Lexpert reveals Toronto’s top corporate mid-market lawyers based on our latest yearly comprehensive peer review. Check out the full roster of Ontario’s most recommended lawyers and law firms in the field on our practice area rankings list.
Our survey defines corporate mid-market as an area of transactional work involving private and public businesses with a revenue range between $50 million and $200 million. Law practitioners focusing on this area are primarily called upon to develop transaction strategy and to advise on the law as it relates to corporate, securities, finance, tax, competition, labour, employee benefits, real property, regulatory, environmental, intellectual property and litigation.
Most frequently recommended corporate mid-market lawyers
Chad Bayne is a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. He practises corporate and securities law, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance in the technology sector. Bayne is also the founder and co-chair of the firm’s emerging and high-growth companies practice group. He advises some of the most notable Canadian emerging and later-stage tech companies and the venture capital investors that finance them. Bayne also advises several notable multinational technology companies in connection with their Canadian M&A activities. He plays a central role in the firm’s efforts in Rotman’s Creative Destruction Lab, NEXT Canada, Peerscale (formerly AceTech Ontario), C100, CIX and League of Innovators (formerly The Next Big Thing).
Joel E. Binder is a partner at the corporate finance, securities and mergers and acquisitions groups at Stikeman Elliott LLP in Toronto, where he previously served on the management committee. Binder boasts extensive experience in these practice areas, along with private equity, where he often advises clients. He frequently represents public issuers, boards of directors and investment dealers in transactions involving public offerings, private placements, takeover bids, business combinations and governance and securities compliance matters. Binder regularly speaks at conferences on securities law and has authored articles on a variety of securities law topics. He is a past director and audit committee member of two public companies. Binder is also a member of the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) advisory committee and the firm’s associates committee.
Curtis Cusinato is a partner and the vice-chair of Bennett Jones LLP. He also serves as co-head of the firm’s mergers and acquisitions group. Cusinato devotes his practice to corporate and securities law, with a focus on cross-border M&A, private equity and capital markets transactions. For over two decades, he has advised leading multinational, public and private companies and private equity groups on domestic and cross-border M&A, divestitures, leveraged and management buyouts, going-private transactions and other private equity transactions. Cusinato has also advised on public offerings, restructurings, reorganizations, joint ventures and debt and equity financings. His practice also includes advising boards of directors on various corporate governance matters and covers a spectrum of industries, including technology, steel, manufacturing, agribusiness, foodservice, hospitality, gaming, environmental, financial services, and life sciences. Cusinato’s clients include multinational, US and Canadian public companies, North American private companies, Canadian chartered banks, investment and merchant banks, private equity groups, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds. He sits on the board of several entities and frequently acts as a speaker on various corporate topics.
Jeremy D. Fraiberg
Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Year called to the bar: 2000
Jeremy D. Fraiberg is a partner Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, where he chairs the mergers and acquisitions group. Fraiberg has acted for several public and private companies, private equity firms and investment banks on a range of acquisitions, securities offerings and other corporate transactions. He routinely represents investment dealers on fairness opinions, valuations and complex financial advisory assignments. Fraiberg has also taught at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law on contested mergers and proxy contests. He has spoken and written about a range of legal issues.
Samantha G. Horn
Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP
Year called to the bar: 1993
Samantha G. Horn is a partner and a member of Stikeman Elliott LLP’s management committee in Toronto. She formerly served as co-head of the firm’s mergers and acquisitions and private equity groups. Horn practises primarily in the areas of M&A, private equity, venture capital financing and fund formation. She is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and past chair of the private equity and venture capital committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association, where she also served on the council of its Business Law Section. Horn is a founding and executive member of the Canadian Women in Private Equity Committee of the Canadian Venture Capital Association. She has authored several articles and participated as a speaker in various seminar programs in both Canada and the US with respect to private equity and venture capital financing, shareholders agreements and fund formation matters.
Jay A. Lefton is a partner at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. He devotes his practice to corporate and securities law. Lefton advises clients on public and private mergers and acquisitions transactions, private equity matters and public and private financings. He also assists them with strategic alliances, technology transfer and licensing. Lefton works predominantly in the technology and life sciences sector assisting acquirers and target companies and their boards of directors. He advises on negotiated transactions and unsolicited takeover bids, most of which are multi-jurisdictional. Lefton also represents public and private issuers, advisers, venture capitalists, institutional investors and private equity funds. Working with universities, hospitals, research institutions and researchers, he advises at various stages in the commercialization of their discoveries. Lefton also takes a leading role in the firm’s Israeli and West Bank initiative and travels to the region several times a year. He is a former member of the Ontario Securities Commission’s securities advisory committee, advising the commission on various matters, including legislative and policy initiatives.
Neill I. May is a partner Goodmans LLP, where is also the co-chair of corporate securities group and a member of the executive committee. May boasts extensive experience in corporate and securities law, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, governance and proxy matters, domestic and cross-border public and private financings, private equity and business restructurings. He is also actively involved in mining and Asian market practice areas.
Vincent A. Mercier is a partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. He specializes in mergers and acquisitions, where has acted for many of Canada’s most important transactions. Mercier represents acquirers, targets, controlling shareholders and committees of independent directors in public company acquisitions, both negotiated and hostile. He also represents strategic and private equity buyers in private M&A transactions and has extensive experience in cross-border transactions. Mercier is well-versed in various industries, including financial services, communications and media, technology, mining and energy. He advises public company boards on activism defence and other corporate governance issues.
Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP
Year called to the bar: 2002
Mario Nigro is a partner in the mergers and acquisitions and private equity and venture capital groups at Stikeman Elliott LLP. His practice focuses on business law, including acquisitions, dispositions and reorganizations. Nigro has extensive experience working with private equity and venture capital firms on numerous acquisitions and dispositions. He has worked on numerous Canadian private equity fund transactions for leading private equity firms. Nigro also has extensive experience working with owner operators who are looking at selling their businesses. He has worked with both entrepreneurs who are looking at selling a minority interest to grow their businesses and owners who are looking for a complete exit. Nigro has also worked with owners in all industries and particularly manufacturing, services, technology, food and consumer product businesses. He has represented some of the leading food, retail and manufacturing businesses in Canada, as well as a leading provider of outsourced office and workplace solutions in Canada. Nigro works with several emerging technology companies and has helped them with acquisitions, dispositions, financings and growth capital transactions. He is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth and the Toronto chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth.
W. Ian Palm is a partner at Gowling WLG’s Toronto office. His practice focuses on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and private equity. Palm has extensive experience working with Canadian and international clients in a variety of industries, with particular emphasis on the technology, energy and infrastructure sectors. He represents private and public companies, major corporations, pension funds, and private equity and venture capital investors. Acting for issuers, investors and underwriters, Palm has advised clients in a range of corporate finance and M&A transactions, including private placements, public offerings, private equity and venture capital transactions, joint ventures and public and private M&A. He speaks frequently at law schools, institutes and conferences on mergers and acquisitions, private equity and securities law.
Brian M. Pukier
Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP
Year called to the bar: 1994
Brian M. Pukier is a partner at Stikeman Elliott LLP’s mergers and acquisitions group, which he previously headed. He also serves on the management committee in the Toronto office. Pukier specializes in cross-border M&A, private equity investments, corporate finance transactions, complex corporate reorganizations and public policy. He boasts significant experience in counselling senior management and the boards of directors of leading public and private corporations. Pukier is a member of the Ontario Bar Association, Canadian Bar Association and International Bar Association. He is also on the board of directors of Computershare Trust Company of Canada. Pukier is a frequent speaker and writer on M&A and securities regulatory topics.
Simon A. Romano
Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP
Year called to the bar: 1989
Simon A. Romano serves as partner in the capital markets and mergers and acquisitions groups at Stikeman Elliott LLP. He was also a former member of the management committee in the Toronto office. His practice focuses on securities, public and private mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. Romano advises public companies, financial institutions, underwriters, investment funds, private equity funds, real estate investment trusts and income trusts, alternative trading systems and regulatory and self-regulatory organizations. He also acts on corporate governance and executive compensation matters. Romano was instrumental in the structure and launch of special purpose acquisition companies in Canada. He was previously seconded to the Ontario Securities Commission as special counsel and is a former member of its securities advisory committee. He also co-authored the first book on Canadian income funds and is a former clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada.