Canada's leading asset-based lending lawyers in 2021

Here are Canada's leading asset-based lending lawyers based on Lexpert's latest peer survey
Canada's leading asset-based lending lawyers in 2021

Here are Canada’s leading asset-based lending lawyers based on the results of Lexpert’s comprehensive annual peer survey. The complete list of the country’s most recommended lawyers and law firms in the field can be viewed on our latest practice area rankings.

In our survey, the asset-based lending practice includes the representation of domestic and foreign banks and financial institutions as lenders and corporations and other entities as borrowers. Asset-based lending transactions take on a variety of forms, including single-lender loans, syndicated facilities, cross-border loan transactions and debtor-in-possession financing. It can be based upon operating assets, fixed assets or a combination of both. Work in this area includes the provision of transaction structuring advice, drafting and negotiating transaction documents, due diligence, taking and perfecting security and providing legal opinions in connection with the loan transactions.

Most frequently recommended asset-based lending 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.

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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.

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Arnold Cohen
Law firm: Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
Year called to the bar: 1993
City: Montréal

Arnold Cohen is a senior partner, co-chair of the asset-based lending team in Canada and chair of Montréal’s debt finance practice group at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP. His practice includes financing and insolvency and restructuring. Cohen devotes his financing practice to asset-based lending, in which he represents leading US and Canadian asset-based and other lenders in a wide range of domestic, multi-jurisdictional and cross-border financings, including corporate and commercial financings, capital market transactions and acquisition and leveraged buy-out financings on both a syndicated and a non-syndicated basis. He also regularly represents lenders, bank syndicates and corporate borrowers in cash flow, structured, second lien, mezzanine and high-yield type financings, and financing of real estate, receivables and equipment. His restructuring practice involves representing secured lenders, trustees, receivers and corporate clients in all aspects of the insolvency and restructuring process, including reorganizations, acquisitions, turnarounds and enforcement of security and other creditors’ rights. Cohen has appeared before various courts in these matters.

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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.

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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.

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Serge Levy
Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP
Year called to the bar: 2002
City: Montréal

Serge Levy is a partner in the banking and finance group at Stikeman Elliott LLP. He devotes his practice to banking law, corporate finance, financial services and commercial law. He is routinely involved in high-profile sophisticated debt financing transactions representing corporate borrowers and financial institutions on secured or unsecured basis. Levy has developed expertise in cross-border leveraged finance transactions, with a focus on asset-based and cash flow lending. He has also developed significant experience in various financing fields, including insolvency and restructuring transactions, real estate, receivables, mine, project, leveraged buyout and factoring transactions.

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Keyvan Nassiry
Law firm: Nassiry Law
Year called to the bar: 1991
City: Montréal

Keyvan Nassiry is a partner at Nassiry Law. He specializes in sophisticated domestic and cross-border financings. His practice also covers turnarounds, private equity, second liens, mezzanine, bridge, and hospitality mergers and acquisitions and finance. Nassiry boasts significant experience in asset-based lending, syndicated loans, real estate loans, securitization, mine and consumer financings, equipment financing and leasing, factoring, intercreditor relations, consumer finance and other aspects of banking and financing law. He regularly acts for Canadian, American and offshore banks, private equity funds, commercial lenders and borrowers regarding complex secured and unsecured credit facilities. Nassiry is a frequent panellist and moderator for continuing law education programs and private clients. He is past president of the Montréal chapter of the Turnaround Management Association and a member of the American Bar Association’s business law section.

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.

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Consistently recommended asset-based lending lawyers

S. Jason Arbuck
Law firm: Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
Year called to the bar: 1999
City: Toronto

S. Jason Arbuck is a partner and the chair of the financial services group at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. His practice is focused on the commercial finance industry, with an emphasis on secured lending, asset-based lending, securitization and factoring. Arbuck has significant experience assisting US commercial finance companies with establishing operations in Canada and completing cross-border financing transactions. He is also a director of the Canadian Chapter of the Secured Finance Network, active member of the American Bar Association, personal property security law subcommittee of the Ontario Bar Association, and director and treasurer of the Association for Commercial Finance Attorneys in the US. Arbuck has authored several ABA publications. He speaks regularly at industry events, has appeared on BNN’s SqueezePlay, and has guest lectured at the Schulich School of Business.

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David R. Bain
Law firm: Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
Year called to the bar: 1983
City: Vancouver

David R. Bain is a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP. He focuses on commercial law with a specialty in debt financing. Bain advises a wide range of clients on various aspects of commercial law, with an emphasis on debt financing and lending transactions, including project finance. He serves Canadian and foreign banks, non-bank and private lenders and corporate borrowers in a variety of industries. Bain has been involved in many of British Columbia's most significant financings, involving borrowers in the forest industry, marine transportation, real estate development, manufacturing, aviation and knowledge-based industries. He has provided counsel on many cross-border loan transactions and syndicated financings. His project finance experience has involved infrastructure projects, including public-private partnerships and alternative energy projects. Bain also has extensive experience in advising institutional lenders and finance companies on consumer lending issues. His commercial practice includes acting for buyers, sellers and lessors of aircraft and negotiating various commercial arrangements. Bain also serves as a trusted advisor to several clients with respect to their financing and business activities.

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Michael A. Birch
Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Year called to the bar: 2001 (BC); 2005 (AB)
City: Vancouver

Michael A. Birch is a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. He devotes his practice to banking, corporate lending, acquisition finance, project finance, high-yield and mezzanine finance and commercial real estate finance transactions. Birch regularly advises financial institutions, institutional lenders and borrowers on senior and subordinated, secured and unsecured, bilateral and syndicated financing transactions and on a wide range of commercial issues. Some of his recent transactions include major corporate credit facilities, acquisition financings, high-yield and mezzanine financings, infrastructure and project financings, construction financings and cross-border structured financings, particularly to businesses focused on mining and precious metals, engineering and construction services, light industrial manufacturing, water, wastewater and gas utilities, industrial equipment rental, site support and logistics structures and services, and a wide range of diversified enterprises.

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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 financial services group at McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Calgary office. With a practice focused on corporate lending, he regularly represents lenders and borrowers in sophisticated domestic and international debt financing transactions. These include bank credit facilities, public debt transactions, private loan transactions, reorganizations and M&A financings. Birkness also has extensive experience representing lenders and other stakeholders in significant Canadian restructuring matters.

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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.

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Jill P. Fraser
Law firm: Aird & Berlis LLP
Year called to the bar: 1996
City: Toronto

Jill P. Fraser is a partner and member of Aird & Berlis LLP’s financial services group and executive committee. She specializes in corporate and commercial lending transactions, including syndicated credit facilities, secured loans, project financings, acquisition financings, venture capital investments and asset-based lending. Fraser is also an expert in asset and equipment finance and leasing, including the structuring and documenting of bulk lease financing facilities and private securitizations. She represents a broad range of lenders, including domestic and international banks, life insurance companies, asset-based lenders and investment funds. Fraser also acts on a regular basis for borrowers in many different industries. Fraser is a member of the Canadian Finance & Leasing Association.

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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 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.

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Marie Garneau
Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP
Year called to the bar: 1996 (QC); 1997 (ON)
City: Toronto

Marie Garneau is a partner in the banking and finance and mergers and acquisitions groups at Stikeman Elliott LLP. She is also a member of the firm’s associates’ committee in the Toronto office. Garneau has acted for numerous lenders and borrowers on a wide range of domestic and cross-border financing transactions, including leveraged buyouts, asset-based loans, debt financings and structured financings. She has also acted for creditors, debtors and monitors in commercial insolvencies and restructurings. Garneau has been a regular guest lecturer in the joint JD/MBA Program at the Schulich School of Business and Osgoode Hall Law School. She has also spoken at various conferences about perfecting security in Canada and leveraged debt financing. Garneau is fluent in French and English.

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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.

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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.

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Craig Mitchell
Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP
Year called to the bar: 1998
City: Toronto

Craig Mitchell is a partner in the banking and finance group at Stikeman Elliott LLP. His practice focuses on banking, restructurings and workouts. Craig 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. Craig also acts as counsel to private equity funds in connection with leveraged mergers and acquisitions.

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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.

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R.D. Jeffrey Rogers
Law firm: McMillan LLP
Year called to the bar: 1994
City: Toronto

R.D. Jeffrey Rogers is a partner at McMillan LLP’s financial services group. He has broad experience in all aspects of debt financing. Rogers acts for major Canadian and foreign financial institutions, pension funds, lending funds and borrowers on a broad cross-section of domestic and cross-border transactions and restructurings. His practice includes syndicated lending, leveraged acquisitions, asset-based lending, second lien debt, tender offer financing, high yield, dip lending and subordinated debt. Rogers is a regular speaker at conferences and client in-house training programs on financial transactions and secured lending. He has also written on lending matters for major industry publications, including most recently the International Comparative Legal Guide to Lending and Secured Finance. Rogers’ recent notable transactions include his work on the Algoma and One Toronto Gaming financing transactions.

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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.

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James E. Sutcliffe
Law firm: McMillan LLP
Year called to the bar: 1992 (ON); 1996 (BC)
City: Vancouver

James E. Sutcliffe is a partner at McMillan LLP’s financial services group. He boasts extensive experience in all aspects of debt financing. Sutcliffe acts for Canadian banks and other lenders, US and other foreign financial institutions and Canadian and US law firms and corporations. He has acted on all manner of loan transactions, including construction and term real estate deals, land accessibilities, acquisition, operating and term loan deals, syndicated loan transactions, asset-based loans and loans involving the forestry, renewable energy and seniors living sectors. Sutcliffe has written articles and made presentations on lending issues and acted as editor of publications on real estate financing and mortgage practices.

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Philip Taylor
Law firm: Chaitons LLP
Year called to the bar: 1997
City: Toronto

Philip Taylor is a partner and a member of the executive committee at Chaitons LLP. He has been focusing on finance for more than 20 years. Taylor boasts extensive experience acting for foreign and domestic financial institutions and private and public lenders and borrowers in asset-based, secured, mezzanine, subordinated, real estate, construction, debtor-in-possession, quasi-equity, syndicated, cross-border and First Nation financings. He brings business acumen and a practical approach to his work as a trusted advisor to clients on all aspects of financing, including distressed restructuring and security enforcement.

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.

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