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Canada: Restructuring & Insolvency 2016

The following 63 individuals are selected for their expertise in advising creditors, debtors, acquirers, trustees and other parties-in-interest on insolvency procedures and corporate restructurings.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Marc Wasserman Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, Toronto
Robert Chadwick Goodmans, Toronto
Robert Thornton Thornton Grout Finnigan, Toronto
Jay Carfagnini Goodmans, Toronto
Richard S Orzy Bennett Jones, Toronto

Goodmans’ insolvency and restructuring group emerges as the leader in our research with seven listings. Head of the restructuring group Jay Carfagnini has experience of cross-border and international transactions, including Chapter 11 US restructurings and UK administration proceedings. He is widely considered “one of Canada’s leading lights”. Robert Chadwick is a high-ranking practitioner acting on major Canadian and cross-border restructurings. He is described as “technically excellent” by peers. Brendan O'Neill has expertise in a wide range of cross-border restructurings and bankruptcy proceedings. Sources find him “trustworthy, commercially minded, practical and a joy to deal with”. Gale Rubenstein is recommended for her skills in insurance-related insolvency matters, where she is considered “the go-to”. Joseph Pasquariello has “superb commercial awareness” and regularly assists debtors, creditors and trustees, among others, in insolvency proceedings.

Blake Cassels & Graydon also lays claim to a strong practice. Practice head Pamela Huff has experience in all aspects of insolvency and restructuring including litigation and cross-border insolvencies in multiple industries. Also in Toronto, Linc Rogers is a specialist in complex corporate reorganisations and financial restructurings. He has “a sharp mind and acute market knowledge”. Peter Rubin in Vancouver is an expert advisor to secured and unsecured creditors, lenders and debtors.

McMillan receives four listings. Co-chair of the financial services and restructuring team Andrew Kent is regarded as a “problem-solver” thanks to his depth of experience in corporate restructuring. Max Mendelsohn is recommended as “the godfather of insolvency in Quebec”, having advised on cross-border bankruptcy and insolvency law reform for decades. Waël Rostom is highly experienced in corporate insolvency matters including restructuring, bankruptcies and receiverships. He is “one of the best insolvency lawyers in the market”.

Derrick Tay leads the corporate restructuring practice at Gowling WLG’s Toronto office and is recognised as a “dynamic lawyer who works towards his clients’ needs”. Denis St-Onge in Montreal is renowned as an “excellent litigator” in insolvency-related issues. Alex MacFarlane focuses on complex cross-border restructuring and insolvencies and has advised clients including Chapter 11 debtors, financial institutions and stakeholders. He is “a dynamic and experienced lawyer”. Jennifer Stam is “a brilliant restructuring lawyer”. Her focus is on corporate restructuring and her engagements have included acting as counsel to a number of domestic and international companies, including Nortel Networks on its insolvency proceedings.

Richard Orzy at Bennett Jones is the leader of the national restructuring and insolvency practice and is named as a “top-tier” practitioner and a “senior statesman”. He has represented some of the most prestigious bondholders in some of Canada’s largest insolvencies including Nortel, Masonite and AT&T. Co-head of the insolvency practice Chris Simard is very strong lawyer, according to respondents. His practice includes all aspects of restructuring and bankruptcy where he has acted for both creditors and debtors in complex restructurings and insolvencies. Kevin Zych’s clients have included Nortel and Parmalat as lenders and the Sino-Forest Corporation and General Chemical Industrial Products as borrowers. He is seen as “a highly experienced and a seasoned professional”.

At Borden Ladner Gervais Marc Duchesne co-leads the firm’s insolvency and financial restructuring group alongside Patrick McCarthy QC. The former provides an excellent service and “works towards clear objectives”. The latter focuses on insolvencies in the energy industry and is widely considered a leading lawyer in this regard. Josef Krüger has acted in a multitude of insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings and is considered “a definite inclusion”.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg receives three listings. Jay Swartz focuses on corporate restructurings representing borrowers, lenders, investors, boards and receivers. He is described by his peers as “a venerable name in the market”. The “excellent” Robin Schwill advises on corporate turnarounds and restructurings including distressed asset sales. Denis Ferland provides expertise in financial and corporate restructuring. He is described as “a responsive lawyer who provides timely and practical advice”.

Sean Collins heads up McCarthy Tétrault’s Calgary restructuring practice, where he is considered to be “at the forefront of his field”. In Toronto, James Gage is a prominent adviser to creditors and debtors both in Canada and internationally. Philippe Bélanger sits in Montreal and has acted on major restructurings and insolvencies representing secured lenders and borrowers. He offers “a great source of technical advice and expertise”.

Thornton Grout Finnigan’s co-founder Robert Thornton is highly regarded for his work as lead counsel on large Canadian insolvencies. Sources have described him as “one of the top insolvency practitioners in Canada, without a doubt”. Fellow founder James Grout is noted as a top litigator in relation to insolvencies. He is considered by peers to be “a truly excellent litigator”.

At Clark Wilson, Chris Ramsay is highly recommended for his “meticulousness and his ability to work under pressure”. He has advised companies on insolvency and restructuring alongside creditors, shareholders and insolvency professionals.

Stikeman Elliott‘s David Byers specialises in complex insolvency litigation and court-supervised restructurings for both lenders and debtors. He is said to bring “contentious situations to a resolution masterfully”.

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin’s global insolvency and restructuring group leader John Grieve has significant experience of complex commercial reorganisations and is “always on hand with great advice and market knowledge”.

Marc Wasserman is national chair of the insolvency and restructuring group at Osler Hoskin & Harcourt is and is described as giving “very practical solutions-orientated advice”. He has expertise in complex recapitalisations, reorganisations and restructurings relating to corporate and financial entities.

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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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