Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP > Toronto, Canada > Firm Profile

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
Suite 3200, Bay Adelaide Centre – North Tower
40 Temperance Street
Toronto, ON M5H 0B4

Canada > Cannabis Tier 1

A first-mover in the cannabis space in Canada, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP is particularly sought after for its expertise in corporate finance matters. The full-service practice also shines in M&A, joint ventures, strategic partnerships and regulatory issues, with key industry players such as Canopy Growth and TerrAscend Corp routinely turning to the firm for support. Widely recognized as a leader in his field, department head Jonathan Sherman recently advised Canopy Growth on accelerating its entry into the US cannabis market through the creation of a new special purpose vehicle, Canopy USA LLC, and connected transactions totalling C$750m. The deep bench also includes Jamie Litchen, who specializes in securities and M&A; Daniel Cipollone, who sits in the banking and speciality finance group; corporate and securities partner Tayyaba Khan; and regulatory and IP specialist Chandimal Nicholas.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Sherman

Key clients

Canopy Growth Corporation

Bruce Linton (founder and former CEO of Canopy Growth, and currently an advisor and investor in a wide range of cannabis companies)

TerrAscend Corp

Eight Capital

Boston Beer Company

JW Asset Management

Ernst & Young

Sessions Cannabis

Lowell Farms

MedMen Enterprises

Avant Brands

YourWay Cannabis Brands

StateHouse Holdings

A1 Cannabis

Entourage Effect Capital

Energy and natural resources > Mining

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP continues to be a leader in the mining space, harnessing the experience of teams in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary, to provide comprehensive support to major multinational mining companies throughout every stage of a project’s lifecycle. The group’s full service covers matters ranging from multi-jurisdictional M&A, joint ventures, leveraged buyouts and reorganizations to project finance, metal streams and royalties, exploration and development, high-stakes litigation and regulatory compliance. The practice is led in Vancouver by M&A and corporate finance expert Jen Hansen, who advises on business combination transactions, take-over bids and domestic and cross-border public offerings; and Jennifer Traub, who acts for issuers and investment dealers in connection with public and private securities offerings. At the Toronto office, mining industry authority and firm executive chair Mark Bennett brings extensive experience advising resource companies across the Americas, Eastern Europe, Africa and Australia to property acquisitions and dispositions. Other key figures include securities specialists Jay Goldman and Paul Stein in Toronto, and Gordon Chambers in Vancouver. Also of note are Jamie Litchen in Toronto, who acted as lead counsel for Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. on its recent $10.6bn merger with Agnico Eagle Mining Limited, and David Redford in Vancouver, who has developed a strong practice assisting with securities law requirements for mineral resource issuers.

Practice head(s):

Jen Hansen; Jennifer Traub

Other key lawyers:

Mark Bennett; Jay Goldman; Jeffrey Lloyd; David Budd; Brian Dominique; Paul Stein; Alex Pizale; Gordon ChambersJamie Litchen; David Redford

Key clients

Wheaton Precious Metals Corp.

Lithium Americas Corp.

Consolidated Uranium Inc.

Dundee Precious Metals Inc.

Artemis Gold Inc.

Lundin Mining Corporation

Orla Mining Ltd.

Yamana Gold Inc.

Filo Mining Corp.

SilverCrest Metals Inc.

Canada > Indigenous law Tier 2

The team at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP is known for advising a great range of clients, including federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, Indigenous groups and businesses. The group assists forestry, fishing, agriculture, mining and energy-sector clients with project-related transactions, governance and in litigation across Canada dealing with Aboriginal and treaty rights. Vancouver-based Thomas Isaac steers the practice and specializes in Aboriginal legal matters and related environmental assessments, negotiations, and regulatory and constitutional issues. Sandra Gogal in Toronto is an additional key contact.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Isaac

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Greater Vancouver Regional District

Métis Nation – Saskatchewan Secretariat

Metis National Council Secretariat

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Trans Mountain Corporation

Generation Mining

Prince Rupert Port Authority

Canada > Media and entertainment Tier 2

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP houses a thriving entertainment, media and sports practice, which operates across a broad array of film, television, book publishing, theatre, video games and other related industries. Music law is a particular sweet spot with department chair — and former jazz producer — Casey Chisick, widely acknowledged as an authority on copyright law. Notably, Chisick paired up with Eric Mayzel to represent the Society of Authors, Composers, and Music Publishers of Canada in a landmark appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on the meaning and interpretation of the ‘making available provision’ of the Copyright Act. The Toronto-based group also draws on department co-head Leonard Glickman and entertainment and corporate partner Lindsay Dykstra.

Practice head(s):

Casey Chisick; Leonard Glickman

Other key lawyers:

Lindsay Dykstra; Eric Mayzel; Jessica Zagar

Key clients

AppQuantum Publishing

Atomic Cartoons

Avril Lavigne


Bell Media

Blue Ant Media

Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency


CD Baby, Merlin, Saavn Media

Epic Games

Great Pacific Media

International Federation of the Phonographic Industries

Lilah Fear & Lewis Gibson

Music Canada

Music Publishers Canada and International Confederation of Music Publishers

Pearson Canada

Red Brick Songs

RGK Entertainment / Open Road Recordings

Sarah McLachlan

Scott Kraft

Sesame Workshop

Shawn Mendes

Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)

The Jim Henson Company

The Weeknd

Thunderbird Entertainment

Torstar Corporation

World of Wonder Entertainment

Canada > Banking and finance

In a strong statement of intent, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP bulked up its banking and finance practice with a string of new arrivals during 2022/23. Most notably, in June 2022 the group established a lending team in Calgary through the hire of five new partners: Bria Fallen, Mike Hrabok, Sunil Joneja and Scott McLeman joined from Gowling WLG, while David Kolesar arrived from Torys. The national group acts for corporate borrowers, as well as traditional and alternative lenders, and is particularly sought after for its reputation in mining and cannabis-related transactions. Charles Rich, Charles Newman and Jennifer Wasylyk co-head the banking and specialty finance department from Toronto. Marc MercierAlison Manzer and Jason Arbuck are also recommended in Toronto, while David Budd splits his time between Toronto and Vancouver.

Practice head(s):

Charles Rich; Charles Newman; Jennifer Wasylyk

Key clients

Bank of Montreal

The Bank of Nova Scotia

BNP Paribas

Business Development Bank of Canada

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)


HSBC Bank Canada

Stonebriar Commercial Finance

Huntington Commercial Finance Canada

Work highlights

  • Advised Wheaton Precious Metals Corp on its $2bn sustainability-linked revolving credit facility.
  • Advised Lundin Mining Corporation on a $1.7bn credit facility.
  • Advised Sabina Gold & Silver Corp on a $520m construction financing package with Orion Mine Finance and Wheaton Precious Metals Corp.

Energy and natural resources > Power Tier 3

Demonstrating increasing activity in the power space, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP’s blossoming regulatory credentials were recently evidenced by its work for Ontario Energy Board, Abengoa and Business Renewables Centre Canada, among others. It also handles a growing volume of power-related transactions. Calgary-based department head Jeremy Barretto chairs the national regulatory law group and contributes experience in energy regulation, environmental law and Indigenous law matters. Vancouver-based environmental and Indigenous law specialist Arend Hoekstra and Toronto-based corporate partner Jason Bullen are also noted for power-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Barretto

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Generation Mining


Business Renewables Centre Canada

Transmission Developers (Canada)

Ontario Energy Board

Polaron Solartech Corp

Canada > Insurance Tier 3

The increasingly prominent insurance practice at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP added a string of new clients over the past year, including multinational names such as Sompo Japan Insurance, Associated Electric & Gas Insurance Services and Generali Global Assistance. The group focuses on non-contentious insurance matters, with strong recent experience in incorporations, policy issues, corporate transactions and regulatory compliance, among other areas. The department is led jointly by Toronto-based insurance and reinsurance specialists Gordon Goodman and Rick Da Costa.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Goodman; Rick Da Costa

Key clients

Zurich Insurance Company

Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company

Munich Re Digital Partners US Holdings Corporation


Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario

Amtrust Management Services

MAX Insurance

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company

CNA Canada

Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company

Canadian Premier General Insurance Company

Assumption Mutual Life Insurance Company

Homesteaders Life Company



Catlin Underwriting Agencies

Convex Re

Complex Risk and Insurance Associates

Dealer Loyalty Protection

Sompo Japan Insurance

Associated Electric & Gas Insurance Services

Generali Global Assistance

Platform Insurance Management

Insurance Brokers Association of Durham Region

SCM Insurance Services GP

Canada > Intellectual property Tier 3

A force in copyright-related matters, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP also handles a significant volume of trademark and patent prosecution, portfolio management and litigation. Department head Casey Chisick is widely recognized as a leading light for his niche expertise in the collective administration of copyright, where he routinely represents copyright collective societies and trade associations, among others. Additional senior names include Toronto-based IP litigator Mark Davis, and Vancouver-based IP litigation specialist Karen MacDonald, who joined in May 2023 from Norton Rose Fulbright. Up-and-coming IP litigators Eric Mayzel and Jessica Zagar are also noted in Toronto. Alison Hayman recently left the group.

Practice head(s):

Casey Chisick

Other key lawyers:

Karen MacDonald; Mark Davis; Stephanie Roberts; Steven Kennedy; Eric Mayzel; Chandimal Nicholas; Jessica Zagar

Key clients

Air Miles International Trading and LoyaltyOne

BBC Canada

Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency

Coca-Cola / The Coca-Cola Company

Davide Campari-Milano

Diamond Estates Wine & Spirits

Epic Games

Fenix Outdoor (Fjällräven)

International Confederation of Music Publishers

Little Caesar Enterprises

Mattel / Mega Bloks / American Girl

Music Publishers Canada


Pearson Education, Inc. and Pearson Canada

Prince Estate / Paisley Park

Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)

Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Music Canada


University of Toronto

Canada > Restructuring and insolvency Tier 3

The group at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP handles domestic and international restructurings and liquidations and has particular experience advising clients with assets in Africa and Latin America. Toronto-based insolvency specialist Jane Dietrich steers the practice and specializes in restructurings and related litigation, as well as corporate reorganizations, enforcement of security and unsecured creditor remedies. Partners Ryan Jacobs, Shayne Kukulowicz and Alan Merskey are additional key contacts. Mary Buttery KC left the firm in September 2022.

Practice head(s):

Jane Dietrich

Key clients

Alvarez & Marsal Canada

Ad Hoc Committee of Debenture Holders of iAnthus Capital Management

Official Committee of Opioid Related Claimants of Mallinckrodt

Ernst & Young

FTI Consulting Canada

Blackstone Alternative Credit Advisors

Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Voyager Digital Holdings

Steering Committee of Pre-Sale Purchasers of Hazelton Development Corporation

Pandion Mine Finance Fund, Rivermet Resource Capital, and PFL Raahe Holdings

Tenor Special Situation I

Timbercreek Asset Management

Superette, Superette Ontario

Deloitte Restructuring

KSV Restructuring; Nilex

DIP Lenders to Just Energy Group

Sungard Availability Services (Canada)

Canada > Capital markets Tier 4

Canada > Competition and antitrust Tier 4

The team at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP is well-placed to assist domestic and international clients with cartel defence, regulatory matters, internal audits and litigation. The group, which additionally provides support with merger and foreign investment review, is directed by Davit Akman, whose expertise covers the gamut of competition matters, including advertising and marketing practices and abuse of dominance cases. The practice was recently bolstered by the arrival of associate Eric Buist from the Canadian Department of Justice.

Practice head(s):

Davit Akman

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Essity Aktiebolag

Pearson Education / Pearson Canada

Royal Bank of Canada

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals USA / Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Canada

Berkshire Hathaway

Lundin Mining Corporation

KEMET Corporation / KEMET Electronics Corporation

Perrigo Company

Yamana Gold

K1 Investment Management

Sandstorm Gold

Centerbridge Partners


WonderFi Technologies

GreenFirst Forest Products

WMG Technologies

Amneal Pharmaceuticals and Impax Laboratories


The Veritas Capital Vantage Fund

Canada > Construction Tier 4

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP draws on the expertise of teams in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary to advise a client roster of owners, contractors, construction managers, subcontractors and suppliers, on major projects across the transport, education, mining and government sectors. Matthew Alter leads the team, bringing strength to project delivery methods and procurement processes. Mark St. Cyr guides clients through risk management and complex construction litigation. Associate Stephanie Garraway assists clients with document review, preparation and negotiation. All lawyers mentioned work in the Toronto office.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Alter

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Brock University

Corporation of the City of Mississauga

Infrastructure Ontario


Michael Garron Hospital

Sheridan College

Toronto Community Housing Corporation

University of Toronto

Soletanche Bachy Canada Ltd. and Soletanche Bachy International Inc

Canada > Dispute resolution: British Columbia Tier 4

The Vancouver-based practice at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP is regularly instructed by educational institutions, financial institutions, government bodies, insurance companies and retailers seeking support with commercial litigation. Negligence actions, class action defence, shareholder disputes, tax litigation and insolvency litigation are particular strengths of the group. Practice head John Birch is based in Toronto and specializes in restructuring and insolvency proceedings.

Practice head(s):

John Birch

Key clients

Doman Group of Companies

Kelly Petersen

Pace Credit Union

Lee Ingraham

Costco Wholesale Canada

Jean Coutu (PJC)


Energy and natural resources > Oil and gas Tier 4

Following its Calgary office launch in 2016, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP has worked hard to develop its oil and gas offering. The group continues to make inroads into the local market under the leadership of Calgary-based regulatory chair Jeremy Barretto, who has recently acted for Trans Mountain Corporation, Canadian Natural Resources and West Parkland Gas Co-Op, among others. The regulatory-focused group also includes Vancouver-based Arend Hoekstra, who was elevated to the partnership in January 2023, and Calgary-based associate Liv Desaulniers, who recently joined the firm from TransCanada.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Barretto

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Trans Mountain Corporation

SaskEnergy Incorporated and Many Islands Pipe Lines (Canada)

Canadian Natural Resources

West Parkland Gas Co-Op

Canada > International trade Tier 4

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP’s group leverages extensive experience in representing national governments, trade associations and corporate clients on international trade law. The team counts export controls, customs matters, economic sanctions and trade litigation among its key areas of expertise, while it also fields complementary offerings in anti-corruption law and government contracting. Toronto-based Brenda Swick anchors the practice and advises on a mix of compliance, enforcement and contentious matters; notably, she has handled more than 15 WTO and NAFTA dispute resolution proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Brenda Swick

Canada > Real estate Tier 4

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP leverages the bench strength of locations in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary to advise financial institutions, real estate investment trusts, national retailers, commercial real estate investors, owners, developers, municipalities and educational and public institutions (including the Canada Life Assurance Company and the University of Toronto) on a diverse spectrum of matters. They range from real estate financing, commercial acquisitions and dispositions to land development, joint ventures and leasing. Jonathan Freeman leads the team, specializing in the finance of senior housing projects, office buildings, hotels, shopping centres and multi-family residential apartment complexes. Other key figures include David Redmond, who brings extensive experience to purchase and sale transactions and the financing and structuring of real estate transactions; Andrew Salem, who regularly represents restaurants and retail chains, energy companies and railways; and leasing expert Armen Khajetoorian. Kwaku Tabi and Manny Mukkar were promoted to partner in January 2023. All lawyers mentioned work in the Toronto office.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Freeman

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

First National Financial LP

Portage Capital Corporation

Canada Life Assurance Company

University of Toronto

Infrastructure Ontario

The TDL Group Corp. (Tim Hortons)

CMLS Financial Ltd.

Mantella Corporation

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada

Centurion Apartment REIT

Canada > Tax Tier 4

The tax group at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP is regularly instructed by corporations, mining companies, REITs, financial institutions, private equity funds and governmental agencies for its expertise in tax issues relating to M&A and restructuring. Practice co-head Zahra Nurmohamed leads from Toronto and has significant experience in mining matters; she specializes in corporate tax matters, M&A, reorganizations and financings. Alongside her, Calgary-based Douglas Richardson majors on energy-sector transactions.

Practice head(s):

Zahra Nurmohamed; Douglas (Doug) Richardson

Key clients

Pacific Investment Management Company LLC

Sandstorm Gold

Yamana Gold

Canopy Growth Corporation

Lithium Americas

IPH Limited

WonderFI Technologies

CloudMD Software & Services

Lundin Mining Corporation

Essity AB

Kirkland Lake Gold

WMG Technologies

Perrigo Company

Hastings Technology Metals

Orla Mining


Calibre Mining Corp

K1 Investment Management LLC

Trackforce Valiant

LKCM Headwater Investments

Canada > Dispute resolution: Ontario Tier 5

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP's Ontario group has a track record representing clients before all local Courts of Appeal, in addition to the Supreme Court of Canada. The team handles a range of disputes, from shareholder disputes, class action, M&A and tax-related litigation to defamation matters. National department head John Birch leads from Toronto and specializes in restructuring and insolvency proceedings.

Practice head(s):

John Birch

Key clients

IBM Canada

New Gold

Yamana Gold

Resolute Forest Products

Canadian Tire Corporation

Recipe Unlimited Corporation

Canopy Growth Corporation

Holiday Hospitality Franchising

Restaurant Brands International

Jean Coutu

Quantum Dealer Financial

Lundin Mining Company

Cresco Labs

Anglican Church of Canada

Foresters Life Insurance Company

Royal Bank of Canada

Hockey Diversity Alliance

Norwegian Cruise Lines

American International Group

Canada > Labour and employment Tier 5

Areas of expertise for the Toronto-based team at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP include workplace investigations, compensation packages, terminations, privacy issues, sexual harassment claims, and wrongful dismissal and severance pay class actions. Since the departure of ex-practice head Adrian Jakibchuk from the group in October 2022, Laurie Jessome steers the department and leads on both contentious and non-contentious labour matters. Managing partner Kristin Taylor is an additional key contact.

Practice head(s):

Laurie Jessome