Canada's leading commodity tax/customs lawyers in 2021

Here are Canada's leading commodity taxation lawyers based Lexpert's latest peer survey
Canada's leading commodity tax/customs lawyers in 2021

Here are Canada’s leading commodity tax/custom lawyers based on the results of Lexpert’s comprehensive yearly peer survey. The full list of the nation’s top commodity taxation lawyers and law firms can be accessed via our latest practice area rankings

In our survey, commodity tax or customs law encompasses matters concerning the federal goods and services tax (GST), various provincial sales taxes, customs and excise issues and related matters involving the domestic and international supply of property and services.

Most frequently recommended commodity tax/customs lawyers

Neil E. Bass

Law firm: Aird & Berlis LLP

Year called to the bar: 1990

City: Toronto

Neil E. Bass is a partner at Aird & Berlis LLP’s tax group. He is an expert in tax litigation and commodity taxation, including goods and services tax and harmonized sales tax (GST/HST), provincial sales tax (PST) and international customs duties. Bass boasts extensive experience in dealing with various taxation authorities and has represented clients before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, Tax Court of Canada, Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal and provincial courts. He also has significant experience in the real estate and development sector, financial services, corporate reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions and cross-border transactions. Bass is experienced in alternative dispute resolution and litigation. He has served on the Canadian Bar Association and Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) joint legislation review committee that reviewed the draft legislation, which amended the Canadian Excise Tax Act. He is also a member of the CBA Commodity Tax Customs and Trade Section and the GST Leaders Forum, a group established by the LPA of the most prominent GST/HST accountants and lawyers from across Canada.

Allan J. Gelkopf is a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. He devotes his practice to planning and advising clients in connection with the GST/HST, customs valuation, tariff classification and import and export restrictions. Gelkopf has written for the GST & Commodity Tax Newsletter, Canadian Tax Foundation (CTF) and CPA Commodity Tax Symposium. He is a member of the CTF, Canadian Financing & Leasing Association Tax Committee and the GST Leaders Forum. Gelkopf was also a member of the Department of Finance HST Focus Group established to review proposed HST legislation affecting financial institutions and was involved in the Ontario HST harmonization project. He is past chair of the Canadian Bar Association National Commodity Tax, Customs and Trade Section and is the current editor of its newsletter. Gelkopf is also a member of the editorial board for the Sales Tax, Customs & Trade Journal.

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Greg Kanargelidis

Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Year called to the bar: 1990

City: Toronto

Greg Kanargelidis is a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, where he serves as leader of the international trade group. He specializes in international trade, customs and commodity tax law. Kanargelidis regularly represents clients in cross-border trade and investment issues, including compliance with international trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), World Trade Organization (WTO) and other bilateral and regional trade and investment agreements, export and import controls and licences, economic sanctions and procurement disputes. Kanargelidis has substantial experience in and regularly assists clients with trade remedy matters, with an emphasis on anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations and appeals. He has expertise in all areas of customs law, including tariff classification, valuation, rules of origin, marking rules, seizures and ascertained forfeitures, administrative monetary penalties and voluntary disclosures. He also assists clients in planning, compliance and appeals involving GST/HST, excise levies and other commodity taxes. Kanargelidis is vice-chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s Commodity Tax, Customs and Trade Section, former co-chair of the Customs Law Committee of the American Bar Association’s International Law Section, member of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Advisory Committee and of the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce Trade Compliance and Recourse Subcommittee of the CBSA and past board member of I.E. Canada.

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Alan Kenigsberg

Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Year called to the bar: 2001

City: Toronto

Alan Kenigsberg is a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s Toronto office. He practises tax law, with an emphasis on planning and advising clients with respect to commodity taxation, customs, import and export controls, excise taxes, fuel taxes, cross-border taxation issues and valuation issues. His experience also includes tax dispute resolution, negotiating voluntary disclosures for clients in commodity tax, customs, and export controls and obtaining export permits and controlled goods certificates. Kenigsberg also provides client training seminars on export controls and compliance and conducting customs and North America Free Trade Agreement compliance audits. He is past chair of the National Commodity Tax, Customs and Trade Section of the Canadian Bar Association and a past chair of its CRA Liaison Committee. Kenigsberg is also on the executive committee of the state and local tax section of the American Bar Association and a member of the Canadian Tax Foundation and the International Fiscal Association. He writes and speaks frequently on various topics in his fields.

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Consistently recommended commodity tax/customs lawyers

John W. Boscariol

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Year called to the bar: 1995

City: Toronto

John W. Boscariol is a partner and the leader of the international trade and investment law group at McCarthy Tétrault LLP. He specializes in enforcement, investigations, disputes and compliance regarding anti-corruption law and policy, economic sanctions, export controls, defence goods, services and technology controls, blocking orders (Cuba), government contracts, national security, anti-dumping, countervail and safeguard, customs, tariffs and border measures. Boscariol also focuses on rights, obligations and remedies under international trade and investment agreements, including NAFTA, WTO, CETA and TPP. He represents clients before Canadian International Trade Tribunal, Canada Border Services Agency, Global Affairs Canada, Controlled Goods Directorate (PSPC), Department of National Defence, Canadian Transportation Agency, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Federal Courts and NAFTA Binational Panels. Boscariol is an author and a sought-after speaker. He is also a recipient of International Law Office/Association of Corporate Counsel Client Choice Award. Boscariol was chair of Export Committee of IE Canada and American Bar Association Export Controls & Economic Sanctions Committee. He is an adjunct faculty teaching anti-corruption law and policy in international business at University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law.

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Peter E. Kirby

Law firm: Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

Year called to the bar: 1986 (QC); 1987 (ON); 1994 (Massachusetts); 1995 (New York)

City: Montréal

Peter E. Kirby serves as a partner at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. He provides counsel on all aspects of cross-border trade. Kirby advises on regulatory compliance, trade agreements and trade remedies such as anti-dumping and countervailing duty actions. His practice extends to international commercial arbitration and investor-state arbitration, customs law and export and import controls. Kirby appears before governmental and administrative agencies and the Federal Court, representing clients in appellate litigation relating to trade and customs issues. His clients also include corporations, state enterprises and federal and provincial government departments and agencies. Kirby has acted as counsel in several investor-state arbitrations under Chapter 11 of NAFTA and under the Bilateral Investment Treaties. He has also assisted public and private sector clients on investor-state disputes. Kirby has acted as counsel in more than 50 anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations. As part of his regulatory practice, he advises companies and associations in the food-industry on a wide range of issues, including novel food approvals and product recalls. Kirby speaks frequently in Canada and abroad on international trade issues.

Craig M. McDougall is a partner at Felesky Flynn LLP. He devotes his practice to taxation matters, focusing on commodity tax and customs and corporate tax. McDougall was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2010. He is currently a member of the GST Leaders Forum, Canadian Bar Association, Law Society of Alberta, Canadian Tax Foundation (CTF) and Canadian Petroleum Tax Society (CPTS). McDougall is also a recipient of the Norman Guerin Award in 1997 and 2014 for advancement of commodity taxation studies. He previously served as president and director of the CPTS, chair of the GST Leaders Forum, the National Commodity Tax, Customs and Trade Section of the CBA, the Taxation and Economic Affairs Committee of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the Taxation Specialists Section (Southern Alberta) of the CBA. McDougall has also lectured on taxation matters to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, the CBA and the CTF and has served as a sessional instructor at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Law.

D’Arcy Schieman

Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Year called to the bar: 2002

City: Toronto

D’Arcy Schieman is a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. He advises on litigation and planning matters. A significant portion of his practice is focused on Canadian commodity taxes and customs duties, including the GST, HST and provincial sales taxes. Schieman has appeared before the Federal Court of Appeal and the Tax Court of Canada in significant GST and income tax cases. He has also recently been appointed to the Ontario government’s HST Implementation Panel.

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Jean-Guillaume Shooner

Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP

Year called to the bar: 1998

City: Montréal

Jean-Guillaume Shooner is a partner at Stikeman Elliott LLP’s tax group. He practises in the areas of commodity taxes (GST/HST and QST), customs laws and regulations, corporate tax planning and tax issues relating to mergers and acquisitions and corporate reorganizations. Shooner is an expert on commodity taxation and trade matters. He provides advice in the areas of international trade, customs, procurement, GST, sales tax, transfer pricing, dispute settlement and regulatory matters to major national and international corporations.

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