Canada 2018: Leading Firms

The ninth edition of WWL: Canada is our most comprehensive yet, with nearly 2000 listings across 46 chapters. However, just 12 firms account for more than half of the total listings in this year's edition. These firms are profiled below.

 

Total number of listings: 68

Bennett Jones enjoys a strong international reputation as one of the leading business law firms in Canada. It demonstrates its prominent position in the domestic market in our research this year, achieving 67 nominations across 23 practice areas, reflecting the breadth of its expertise.

The firm particularly excels in the energy sector, and stands out in our corresponding chapter as the foremost offering in the country. We feature 14 lawyers in the area who are recognised for their excellence handling the whole gamut of matters for energy sector clients, from transactional and regulatory matters to complex litigation across oil and gas, power and renewables.

Mining also stands out as a key practice area for the firm. We highlight eight impressive lawyers from the firm in our research this year for their first-class work advising on financings and transactions.

Corporate finance is another area in which the firm performs well this year. It is well equipped to advise domestic and international clients on a range of matters including restructuring and insolvency, capital markets, corporate governance and M&A.

Standout individuals at the firm include Lincoln Caylor, a Global Elite Thought Leader in the international asset recovery field. Donald Greenfield QC is recognised as one of the pre-eminent energy lawyers in the country while Leonard Griffiths receives widespread plaudits for his world-class environmental law practice.


Total number of listings: 143

Blake Cassels & Graydon is a top-tier Canadian law firm with a dominant presence in the market. It is home to some of the most highly regarded practitioners in Canada and, with 143 listings, it sees more lawyers listed than any other firm in this year’s research. From its five offices in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa, the firm services clients in their most sophisticated domestic and international legal mandates. If offers expertise spanning the full spectrum of commercial practice areas which is reflected in our research this year as it achieves listings across 29 chapters.

With 15 listings, Blakes is a frontrunner in the M&A space and sees more recognised practitioners than any other firm. It enhances its corporate practice with a market-leading tax group, which achieves 11 listings in this year’s research. The firm’s capital markets team also performs well and sees 12 distinguished practitioners are highlighted for their excellence in the field this year.

The firm is home to practitioners with a wealth of industry-specific expertise. Ten lawyers from the real estate practice group are featured this year, who possess deep knowledge of real estate investment trusts. With 11 listings, the energy team performs well and puts Blakes among the top-performing firms this year. The firm also demonstrates great strength in the banking sector, where it achieves seven listings. 

Eminent practitioners at the firm include Michael Gans, a top M&A practitioner in Toronto, and Sheldon Burshtein, a highly respected figure in the trademarks space. Chris Huband and Thomas von Hahn stand out in the real estate market, while Donald Gray excels in the aviation sector. Robert Kwinter and Brian Facey are big names in competition law, and Gordon McKee is highly respected for his work in life sciences and product liability defence matters. Jonathan Kahn and Charles Kazaz are recognised for their leading expertise in environmental law, and Judy Wilson stands out for her excellence in the government contracts space.


Total number of listings: 91

Borden Ladner Gervais is a full-service commercial law firm. With a total of 91 listings spanning 35 practice areas, it is among the leading outfits in the market and is widely known as a go-to firm among major domestic and international clients. Its offices span five major Canadian cities – Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal – and is home to over 700 lawyers and professionals specialising in commercial transactions, regulatory matters and disputes.

The firm serves clients from a broad range of industries, and its full-service offering enables it to assist clients throughout the entirety of their operations. Its investigations group advises clients on high-stakes investigations and prosecutions and with five listings, it is among the leading firms in the Canadian market. A further five practitioners are recognised for their excellent government contracts work advising municipalities, developers and companies on procurement and regulatory matters. The firm has a strong construction team, which sees six practitioners listed and is among the top performers in this year’s research.

Leading individuals at the firm include Randall Block QC, an eminent litigator in the firm’s Calgary office, and Pamela Cross, a leading private client lawyer. Josef Kruger QC and Patrick McCarthy QC are top-tier restructuring and insolvency lawyers, and Erik Goldsilver wins praise for his impressive mining practice. In Toronto, Glenn Zakaib stands out for his superb product liability defence practice, while Bruce Garrow is a leading figure in the aviation space. Douglas Sanders is a go-to government contracts lawyer in Vancouver and Danny Kaufer stands out as one of the country’s best labour and employment lawyers.


Total number of listings: 68

Full-service firm Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg stands out as a prominent player in the Canadian legal market. It demonstrates its first-rate offering in our research this year, achieving 68 nominations across 18 practice area.  

The corporate tax group is recognised for its excellent work handling cross-border and M&A tax matters, as well as disputes, and sees eight lawyers nominated in this edition. The M&A and competition practices also perform well with eight listings apiece while the capital markets group receives seven nominations.

Competition is another area in which the firm excels with eight lawyers recognised in our corresponding chapter for their excellence in the field. The group is well known for its impressive work handling abuse of dominance cases, cartel investigations and merger review.

Outstanding individuals at the firm include Ian Crosbie, who is highlighted for his excellent corporate tax practice. Thought Leader Joel Scoler gains recognition as one of the pre-eminent practitioners in the banking arena. Patricia Olasker earns high praise from sources for her market leading work in the M&A space while George Addy leads the competition group at the firm and is recognised as one of the leadings names in the market.


Total number of listings: 95

Fasken boasts a market-leading reputation in Canada as a top-tier outfit, a position that is reflected in our research this year. The full-service corporate firm achieves 95 nominations across 28 practice areas, showcasing the breadth of expertise on offer to clients.

The firm excels for work in the labour and employment field, with an outstanding 10 practitioners highlighted in our corresponding chapter this year for their excellent work across a range of matters from collective agreements to complex disputes. Mining is another sector in which the firm holds a strong reputation. This year, 13 lawyers are recognised for their top-tier handling of financings, transactions, project development and contentious issues.

A further area in which the firm performs strongly this year is in the life sciences space. This year it sees seven highly impressive practitioners receive listings in our guide for their insight into matters including product liability and M&A transactions. The firm’s impressive corporate finance offering is also reflected in our research this year, as it sees lawyers nominated across our banking, capital markets, M&A and restructuring and insolvency chapters.

Standout names at the firm include John Torrey and Stephen Clark who both receive widespread recognition for their outstanding work in the banking sector. John Turner and Michael Bourassa are pre-eminent names in the mining space, while John Beardwood is recognised as one of the foremost data lawyers in the country.  


Total number of listings: 56

Goodmans boasts a strong reputation as a market-leading corporate firm that provides the full range of business services across a wide range of areas and industries. The firm performs impressively in this year’s research, achieving a total of 57 listings across 16 different practice areas, reflecting the breadth of expertise on offer.  

The restructuring and insolvency practice group performs particularly well this year with seven listings in our corresponding chapter. The firm’s impressive corporate finance offering is also showcased across our capital markets and M&A chapters, where it receives six nominations apiece. Practitioners are well equipped to advise corporate clients on a wide array of matters from deal structuring to complex offerings.

The firm also excels across a range of sectors and industries. Five lawyers are recognised in our life sciences, and sports and entertainment chapters, while the firm also showcases its strength in the data and banking arenas.

Key figures in the firm include Jay Carfagnini and Robert Chadwick, who are identified as pre-eminent names in Canada’s restructuring and insolvency market. Harry Radomski is one of the foremost life sciences lawyers in the country while Benjamin Zarnett is recognised as a top-class litigator. Stephen Pincus is highlighted for his outstanding capital markets practice and Neill May is a prominent name in the M&A market.


Total number of listings: 70

Gowling WLG is a dominant force within the Canadian legal market. It continues to garner widespread respect from sources for its extensive expertise across a range of legal sectors. The firm receives 70 nominations this year across 24 practice areas.

The firm is a market leader for its work in the field of patents, with 15 patent agents and an additional four lawyers all receiving nominations this year. The breadth of its IP offering is reflected in our research with a further nine listings across our trademarks and trademark agents chapters.

Life sciences is another area in which the firm excels. This year, we feature six impressive lawyers in our corresponding chapter, who are recognised for their excellent work across a range of matters including licensing, regulatory matters, IP protection and transactions.

Top names at the firm include Anthony Creber and Mary Thomson who are highlighted for their impressive work in the life sciences space. Margaret Fitzpatrick and Jennifer Morton are praised for their first-class trademarks practices. Konrad Sechley is among the leading patent agents in the Canadian market. Harry Dahme and Mark Madras are go-to names for environmental law issues and Peter Snell is a top name in the franchise space.


Total number of listings: 108

McCarthy Tétrault distinguishes itself as one of Canada’s leading law firms. With 108 listings this year across 29 practice areas, the strength and depth of the firm’s practitioners is evident. The firm’s offices in London, New York and Canada illustrate its truly global reach, and it is well placed to provide cutting-edge business advice to its clients in both public and private sectors, concerning the full range of commercial and legal issues.

The firm is particularly strong across the banking and energy sectors, achieving nine nominations apiece in our corresponding chapters. Its impressive sector offering is reflected across our research with practitioners receiving further nominations for their work in real estate, mining, life sciences and data-related matters.

Corporate finance is another area in which the firm excels. Each of our M&A, corporate tax and capital markets chapters sees seven practitioners listed, highlighted the firm’s strength in the area.

The firm’s competition law group also performs well this year, with seven lawyers highlighted for their excellence in the field. The group is recognised its first-class work on a range of matters including M&A, cartels and disputes.

Key figures at the firm include Roger Taplin, a standout mining lawyer, and Richard Higa, who is recognised as a leading name in the banking sector. Charles Morgan and Hank Intven are prominent data lawyers and Jason Gudofsky is highlighted as a pre-eminent name in the competition field. Abraham Costin is highly respected for his first-class real estate practice.


Total number of listings: 83

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright boasts a strong position in the Canadian legal market, with offices across the country in Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. It showcases the depth and breadth of its offering in our research this year with 84 nominations across an impressive 30 practice areas.

The firm stands out in this edition as having one of the foremost energy practices in the country. It sees 11 impressive practitioners recognised in our Energy chapter, who are well versed in the gamut of related industries including oil and gas, power and renewables.   

Life sciences is another area in which the firm excels, with six lawyers nominated in this edition for their excellent work in the field. They are highlighted for their strong expertise in a range of matters from regulatory advice to transactional work and related litigation. The firm’s IP capabilities are reflected in our research where it achieves nine listings across our patents and trademarks chapters.

Standout individuals at the firm include Pierre Bienvenu, a Global Elite Thought Leader in the international arbitration arena, as well as Vanessa Grant, who is a highly respected name in the life sciences sector. Walied Soliman is also recognised for his top-tier corporate governance practice.


Total number of listings: 79

Osler Hoskin & Harcourt is a full-service Canadian law firm with five offices in Canada’s business hubs – Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, and one further office in New York. This adds to its cross-border capabilities with the US, where the firm has a strong client base. It is regularly engaged by Canadian, US and international companies and governmental authorities to advise on a broad range of matters. The firm performs well this year achieving 79 listings across 25 practice areas.

It has a strong financial practice and stands out in the capital markets and corporate tax chapters, where it achieves eight and seven listings respectively. It also has four practitioners listed in the private funds chapter – more than any other firm. It achieves a further four listings for its project finance practice, where lawyers are known for advising on large and cutting-edge projects in Canada and abroad. Seven lawyers are recognised for their expertise in energy law, and the restructuring and competition law practices also perform well in this year’s research.

Leading individuals at the firm include Robert Desbarats QC, a prominent energy lawyer in Calgary. Jennifer Dolman and Andraya Frith are well known for their outstanding franchise practice, while Wendy Gross is highlighted as a leading data lawyer. From the firm’s corporate tax practice, Al Meghji and Firoz Ahmed are big names who are highly respected for their exceptional work in the space.


Total number of listings: 86

Full-service Canadian business law firm Stikeman Elliott continues to boasts a prominent position as one of the pre-eminent outfits in the domestic market. The firm enjoys an excellent reputation for its top-tier offering, which is reflected in our research this year with it achieving 88 nominations across 21 practice areas.

The firm performs exceptionally well in the corporate finance arena, particularly when it comes to capital markets matters, achieving 11 listings in our respective chapter and standing out as one of the leading groups in the country. It also sees lawyers listed across multiple related chapters including corporate tax, M&A, corporate governance and restructuring and insolvency.

Competition is another area in which the firm excels, with eight lawyers highlighted for their excellence in the field this year. The team is well equipped to handle a range of complex mandates for clients, from merger control to regulatory investigations.

Several of the firm’s industry groups also stand out in our research, with lawyers listed for their impressive work across various areas from sports and entertainment to data and mining. Energy is a particular strength, with 11 standout practitioners highlighted in this edition.

Key individuals at the firm include Global Elite Thought Leader Stuart Carruthers, one of the foremost insurance and reinsurance lawyers in the country. Richard Pound QC is a top name in the sports industry while Paul Collins is recognised as a leading figure in competition law. John Lorito is praised for his first-rate capital markets practice and Joel Binder is recognised for his superb work in the capital markets space.


Total number of listings: 68

International corporate law firm Torys stands out as one of the most prominent outfits in the Canadian market. The firm is well equipped to provide clients with legal assistance across the country, with offices in Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax, and showcases its wide-ranging offering in our research this year, achieving 68 nominations across 25 practice areas.

The firm performs well this year across a range of industries, including life sciences where it sees six lawyers recommended for their excellence in the field. They are recognised for their impressive work handling a range of matters from transactions, to licensing and IP matters.

Energy and natural resources is another area in which the firm truly excels, with nine practitioners highlighted in our corresponding chapter for their top-tier work in the energy field while four lawyers are recognised for their mining expertise. Their work spans a wide array of areas including oil and gas, power and projects.

The firm’s corporate finance practice gains recognition in this edition, particularly in the banking arena where six well-respected lawyers are commended. Torys practitioners achieve further nominations across out M&A, capital markets and private funds research.

Key individuals at the firm include Blair Keefe, who stands out as one of the foremost banking lawyers in the country. Bernard Kwasniewski is the one of the leading lights in the Canadian private funds sphere while Omar Wakil is recognised for his first-class competition practice.

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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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