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Canada: Sports & Entertainment 2016

We recommend 22 sports and entertainment specialists the following pages. The featured lawyers will be expert in a range of areas, including labour, contract and intellectual property law, as well as merchandising and licensing work. 

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Casey Chisick Cassels Brock & Blackwell, Toronto
Kyle Fogden Chandler Fogden Law Corporation, Vancouver
Leonard Glickman Cassels Brock & Blackwell, Toronto

Cassels Brock & Blackwell tops our research this year with four listings. Co-head of the firm’s copyright and entertainment group Casey Chisick is “hands-down one of the best entertainment lawyers in the country”, according to respondents. Chisick provides clients with considerable transactional and litigation experience across a range of media including film, television, music, broadcasting and theatre. Also in Toronto is the “fantastic” Leonard Glickman, whose impressive practice focuses on advising clients in the sports and entertainment business on transactional and IP-related issues. According to respondents, Glickman is a “first-rate practitioner with a no-nonsense approach”. Jason (Jake) Bullen’s practice centres on M&A transactions and complex commercial agreements in the sports industry among others. He has an enviable client list including Zuffa, the Ultimate Fighting Championship parent company. David Budd out of the firm’s Vancouver office is also commended for his considerable expertise advising clients on the acquisition and financing of professional sports franchises.

Dentons also impresses this year with three nominees listed in the following pages. According to respondents, Toronto-based Bob Tarantino “really stands out as a knowledgeable and sophisticated practitioner in this area”. His practice focuses on the nexus between the entertainment industry and IP law and he has considerable experience advising clients in film and television. The “excellent” Jim Russell comes highly recommended for his advice on the full gamut of issues relating to the film, television and entertainment industries. Ken Dhaliwal is a “client favourite who always goes the extra mile”. He is particularly talented at providing creative advice relating to the structure of transactions and productions.

Two of Chandler Fogden Aldous’ name partners are recognised. Kyle Fogden is held in the highest esteem by peers for his wealth of expertise advising independent television and film production companies in a broad range of matters. According to sources, he is “one of the country’s leading film and television lawyers”. Doran Chandler is renowned as a “top-notch” entertainment lawyer, who is experienced in developing film, television and new media projects.

At entertainment, sports and media law boutique Hall Webber, founding partners Danny Webber and Lon Jason Hall are widely recommended. The former is celebrated for his “wonderful working knowledge of the film and television industries”, while the latter is recognised as a longstanding devotee to the Canadian media and entertainment bar with “an inherent awareness of client needs”.

At Goodmans’ Toronto office, two individuals are singled out. Chair Dale Lastman is recognised as a “big name in the sports space” with a “sharp mind and keen eye”. Jeffrey Citron is a “well-established practitioner” with a wealth of experience advising current and former athletes, as well as their representatives.

The “pre-eminent” Gordon Kirke QC is one of the country’s premier contentious sports and entertainment practitioners. His prestigious practice focuses on arbitration and mediation in the sports and entertainment space.

In Montreal, Carole Gingras at her own firm is a seasoned veteran commended for her dynamism and creativity. “She is one of the top lawyers in television and cinema,” effuses one source.

At Gowling WLG, entertainment law group head Susan Abramovitch is a market-leading practitioner with “deep industry contacts” and a “personable, receptive manner”. She has over 20 years of experience representing both domestic and international clients on all aspects of entertainment law.

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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