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This Special Report covers 46 practice areas.

This will search all specialists in Canada.

Canada In Brief

The Canadian economy enjoyed a robust period of significant gains in 2017, with GDP growing by 3 per cent in 2017,but is now starting to cool off, with growth falling to 2.1 per cent in the first half of 2018 (according to Trading Economics). Continued low rates of business investment, falls in household consumption and the impact of trade disputes with the US have caused further knocks to economic growth. Despite this, in general lawyers noted that their practice areas tend to be healthy, albeit slightly more competitive than before. Corporate immigration, for instance, remains a highly active field, as Canada markets itself to skilled international workers and companies looking to grow their North American presence, particularly those dissuaded by the increasingly hard-line approach in the US. Additionally, mining, M&A and the banking sector reported good levels of work and interest in the face of concerns regarding a slowing economy.

Products derived from the mining and natural resources sectors, such as crude oil, minerals and precious metals, account for over one-third of total exports in 2017. Exploration and exploitation of Canada’s natural resources has traditionally been a highly profitable industry, with practitioners in the space noting that after a drop-off in activity, “mining is on the upswing” as “commodities are increasing”. Practitioners highlighted the increase of investment in the area, stating that “more and more money is being spent on exploration” while noting that the growth is driven not just by domestic activity, but also by the presence of Canadian firms abroad, in jurisdictions such as South America and Africa. However, mining work in Canada continues to draw investors who benefit from the stability of the jurisdiction, with the industry in general bouncing back after a brief lapse.

Mirroring the high levels of activity in mining, the transactional space continues to be strong, with lawyers noting good levels of inbound and outbound M&A, in addition to a booming domestic market across a range of industries, particularly energy and mining. They concede that IPOs have fallen in consistency and size, but highlight that capital markets are driving the sector, which as one source affirms is “creating an environment of buying and selling”. Another source highlights the increasing interest of US private equity firms in the Canadian market, who value the fact that the “pricing is softer here”. An idiosyncratic Canadian influence on the market is the recent legalisation of recreational cannabis use, which practitioners identify as a hot topic that is having a substantial effect on the M&A market. Consolidation and significant interest in breaking into the business are driving M&A activity, with one source referencing a large number of mandates they are seeing in the area as businesses seek to tap into the fast-developing market. However, one practitioner we spoke to urged caution, warning that the potential hiking of interest rates might have an impact on M&A, as “multiples will come down”.

Perhaps one of the best indicators of the interplay between the Canadian economy and the legal market is seen in the restructuring and insolvency area. As one source mentioned, “Insolvency has been slower, which is a great indicator for the economy, as we see record low unemployment and a healthy economic marker.” Others noted that the recent boom in restructuring work triggered by the continued instability of the retail market is “tending to slow down”. Work in the mining and oil and gas sectors has helped the market, however, following numerous restructurings resulting from the fall in oil and gas prices. Nevertheless, as the mining industry regains its footing, there is a chance that insolvency work in this area will begin to dry up. In general, practitioners state that it is a competitive market, but with work available to those intent on pursuing it. Some point to the NAFTA replacement and trade disputes with the US as a potential source of future insolvencies, but overall, the competition in the market points to a currently strong economy.

A continued bright light in the Canadian legal market is the corporate immigration field, which is benefitting from Canadian policy at both federal and provincial levels, with the government seeking to attract skilled workers. These efforts extend to an additional focus on skilled foreign nationals who are already in Canada on student or working visas and making Canada an attractive place to stay. Additionally, the technology sector in the country is favoured by the continued attractiveness of Canadian immigration policy, buoyed by the stance of the Trump administration in the US, resulting in tightened immigration rules. Practitioners note, however, that the Canadian open-arms position is not likely to last forever, as they see a “contrary trend in which the granting of foreign-worker visas are becoming less common”, with Canadian companies subject to increased labour standard compliance checks and obligations to prove they have made an effort to hire Canadian citizens.

On the competition front, the Big Four accounting firms, while not recent entrants into the market, are demonstrating an increasing presence in the area. An additional factor is the NAFTA replacement, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the concern that preceded the negotiations. There were fears that there would be an undermining of the immigration procedures between the three countries, but these have been mostly assuaged by the lack of substantial upheaval regarding immigration agreements in the new pact, which is scheduled to take effect in 2020. As it stands, practitioners are positive about the level of activity in the market and the increased certainty following the resolution of NAFTA discussions.

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While Canada’s economy is facing some potentially difficult times in the near future, practitioners are generally upbeat about the status of the market and its levels of activity and investment. Increasing levels of competition are prompting lawyers to modernise and streamline their practices, ensuring that the domestic market remains as robust and dynamic as ever.   

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Analysis: Canada

Canada: Arbitration 2018

In this chapter we recognise 50 individuals who stand out in the Canadian market for their exceptional work in international arbitration proceedings.

Canada: Arbitration Expert Witnesses 2018

In this chapter we feature 14 top-tier expert witnesses who are recognised for the quality of their testimony in arbitration proceedings.

Canada: Asset Recovery 2018

In this year’s research we highlight 12 leading practitioners in Canada’s asset recovery market who stand out for their excellent work assisting clients with disclosure, freezing and seizure orders and recovery claims.

Canada: Asset Recovery Experts 2018

In this chapter we highlight five individuals for their particular expertise assisting clients on the tracing and recovering of assets.

Canada: Aviation 2018

In this chapter we recognise 29 individuals from across Canada for their outstanding work advising and representing clients on issues ranging from major catastrophes to aircraft finance.

Canada: Banking 2018

In this chapter, we shine the spotlight on 64 leading banking lawyers, who have been highly recommended for their expertise in financing and regulatory matters.

Canada: Business Crime Defence 2018

In this year’s research we recognise 19 practitioners who stand out for their excellent work handling white-collar crime defence matters for corporates and individuals. 

Canada: Capital Markets 2018

In this chapter, we shine the spotlight on 82 leading capital markets lawyers who have come highly recommended by peers and clients alike for their expertise in debt and equity products and structured finance transactions.

Canada: Climate Change 2018

This chapter features 14 climate change lawyers who have been highly recommended for providing expert advice on emissions trading, carbon pricing and air quality regulations, and for their experience advising on industrial and energy sector projects.

Canada: Competition 2018

Our research into Canada’s competition space sees 57 outstanding practitioners nominated to our guide by sources.

Canada: Competition Economists 2018

In this chapter we highlight 14 outstanding economists who stand out for their expert knowledge and testimony in complex antitrust matters, as well as the superb advice they provide to lawyers and clients on intricate matters of competition economics.

Canada: Construction 2018

In the chapter we highlight 49 practitioners who are leading figures in the construction field in Canada. They are recognised for their outstanding work advising clients on a range of sector-related issues including disputes, regulatory matters and complex transactions.

Canada: Construction Expert Witnesses 2018

In this chapter we recognise five standout construction expert witnesses for their excellent work handling issues involving delay matters, disputes and quantum issues.

Canada: Corporate Governance 2018

This year’s research features 29 highly regarded corporate lawyers, who have been highlighted for their experience advising companies, shareholders and boards of directors on complex governance matters.

Canada: Corporate Immigration 2018

In this chapter, we highlight 62 practitioners who excel in the corporate immigration field and stand out for their excellent work advising on the hiring and dismissal of foreign workers, admissibility issues and logistical issues for SMEs and multinational corporations.

Canada: Corporate Tax 2018

Our research sees 83 practitioners highlighted in this chapter for their outstanding work across a range of domestic and international corporate tax matters.

Canada: Corporate Tax Experts 2018

In this chapter we highlight six of Canada’s top corporate tax consulting experts.

Canada: Data 2018

This year, we identify 52 leading practitioners who are recognised for their outstanding work in the data industry including privacy and protection, security, information technology, and telecoms and media law.

Canada: E-Discovery Practitioners 2018

This chapter features 22 leading e-discovery experts, who have come highly recommended by peers and clients alike for their excellent work in the space.

Canada: Energy 2018

In this chapter, we feature 102 lawyers at the forefront of the Canadian energy market who stand out for their excellent work on a range of matters including transactions, disputes, infrastructure projects and compliance matters.

Canada: Environment 2018

In this chapter, we shine the spotlight on 69 leading environmental lawyers who have been highlighted for their expert advice on projects, transactions, risk management and regulatory compliance.

Canada: Franchise 2018

In this chapter we feature 39 practitioners who draw widespread praise for their strong track record advising franchisors and franchisees on an array of related matters including agreements and distribution.

Canada: Government Contracts 2018

This year we recognise 44 practitioners for their outstanding work in the government contracts space, handling issues such as procurement, contract bidding and P3 projects.  

Canada: Insurance & Reinsurance 2018

In this chapter, we highlight 47 individuals as leading lights in the insurance and reinsurance field.

Canada: Investigations – Digital Forensic Experts 2018

In this chapter we recognise eight individuals who stand out for their excellent work handling investigations involving e-discovery, computer forensics, and data recovery and analysis.

Canada: Investigations – Forensic Accountants 2018

In this chapter we highlight 14 forensic accountants who are recognised for their excellent work assisting clients with disputes and regulatory inquiries. 

Canada: Investigations 2018

In this chapter we recognise 25 lawyers who stand out for their exceptional work managing cross-border investigations for individuals and companies across a range of industry sectors.

Canada: Labour, Employment & Pensions 2018

This year’s research into the Canadian labour, employment and pensions space sees 109 practitioners highlighted for their impressive work in the field.

Canada: Life Sciences 2018

In this chapter, we present 73 of the leading practitioners in the life sciences space in Canada. They are selected for their excellent work in product liability, patent litigation, regulatory and transactional matters for a broad range of clients across the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and mechanical engineering sectors.

Canada: Litigation 2018

In this chapter, we feature 54 highly regarded practitioners for their outstanding expertise in national and international commercial and civil litigation.

Canada: M&A 2018

In this section we highlight 69 esteemed M&A practitioners for their experience advising on major acquisitions, joint ventures and divestitures.

Canada: Mediation 2018

This year’s research highlights 30 highly accomplished mediators for their experience assisting clients resolve sensitive and business-critical disputes.

Canada: Mining 2018

In this year’s research we identify 84 individuals who perform outstanding work in advising on mining acquisitions, developments and exploration.

Canada: Patent Agents 2018

In this chapter we highlight 46 impressive patent agents who are recognised for their outstanding work in patent drafting, prosecution, portfolio management and disputes.

Canada: Patents 2018

In this chapter, we feature 63 practitioners, who are recognised for their considerable expertise as patent litigators and skill in portfolio management and licensing matters.  

Canada: Private Client 2018

In this chapter we recognise 36 practitioners for their work advising clients on wealth and private tax matters.

Canada: Private Funds 2018

This chapter sees 25 outstanding practitioners highlighted for their work handling fund formation and regulatory matters.

Canada: Product Liability Defence 2018

In this chapter we identify 26 lawyers who stand out for their top-notch work handling complex product liability defence and class action claims before a range of tribunals.

Canada: Project Finance 2018

In this chapter we highlight 27 practitioners for their excellent work advising sponsors and lenders in project finance and refinancing transactions.

Canada: Real Estate 2018

In this chapter we recognise 52 leading lawyers for their excellent work handling a range of matters across the real estate sector including transactions, investments and disputes.

Canada: Restructuring & Insolvency 2018

Our research this year highlights 81 practitioners who excel in providing advice on a range of matters including rescue, reconstruction and insolvency procedures, financial restructurings, leveraged buyouts and liquidations, among many others. 

Canada: Restructuring & Insolvency Experts 2018

In this chapter we highlight eight individuals who stand out for their work advising clients on complex restructurings, corporate turnarounds and insolvency proceedings.

Canada: Shipping & Maritime 2018

This year’s research into the shipping and maritime space sees 31 practitioners recognised for their exceptional work handling sector-related contractual and financial matters, as well as disputes and casualty cases. 

Canada: Sports and Entertainment 2018

In this chapter we recognise 39 leading sports and entertainment lawyers in the Canadian market who stand out for their excellent work in the industries.

Canada: Trade & Customs 2018

This year’s research into the Canadian trade and customs space sees 44 practitioners listed in our guide for their excellent work handling international trade, export control and customs law issues.

Canada: Trademark Agents 2018

In this chapter we recognise 10 of Canada’s leading trademark agents. They are identified for their expertise in licensing, copyright, competition and trademark litigation matters.

Canada: Trademarks 2018

In this chapter we highlight 48 of Canada’s top trademark specialists who are recognised for their excellent work representing and advising commercial entities on a variety of trademark matters, including litigation, trademark filings and portfolio management. 

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Firm Profiles: Canada

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.

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