Chairman: Brock W. Gibson, QC
Firm Managing Partner: Robert M. Granatstein
Number of partners: 282
Number of lawyers: 607 (includes partners)
Offices: Al-Khobar (associated office), Bahrain, Beijing, Calgary, London, Montreal, New York, Ottawa, Shanghai (associated office), Toronto, Vancouver
Languages: Arabic, Cantonese, English, French, German, Mandarin, Spanish
As one of Canada’s top business law firms, Blakes, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Blakes) provides exceptional legal services to leading businesses in Canada and around the world. It focuses on building long-term relationships with clients. The firm does this by staying true to its guiding principles and providing unparalleled client service and the highest standard of legal advice, always informed by the business context. In the 2014 edition of Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Blakes received 29 firm rankings, the highest number across the country, with 25 per cent more Band 1 rankings than any other Canadian firm.
Main areas of practice
Agribusiness: Act for producers, processors, distributors, suppliers, retailers, manufacturers, cooperatives and marketers, crop protection companies, seed companies, dairy breed associations, agricultural fairs, biotechnology, organisations, biofuel production and distribution companies, and animal nutrition companies.
Aviation/Aerospace: Blakes has Canada’s largest aviation law practice. Our team is comprised of dedicated professionals with backgrounds in the aviation industry, commercially trained pilots, former regulators and former employees with Transport Canada Aviation, and former officers and managers of various aviation businesses. Those in the Canadian and international aviation industries retain us because we understand their unique business and legal challenges and the business environment and regulatory frameworks within which they operate.
Banking and finance: Regular counsel to most of Canada’s major financial institutions, as well as US, European and other non-Canadian financial services providers.
Communications: Provide strategic counsel to major telecommunications, internet access, wireline telephone service, IPTV cable television companies, and emerging media and entertainment businesses.
Competition: Represent clients to facilitate their strategic objectives in compliance with the Competition Act and Canada’s rules on foreign investment.
Corporate/commercial: Deep experience in negotiating and structuring high-profile and complex private transactions, joint ventures and strategic commercial arrangements across a wide cross-section of industries and markets.
Corporate/M&A: Advise public and private companies in all industries on domestic and international transactions, including associated regulatory, tax and corporate issues.
Energy/natural resources: Adept in oil and gas, renewable energy, electricity, mining and forestry matters.
Environmental: Advise on growth and management strategies while effectively resolving disputes and assuring environmental compliance.
Franchising: Advise franchisors and master franchisees on all aspects of their businesses and franchise systems.
Information technology: Advise on risk management, regulatory compliance, acquisitions of technology companies, IT and business-process outsourcing and procurement arrangements, financing of such companies as well as commercial matters.
Infrastructure/projects: Advise on all aspects of national and international projects involving infrastructure, public-private partnerships, and alternative financing and procurement.
Insolvency/corporate recovery: Advise creditors and debtors alike with expertise in cross-border insolvencies and restructurings.
Intellectual property: Advise on high-value, leading-edge technology patent portfolios and provide strategic counsel to some of the best-known North American and international brands.
International trade: Counsel clients on WTO and NAFTA dispute settlements, free trade negotiations, bilateral investment treaty arbitrations, anti-dumping/countervailing disputes, customs, export/import controls, compliance reviews and audits, NAFTA origin determinations, government procurement appeals, bribery and foreign corrupt practices, trade policy and legislation, sanctions/embargoes and extraterritorial laws.
Litigation: Serve clients across multiple jurisdictions and industry sectors with particular expertise in business crimes, complex commercial disputes, class action defence, competition, constitutional and Charter of Rights, construction, e-discovery, energy, media and defamation, pension and employee benefits, product liability, securities, tax and international commercial arbitration.
Mining: Focused on sophisticated M&A and corporate finance transactions, in addition to advising mining companies on a wide range of commercial, operational and non-transactional matters.
Private equity: Full range of services to funds seeking to invest in, acquire, dispose of or refinance Canadian businesses. Advise on fundraising and fund formation activities.
Procurement: Regularly advise on federal, provincial and municipal transactions. A key player in the drafting of commercial procurement documents and procurement policies.
Real estate: Practice spans real property acquisitions and dispositions, mergers and acquisitions, financing, capital market transactions, real estate investments trusts (REITs), securitisations, leasing, hospitality and recreational properties, development and restructuring.
Tax: Expertise in cross-border M&A, private equity, multi-jurisdictional reorganisations, corporate finance, energy and mining tax, taxation of financial institutions and sales taxes.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.