Blair Keefe > Torys > Toronto, Canada > Lawyer Profile
79 WELLINGTON STREET WEST, SUITE 3000
BOX 270, TD CENTRE
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Banking & Finance, Insurance
A preeminent figure in the financial services industry, Blair has decades of experience advising Canada’s leading financial institutions on regulatory matters and industry best practices, and has acted as counsel on some of the country’s most complex and novel issues in his field.
Blair is co-head of the firm’s Financial Services, Bank Regulatory and Insurance Regulatory practices, and is co-head of the Payments and Cards Practice. He advises on corporate and regulatory issues relating to financial institutions, as well as on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance in the financial services industry.
Blair is known for his in-depth understanding of all matters relating to the Bank Act. In addition, he has extensive experience in insurance and bank regulatory matters, banking and debt finance as well as payments and cards.
Ontario Bar, 1989
Blair was a member of the Regulatory Advisory Group to the Task Force for the Payments System Review in 2011, providing advice on regulatory and legal issues related to the payments industry in Canada.
Blair also recently provided advice to the Canadian life insurance industry on the insurance holding company capital regime, and, over the last several years, has provided advice to the Canadian life insurance industry on various government bills, which contained amendments to the financial institutions statutes.
In his capacity as Co-Chair of the Financial Services Legislative Reform Committee of the Canadian Bar Association, Blair appeared as a witness before the House of Commons Finance Committee on Bill C-67 (which implemented branch banking in Canada for foreign banks in 1999).
While on secondment to the Canadian Bankers’ Association, he testified before parliamentary committees, drafted amendments to the legislation and advised the Canadian Bankers’ Association on revisions to the legislation affecting federal financial institutions.
Lawyer Rankings(Hall of Fame)
Lawyers at Torys strike the right note for being ‘willing to shape documents to fit unique transactions‘. The group’s diverse client base includes major banks, pension funds, corporate borrowers and public sector entities, whom it advises on a range of lending transactions and strategic regulatory matters. On the transactional side, Toronto-based Adam Delean ranks among Canada’s leading lights; he recently advised Royal Bank of Canada, and the lending syndicate, on providing C$485m senior secured credit facilities to Pet Valu Canada. Amanda Balasubramanian, who co-heads the banking and debt finance practice alongside Delean, and Tom Zverina are also noted for transactional matters in Toronto, while pre-eminent specialist Blair Keefe and the increasingly prominent Jill McCutcheon are optimal choices for regulatory issues. Outside of Toronto, the firm’s Calgary office is held up by one banking client as ‘the best in the city‘, with Kevin Fougere recommended for his strength in energy-related matters. Fougere recently advised ATB Financial on the project financing of the East Strathmore 20 MW Solar Project in Alberta. Calgary-based senior associate Tyrel Henderson is also highlighted for his ‘excellent work‘.
Noted for its ‘diverse experience and knowledge of the industry‘, Torys‘ regulatory and transactional insurance practice is regularly called upon by insurance companies, public authorities and industry associations. The group also frequently links up with the firm’s premier dispute resolution practice to provide advice on insurance litigation. Prominent financial services specialist Blair Keefe co-heads the corporate insurance and reinsurance department; he recently acted as insurance regulatory counsel to Intact Financial on its £7.2bn acquisition, alongside Tryg, of RSA Insurance Group. Jill McCutcheon is an ‘expert in the field‘ and co-heads a sizeable team that also includes senior counsel Kelly Morris and ‘great up-and-coming‘ associate Melissa Prado.
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