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.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Michael I Gans Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, Toronto
2. Brian Pukier Stikeman Elliott LLP, Toronto
3. Patricia L Olasker Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Toronto
4. Stephen H Halperin Goodmans LLP, Toronto
5. Vincent A Mercier Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Toronto
6. Neill May Goodmans LLP, Toronto

Full-service Canadian firm Stikeman Elliott achieves 11 listings in this chapter.  
Brian Pukier draws praise as “a leading name” in the Canadian market. He has a broad cross-border practice and is regularly engaged to advise corporates and private equity clients on large deals.
William Braithwaite stands out as “an excellent and very high-profile lawyer” who is well known for his superb international practice and impressive roster of major clients.
Edward Waitzer is a prominent figure in Toronto, recognised by sources for his deep commercial knowledge and expert handling of complex transactions.
The “hugely respected” Peter Castiel impresses peers with his expertise in cross-border commercial transactions. He frequently advises public and private companies and private equity funds. 
John Leopold is a big name in the space, who is well known for providing sophisticated commercial advice to private equity companies. He has an international practice and is strong in cross-border transactions.
Craig Story is “excellent for M&A in private equity contexts” say peers, who speak highly of his extensive experience in large-scale deals.

Blake Cassels & Graydon sees 15 impressive corporate lawyers listed here.
Michael Gans is well known for his expert handling of domestic and inbound M&A transactions. He is a go-to adviser in complex deals and is regularly engaged to advise corporates and clients from the financial sector.
The “fantastic” Jeffrey Lloyd is widely endorsed as “a leading lawyer at Blakes” and stands out for his experience spanning public and private M&A transactions in the mining, real estate and financial services sectors.
Chris Hewat is held in high esteem as “an excellent practitioner” with impressive commercial knowledge and vast transactional experience.
Brock Gibson QC has a strong practice advising oil and gas clients on commercial transactions. He enjoys an excellent reputation among peers and is regularly engaged to advise on large, complex deals.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg achieves eight listings in this chapter.
Patricia Olasker is “a leading player” in Canada say peers, who describe her as “one of the best M&A lawyers at the firm” and praise her broad transactional knowledge.
Market commentators say Vincent Mercier is “an absolutely fantastic lawyer” with “one of the highest profiles” in the market. He advises public and private companies on large-scale transactions.
“Top M&A lawyer” William Ainley stands out for his “excellent cross-border work” when it comes to complex mergers and hostile takeovers.
Peter Hong comes highly recommended as “an excellent and very well-known practitioner” and stands out for his extensive expertise in M&A transactions across the energy and media industries. 
Franziska Ruf is endorsed as “a truly excellent lawyer” who is recommended for her commercial advice on complex cross-border transactions.

Goodmans is home to six esteemed practitioners.
Stephen Halperin a distinguished M&A adviser who is well known for advising major clients in complex deals. With over 30 years’ experience, he is a long-standing fixture in the market and endorsed as a go-to lawyer in Canada.
Neill May is a highly regarded M&A lawyer with deep expertise in securities law. He advises on large transactions and takeover bids and has extensive experience in the financial sector.
Dale Lastman CM represents clients in complex commercial transactions. He is a high-profile figure who stands out as “a strategic, big-picture adviser”.
Jonathan Lampe is endorsed as “an incredibly impressive lawyer” by peers, who speak highly of his vast experience in the cross-border M&A field.

McCarthy Tétrault is home to seven impressive practitioners.
David Woollcombe impresses peers with his “outstanding transactional work” in complex mergers, acquisitions and reorganisations. He frequently advises companies and investors.
Cameron Belsher is a prominent figure in the Canadian market, known for his expert advice on complex transactions as well as his experience representing clients from the healthcare, products and real estate sectors.
David Tennant is a well-known name at the firm who is recognised for his superb expertise in securities. He has a stellar M&A practice and is a trusted adviser to major corporate clients.

Bennett Jones achieves three listings here.
Marvin Yontef is held in high esteem as “a very high-profile corporate lawyer”. He is known for his top-quality advice to financial and corporate clients and is regularly engaged to advise on prominent deals.
David Spencer is celebrated as “an excellent lawyer” who is “great to work with” and provides “superb client service” on corporate finance matters.
Jeffrey Kerbel is “a very well-known M&A lawyer” with an excellent reputation for his work in M&A transactions and corporate financings.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt is home to four well-known lawyers.
Emmanuel Pressman stands out as “a leader at Osler” and is highly regarded for the expert advice he provides to private and public companies on M&A and joint venture transactions.
André Perey is highly visible in the market and stands out among peers for his deep expertise in cross border M&A transactions. He advises Canadian and international clients spanning the financial services, energy and retail sectors.

Jeff Barnes is a revered “senior statesman” at Borden Ladner Gervais, who “is very well known” for his strong practice advising investment banks and multinationals.

At Aird & Berlis, Martin Kovnats is “a high-profile corporate lawyer” recommended for his sophisticated commercial practice. Peers say, “He is very bright and highly qualified,” making him a go-to adviser for major deals.

At Torys, John Emanoilidis stands out as “an exceptionally capable lawyer” with a strong practice advising public companies in complex M&A transactions.

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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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