Firm Profile > Aird & Berlis LLP > Toronto, Canada

Aird & Berlis LLP

Cannabis Tier 3

Toronto-based Aird & Berlis LLP has a presence in the mid-market and has used its historical strength in advising early stage companies to its advantage in the cannabis sector. Clients are drawn from the medical and recreational spheres and include producers, distributors and healthcare organizations. The group has experience across the full spread of transactional and regulatory matters, but corporate finance remains the key driver of activity, and the team is routinely involved in financing and go-public transactions. Capital markets co-head Sherri Altshuler and corporate finance partner Richard Kimel are the key contacts.

Energy and natural resources: power Tier 3

Toronto-based Aird & Berlis LLP has an effective power practice, which is widely recognized for its strength in Ontario regulatory matters. The multi-disciplinary group is structured around several standalone areas, bringing the wider firm’s infrastructure and real estate expertise together with the energy group's experience in energy contracting, electricity regulation, clean technology, renewables, and climate change. Group head Fred Cass specializes in energy regulation and has extensive experience in rate and toll cases and energy litigation.

Corporate and M&A Tier 4

Toronto-based Aird & Berlis LLP has solid expertise in mid-market M&A, punching above its weight in the cannabis, technology and infrastructure sectors. The group also regularly teams up with the firm’s IP, privacy and tax departments to provide full-service advice on sophisticated transactions. Practice head Paige Backman has a broad practice covering corporate transactions, data protection and sports-related matters.

Environment Tier 4

Toronto-based Aird & Berlis LLP advises a mix of public and private sector clients on environmental law issues, with notable strength in the real estate and municipal sectors. A key figure is litigator Scott Stoll, who focuses on infrastructure and utilities-related matters.

Infrastructure and projects Tier 4

Toronto firm Aird & Berlis LLP punches above its weight in the infrastructure sector, with a strong record in civil, transportation and accommodation projects. The group regularly advises governments, equity sponsors, lenders and subcontractors on PPPs across the country. On the corporate front, the firm has significant experience in secondary market transactions, particularly for private equity clients. Douglas Younger, who has advised on PPP deals since the structure’s inception in Canada, chairs the practice group.

Real estate Tier 4

Toronto’s Aird & Berlis LLP is widely considered to be punching above its weight in commercial real estate. Best known for its prolific development practice, the group also handles leasing transactions, property acquisitions, and sales and financing matters. Leasing expert Monty Warsh heads the team.

Labour and employment Tier 5

Aird & Berlis LLP’s workplace law practice spans labour, employment and occupational health and safety matters. Best known for its strength in corporate support issues, the group also advises on policy development, investigations and contentious matters. Department head Lorenzo Lisi has experience in representing employers in both provincial and federal matters.

Tax Tier 5

Toronto-based Aird & Berlis LLP houses an effective tax practice, with significant experience advising on the tax aspects of securities and M&A transactions. Headed by Francesco Gucciardo, the tax team also advises on tax disputes and succession planning issues.


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: banking and finance; blockchain, cryptocurrencies and ICOs; cannabis; capital markets; capital pool company/reverse takeover; charities and not-for-profits; commercial leasing; construction; corporate/commercial; energy; environmental; estates and trusts; expropriation; fintech; franchising, distribution and licensing; gaming; hospitality; Indigenous; infrastructure; insolvency and restructuring; intellectual property; investment management and registration; labour and employment; litigation; mergers and acquisitions; mines and minerals; municipal and land use planning; occupational health and safety; privacy and data security; private business services; private equity; procurement; public policy and government relations; real estate; REITs; sports and media; startups and emerging companies; tax; technology; telecommunications; transportation and venture finance.

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.


Photo Name Position Profile
 Sherri Altshuler photo Sherri Altshuler
Ms Paige Backman  photo Ms Paige Backman
Mr Jack Bernstein  photo Mr Jack Bernstein
Mr S. Michael Brooks  photo Mr S. Michael Brooks
Ms Fiona Brown  photo Ms Fiona Brown
Mr Fred D. Cass  photo Mr Fred D. Cass
Mr Ron Clark  photo Mr Ron Clark
Mr D. Robb English  photo Mr D. Robb English
Mr Thomas A. Fenton  photo Mr Thomas A. Fenton
Mr Harry Fogul  photo Mr Harry Fogul
Mr Steven L. Graff  photo Mr Steven L. Graff
 Francesco Gucciardo photo Francesco Gucciardo
Mr Michael Horvat  photo Mr Michael Horvat
Mr Donald B. Johnston  photo Mr Donald B. Johnston
Mr Norman I. Kahn  photo Mr Norman I. Kahn
 Richard Kimel photo Richard Kimel
Mr Martin E. Kovnats  photo Mr Martin E. Kovnats
Mr Lorenzo Lisi  photo Mr Lorenzo Lisi
Mr Dennis M. O’Leary  photo Mr Dennis M. O’Leary
Mr Michael D. Smith  photo Mr Michael D. Smith
Mr Hayden Solomons  photo Mr Hayden Solomons
Mr Scott Stoll  photo Mr Scott Stoll
Ms Heidi Visser  photo Ms Heidi Visser
 Monty Warsh photo Monty Warsh
Mr Andrew Webster  photo Mr Andrew Webster
Ms Barbara J. Worndl  photo Ms Barbara J. Worndl
Mr Douglas J. S. Younger  photo Mr Douglas J. S. Younger
Mr Stephen Zolf  photo Mr Stephen Zolf
Number of Partners : 128
Number of Other Fee-Earners : 50
Number of Lawyers : 178
Chinese (Mandarin)
Managing Partner : Steven Zakem (416.865.3440,