Best asset-based lending lawyers in Canada

Lexpert reveals the best asset-based lending lawyers in Canada based on the results of our comprehensive annual peer survey

Lexpert reveals the best asset-based lending lawyers in Canada based on the results of our comprehensive annual peer survey. The complete list of the country’s most recommended lawyers and law firms in the field can be viewed via our 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 co-chairs the asset-based lending team. He devotes his practice to corporate finance. Amato serves as counsel and advisor to various foreign and domestic financial institutions, insurance companies, funds and other credit providers. He boasts significant experience in sophisticated debt financing transactions and has led numerous multi-jurisdictional, international and domestic debt financing mandates, including cash-flow, asset-based, acquisition, debtor-in-possession, mine and project financings. As a key member of the NRF’s asset-based lending team, Amato represents and advises Canadian and US asset-based lenders. He also has extensive insolvency and restructuring experience acting on behalf of creditors.

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Jean E. Anderson

Law firm: Goodmans LLP


Year called to the Bar: 198
City: Toronto

Jean E. Anderson is a partner in the banking and finance law group at Goodmans LLP. She focuses on financing, corporate transactions and financial institution regulatory matters. Anderson boasts more than three decades of extensive expertise in acquisition financing, project finance, asset-based lending, debt restructuring and complex domestic and cross-border financings. Among the clients she has represented are 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, where he was a member of the executive committee for several years. 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 has extensive 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, healthcare, 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 focuses on 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 large Canadian and US banks and other financial institutions. More than half of his practice involves acquisition financings for private equity sponsored acquisitions. His recent transactions include 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, 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 serves as a partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. He specializes in national and international banking and finance, representing financial institutions and private equity firms. Scoler has extensive expertise in a broad range of finance-related matters with an emphasis on syndicated and cross-border loan transactions, leveraged buyouts and takeover bid financings, mezzanine and subordinate debt, asset-based lending, insolvencies, restructurings and workouts.

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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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Gordon D. Baird

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1991

City: Toronto

Gordon D. Baird is a partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s financial services group in Toronto. He devotes his practice to lending and secured transactions, with particular emphasis on lending to the power, financial services, and media and telecommunications sectors. Baird regularly acts for bank syndicates, non-bank lenders and borrowers on domestic, cross-border and international loan transactions. His recent transactions include acting for borrowers in multibillion-dollar liquidity facilities backstopping commercial paper programs and in respect of central clearing parties. He has also acted for investors on multiple bond offerings in connection with the development or financing of wind-power and hydroelectric generation facilities and for 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. He is also the chair of McCarthy Tétrault’s national pro bono committee.

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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 has extensive experience 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 focuses on financings in the oil and gas, oil sands, pipeline, energy services and renewable power sectors. Fougere routinely acts for major Canadian banks and 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 in the financial services group at McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Toronto office. He specializes in 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, financial institutions, corporate borrowers and private equity firms in connection with 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. He boasts more than 20 years of experience in banking and financial services law, with a particular specialization in 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 at Stikeman Elliott LLP’s banking and finance group. He specializes in banking, restructurings and workouts. Mitchell boasts expertise in private acquisition financings, takeover bid financings, debtor-in-possession financings, asset-based lending and mezzanine lending. He acts as counsel to both 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. He is a member of the Law Society of Ontario and the American Bar Association.

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Richard O’Doherty

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP


Year called to the Bar: 2000

City: Montréal

Richard O’Doherty serves as partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP. He devotes his practice to projects, project financing and corporate lending. His recent experience includes acting for various lenders and developers in the power, mining, transportation and logistics, manufacturing, retail, telecommunication and agribusiness sectors. O’Doherty has acted in more than 20 wind farm financings and financings pertaining to hydroelectric, mining and solar projects. He also regularly advises on multicurrency cross-border and private equity transactions and other acquisition financings.

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 head of the banking and real estate groups at Stikeman Elliott LLP. He also is a member of the firm’s mergers and acquisitions group. In his banking law practice, Rosenoff has represented both lenders and borrowers in a variety of financing transactions, including syndicated loans, project financings and asset-based financings. In project financing, he is an expert 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. He also boasts extensive experience 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.

Aimee Yee

Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP


Year called to the Bar: 2002 (ON); 2005 (NS)

City: Toronto

Aimee Yee serves as a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. She devotes her practice to domestic and cross-border financing and restructuring transactions. Yee has advised lenders, borrowers, underwriters and issuers on asset-based financings, acquisition financings, equipment financings, inventory financings, warehouse financings, project financings, high yield offerings, debtor-in-possession financings and exit financings. She has also been involved in several financing and restructuring transactions and high-yield offerings in a variety of industry sectors, including forestry, telecommunications, transportation, manufacturing, aviation, construction and power and energy. A selection of her representative transactions includes acting for the administrative agent for the DIP lenders in the Eastman Kodak Company restructuring proceedings, the administrative agent for the lenders in the exit credit facilities to Resolute Forest Products Inc. and certain of its subsidiaries and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce on its $400-million revolving credit facility to Manitoba Telecom Services Inc.

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