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Gowling WLG

Gowling Lafleur Henderson’s merger with UK-based Wragge Lawrence Graham to form Gowling WLG has afforded the firm new possibilities. With a presence on five continents, its Canadian arm can now offer clients a truly global network and has looked to extend its capabilities by focusing on sectors in which it has been historically strong. It is recognised as one of the leading law firms in the patents, trademarks, energy and natural resources and restructuring and insolvency sectors with a list of clients that include Eli Lily, Ultrafab and Toople PLC.

 Gowling WLG files more patents and trademarks than any other law firm in Canada. The firm also boasts one of Canada’s strongest IP practices, which also advises on patents and trademarks and handles IP litigation. Its lawyers provide expertise across multiple sectors with a particular focus on life sciences, technology and engineering. Amongst them is Selena Kim, an accomplished patent lawyer and agent. She is very active in patent disputes in the mechanical, chemical and pharmaceutical industries and recently won a patent injunction in the Federal Court of Canada for multinational company Uponor. Konrad Sechley is a principal of the firm and a patent agent focusing on life sciences. He has particular expertise in patent prosecution and has been practicing for over 20 years.  Peers consider him to be “certainly one of the top legal minds in Canada”. Brian Kingwell is also well-respected within the practice for his patents work in the pharmaceuticals industry, including medical devices. Scott Joliffe is listed for his patents expertise, which includes a distinguished career as a trial and appellate lawyer alongside advising on licensing and copyright. He is continuously recommended as one of the leaders in the field. Anthony Creber is head of the IP litigation practice group and is listed in our life sciences chapter for his expertise in biotech and pharmaceuticals IP litigation. Mary Thomson is recommended by several of her peers as a consummate litigator in the areas of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. She is also well-regarded in our product liability defence chapter and is firmwide leader of the group. Christopher Van Barr is considered to be amongst Canada’s top patent litigators and also has strong experience in IP matters.

The trademarks practice includes some of Canada’s most well-known and visible practitioners who have experience in multiple sectors including food and drink, life sciences, finance and technology. Their expertise covers all aspects of trademarks law from clearance to infringement issues and all regulatory matters. Robert MacDonald finds himself at the top of this year’s research for his trademark licensing, prosecution and litigation expertise. Kelly Gill is a litigation specialist whose experience in trademarks, brands and design stretches back over 15 years. Paul Blanchard has dealt with both government bodies and corporate entities in a wide range of trademark matters including counselling and litigation, where his expertise is much sought after.

Gowling WLG is a very well-respected firm in the mining industry, achieving six listings in this year’s research for a practice that “has demonstrated acute and specialist knowledge” of all aspects of mining law from exploration to production. Cyndi Laval is co-leader of the mining group and provides expertise on M&A, and equity and debt financing. She advised Terraco Gold Corp on a C$24.6 million transaction and Sabina Gold & Silver Corp on a C$32 million deal financing arrangement. Fellow co-leader Daniel Allen offers a deep knowledge of business law including an acute understanding of stocks, securities and shareholder and regulatory issues. Tina Woodside is the firm’s managing partner and is one of Canada’s foremost corporate lawyers. She is listed in both our M&A and mining chapters due to her strong portfolio across those fields, where she has provided expert knowledge for over twenty years. France Tenaille offers a strong understanding of Latin American mining practices and has been listed for several years for her corporate expertise in the sphere.

The environment practice also contains several well-respected names. Mark Madras is a certified environmental specialist who counsels on regulatory and compliance issues alongside commercial issues relating to environmental matters, where he has a depth and range of experience. Rodney Northey is a regulatory specialist who possesses an academic understanding of environmental approvals. He has taught and written about regulatory issues and what is required for compliant environmental processes in Canada. Harry Dahme is a seasoned adviser to corporate entities relating to environmental risks and due diligence.

The firm’s historically strong insolvency and restructuring practice shines once again this year, with a team that “can demonstrate strong expertise across the whole gamut”. Derrick Tay leads the corporate restructuring practice and has assisted Canadian and multinational debtor companies in in- and out-of-court matters. He served as counsel to Nortel Networks in its Chapter 11 filing, one of the largest insolvency proceedings in Canadian history. Alex MacFarlane is the insolvency and restructuring practice group leader and has considerable experience in cross-border insolvency matters, including assisting chapter 11 debtors.

In the first year after its merger, Gowling WLG remains a strong firm in the fields of patents, trademarks, energy and natural resources and restructuring and insolvency law. With increased capabilities, the firm can now look to offer a fully international service in these sectors, which will serve to enhance its portfolio in the future.

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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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87 Lancaster Road, London
W11 1QQ, UK