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McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault justifiably continues to be regarded as one of Canada’s leading firms, with a reputation built on over 160 years of practice in the country. It has retained a strong domestic emphasis, with a London office its only international outpost. Around half of its lawyers are resident in the firm’s Toronto headquarters. It possesses comprehensive coverage of all major areas of law, as evidenced by its exceptional total of 95 listings in this year’s Who’s Who Legal: Canada edition.


Transactional work, including mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, continues to be one of the firm’s major strengths. It also possesses an outstanding capital markets team, and we list a number of the firm’s lawyers in both areas. Senior counsel Garth Girvan possesses outstanding experience in public M&A work, which he deploys on deals involving industries including technology, sports and media. Cameron Belsher is perennially highly rated in our research, and this year is no exception. In addition to his national reputation for M&A and capital markets work, he is also chair of the firm’s board. David Woollcombe is an “outstanding practitioner” who frequently handles multibillion-dollar deals in areas such as financial services, leisure and retail. Clemens Mayr in the firm’s Montreal office is identified by market sources as one of the leading practitioners in the area this year. He focuses his practice on transactional work and corporate finance. Richard Balfour is among the leading corporate practitioners in Vancouver, handling an array of M&A and financing work involving Canadian and international companies. 

Energy is another area to feature a plethora of McCarthy Tétrault lawyers. Robin Sirett is highlighted by sources for his regulatory expertise across liquid natural gas and electric utilities matters. Gregory Turnbull QC has superb oil and gas experience, both domestically and internationally. He is also noted for his standout expertise in capital markets work. The “highly experienced” David Lever is a renowned figure in the power industry, concentrating on corporate and financing work in the area.

In mining, the firm possesses substantial expertise across the full cycle, from exploration to mine operations. We list six lawyers with expertise in this area, including Roger Taplin, who is widely regarded as a world leader in the area. He primarily handles transactional and corporate finance work for major mining companies. Also featured is Gary Litwack, who has handled matters for Rio Tino, Shear Minerals and Xstrata Copper in recent years as part of his securities, M&A and financing-oriented practice.

McCarthy Tétrault also stands out for its project finance capabilities, particularly in the areas of syndicated financing and lending. Marc Dorion QC has nearly 40 years’ experience in financing matters, frequently acting on infrastructure projects and projects involving energy and natural resources. The “incredibly creative” Stephen Furlan heads up the firm’s business law team and offers clients expertise in public-private-partnership matters and projects involving power generation. Linda Brown in Vancouver is a highly experienced project finance lawyer, particularly in deals involving public-private partnerships as well as infrastructure projects.

The firm is a top player in TMT work, covering a diverse range of issues such as broadcasting regulatory work, cloud computing matters and complex transactions and joint ventures. Barry Sookman is a “pioneer” in the sector who is particularly well regarded for his intellectual property expertise. He is a leading practitioner on matters involving privacy and anti-spam. George Takach offers “exceptional experience” in a wide array of social media, cloud computing and privacy matters. He regularly represents clients on sophisticated corporate transactions. Grant Buchanan is a regulatory expert who possesses deep experience in matters involving broadcasting and telecommunications law.

Among the other areas where the firm excels is banking. Richard Higa is highly expert in cross-border financing matters, securitisation and private equity deals. Head of the firm’s financial services group, Barry Ryan is highlighted by sources for his superb work on bank regulatory matters. He frequently advises on complex domestic and cross-border transactions.

In real estate, the firm also features a number of well-regarded lawyers. Danny Grandilli handles a wide range of commercial matters, including leasing, M&A and financing work. Head of real estate John Currie is another practitioner with wide-ranging expertise. He particularly stands out for his work on financing and securitisation transactions.

McCarthy Tétrault possesses exceptional breadth and depth of expertise, with coverage of the gamut of business law matters, and is particularly adept at advising on complex transactional and regulatory issues. It continues to grow its standout cross-Canada practice and looks certain to remain a leading player in the market in the coming years.

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It is not possible to buy entry into any Who's Who Legal publication

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