Lexpert reveals Toronto’s leading banking and finance lawyers based on the results of our comprehensive annual peer survey. The complete list of the Ontario’s most recommended lawyers and law firms in the field can be accessed 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adam E. Delean
Law firm: Torys LLP
Year called to the bar: 1990
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.
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.
Michael R. Harquail
Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Year called to the bar: 1984
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.
Richard T. Higa
Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Year called to the bar: 1990
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.
Blair W. Keefe
Law firm: Torys LLP
Year called to the bar: 1989
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
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.
Michael D. Matheson
Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Year called to the bar: 1994
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.
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.
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.
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.