. Vancouver-based litigator Kibben Jackson is a talented up-and-comer.

Transport: aviation Tier 3

Fasken houses a robust disputes practice that represents airlines, leasing companies and other aviation service providers in complex claims, including class actions. The group also teams up with its market-leading employment practice to provide industry-specific labour and employment advice. Vancouver-based litigator Michael Parrish is noted for his expertise in aviation and product liability cases. Former group head Martin Sheehan was appointed Judge of the Superior Court of Quebec

Transport: other transport Tier 3

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.

Dispute resolution Tier 4

Fasken’s litigation practice has a presence in all of Canada’s four key markets but it is particularly prominent in Toronto and British Columbia, where it fields one of the most experienced benches in the province. The firm’s is a top choice for resources-related litigation, an also has expertise in financial services, technology and public law litigation. The national group is led from Vancouver by Geoffrey Cowper QC, whose practice spans commercial law, public law and human rights. Other key names in Vancouver are Mark Andrews QC, who has acted as counsel in over 200 published judgments of the BC and Federal Courts, and corporate and commercial litigator Tracey Cohen QC. Other key figures include Toronto-based Sarah Armstrong, who serves as firm-wide arbitration chair, Marc-André Fabien Ad E in Montreal, and Robert Maxwell in Calgary.

Intellectual property Tier 4

Fasken’s national practice covers the spectrum of IP issues, from IP audits and filing to portfolio management and litigation. The firm leverages its market-leading communications expertise in copyright matters, where it has recently been engaged by major telecoms clients such as Bell Canada, Cogeco and Spotify. Headed in Montreal by Julie Desrosiers, who specializes in patent litigation, the team also has broad expertise in patent and trademark matters. Associate Michael Shortt, who has an emphasis on the video game and artificial intelligence industries, and trademark specialist Jean-Philippe Mikus are also recommended in Montreal.

Tax Tier 4

Fasken’s global mining reputation places it in a strong position to advise on tax matters in the natural resources sector, including tax planning and international tax structuring. Toronto-based Christopher Steeves leads the group, which is also active in the financial services and private client spheres. In Montreal, Alain Ranger is noted for his skill sets in transactional and contentious tax issues.


In this increasingly competitive business environment, making decisions effectively and efficiently is vital for any organization to thrive. Fasken’s more than 700 lawyers in Canada, the United Kingdom, and South Africa are always ready to navigate legal challenges and capitalize on business opportunities. As a leading international business law and litigation firm, Fasken offers experience and expertise across a wide range of industries and practice areas to fulfil the needs of organizations worldwide. The firm’s utmost concern is to provide the business community with the tools to meet constantly evolving legal obligations and adjust to industry transformations. Its clients range from corporations, government agencies, regulatory authorities, non-profit bodies and individuals, each of whom benefit from a commitment to quality, cogent advice and strong international reach. Fasken’s excellence and broad industry expertise consistently garners accolades and top rankings worldwide by Chambers Global, Lexpert, IFLR 1000’s Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms, The Best Lawyers in Canada, and Who’s Who Legal. Core practice areas include: aboriginal, antitrust/competition and marketing, Asia Pacific, banking and finance, communications, construction, corporate social responsibility, energy, financial institutions, forestry, government relations, political law, health, information technology and public/private partnerships, insolvency and restructuring, insurance, intellectual property, international arbitration, investment products and wealth management, labour/ employment and human rights, life sciences, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, mining, pensions and benefits, privacy and information protection, private equity and venture capital, real estate, tax, trusts, wills/estates and charities.


While Fasken takes pride in each of these acknowledgements, the firm takes its greatest satisfaction from clients who continue to entrust it with the most pressing matters. Fasken aims to see legal issues in the context of its clients’ broader business issues, and has created a firm that is nimble, entrepreneurial and responsive to the global pressures facing all clients. Its success depends on the success of its clients.


Department Name Email Telephone
Aboriginal law Kevin O'Callaghan +1 604 631 4839
Banking and finance Jon J Holmstrom +1 416 865 5125
Mining John SM Turner +1 416 865 4380
Labour, employment and human rights Claire Vachon +1 613 696 6870
Mergers and acquisitions Richard J Steinberg +1 416 865 5443
Litigation and dispute resolution Geoffrey Cowper +1 604 631 3185
Infrastructure and public-private partnerships W Thomas Barlow +1 416 868 3403
Information technology John P Beardwood +1 416 868 3490
Antitrust/competition and marketing Anthony F Baldanza +1 416 865 4352
Real estate Richard J Clare +1 514 397 7501
Private client Kar Cheong (KC) Miu +1 604 631 4980
Private client Corina S Weigl +1 416 865 4549
Telecoms, media and broadcasting Laurence JE Dunbar +1 613 236 3882
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Jon Levin  photo Mr Jon Levin
Mr John Torrey  photo Mr John Torrey
Mr Michael Bourassa  photo Mr Michael Bourassa
Mr John Turner  photo Mr John Turner
Mr Brian Kelsall  photo Mr Brian Kelsall
Ms Rosalind Cooper  photo Ms Rosalind Cooper
Contacts : Peter Feldberg, +1 403 261 5364,