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Canada: Real Estate 2016

This year, 45 leading practitioners gain recognition for their impressive real estate work, providing advice to clients incorporating tenants, investors and developers on all aspects of buying, selling, letting, developing and managing real estate.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Danny Grandilli McCarthy Tétrault, Toronto
Gregory Howard Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, Toronto
Eric Carmona Stikeman Elliott, Toronto
Paul Mantini Bennett Jones, Toronto
Sylvie Bouvette Borden Ladner Gervais, Montreal

Blake Cassels & Graydon emerges as our leading real estate group with an outstanding 11 listings. The “remarkable” Thomas von Hahn co-leads the firm’s real estate group. He is known for the “intuitive counsel” that he provides to pension funds and both private and institutional investors on real estate acquisition. Admired for his “strong financial acumen”, Chris Huband is well versed in handling joint venture and development projects. Head of the Vancouver real estate group Jeffrey Merrick is a “fantastic practitioner” commended for “his ability to fully understand a client’s business needs”. Silvana D’Alimonte possesses over 20 years of experience in the sector, impressing clients with her “invaluable transactional expertise”. The “terrifically talented” John Hutmacher has worked on some of the country’s largest industrial, office and retail projects. He advised FAM REIT on its $190 million acquisition of GTA office properties from Slate. Garth Anderson advises domestic and international clients on the financing, leasing and acquisition of commercial properties.

Five leading lawyers at McCarthy Tétrault achieve nominations this year. Leader of the real property and planning group John Currie manages all aspects of large and medium-sized real estate transactions including financing, operating and construction contracts, licensing and leasing. Danny Grandilli is “a class act”, focusing his practice on commercial and retail leasing, acquisitions, and financial transactions on behalf of borrowers and financial institutions. James Papadimitriou is regularly seen on significant real estate deals, and is valued by clients who consider him a “responsive and focused practitioner”. Abraham Costin is “top-class transactional lawyer” according to clients, who include developers and financial institutions. Commended for his outstanding practice, Keith Burrell QC represents clients in all facets of real estate development. 

At Stikeman Elliott Greg Plater is one of four practitioners identified for their impressive work in the sector. Co-chair of the firm’s national real estate group, he is esteemed for “his ability to provide quick and strategic solutions to any problems that may arise”. Managing partner of the Vancouver office Ross MacDonald is an “exceptionally diligent lawyer”, advising clients on the leasing, financing and acquisition of real estate projects. Eric Carmona is a leading commercial real estate practitioner who is “in a class of his own” according to interviewees. He has been involved in a variety of transactions relating to shopping centres, residential buildings and offices. Douglas Klaassen “never loses sight of the big picture” providing clients with “insightful” counsel on leasing and mortgage lending.

Borden Ladner Gervais is represented by Catherine Bray, a “strong negotiator” who is head of the firm’s national real estate leasing group. She is joined by the “sensational” Sylvie Bouvette who is renowned for her “first-rate” work on the financing of large real estate complex developments. David Mydske also garners recognition, most notably for his high-profile transactional work. He is particularly experienced at handling acquisitions and dispositions of shopping centres and retail space.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg receives three listings, including the “first-class” Gregory Howard. He brings over 30 years of experience in the field and is well regarded for his work for include major real estate developers and investors. Steven Martin advises major clients such as Wal-Mart Canada and Plenary Health on commercial real estate acquisitions and dispositions, Robert Bauer is known for his “ability to provide workable solutions” in relation to real estate development projects.

At Bennett Jones, Paul Mantini is “an excellent lawyer”, who impresses with his “practical and solutions-oriented approach”. He has been involved in some of the country’s largest development projects such as Toronto Eaton Centre, Royal Bank Plaza and Exchange Tower. Simon Crawford is also highlighted for “his strong commercial acumen” and is valued by clients seeking counsel on the financing behind real estate transactions and projects.

At Aird & Berlis, Lloyd Cornett runs "a distinguished real estate practice" and is admired as "really, really good" when it comes to commercial leasing. He is joined by the “wonderful” Hayden Solomons who focuses on real estate divestitures, acquisitions and leasing. 

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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.

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