These were Canada’s top commodity tax/custom lawyers are based on the results of Lexpert’s 2021 yearly peer survey. The full list of the nation’s current best commodity taxation lawyers and law firms can be found at the link.
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
Law firm: Aird & Berlis LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1990
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 (CBA) 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. Bass is a contributing editor of Federated Press' Sales Tax, Customs & Trade Journal published by Thomson Reuters Canada.
Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1986
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.
Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1990
Greg Kanargelidis is a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, where he also 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.
Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Year called to the Bar: 2001
Alan Kenigsberg is a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s Toronto office. He specializes in 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.
Law firm: Millar Kreklewetz LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1991
Robert G. Kreklewetz is a partner at Millar Kreklewetz LLP. He focuses on all indirect (commodity) tax, customs and international trade issues affecting the national or international movement of goods, services, labour, and business. His indirect tax practice includes planning, representation and litigation on Canada’s GST/HST, provincial sales taxes and other indirect taxes like tobacco, alcohol, gasoline and fuel taxes. Kreklewetz’s customs and international trade practice covers planning, representation and litigation on all customs and trade issues, including tariff classification, origin, valuation, marking, labelling, seizures, ascertained forfeitures and AMPS, export controls, NAFTA, WTO and anti-dumping. He has extensive tax and trade litigation experience before all levels of courts, from the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and Tax Court of Canada to the Supreme Court of Canada. Kreklewetz is a past chair of the Ontario Bar Association’s Tax Section and the Canadian Bar Association’s National Commodity Tax, Customs and Trade Section. He is the current editor-in-chief of the Federated Press Sales & Commodity Tax Journal. Kreklewetz has written more than 800 articles and papers and addressed over 250 speaking engagements in his areas of expertise.
Law firm: Millar Kreklewetz LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1980 (ON); 1993 (BC)
W. Jack Millar is a partner at Millar Kreklewetz LLP. He specializes in taxation, international trade and related litigation, including GST, HST, sales, excise and all indirect taxes, customs valuation, tariff classification, origin, AMPS penalties and seizures, anti-dumping and NAFTA matters. Millar assists clients with tax planning and cross-border matters, compliance, representations and appearances before all levels of federal and provincial courts, the Tax Court of Canada and Canadian International Trade Tribunal and Tax Court of Canada. He is a past governor of CTF, past chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Sales Tax Section and Taxation Committee of TBT. Millar is also the director of Direct Sellers Association and a member of the editorial board of the Canadian Tax Journal. He is also a founding member of the GST Leaders Forum. Millar is a frequent speaker at professional conferences and a GST/HST lecturer at CBA’s Tax Law for Lawyers Program. He is also a member of NAFTA’s Binational Panel Roster. Millar is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Consistently recommended commodity tax/customs lawyers
Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1995
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.
Law firm: Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1986 (QC); 1987 (ON); 1994 (Massachusetts); 1995 (New York)
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.
Law firm: Felesky Flynn LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1992
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.
Law firm: Bennett Jones LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1982
Darrel H. Pearson is a partner at Bennett Jones LLP, where he also heads the international trade practice. He specializes in all aspects of international trade and customs law, including trade remedies, customs, international trade treaty matters, export regulation, sanctions and controls, goods and services taxes, government procurement dispute settlement, corruption of foreign officials advice and other regulatory matters concerning Canadian trade regulation. Pearson has represented domestic and international clients in many of the most important customs and trade remedy cases before all relevant Canadian tribunals and courts, including two cases involving customs law and international trade remedy law heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also authored numerous publications on international trade law and has been a speaker at conferences in Canada and abroad.
Law firm: Stikeman Elliott LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1998
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.