This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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FIRM OF THE YEAR - CANADA
Blake Cassels & Graydon announced four new partner hires in 2013 to its Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary offices. The new additions help bolster the firm’s capabilities in a diverse range of commercial matters including capital markets, M&A, information technology and labour and employment.
|BLAKE CASSELS & GRAYDON|
|Arbitration||1||Labour & Employment||1|
|Corporate Governance||5||Product Liability Defence||3|
|Corporate Tax||6||Project Finance||3|
|Information Technology||3||Telecoms and Media||1|
|Insolvency & Restructuring||3||Trade & Customs||1|
|Insurance & Reinsurance||1||Trademarks||2|
Blakes is the leading firm in Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2013 and is nominated as our Canadian firm of the year for the sixth time. The firm offers a “remarkable” team of lawyers who are leaders in their specialist practice areas. Its international links are maintained through alliances such as Lex Mundi, the TechLaw Group and the Network of Trial Lawyers. Providing the full spectrum of legal services to leading businesses in Canada and around the world, Blakes remains at the forefront of the Canadian legal market.
|Total Listings in WWL||101||Established||1856|
|Home jurisdiction||Canada||Total size of firm||582|
|Number of partners||271||Number of offices||10 + 2 associated|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
With over 100 energy law practitioners, Blakes’ energy group is well equipped to deal with the regulatory and transactional requirements of businesses operating in this sector. In Calgary, Pat Finnerty is a “famous” name in the oil and gas field. He has considerable experience acting for clients in related transactions and project financings. Kemm Yates QC is a “top” energy lawyer with particular expertise on the regulatory side. Chair Brock Gibson QC is an “outstanding” individual in the energy finance field. His clients include financial institutions, investment dealers and energy and service companies. Mungo Hardwicke-Brown is another “highly regarded” practitioner; he focuses his practice on the natural resources and infrastructure industries.
The life sciences team provides strategic advice to clients including manufacturers, wholesalers and pharmacies. Combining regulatory, intellectual property, commercial, litigation and transactional expertise, Blakes’ team of specialists are able to meet all the demands of participants in the industry. In Toronto, Gordon McKee is an “exceptional” litigator and focuses on defending class action law suits and serious product liability claims. Alice Tseng is a “highly respected” figure on the regulatory side and focuses on the pharmaceutical, medical device and food industries. Montréal managing partner Robert Torralbo is another “esteemed” product liability specialist. He represents leading manufacturers of products such as consumer electronic products, software and medical devices.
Blakes’ competition and antitrust group provides strategic counsel and representation in merger reviews, cartel investigations and abuse of dominance cases among others. Brian Facey chairs the competition, antitrust and foreign investment group and is an “expert” on matters involving merger transactions, cartels and distribution and advertising matters. Jason Gudofsky has a “very impressive” practice dealing with merger and joint venture transactions, strategic alliances, unilateral conduct and compliance matters.
Recent highlights in the corporate tax and M&A spheres include advising Safeway Inc on the sale of its Canadian operations for C$5.8 billion. The M&A practice group is highly active and regularly advises on issues ranging from the privately negotiated transfer of shares to the largest public company mergers and acquisitions. In Toronto, Jeffrey Lloyd provides “great strategic advice” to purchasers, target companies, vendors and financial advisers on public and private M&A transactions. The “talented” Jeffrey Trossman is the tax practice group leader. His practice focuses on all aspects of income tax planning.
On the public procurement side, Judy Wilson is a “leading light” in the legal market. She has extensive experience in contracts to engage the private sector in the provision of traditional government services.
With one of the largest pro bono programmes in Canada, Blakes plays an important role in promoting the delivery of pro bono services. The firm is an active member of Access Pro Bono of BC and also supports Pro Bono Law Alberta and Ontario. Examples of pro bono activities that the firm has participated in include Connect Legal, a not-for-profit corporate legal clinic in Toronto that connects immigrant entrepreneurs with commercial lawyers. Further afield, War Child Canada and the International Seniors Lawyers Project have benefited from the input of Blakes lawyers to help improve justice systems in Africa.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
The firm has launched two networks: Pride@Blakes and Women@Blakes, aimed at assisting these groups achieve business success and create better client connections. One example of Pride@Blakes’ initiatives including involvement in the annual “Out On Bay Street” conference in Toronto for LGBT students in law, business and other professional programmes. In 2013, the Women@Blakes network was invited to participate in the “160 Girls” project, an initiative aimed at achieving the enforcement of existing Kenyan laws prohibiting rape.
Blakes looks set to remain at the top of its game with recent high-profile clients including Microsoft and Blackberry.
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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.