Canada's best banking and finance lawyers in 2021

Find out who Canada’s best banking and finance lawyers are based on the results of Lexpert’s most recent yearly peer survey
Canada's best banking and finance lawyers in 2021

Find out who Canada’s best banking and finance lawyers are based on the results of Lexpert’s most recent yearly peer survey. The complete list of the country’s most recommended lawyers and law firms in the field can be accessed on our practice area rankings.

Banking and finance law governs how banks and other financial institutions conduct their businesses. It concerns the contractual relationship between lenders and borrowers and is geared at ensuring that the interests of both parties are met both legally and commercially.
 

Most frequently recommended banking and finance lawyers

David M.A. Amato

Law firm: Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Year called to the Bar: 2000
City: Toronto

David M.A. Amato is a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, where he also co-chairs the asset-based lending team in the country. Amato specializes in corporate finance. He represents Canadian and US asset-based lenders and boasts extensive insolvency and restructuring experience acting on behalf of creditors. Amato also acts as counsel and advisor to various foreign and domestic financial institutions, insurance companies, funds and other credit providers. He has significant experience in complex debt financing transactions. He has led numerous multi-jurisdictional, international and domestic debt financing mandates, including cash-flow, asset-based, acquisition, debtor-in-possession, mine and project financings.

Read more about Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP on the importance of vigilance to avoid fraud

Jean E. Anderson

Law firm: Goodmans LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1981
City: Toronto

Jean E. Anderson is a partner at the banking and finance law group at Goodmans LLP in Toronto. She devotes her practice to financing, corporate transactions and financial institution regulatory matters. Anderson boasts more than 35 years of experience in acquisition financing, project finance, asset-based lending, debt restructuring and complex domestic and cross-border financings. Her lists of clients include Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citizens Bank, US Bank, Monroe Capital, Hitachi Capital, UBS, PNC Bank and Clearwater Seafoods.

Read more about Goodmans LLP on restructuring in a challenging economy

Gordon D. Baird

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1991
City: Toronto

Gordon D. Baird is a partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s financial services group in Toronto. He focuses on lending and secured transactions, with an emphasis on lending to the power, financial services, media and telecommunications sectors. Baird regularly acts for bank syndicates, non-bank lenders and borrowers on domestic, cross-border and international loan transactions. Among his recent transactions are acting for borrowers on multi-billion-dollar liquidity facilities backstopping commercial paper programs, acting for investors on multiple bond offerings in connection with the development or financing of wind-power and hydroelectric generation facilities and acting for the lenders on a $3-billion acquisition financing of a media company. Baird has acted for the providers of the margin funding facility in connection with the restructuring of the Canadian non-bank asset-backed commercial paper market and for Canadian borrower clients with significant foreign operations in the implementation and restructuring of their global credit facilities. Baird is also the chair of McCarthy Tétrault’s national pro bono committee and a member of the board of directors of Pro Bono Ontario.

Read more about McCarthy Tétrault LLP on the growth of capital markets during the pandemic

Amanda C. Balasubramanian

Law firm: Torys LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1999
City: Toronto

Amanda C. Balasubramanian is a partner and co-head of the banking and debt finance practice at Torys LLP. She devotes her practice to commercial banking and debt financings. Balasubramanian represents lenders and borrowers in complex domestic, cross-border and international transactions, including syndicated lending transactions, private equity and acquisition financings, tender-offer financings and public and private offerings of debt securities. She also has experience in debtor-in-possession financings.

Read more about Torys LLP on renewable energy sources

Ian J. Binnie

Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1995
City: Toronto

Ian J. Binnie is partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s financial services and project finance groups. He devotes his practice to business law matters, with a focus on financing transactions and financial regulatory matters. Binnie has significant experience in all aspects of domestic and international commercial finance, including public and private debt issuances, project finance primarily in the power generation industry, bilateral and syndicated lending, asset-based lending, private equity, second lien and other forms of subordinated lending, securitization and derivative transactions. He is also an expert in negotiating and integrating commercial law and finance documentation. Binnie has a long-standing interest in personal property security matters and participates in several ongoing law reform initiatives.

Read more about Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP on managing ESG issues in corporate Canada

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’s Calgary office, where he specializes in commercial transactions. Borden focuses on larger-scale projects and financings primarily in the energy sector, including oil sands, pipeline, liquified natural gas and public-private partnership infrastructure projects. He also has significant experience in high-yield domestic and cross-border financing transactions, term loan B financings and joint venture transactions. His clients include major banks and project sponsors. Over the years, Borden has developed strong relationships with the key project lending specialists within the major Canadian banks.

Read more about Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP on the oil sector’s tough year

Adam E. Delean

Law firm: Torys LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1990
City: Toronto

Adam E. Delean is a partner at Torys LLP’s Toronto office, where he co-heads the banking and debt finance practice and holds chairmanship of the India practice group. Delean devotes his practice to corporate banking, leveraged finance and structured finance. He represents lenders and borrowers in various transactions, including bank credit facilities, Canadian and US bond financings, structured finance transactions, mezzanine financings and derivatives. Delean is also an expert in cross-border and international financings. He regularly advises lenders and borrowers on compliance matters related to financing arrangements.

Read more about Torys LLP on cannabis sector regulation

Michel Deschamps

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1970
City: Montréal

Michel Deschamps practises banking and commercial law at McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Montréal office, where he also serves as a counsel. He boasts broad experience in domestic and cross-border loan syndications, secured transactions, project finance, international banking transactions and the regulation of financial institutions. Deschamps also participates as a Canadian delegate in law reform projects in the area of secured transactions sponsored by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law and the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law. He has authored numerous articles and is a frequent speaker at conferences in Canada and abroad on topics related to his areas of practice. Deschamps is an associate professor on banking law at the Law Faculty, Université de Montréal. He is also the chair of the Québec Bar Law Review and the secured transactions committee of the Québec Bar, fellow of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers and member of the legal advisory panel of the Aviation Working Group.

Read more about McCarthy Tétrault LLP on the rise of virtual arbitration during the pandemic

Simon A. Finch

Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1995
City: Toronto

Simon A. Finch is a partner Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. His practice focuses on private debt transactions, acting for both borrowers and lenders. Finch has extensive experience structuring and negotiating syndicated credits, asset-based loans, capital call facilities and project financings. He provides advice on acquisition financings, including strategic and sponsor leveraged buyouts and tender-offer financings for public companies. Finch has also developed an expertise in the mining sector. His clients include foreign financial institutions, private equity funds, corporations and law firms who retain him to assist with the Canadian aspects of multi-jurisdictional financings. Finch is a frequent participant in conferences and panels and has written and spoken about a wide variety of commercial lending issues.

Read more about Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP on Indigenous consultation standards

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 boasts extensive experience in 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 is also an expert in financings in the oil and gas, oil sands, pipeline, energy services and renewable power sectors. Fougere routinely acts for the major Canadian banks and several international financial institutions.

Michael R. Harquail

Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1984
City: Toronto

Michael R. Harquail is a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s Toronto office. He advises financial institutions and corporate clients on corporate lending, debt restructuring and general corporate matters. Harquail is an expert in structuring and documenting domestic financing transactions, cross-border financing transactions, syndications, acquisition financings, asset-based financings, project financings, high-yield offerings, subordinated debt arrangements and structured finance. He also boasts substantial experience in buying and selling businesses and in structuring shareholder arrangements. Harquail has advised lenders and borrowers in financing transactions across a wide range of industries, including aerospace, agriculture, automotive, energy, financial services, general manufacturing, health care, mining, pulp and paper, retail, steel, technology, telecommunications and transportation. He has been an instructor for the practice skills portion of the Law Society of Ontario’s Bar Admission Course. Harquail has also spoken publicly and delivered papers on various topics relating to commercial lending.

Read more about Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP on infrastructure investment during the pandemic

Richard T. Higa

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1990
City: Toronto

Richard T. Higa is a partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Toronto office. He specializes in all aspects of structured, acquisition and cross-border financings, including asset-based lending, bilateral and syndicated financings, term B loans, second lien loans, mezzanine financings and high-yield notes. Higa represents several large Canadian and US banks and other financial institutions. Most of his practice involves acquisition financings for private equity sponsored acquisitions. Among Higa’s most recent transactions are acting for private equity-sponsored acquisition financings in the chemicals, transportation, healthcare and call centre industries.

Read more about McCarthy Tétrault LLP on legislative shifts in climate change environmental regimes

Blair W. Keefe

Law firm: Torys LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1989
City: Toronto

Blair W. Keefe is co-head of the financial services, bank regulatory, insurance regulatory and payments and cards practices at Torys LLP’s Toronto office, where he also serves as partner. Keefe devotes his practice to corporate and regulatory issues relating to financial institutions, including mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. He provides regulatory advice on the establishment of new banks, trust companies and insurance companies under the applicable federal financial services legislation. He has also provided regulatory advice on foreign and domestic demutualizations and on the development of various capital instruments, including under the new Basel III rules. Keefe is co-chair of Canadian Bar Association’s financial services legislative reform committee. He is also co-editor of Carswell’s Consolidated Bank Act and Regulations and has published numerous articles on financial institution regulatory matters.

Justin A. Lapedus

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Year called to the Bar: 2000
City: Toronto

Justin A. Lapedus is a partner at the financial services group of McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Toronto office. He specializes on complex secured and unsecured lending transactions, including cross-border acquisition financings and multi-jurisdictional financing transactions. Lapedus regularly acts as counsel for lenders, including Canadian and international banks and other financial institutions. He also represents corporate borrowers and private equity firms and acts in connection with the structuring, negotiation and implementation of leveraged acquisition financings, asset-based loans, corporate and commercial financings, domestic and international syndicated bank financings, subordinate and mezzanine financings and financings in connection with bankruptcies and restructurings.

David Lemieux

Law firm: Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1993
City: Montréal

David Lemieux is a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP’s office in Montréal. His practice focuses on corporate financing and restructuring. Lemieux organizes and leads teams of lawyers to represent lending syndicates, borrowers and investors. His practice covers the full spectrum of Canadian, cross-border and foreign matters related to project financing, public and private takeover bids, asset acquisitions, monetization, securitization, asset financing and debt restructuring. Lemieux is also involved in the negotiation, preparation and finalization of all aspects of these transactions.

Read more about Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP on cannabis sector litigation

Michael D. Matheson

Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1994
City: Toronto

Michael D. Matheson is a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP in Toronto. He boasts more than 25 years of experience in banking and financial services law, with a focus on corporate and commercial finance. Matheson devotes his practice to the areas of banking, syndicated lending, leveraged finance, project finance and mergers and acquisitions. He regularly advises Canadian and foreign financial institutions and borrowers on structuring and negotiation of syndicated loan transactions, acquisition financings, takeover bid financings, leveraged buyouts, corporate reorganizations, workouts and M&A.

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 in Calgary. He specializes in 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 the lead counsel in connection with the establishment of syndicated credit facilities for each of Suncor Energy Inc., Husky Energy Inc., Ovintiv Canada ULC, Athabasca Oil Corporation, Crew Energy Inc., TransCanada PipeLines Limited and ENMAX Corporation. He was also the lead counsel to the lenders financing the Sturgeon County refinery being developed by North West Redwater Partnership and to the borrowers in connection with the project financings for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project and the Coastal GasLink Pipeline project.

Read more about Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP on financing the mining industry

Craig Mitchell

Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1998City: Toronto

Craig Mitchell is a partner in the banking and finance group at Stikeman Elliott LLP. His practice focuses on banking, restructurings and workouts. Mitchell has expertise in private acquisition financings, takeover bid financings, debtor-in-possession financings, asset-based lending and mezzanine lending. He acts as counsel to lenders and borrowers on domestic and cross-border financings in North America, Europe and Asia and as counsel to creditors and debtors in commercial insolvencies and restructurings. Mitchell also acts as counsel to private equity funds in connection with leveraged mergers and acquisitions.

Read more about Stikeman Elliott LLP on private equity investment in Canada

Richard O’Doherty

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Year called to the Bar: 2000
City: Montréal

Richard O’Doherty is a partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP. He devotes his practice to projects, project financing and corporate lending. O’Doherty has acted for various lenders and developers in the power, mining, transportation and logistics, manufacturing, retail, telecommunication and agribusiness sectors. He also regularly advises clients on multi-currency cross-border transactions, private equity transactions and other acquisition financings.

Howard Rosenoff

Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP

 

Year called to the Bar: 1994
City: Montréal

Howard Rosenoff is a partner and the head of the banking and real estate group at Stikeman Elliott LLP. He is also a member of the firm’s mergers and acquisitions group. In banking law, Rosenoff has represented lenders and borrowers in a variety of financing transactions, including syndicated loans, project financings and asset-based financings. With regards to his project financing practice, he boasts expertise in the financing of films and television programs. His corporate and commercial law practice is focused on private mergers and acquisitions, equity financings and corporate restructurings. Rosenoff is also experienced in production and distribution matters related to audio-visual works.

Read more about Stikeman Elliott LLP on the growth of special purpose acquisition corporations (SPACs)

Joel M. Scoler

Law firm: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1993 (ON); 1992 (New York)
City: Toronto

Joel M. Scoler is a partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP in Toronto. He specializes in national and international banking and finance, representing financial institutions and private equity firms. Scoler boasts significant expertise in a broad range of finance-related matters, including syndicated and cross-border loan transactions, leveraged buyouts and takeover bid financings, mezzanine and subordinate debt, asset-based lending, insolvencies, restructurings and workouts. He is considered one of the country’s leading lawyers in acquisition financings and consistently retained by each of Canada’s Schedule I banks and various Canadian and US private equity firms.

Read more about Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP on when a purchaser can renege on a deal

John W. Torrey

Law firm: Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1988
City: Toronto

John W. Torrey is partner at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP’s Toronto office. He devotes his practice to lending transactions. Torrey boasts extensive experience in all areas of lending, particularly in project and acquisition financings and in all aspects of mine finance, acting for borrowers and lenders. His mine finance practice, which he operates along with his colleagues, is considered among the most active in Canada. He also regularly represents or acts opposite many banks in the country.