Coming up with this year’s Excellence Awardees involved a rigorous, expertinformed process. The Canadian Law Awards editorial and research teams reviewed all the submissions and consulted third-party information to identify each category’s standouts. A large, independent external judging panel will judge these shortlisted submissions, scoring them against these criteria: the financial value of the deal; the degree to which it advanced legal and financial techniques and structures; how it spanned jurisdictions, practice areas, and industries; and whether the deal involved groundbreaking original legal strategies and structures. Through an aggregation of the judges’ scoring, a process independently verified through an audit by PwC, a final winner will be chosen from each category. Winners will be announced during an in-person event set for May 11.
What a difference a year makes. Coming off 2021, one of the biggest years ever for dealmaking with more than $437 billion worth of M&A deals, up from $158.7 billion in the first pandemic year of 2020 and eclipsing the previous record of $330 billion in 2007, prognosticators were suggesting similar high hopes for 2022.
But that prediction came with a significant “if”– whether the fundamental drivers of dealmaking remain in place, such as low-interest rates and strong debt and equity markets. The fear was that the good times wouldn’t last.
And sure enough, many of those fears came into play – higher interest rates, rising inflation, and disrupted sup- ply chains – with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine adding geopolitical risk. While pandemic-related travel restrictions eased and the overall damage of COVID-19 began to dissipate, it wasn’t enough to beat back the forces working against the global economy – and M&A.
Still, dealmaking continued, and those named Excellence Awardees reflect the importance and ingenuity behind M&A in Canada.
This year, Lexpert has named 20 deals in five categories (capital markets, infra- structure and project financing, insolvency and restructuring, mid-market deals, and overall M&A deal of the year) as Excellence Awardees, picked from dozens of submissions sent by legal professionals across Canada.
The next step is for the shortlisted Excellence Awardee deals to go to a panel of judges to choose a final winner in each category. We will then honour our Excellence Awardees and announce a winner in each deal category (along with our awards for non-deal categories) at an in-person gala on May 11 at the Liberty Grand in Toronto. It’s only the second in-person event for the CLA since Lexpert created the awards in 2020 (when COVID-19 temporarily stopped face-to-face mingling).
Here are this year’s Excellence Awardees. Good luck to all.
The Excellence Awardees for the capital markets category had a little of every- thing. They included the creation of a novel share structure that guaranteed a tech company founder could retain 40 percent voting control of his company, an inaugural Government of Canada green bond issue, and a $14 billion bond offering that supported the proposed acquisition of Shaw Communications by its rival of Rogers Communications. All winners in this category had deals valued at over $1 billion, and all involved creative methods to deal with complicated financing, disclosure, or other issues.
Among the Excellence Awardees is Stikeman Elliott LLP for its involvement as lead counsel in creating a dual-share structure at Shopify Inc. Stikeman partner Sean Vanderpol led the deal. McCarthy Tétrault LLP advised the Special Committee of Shopify’s board of directors with a team led by Robert Hansen.
A large majority of Shopify Inc. share- holders approved the structure that guarantees chief executive officer and founder Tobi Lütke retains 40 percent voting power through a newly created “founder” share. The new share class created Class A shares, which carry one vote per share, and Class B shares, which carry ten votes each. The proposal aimed to strengthen the foundation for long-term stewardship by Lütke since the company’s successful IPO in 2015. The founder share gives Lütke a variable number of votes that would tally up to 40 percent of the total voting power attached to all the company’s outstanding shares when combined with other shares beneficially owned by him, his immediate family, and his affiliates. Many predict that this share-structure blueprint will inspire other tech companies.
The second Excellence Awardee includes McMillan LLP for its lead role in advising the Canadian government on issuing its in- augural Green Bonds, a 7.5-year, $5 billion bond issue with 2.25 percent interest, issued in March of last year. McMillan partners Eric Friedman, Paul Davis, Ravipal Bains, Don Waters, Christina Kim, and Michael Friedman worked on the deal. Carol Pennycook of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP and her team advised the underwriting group led by Royal Bank of Canada.
The deal involved ensuring that the bond issue aligned with Canada’s climate and environmental priorities and identifying suit- able expenditures eligible for allocation. The first sale ever of a green bond by the Government of Canada, with a final order book of over $11 billion, set a record high for a Canadian-dollar green-bond offering. Environmentally and socially responsible investors represented 72 percent of the buyers.
The final Excellence Awardee is Rogers Communications’ completion of the largest corporate bond offering in Canadian corporate history to finance its proposed acquisition of Shaw. Rogers issued $13.25 billion of senior notes through two concurrent private placements: $4.25 billion in senior notes allocated across four series and a US$7.05 billion issue of senior notes issued across five series, the largest-ever US dollar issuance by a Canadian corporate issuer in US market history. Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, as chief counsel to issuer Rogers, was the lead firm on the deal, with partner David Wilson at the team’s helm. Osler Hoskin & Harcourt, with a team led by Michael Innes, represented initial purchasers.
After closing the bond offerings, Rogers obtained the consent of bondholders to extend the outside date specified by the bond terms for closing the Shaw acquisition, for which it paid approximately $0.8 billion.
Consent solicitations addressed the post- closing risk should Rogers be required to repay the bonds due to any significant delay to the Shaw acquisition. Complicating this risk was a spike in bond yields in the months following closing. Davies devised a hybrid structure for the Canadian consent solicitation that layered an additional electronic process over the traditional written consent structure.
An economic rebound in 2022 looked possible with the lifting of travel restrictions and opening of business and public spaces as COVID-19 became less of a concern. Reflecting this transition, the four deals that made it into this year’s Excellence Awardees in the infrastructure category are projects geared toward the transport and energy sectors, with deal values ranging from $5 billion to over $10 billion.
These include the projects for the Ontario line transit system and the GO Transit Corridor expansion, as well as two joint ventures in the energy industry – one by LG Energy Solution and Stellantis and the other by Pembina Pipeline Corporation and KKR & Co. Among the awardees are Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, and McMillan LLP, for their involvement in the Ontario line transit system project, which is the first major subway in Ontario in 60 years. Valued at $6 billion, this project faced several challenges for proceeding at the same time as the Ukrainian War, such as the proliferation of sanctions.
Davies, led by Gregory Southam and William Buchner, represented both the Ontario Transit Group, ultimately owned by Ferrovial and VINCI, and the Connect 6ix consortium, which was led by Plenary Americas, Hitachi Rail, Webuild Group, and Transdev Canada Inc., in the closing of two contracts with Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx to complete the Ontario Line and its 15.6 kilometres of light rail transit. These two public-private partnerships are the first of the Ontario Line Transit System projects to close and are part of the larger transit expansion planned for the region of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
Fasken, led by Brian Kelsall, Ella Plotkin, and Tom Barlow, represented Metrolinx as the procuring authorities, while McMillan, with a team led by Candy Saga, Julie Han, and Shahen Mirakian, acted as counsel to the finance parties in connection with credit facilities made in favour of Ontario Transit Group.
Currently the second-largest infrastructure project in Canada with a deal value of over $10 billion, the GO Transit Corridor expansion is another deal that earned an Excellence Award. ONxpress Transportation Partners was selected to partner with Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Metrolinx, crown agencies of the Province of Ontario, which support the government’s public infrastructure and transportation. Work includes train service facilitations as well as the operations and maintenance of the GO rail network. This project represents the most ambitious infrastructure project undertaken by the Government of Ontario.
Davies, led by William Buchner, was the lead counsel to the civil construction joint venture, while Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP advised Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx with a team led by Marianne Smith. McCarthy Tétrault LLP, led by Samantha Cunliffe and Morgan Troke, acted as counsel to ONxpress, a group formed by Aecon Group Inc., FCC Construcción S.A., Deutsche Bahn International Operations, and Alstom Transport Canada Inc. Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, with Adriana Achui Roth as lead partner, advised Alstom Transport Canada. McMillan served as local counsel to the operations and maintenance provider, ultimately controlled and owned by Deutsche Bahn and Aecon.
Another Excellence Awardee in the infrastructure category is Stikeman Elliott LLP, with a team led by Keith Chatwin, for the law firm’s involvement as LG Energy Solution’s legal counsel in LG Energy’s joint venture with Stellantis N.V. to establish Canada’s first large-scale, domestic vehicle battery manufacturing facility. The facility is expected to play a major role in Canada’s electric vehicle renaissance. The complex joint venture required coordinating legal and commercial considerations across Korea, the United States, and Canada. Gowling WLG, led by partner Susan Rosen, represented the City of Windsor.
The final Excellence Awardee is for the creation of Pembina Gas Infrastructure (PGI) through the combination of the western Canadian natural gas processing assets of Pembina Pipeline Corporation and KKR & Co. Inc., valued at approximately $11.4 billion. Blakes and Torys LLP served as co-lead counsel, with Blakes advising Pembina and Torys representing KKR. Chris Harris and Chad Schneider led the Blakes legal team while Torys was led by Derek Flaman. Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, with team leader Craig Spurn, served as legal counsel to KKR and AimCo.
The assets in the joint venture include Pembina’s field-based natural gas processing assets, the Veresen Midstream business, previously owned 55 percent by funds managed by KRR and 45 percent by Pembina, and Energy Transfer Canada (ETC) business, previously owned 49 percent by funds managed by KKR. Upon deal completion, PGI acquired Energy Transfer LP’s remaining 51 percent stake in ETC. PGI serves customers from north central Alberta to northeast British Columbia, as well as Saskatchewan.
INSOLVENCY AND RESTRUCTURING
During COVID-19, insolvencies that led to bankruptcy or restructuring were primarily kept in check through government subsidies and patient lenders helping companies stay on their feet. But that didn’t mean all troubled companies made it through without going through an insolvency process. Four such deals were named Excellence Awardees for the Canadian Law Awards, highlighting the role law firms played in helping firms restructure and deal with their creditors.
Among the awardees are law firms who worked with Quebec-based shoe retailer Aldo Group Inc. in its restructuring. Aldo relied on the counsel of the legal team at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, led by partner Denis Ferland. McCarthy Tétrault LLP, with a team led by Jocelyn Perreault, acted for the court-appointed Monitor, EY. Stikeman Elliott LLP was counsel for creditor National Bank, with Guy Martel leading the team.
Although Aldo sold over $1.2 billion worth of merchandise in 2020, it lost $74.8 million at Canadian stores and $52.8 million at its US stores, and its debt exceeded $450 million.
Aldo had 3,000 points of sale in about 100 countries, employed over 8,000 people, and had over 1,000 franchisees, giving it one of the largest cross-border footprints in Canadian insolvency history. Proceedings under the Companies Creditors’ Arrangement Act were instituted in Canada, and similar proceedings were filed in the United States, Switzerland, France, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
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Last July, Aldo Group’s compromise and arrangement plan was approved by nearly all its creditors, sanctioned by the court, and recognized by the United States Bankruptcy Court. A Swiss composition agreement (the equivalent of a plan of arrangement) was also approved by a large majority of creditors and ratified by the Swiss court.
Another deal recognized as an Excellence Awardee involved the restructuring proceedings of BlackRock Metals Inc. and its subsidiaries, a case submitted by Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP. It advised Investissement Québec under the leadership of partner Luc Morin. Partner Alain Riendeau at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP helmed a team that advised monitor Deloitte. BlackRock’s CCAA proceedings succeeded in completing a transaction that allowed the company to emerge as a rehabilitated entity and proceed to the construction phase of its mining project, estimated to require financing of around US$1 billion.
The solution came through a “stalking-horse” bid submitted by BlackRock’s senior secured creditors Investissement Québec and OMF Fund II H Ltd, to which BlackRock was indebted to the tune of $100 million. The bid contemplated a credit bid of their secured debt to be implemented through a reverse vesting order (RVO), an increasingly popular restructuring tool.
Norton Rose Fulbright also advised on another Quebec-based insolvency Excellence Awardee, that of Groupe Sélection, which operates long-term-care homes. With a team again led by Luc Morin, NRF was legal adviser to the National Bank of Canada, which acted as an agent for a lending syndicate comprising Canadian banks and financial institutions. Fasken acted for monitor PwC with Brandon Farber leading the team.
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The syndicate successfully saw its proposal for restructuring – a response to Groupe Sélection’s plan that it did not like – accepted by the Superior Court Quebec, and a request for leave to appeal was denied by the province’s Court of Appeal.
The last Excellence Awardee in this category is for the CCAA restructuring of Harte Gold Corp. Fasken acted as counsel to BNP Paribas, an administrative and technical agent, lender, and hedge provider under the first lien credit facility. Stuart Brotman, with the insolvency and restructuring group, and Dev Singh, with the banking and finance practice, were lead partners on the deal. Goodmans LLP’s Joe Pasquariello led the team, which included Chris Armstrong, advising courtappointed monitor FTI Consulting Canada.
Harte’s key asset was its 100 percent interest in the Sugar Zone mine near White River in northern Ontario. It started commercial production in 2019. However, Harte’s debt to BNP Paribas was more than $100 million. After defaulting on its credit facility obligations in 2021, Harte applied for protection from creditors under CCAA.
Fasken advised BNP Paribas in connection with a series of forbearance arrangements, a marketing and sale process, and the sale of BNP Paribas’ loans to a third party. It also advised BNP Paribas in its continuing role as a hedge provider in Harte’s CCAA proceedings.
This is the leading case in Canada on factors to be considered by the court in granting an RVO.
From a deal that saw the largest exit transaction ever for a company founded by a single woman in Canada to an innovative deal in the mining space, the mid-market category Excellence Awardees all display the resilience of dealmaking despite the headwinds that have slowed M&A activity.
Among the awardees is a deal in which Essity AB, a global health and hygiene brand based out of Sweden, acquired 80 percent of Knix Wear, a Toronto-based retailer of women’s undergarments. Knix has more than two million customers, selling mainly direct-to-consumer through online channels, supplemented by six Knix retail stores. Founder Joanna Griffiths keeps a 20 percent stake in the company and remains at the helm as Knix president.
The Essity transaction, which valued Knix at US$400 million, involved a crossborder acquisition structure allowing for a successful exit for financial investors, including multiple private equity funds, while allowing Griffiths to continue her role in growing the business. Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP acted on behalf of Knix, with David Kruse as the lead. Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP acted for Essity, led by Luke Woolford.
The acquisition of Noront Resources by Wyloo Metals is another deal that was recognized as an Excellence Awardee. In April 2022, Wyloo completed the purchase of all shares of Noront that it did not already own. This followed a contested takeover battle with BHP for control of Noront, which owns mining projects in the “Ring of Fire” zone in northern Ontario. These assets are essential to Canada’s critical minerals strategy.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP, with Shea Small as lead partner, advised Wyloo Metals, the metals and mining subsidiary of Tattarang, one of Australia’s largest private investment groups. Bennett Jones LLP was counsel for Noront, and Blakes advised BHP.
The transaction, one of the few contested battles in the mining space in several years, involved a hostile takeover bid by Wyloo Metals, followed by a friendly supported takeover bid by BHP and a subsequent superior proposal by way of a plan of arrangement by Wyloo Metals. There were several back-and-forth proposals by Wyloo Metals and BHP, which ultimately saw Wyloo Metals succeed.
The deal also attracted scrutiny from the Ontario Securities Commission. It had a novel structure that permitted Noront shareholders to remain as shareholders of Noront Resources in a public company should more than 20 percent elect to do so. In the end, not enough shareholders chose this option.
The third Excellence Awardee in the mid-market category is the acquisition of Harbourfront Wealth Management by Boston-based Audax Private Equity. The deal, which closed last September, is valued at between $450 million and $500 million and is considered the largest transaction in the Canadian independent wealth management space.
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, with a 20-plus lawyer team led by Jon Conlin, led the transaction for Harbourfront alongside representatives of Raymond James, the sell-side financial advisor. Stikeman Elliott LLP, led by John Leopold, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to Audax, while Blakes served as legal counsel to the minority shareholders of Harbourfront.
Completing the deal was an intense process, with many cross-border, private equity, and strategic bidders, resulting in over two dozen non-disclosure agreements that had to be negotiated and signed with interested bidders. It also involved many alternatively structured offers involving equity and debt, which required comprehensive legal and tax analysis within a short time frame.
The final mid-market deal recognized as an Excellence Awardee was nominated by two law firms and involved Enercare’s acquisition of HydroSolution L.P. and HydroSolution Ltd. The transaction marks Enercare’s first investment in Quebec.
HydroSolution is Quebec’s leading provider of water heaters, heat pumps, electric vehicle charging stations, and other equipment for the home, serving more than 275,000 customers. Home and commercial services company Enercare is headquartered in Markham, Ontario, and is a portfolio company of Brookfield Infrastructure, privatized in 2018.
McCarthy Tétrault advised Enercare with a team helmed by Jonathan See and Hadrien Montagne. Under lead partner Aniko Pelland, Stikeman Elliott acted as counsel to HydroSolution and its limited partners, CDP Investissements Inc., Industrielle Alliance, Assurance et Services Financiers Inc., and affiliates of Groupe Confort Inc. and Société Financière Bourgie Inc.
Blakes acted for the banks. Borden Ladner Gervais LLP also acted for Société Financière Bourgie Inc., and Ekitas acted for Groupe Confort Inc.
The deal involved complex negotiations with a consortium of sellers, including the leading distributor of HydroSolution. Due diligence was also needed for hundreds of thousands of consumer contracts, and the buyer assumed all risks through a representations and warranties insurance policy.
M&A DEAL OF THE YEAR
Throughout the past year, M&A activity in Canada recorded notable deals despite some of the most difficult challenges brought by geopolitical unrest, commodity price instability, and a return to historically high inflation. From the largest real estate transaction in Quebec’s history to one of the largest deals in the Canadian gold sector, this year’s Excellence Awardees made their mark in the mining, technology, and real estate sectors with deal values ranging from $2.9 billion to a combined market capitalization of approximately $24 billion.
Among the awardees is Rio Tinto’s acquisition of Turquoise Hill Resources. Valued at $4.3 billion, the transaction was one of the largest Canadian M&A transactions announced off a binding term sheet with a subsequent definitive arrangement agreement. Canadian and global press followed the deal closely due to the high-profile agreements between Rio Tinto and the largest minority shareholders of Turquoise Hill. Subject to much regulatory scrutiny by the Quebec securities regulator, the agreements were for Turquoise Hill to obtain their “withhold” vote in exchange for private arbitration of dissent and oppression claims as well as an 80 percent advance payment of any dissent claims. The agreements were eventually terminated. However, the 80 percent dissent claim was subsequently offered to all shareholders, a first in Canadian M&A deals.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP, with a team led by Shea Small and Eva Bellissimo, acted as legal counsel for Rio Tinto. Steve Malas, Elliot Shapiro, and Orestes Pasparakis led the legal team of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP in advising Turquoise Hill while Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, led by Alex Moore, acted as legal counsel for Turquoise Hill Special Committee.
Kinross Gold Corporation’s US$1.4 billion acquisition of Great Bear Resources is another Excellence Awardee. Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP advised Kinross with a team led by partner James Brown. Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, with a team led by Bob Wooder, acted for Great Bear.
On February 24, 2022, Kinross completed its deal to acquire Great Bear, gaining ownership of Great Bear’s flagship Dixie project located in Ontario’s Red Lake mining district. Kinross agreed to an upfront payment of US$1.4 billion in cash and Kinross shares, as well as a contingent consideration that provided up to US$46 million based on the closing price for a Kinross share on the Toronto Stock Exchange on December 7, 2021. The contingent consideration will be payable in connection with Kinross’ announcement of commercial production at the Dixie project, provided at least 8.5 million gold ounces of measured and indicated mineral resources are disclosed.
Another deal recognized as an Excellence Awardee is the merger of equals between Kirkland Lake Gold and Agnico Eagle Mines, valued at an implied combined market capitalization of approximately $24 billion. One of the largest deals in the Canadian gold sector to date, the merger establishes Agnico Eagle as the third-largest gold company in the world and the mining company with the largest gold production from Canada.
Among the notable features of this transaction is the “force-the-vote” provision that would have required the recipient of an unsolicited competing bid to hold its shareholder meeting. This provision prevents the board from terminating the agreement in the event of a superior proposal and allows the target’s shareholders a chance to determine which deal they would prefer.
Fasken Martineau Dumoulin LLP, led by Bradley Freelan, advised the Kirkland Lake Gold Special Committee, while Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP acted as legal counsel to Agnico Eagle Mines with Patricia Olasker as lead partner. Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP advised Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd., led by Jamie Litchen.
The fourth Excellence Awardee is the $2.9 billion acquisition of LifeWorks by TELUS, a global communications technology company with 17 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video, and security.
The deal involved a regulatory clearance process across multiple jurisdictions, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, and spanned several practice areas, including public M&A, capital markets, corporate, debt finance, tax, and regulatory/competition.
Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, led by Emmanuel Pressman, acted as legal advisor to LifeWorks. Peter Castiel led Stikeman Elliott LLP legal counsel in advising TELUS while TELUS’ internal legal team was led by Andrea Wood, Andras Vagvolgyi, and Christopher Main.
The final Excellence Awardee in the M&A of the Year category involved the $5.7 billion sale of Cominar REIT, one of Canada’s largest diversified real estate investment trusts and commercial property owners, to Iris Acquisition II LP, a consortium led by Canderel Real Estate Property Inc.
The scale of the transaction and the sheer number of parties involved, with assets located in both Canada and the United States, make this transaction noteworthy.
Aside from Canderel, Iris Acquisition II LP also included FrontFour Capital Group LLC (FrontFour), Artis Real Estate Investment Trust (Artis), and partnerships managed by the Sandpiper Group (Sandpiper). Koch Real Estate Investments, LLC (KREI), and Artis provided preferred equity for the transaction. Additionally, Mach Group acquired approximately $1.5 billion of retail and office properties, and Blackstone acquired Cominar’s industrial portfolio.
Sébastien Roy led the Davies team in representing Cominar REIT. Stikeman Elliott, led by John R. Laffin and John Ciardullo, acted as legal counsel to Iris Acquisition II LP. McCarthy Tetrault, led by Jamie Orzech, advised Blackstone and Pure Industrial. Borden Ladner Gervais LLP acted as legal counsel to Mach Group, Fasken served as independent legal advisors to the Special Committee of Cominar Real Estate, Norton Rose Fulbright advised Artis and Sandpiper, and Osler acted as legal advisor to KREI.
Government of Canada inaugural Green Bond issue
McMillan LLP (lead, Government of Canada)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (underwriters led by Royal Bank of Canada)
Department of Justice
Rogers Communications bond offering to finance purchase of Shaw Communications
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (lead, Rogers Communications)
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP (Rogers Communications’ counsel in BC)
Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP (agents/initial purchasers in bond offerings)
Shopify dual-class structure change
Stikeman Elliott LLP (lead, Shopify Inc.)
McCarthy Tétrault LLP (special committee of Shopify
LG Energy Solution and Stellantis battery plant joint venture
Stikeman Elliott LLP (LG Energy Solution)
Gowling WLG (Windsor)
Ontario Line transit system project
Davies Ward Phillips and Vineberg LLP (developers and construction contractor)
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP (Metrolinx)
McMillan LLP (lenders)
GO Transit corridor expansion project
Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP (Metrolinx)
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (Alstom Transport Canada)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (Aecon and FCC joint venture)
McCarthy Tétrault LLP (Aecon, Deutsche Bahn, Alstom, and FCC consortium)
McMillan LLP (local counsel, operations and maintenance provider)
Pembina Pipeline Corporation and KKR & Co. joint venture to create Pembina Gas Infrastructure
Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP (Pembina)
Torys LLP (KKR)
Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP (KKR and AimCo)
INSOLVENCY AND RESTRUCTURING
Aldo cross-border restructuring
Davies Ward Philips & Vineberg LLP (lead, Aldo Group)
McCarthy Tétrault LLP (monitor, Ernst & Young Inc.)
Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP (US landlords)
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (operating lender)
Dentons Canada LLP (insurer)
Gowling WLG (counsel to certain Canadian landlords)
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP (CIBC as agent of the exit lenders syndicate)
Stikeman Elliott LLP (National Bank of Canada)
Harte Gold Corp restructuring
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP (BNP Paribas)
Goodmans LLP (court-appointed monitor)
McCarthy Tétrault LLP (Appian Capital Advisory and various affiliates in relation to the CCAA
proceedings of Harte Gold Corp.)
Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP (Silver Lake)
Stikeman Elliott LLP (debtor)
Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP (applicant board of directors)
Groupe Sélection restructuring under the CCAA
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP (National Bank of Canada)
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP (monitor, PwC)
Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP (Timbercreek)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (several partners and creditors of Groupe Sélection)
Fishman Flanz Meland Paquin LLP (BMO)
Gowling WLG (Briva Finance and Fiera)
McCarthy Tétrault LLP (FTI)
Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP (Montoni)
Stikeman Elliott LLP (Groupe Sélection Inc.)
Woods LLP (residents’ representative counsels)
BlackRock Metals restructuring
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP (senior secured creditor, Investissement Québec)
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP (Deloitte as the monitor)
Dentons Canada LLP (BlackRock Metals Inc.)
Goodmans LLP (BlackRock Metals Inc. board of directors’ special committee)
Gowling WLG (Cree Nation Government and the Grand Council of the Crees)
IMK LLP (certain shareholders of BlackRock Metals Inc.)
Lavery de Billy LLP (BlackRock Metals Inc.)
Torys LLP (senior secured creditor OMF Fund II H Ltd)
Essity acquisition of 80 percent share of Knix Wear
Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP (lead, Knix Wear Inc.)
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP (Essity)
Wyloo Metals Acquisition of Noront Resources
McCarthy Tétrault LLP (lead, Wyloo Metals)
Bennett Jones LLP (Noront)
Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP (BHP)
Audax Private Equity Acquisition of Harbourfront Wealth Management
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP (Harbourfront)
Stikeman Elliott LLP (Audax)
Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP (Harbourfront minority shareholders)
Enercare Acquisition of HydroSolution L.P. and HydroSolution Ltd.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP (Enercare)
Stikeman Elliott LLP (HydroSolution, L.P.)
Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP (the banks)
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (Société Financière Bourgie Inc.)
Ekitas Avocats & Fiscalistes Inc. (Groupe Confort Inc.)
M&A DEAL OF THE YEAR
Rio Tinto acquisition of Turquoise Hill Resources
Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP (Turquoise Hill special committee)
McCarthy Tétrault LLP (Rio Tinto)
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP (Turquoise Hill)
Kinross Gold Corp. acquisition of Great Bear Resources
Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP (co-lead, Kinross Gold Corporation)
Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP (co-lead, Great Bear Resources)
Kirkland Lake Gold and Agnico Eagle Mines merger of equals
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP (Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd.)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (Agnico Eagle Mines)
Fasken Martineau Dumoulin LLP (Kirkland Lake Gold special committee)
Telus acquisition of LifeWorks
Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP (LifeWorks)
Stikeman Elliott LLP (TELUS)
Canderel-led Consortium Acquisition of Cominar REIT
Davies Ward Phillips and Vineberg LLP (lead, Cominar REIT)
McCarthy Tetrault LLP (Blackstone and Pure Industrial)
Stikeman Elliott LLP (purchaser consortium)
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (Mach)
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP (special committee of Cominar Real Estate)
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP (Artis and Sandpiper)
Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP (KREI)