Leading banking and finance lawyers in Alberta

Lexpert highlights the leading banking and finance lawyers in Alberta based on the results of our comprehensive annual peer survey. The full roster of the province’s most recommended lawyers and law firms in the field can be viewed via our practice area rankings.

In our survey, banking law encompasses the practice of representing domestic and international providers and consumers of debt financing, while financial law focuses on the regulatory matters affecting banks, insurance providers, and trust and loan companies.

Most frequently recommended banking and finance lawyers

Richard P. Borden

Law firm: Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1984
City: Calgary

Richard P. Borden is a senior partner at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP. He specializes in complex commercial transactions. His practice is focused on larger-scale projects and financings primarily in the energy sector, including oil sands, pipeline, LNG and public-private partnership infrastructure projects. Borden’s clients include major banks and project sponsors. He has also developed strong relationships with key project lending specialists within the major Canadian banks. Borden has significant experience in high-yield domestic and cross-border financing transactions, term loan B financings and joint venture transactions.

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Kevin Fougere

Law firm: Torys LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1999 (AB); 1999 (ON)
City: Calgary

Kevin Fougere is one of the founding partners of the Torys LLP’s Calgary office. He devotes his practice to corporate lending and project financing. Fougere has extensive experience advising corporate clients and financial institutions on a wide range of financing transactions, including project financing, syndicated transactions, bond financings, cross-border financings, acquisition financings, asset and reserve-based lending. He focuses on financings in the oil and gas, oil sands, pipeline, energy services and renewable power sectors. Fougere routinely acts for major Canadian banks and international financial institutions.

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J. Michael McIntosh

Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1986 (AB); 1988 (ON)
City: Calgary

J. Michael McIntosh is a senior partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. He practises in the areas of banking, acquisition finance and project finance. McIntosh regularly advises on cross-border financings. His recent transactions include financings of oil sands projects, conventional oil and gas reserves, refineries, pipelines and power-generating assets. McIntosh was lead counsel in connection with the establishment of syndicated credit facilities for each of Suncor Energy Inc., Husky Energy Inc., Encana Corporation, Nexen Inc., Canadian Oil Sands Limited, Baytex Energy Ltd., Athabasca Oil Corporation, Crew Energy Inc., TransCanada PipeLines Limited, Enbridge Inc., Enbridge Income Fund, TransAlta Corporation, Rangeland Pipeline Company, Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc. and Fording Coal. He also served as lead counsel to the lenders financing the $8.5-billion Sturgeon County refinery being developed by North West Redwater Partnership and to the lenders in connection with the establishment of credit facilities in favour of Wolf Midstream Inc. to finance its acquisition of a 50% ownership interest in the Access Pipeline from Devon Energy Corp. for $1.4 billion.

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Joseph Palin

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1990 (ON); 1996 (AB)
City: Calgary

Joseph Palin is a partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Calgary office and a member of the firm’s financial services group. He devotes his practice to structuring and completing domestic and international financing transactions. Palin frequently advises lenders and borrowers as they navigate matters involving complex financing structures. He acts as an advisor to his clients. With more than 30 years of experience, Palin has detailed industry knowledge and established business relationships within the oil and gas, energy services and power sectors.

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Consistently recommended banking and finance lawyers

Peter B. Birkness

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1991
City: Calgary

Peter B. Birkness is a partner and the head of the McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s financial services group in Calgary. With a practice focused on corporate lending, he regularly represents lenders and borrowers in sophisticated domestic and international debt financing transactions, including bank credit facilities, public debt transactions, private loan transactions, reorganizations and mergers and acquisitions financings. Birkness also has extensive experience representing lenders and other stakeholders in significant Canadian restructuring matters.

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Patrick J. Brennan

Law firm: Bennett Jones LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1985
City: Calgary

Patrick J. Brennan is a partner and the chair of Bennett Jones LLP’s banking and financial services group. He also heads the firm’s air finance practice group and serves as partner in the corporate commercial department. Brennan is an expert in asset-based financing and leasing, banking and debt financing, personal property security, debt restructuring, aircraft acquisition and disposition, inventory financing, commercial transactions and aviation law. He primarily acts for airlines, aircraft lessors and financiers, oilfield service companies, oil and gas companies, manufacturers, borrowers, banks and other financial institutions.

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Denise D. Bright

Law firm: Bennett Jones LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1994
City: Calgary

Denise D. Bright is a corporate partner at Bennett Jones LLP’s Calgary office. Her practice is focused on secured and unsecured corporate debt and project finance, where she acts for a variety of public and private companies, partnerships, trusts and private equity vehicles in their debt requirements and restructurings. Bright advises key stakeholders on domestic and international public and private bond and note financings, including hybrid notes, domestic and cross border bilateral and syndicated loans, reserve-based lending, subordinated and second lien debt, intercreditor issues and financing of takeover bids, arrangements, amalgamations, and mergers and acquisitions. She has extensive experience advising oil and gas producers, power producers, utilities and oil and gas service companies. Bright’s practice also includes venture and mezzanine finance, asset-based lending and structured finance transactions, including synthetic leasing. Bright is a CPA-CA and holds a CF designation from the Chartered Professional Accountants. She is a long-term member of the firm’s opinion committee.

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Elizabeth Burton

Law firm: Gowling WLG

Year called to the Bar: 2005
City: Calgary

Elizabeth Burton is a partner and the leader of the financial institutions and services group at Gowling WLG’s Calgary office. She works with a variety of financial institutions and corporate clients, delivering strategic advice for both syndicated and bilateral financing transactions. Burton has extensive background in financial services law and has represented lenders and borrowers in financing transactions across a diverse range of industries, including energy and real estate sectors and in Indigenous business ventures. Burton regularly advises on cross-border financings. She is also a trusted adviser in restructuring financings, intercreditor arrangements, and corporate and real estate matters. Burton is a member of the National Women’s Strategy Advisory Committee of Pride at Work Canada, the National Diversity & Inclusion Council at Gowling WLG and has previously been involved with the Law Society of Alberta’s Justicia Project and development of its Respect in the Workplace Model Policy. She was also a member of the North West Calgary Community Advisory Group for the Rocky Ridge (Calgary) recreational facility.

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Warren Nishimura

Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1997
City: Calgary

Warren Nishimura is a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. He acts as lead counsel on large-syndicated credit facilities, including project finance primarily in the energy sector. Many of these transactions are cross-border, predominantly involving the US, but also Europe, Australia and Central and South America. Nishimura works directly with the lead banks and corporate treasury departments and regularly manages divergent views while handling in and out of court restructurings or the financing requirements associated with mergers and acquisitions. In addition to domestic and international banks, he regularly advises private equity investors on their debt and quasi-debt investments.

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Scott W. Sangster

Law firm: Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1987
City: Calgary

Scott W. Sangster is a partner at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP’s banking and finance team in Calgary. He participates in a wide variety of domestic and international financial services transactions. Sangster has extensive experience acting for all types of lenders in debt financings, subordination and inter-creditor matters, restructurings, forbearances, acquisitions and divestitures in numerous industries, including the energy, real estate, transportation and aviation sectors.

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Darlene W. Scott

Law firm: Dentons Canada LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1985
City: Edmonton

Darlene W. Scott is partner at Dentons Canada LLP. She served as chair of the firm’s banking and finance group in Edmonton for more than a decade. Scott provides legal advice to institutional and corporate clients on commercial matters, including sales, leasing, development, and acquisition of real estate, business and shares. She has also represented lenders and borrowers in financing and secured transactions for more than 30 years. Scott regularly acts for institutional and other lenders in documenting secured transactions and has acted for borrowers in a broad range of industries. Her experience ranges from real estate and other asset-based lending to project and operating financing, together with more specialized lending such as retirement compensation arrangements. Scott also acts for developers of commercial, residential and condominium projects.

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Grant Vogel

Law firm: Dentons Canada LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1990
City: Edmonton

Grant Vogel is a partner in Dentons Canada LLP’s Edmonton office. He works extensively in the areas of financial services, acquisitions, dispositions and development of real estate as well as general corporate commercial matters. His clients include mortgage lenders, banks, asset-based lenders, owners and developers of real estate. He also represents publicly traded and privately owned oil field service businesses in domestic and cross border transactions.

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