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Canada: Insurance & Reinsurance 2017

A total of 49 insurance and reinsurance practitioners are included in our research this year. They are highlighted in this section for their outstanding work across a range of industry sectors on contentious, contractual and regulatory matters for insurers, reinsurers and insured parties.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Stuart Carruthers Stikeman Elliott, Toronto
2. Brian Reeve Cassels Brock & Blackwell, Toronto
3. John Nicholl Clyde & Co, Montreal
4. Steven Stieber Stieber Berlach, Toronto
5. Mark Lichty Blaney McMurtry, Toronto
6. Allan Dick Sotos, Toronto
7. Blair Rebane Borden Ladner Gervais, Vancouver

BLAKE CASSELS & GRAYDON is one of two firms with four listings in this edition.
Paul Belanger is considered a “top practitioner in the area” particularly for his M&A and joint venture work for insurance carriers. One source adds, “He’s very well respected, really knowledgeable and does good work with large insurance clients.”
The “technically excellent” Dawn Jetten enjoys a fantastic reputation in the market for her regulatory practice. She is described by sources as “a really good lawyer, especially on the regulatory side”.
David Tupper, in the firm’s Calgary office, also comes highly recommended. Sources describe him as “a highly capable insurance litigator” whose work on insurance coverage matters is particularly noteworthy.
He is joined in Calgary by elder statesman Mitchell Cohen QC whose vast experience in commercial property coverage disputes further strengthens the firm’s coverage litigation offering.

BORDEN LADNER GERVAIS is home to four leading practitioners across three offices, including the eminent Robert Charbonneau. His broad practice, developed over the course of four decades, and vast experience with international insurers makes him a leading figure in Quebec.
Insurance litigation defence specialist Keith Batten is acclaimed for his “work with Canadian and US insurers and syndicates” and is regarded as especially proficient in the defence of insurance brokers in E&O claims.
One of the senior figures in the firm’s litigation offering, Barry Bresner is often called upon to advise on complex reinsurance disputes. Sources point to his courtroom demeanour and market-leading expertise in captive insurance disputes as hallmarks of his practice.
In Calgary, Bruce Churchill-Smith QC is a key figure in the insurance bar. He is highly regarded by the elite insurance and reinsurance practitioners in the region, winning praise for his exhaustive knowledge of insurance regulatory law.

CLYDE & CO demonstrates the strength of its insurance offering, with three of its practitioners listed this year.
John Nicholl is a pure insurance practitioner and comes highly recommended by peers and clients alike. He is described as “an experienced, knowledgeable and effective litigator”, with impeccable liability defence and coverage credentials. One source adds: “I consider him to be one of the top insurance lawyers in all of Canada.”
Renowned professional liability litigator” Mary Margaret Fox has been an insurance specialist for over 30 years. Having narrowed her focus to coverage matters over the past two decades, she is  lauded as “one of Canada's leading D&O specialists”, and is also well known for her E&O work.
Catherine Tyndale is commended for her “exceptionally broad experience in insurance”, gained in part from many years spent in-house. She draws effusive praise for her wide-reaching knowledge of the sector, incorporating professional, D&O, fiduciary and employment practices liability work.

Leading full-service firm CASSELS BROCK & BLACKWELL’s three listings are led by the outstanding Brian Reeve. Regarded by peers as “one of the most influential practitioners” in the regulatory space, he is described as “a regulatory lawyer of real quality” who is praised for his “extremely business-minded approach”.
Gordon Goodman is hailed as “a great guy and an excellent lawyer” for his broad corporate and regulatory practice. His proficiency spans transactional, licensing, compliance and corporate governance matters.
Laurie LaPalme, in the firm's corporate and regulatory insurance group, is described as a “top quality lawyer”. She has carved out a strong reputation in the market for her thorough knowledge of federal and provincial regulations which underpins her well-regarded governance and compliance advisory practice.

“Extremely well-known class action litigator” Earl Cherniak is one of three leading lawyers from LERNERS’ Toronto office to be recognised this year. He is described by sources as “one of the great lawyers of his generation” whose highly celebrated litigation practice handles complex insurance disputes.
Robert Bell is known as a “talented litigator” with more than 35 years’ experience in insurance defence, including some of the most prominent aviation and automotive class action cases in recent Canadian history. He is noted for his track record acting for insurers in  personal liability and property damage proceedings.
The “exceptional” Jamieson Halfnight is the practitioner of choice for many of Canada’s leading insurers. He is highly recommended by peers for his specialist insurance litigation practice, which encompasses professional liability, fidelity, D&O and C&G matters, and is described as “an efficient, knowledgeable and effective litigator”.

STIKEMAN ELLIOTT boasts two nominees in this edition, including our most highly recommended practitioner this year, Stuart Carruthers. Regarded as “of the household names in the insurance and reinsurance space”, he is universally acclaimed by his peers who “have the highest respect for his abilities” and consider him “outstanding on P&C matters”.
He is joined by “well-known litigator” Alan D’Silva who is considered one of the premier defence lawyers in Ontario for his work on large-scale insurance litigation matters.

At BLANEY MCMURTRY, “Canada’s pre-eminent E&O expert” Mark Lichty is internationally acknowledged for his wide-ranging proficiency in contentious coverage reinsurance recovery matters. One source describes him as “deservedly very well-known”, adding that he “literally wrote the book on general liability insurance”.
The “very experienced, very agreeable and highly competent” Dominic Clarke draws praise for his superb litigation practice, especially in coverage disputes.

STIEBER BERLACH founding partner Steven Stieber is acknowledged as “one of the top defence counsels in Ontario” and “the go-to lawyer” for a number of large insurance clients. One source calls him  “a simply excellent insurance lawyer”.

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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