Firm Profile > Aird & Berlis LLP > Toronto, Canada

Aird & Berlis LLP

Cannabis Tier 3

Aird & Berlis LLP has a track record acting for early-stage companies, with expertise in corporate finance and in taking companies public. Capital markets group co-chair Sherri Altshuler jointly chairs the cannabis practice with Richard Kimel.

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Power Tier 3

Based in Toronto, Aird & Berlis LLP fields a multi-disciplinary team of experts from across the firm's corporate, regulatory, environmental, litigation, real estate and corporate finance practices to provide end-to-end service in the power sector. The department represents public and private sectors clients and has been noted in the past for its work in large power projects and other matters demanding specialized regulatory expertise. The practice group is led by Fred Cass, an experienced litigator.

Corporate and M&A Tier 4

Aird & Berlis LLP is recognized for its thriving mid-market practice. Among its core areas of focus, the Toronto-based group is particularly active in private equity, infrastructure and technology-related deals, with broad experience in acting for start-ups and emerging companies. Paige Backman leads the corporate and commercial practice, and also plays a key role in the firm’s privacy, technology and media groups.

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Environment Tier 4

Aird & Berlis LLP is has experience advising both public and private sector clients on environmental law and other related matters, including Aboriginal law, brownfield redevelopment, contaminated sites, climate change and environmental compliance. Toronto-based litigators Scott Stoll and Dennis O’Leary are key figures in the team.

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Infrastructure projects Tier 4

Aird & Berlis LLP's Toronto-based infrastructure practice is rated for its track record in PPP projects and project finance, public procurement, and project construction and development. Areas of activity include energy and transportation projects, among other civil infrastructure projects. Headed by Douglas Younger, the team has acted for a variety of lenders and equity sponsors, subcontractors and government entities.

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Real estate Tier 4

Aird & Berlis LLP has experience of property development, acquisitions and sales; leasing transactions and real estate financing. Monty Warsh heads the practice group. Recognized in particular for his corporate leasing work, Warsh has assisted a variety of US corporates with their entry into the Canadian market.

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Labour and employment Tier 5

Aird & Berlis LLP's labour and employment practice supports corporate transactions, and also provides standalone advice on compensation and pay equity, employment standards, workplace conflicts and wrongful dismissals. The team is also experienced in assisting employers with strikes and lockouts. Practice head Lorenzo Lisi is experienced with grievance and labour board litigation.

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Tax Tier 5

The team at Aird & Berlis LLP handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious tax matters, from cross-border M&A and corporate reorganizations through to tax disputes. Francesco Gucciardo leads the department from the Toronto office.

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Aird & Berlis is a leading Canadian law firm, serving clients across Canada and globally. With strong national and international expertise, Aird & Berlis provides strategic legal advice in all principal areas of business law. The firm’s clients range from entrepreneurs to multinational corporations.

Main areas of practice

Aird & Berlis LLP has extensive experience in acting for international and Canadian clients in all principal areas of business law, including:

Capital Markets:
Aird & Berlis advises on domestic and international public and private debt and equity financings, rights offerings, take-over bids, stock exchange listings, initial public offerings, securities regulatory compliance, reorganisations, plans of arrangement, M&A and divestiture transactions. The firm’s clients include private and public corporations, family offices and other investors, financial institutions, mutual funds, investment dealers and limited partnerships.

Aird & Berlis advises clients on matters ranging from day-to-day commercial issues to complex corporate transactions, including business incorporation, corporate structuring, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, reorganisations, shareholder and partnership agreements, franchising, distributorships, joint ventures, corporate governance, privacy and data security, licensing arrangements and competition.

Aird & Berlis advises domestic and international clients on generation, cogeneration, district energy, nuclear, electricity and gas distribution, geothermal and geo-exchange, conservation and demand management, emissions trading, power transmission, smart meters, financing, corporate structures, joint ventures, outsourcing and M&A.

Financial Services:
Aird & Berlis advises on banking, financing, borrowing, insolvency and restructuring transactions of all sizes. The firm works with some of the largest and most prominent financial institutions, including Canada’s Big Five banks, many US banks, several non-traditional lenders and borrowers, as well as companies in financial distress, court-appointed officers, secured and unsecured creditors, bondholders, landlords and liquidators.

Aird & Berlis provides innovative advice with respect to the structuring, procurement, financing, refinancing and divestiture of complex infrastructure projects across Canada and internationally, including public-private partnerships. The firm advises a broad range of both public sector and private sector participants.

Intellectual Property:
Aird & Berlis advises clients on acquiring, protecting, enforcing, defending and exploiting their IP rights on a national and international basis. The firm provides a full range of services in IP procurement, litigation, licensing, technology transfer and corporate transactions in connection with all forms of IP, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, industrial designs, trade secrets and domain names.

Litigation & Dispute Resolution:
Aird & Berlis acts in all forms of dispute resolution — civil lawsuits, class actions, quasi-criminal proceedings, administrative proceedings, appeals, mediation, private arbitrations or other alternative dispute resolution. The firm’s litigators have appeared at all levels of provincial and federal court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Municipal & Land Use Planning:
Aird & Berlis advises landowners, developers, financial institutions, municipalities and various public interest groups on municipal, land use planning and development matters. The firm’s municipal lawyers regularly appear before local and regional councils, land division committees, committees of adjustment, the courts and various tribunals dealing with land use, such as the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

Real Estate:
Aird & Berlis represents clients involved in the development, construction and management of office buildings, hotels, residential and commercial condominiums, residential rental projects, retirement homes and shopping centres. The firm’s real estate sector expertise spans new development, land use planning, commercial leasing, real estate enforcement, acquisitions, financing and dispositions.

Aird & Berlis is highly regarded on a national and international basis for tax planning, structuring of domestic and international business transactions and resolving tax disputes. The firm provides advice on mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, reorganisations, income trusts, mutual and hedge funds, private equity formation and structuring, partnerships, joint ventures, derivatives, executive compensation and relocation, foreign affiliate transactions, foreign investment entities, cross-border loans, transfer pricing and tax controversy.

Aird & Berlis advises employers on workplace law matters, including wrongful and constructive dismissals, employment contracts, accommodation, compensation and benefits, harassment, privacy, human rights, restructurings, collective bargaining, strikes and lockouts and occupational health and safety issues.

International reach

Aird & Berlis recognizes the global realities of doing business. The firm acts for international entities doing business in Canada and Canadian entities doing business abroad. With an established network of partners around the world, Aird & Berlis provides seamless service on cross-border and multijurisdictional matters involving Canadian law.


Aird & Berlis as a whole, various firm practice groups and many of the firm’s lawyers are consistently recognized as a leading Canadian law firm by several international and national guides to the legal profession, including The Legal 500 Canada; Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business; Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business; Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers; Who’s Who Legal: Canada; Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers; The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory; The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada and The Best Lawyers in Canada.


Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner 416.865.3440
Photo Name Position Profile
Ms Sherri Altshuler photo Ms Sherri Altshuler Sherri is co-Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Capital Markets Group and a member…
Ms Paige Backman  photo Ms Paige Backman Paige is Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Corporate & Commercial Group.…
Mr Jack Bernstein  photo Mr Jack Bernstein Jack is the senior tax partner and Chair of the firm’s International…
Mr Fred D. Cass  photo Mr Fred D. Cass Fred is Co-Chair of Aird & Berlis LLP’s Energy Law Group and a member…
Mr Ron Clark  photo Mr Ron Clark Ron Clark is a member of the Aird & Berlis Corporate/Commercial Group…
Mr Steven L. Graff  photo Mr Steven L. Graff Steve Graff is Co-Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Financial Services Group…
Mr Francesco Gucciardo photo Mr Francesco Gucciardo Francesco is Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Tax Group and a…
Mr Donald B. Johnston  photo Mr Donald B. Johnston Don is Co-chair of the Technology Law Group, Co-chair of the Privacy…
Mr Richard Kimel photo Mr Richard Kimel Richard is a member of the firm’s Capital Markets, Corporate/Commercial and Mergers…
Mr Martin E. Kovnats  photo Mr Martin E. Kovnats Martin is Chair of the Aird & Berlis Mergers & Acquisitions/Private Equity…
Mr Lorenzo Lisi  photo Mr Lorenzo Lisi Lorenzo Lisi is the Practice Group Leader of Aird & Berlis LLP’s…
Mr Jeffrey Merk  photo Mr Jeffrey Merk Jeffrey is co-Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Capital Markets Group. He is…
Mr Dennis M. O'Leary photo Mr Dennis M. O'Leary Dennis is a member of the firm’s Litigation, Environmental, Transportation and Mining…
Mr Scott Stoll  photo Mr Scott Stoll Scott is a partner and member of the firm’s Litigation, Energy, Environmental,…
Mr Monty Warsh photo Mr Monty Warsh Partner
Ms Barbara J. Worndl  photo Ms Barbara J. Worndl Barbara Worndl is a partner and former Practice Group Leader of the…
Mr Douglas J. S. Younger  photo Mr Douglas J. S. Younger Douglas is Chair of the firm’s Infrastructure Group.
Mr Stephen Zolf  photo Mr Stephen Zolf Stephen is a member of the firm’s Corporate/Commercial, Telecommunications, Sports & Media and…
Number of Partners : 133
Number of Other Fee-Earners : 51
Number of Lawyers : 184
Chinese (Mandarin)