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Canada: Government Contracts 2016

The lawyers in this chapter provide first-rate counsel to public authorities and private sector clients in relation to the drafting and structuring of procurement bids and PPP contracts, as well as disputes arising from such arrangements. We select 42 leading practitioners. 

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Chris Bennett Osler Hoskin & Harcourts, Toronto
Judy Wilson Blake Cassels & Graydon, Toronto
Rocco Sebastiano Osler Hoskin & Harcourt, Toronto
Robert Bauer Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, Toronto

Blake Cassels & Graydon has a strong bench of expertise in this area with a total of six listings. Judy Wilson is one of the standout names in our research, with a focus on representing public authorities in a wide range of procurement and PPP projects. One in-house counsel effuses, “I do not know of any other lawyer in Canada who I could turn to with the same depth of experience, ability and knowledge of the law.” Anne Stewart QC is a key and active player on of some the largest PPP contracts in Canada. According to one source she is “very respected, knowledgeable and forms an excellent relationship with clients.” Alain Massicotte has a reputation as a “top choice” for the drafting, structuring and financing of high-value PPPs in Canada, advising governments and private sector clients both domestically and internationally. Meanwhile, Gordon Cameron is an expert in administrative law matters and is seen as “a go-to lawyer for procurement litigation”.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg features strongly for advising on large PPP transactions, with five of its lawyers receiving nominations. Robert Bauer leads a strong team, which acts on large infrastructure and PPP projects. As one peer states, “He is a respected senior lawyer with excellent experience and know-how.” Carol Pennycook is a well-known expert in the financing of PPP transactions – leading on many of the firm’s biggest mandates. She is “undoubtedly a very strong name in the market” says peers. Gregory Southam is also a prominent name, acting as lead counsel on major public-private infrastructure projects – including Etobicoke Healthcare Partnership’s winning C$330 million bid for a major hospital project.

Borden Ladner Gervais’ practice in procurement includes four leading players. The “outstanding” Ian Houston is a renowned specialist in construction and procurement, advising public and private entities on procurement law, including drafting tender documents and PPP agreements. Gerry Stobo earns plenty of plaudits for his procurement law practice. One client notes his “reassuring manner and effectiveness at taking clients with little experience of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal through the complaint process”. Sean Gosnell is an expert in land and expropriation law matters. Clients report that he offers “pragmatic and sound advice in relation to complex business-related issues”.

Osler Hoskin & Harcourt’s practice also features very prominently with three key players. Chris Bennett is a prominent counsel to lenders and developers on complex PPP transactions. He is widely recommended as “a source of smart, effective and pragmatic advice”. Rocco Sebastiano is recommended for his work in the energy sector and particularly power projects, advising public authorities and private entities, such as Atomic Energy of Canada on the Ontario Nuclear Procurement Project. The “excellent” Tobor Emakpor completes the firm’s nominees.

Tory’s strong procurement and PPP practice is owed in large part to practice head Mark Bain, who leads on a wide range of large infrastructure transactions on behalf of lenders, contractors, service providers and public authorities. One peer remarks that “he is exceptionally good at what he does – he is an undoubtedly a leader in the PPP space.”

Head of the procurement group at Gowling WLG Phuong Ngo is “a terrific practitioner”, say peers. She is “very knowledgeable” in administrative law matters, including government procurement and bid protests. Darryl Brown is very active on large PPP projects, where peers remark on his excellent negotiation skills and his effectiveness as a team player. Graham Ragan is a “conscientious, thorough and timely” lawyer who, according to clients, “was instrumental in navigating the often blind corners of government contracts”. 

At Aird & Berlis, Ron Clark is highly recommended for knowing his way around power sector procurement contracts.

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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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W11 1QQ, UK