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Blake Cassels & Graydon

Blake Cassels & Graydon is an established player in the market, and is considered one of Canada’s most distinguished business law firms. The firm provides clients with top-tier legal support throughout its global network, with five offices across Canada as well as a presence in legal hubs such as London and New York. Its international footprint ensures that it is well placed to assist both domestic and international clients with their business needs in the country and around the world. The firm provides a full-service offering, but stands out particularly for its expertise in the energy sector, as well as its strong transactional and financial work. 

The energy practice maintains its stellar reputation in the market, achieving more listings than any other firm in our research this year. Boasting first-rate oil and gas and power groups, Blakes helps clients to navigate the country’s complex regulatory framework. Ben Rogers co-leads the national oil and gas group that expertly handles a whole gamut of sector-related matters on behalf of exploration and production companies, financiers and industry marketers. M&A, joint venture agreements and project development matters are just some of the areas in which he excels. Michael Laffin QC emerges as Canada’s leading energy lawyer. With a strong industry background, having previously worked in a multinational energy company, he possesses intricate sector knowledge enabling him to deliver “insightful and considered counsel” to clients. Alongside them, Mungo Hardwicke-Brown is active on some of the firm’s biggest corporate and project finance transactions in the sector. Blakes also emerges as the country’s leading real estate group with 12 listings that demonstrate the depth of its practice. Considered a one-stop shop, its practitioners are well equipped to handle all aspects of sector-related matters, from the structuring and financing of transactions, to the acquisition of various asset classes and the negotiation of construction and development agreements. Clients include Canadian and international developers, financial institutions, funds and private entities, who value the firm’s innovative outlook when it comes to achieving a client’s business objectives. Top partners include the coordinator of the commercial real estate practice Chris Huband, who has 30 years of experience in the field, handling the purchase and sale of all classes of real estate assets. Silvana D’Alimonte joins him on some of the firm’s biggest transactions and is an expert in handling corporate-related issues, having assisted clients for 20 years with financings, restructurings and acquisitions of real estate. Co-practice group leader Thomas von Hahn is particularly active advising pension funds and other investors in the acquisition of real estate property, including Ontario Pension Board’s C$300-million purchase of 50 per cent interest in a 41-storey class office tower in Toronto.

The firm is extremely well regarded for its world-class corporate capabilities. With an impressive 11 listings, it leads our corporate tax research. Its practitioners, including the “brilliant” Scott Wilkie, boast an exceptional understanding of the country’s regulatory and legislative framework. They remain at the cutting edge of tax developments, allowing them to provide up-to-date and well-informed legal advice to businesses. Head of the tax controversy and litigation group Ed Kroft QC is a leading advocate in the field known for his “dedicated and unflappable” representation of clients before many of the country’s highest authorities including the Supreme Court and Tax Court of Canada. Managing partner of the Vancouver office Bill Maclagan QC is exceedingly well versed in taxation planning, regularly assisting clients in the drafting and structuring of various commercial agreements.

The firm’s financial expertise also stretches to its capital markets and M&A groups, which garner a strong nine and eight nominations respectively. The securities team regularly handles a whole spectrum of public offerings, acquisition financing, private placements and fund structures. It is also well known in the market for its notable work with Canadian securities regulators, interaction which enables its lawyers to possess vast and in-depth knowledge of securities law and regulation. The M&A group stands out for its impressive work on major high-value deals, having over the past 10 years dealt with 1,500 M&A transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $1.5 trillion. Many practitioners are highlighted for their work in both fields, including leader of the Toronto securities practice Michael Gans, whose distinguished practice encompasses both domestic and international transactions. Jeffrey Lloyd is “a superb corporate lawyer” whose clients include purchasers and vendors. He also regularly advises issuers and underwriters in relation to capital markets work, an area in which he also garners recognition.

Brock Gibson QC, the firm's chair, and Pat Finnerty particularly stand out in this edition achieving listings across four transactional areas of practice. They are both recognised for their leading work in M&A, capital markets, corporate governance and energy.

With 142 listings across 29 practice areas, Blake Cassels & Graydon demonstrates the impressive scale of its full-service offering, cementing its position as one of Canada’s pre-eminent law firms.

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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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Law Business Research Ltd

87 Lancaster Road, London
W11 1QQ, UK