Canadian Law Awards 2020

The first-ever Canadian Law Awards were beamed out to legal professionals across the country as Lexpert and Canadian Lawyer celebrated the industry’s top lawyers, firms and in-house legal departments

It's been a  challenging  year  for  the  legal  profession,  to  say  the  least – so there’s never been a better time to celebrate the achievements and  efforts  of  those  who  have  continued  to  thrive  during  such  turbulent  times.  October  6  marked  the  first annual  Canadian  Law  Awards,  brought  to  you  by  Gowling  WLG,  reimagined  as  a  virtual  event  that  offered  the  industry  a chance  to  connect,  network  and  celebrate.

Attended  by  hundreds  of  legal  professionals  from  across  Canada,  the online format offered a new event experience. In addition to hearing the much-anticipated announcement of award winners, attendees had the opportunity to take part in education and thought-provoking live panel discussions hosted by some of the legal profession’s elite.

Following a rigorous nomination and selection process, the nation’s finest  legal  professionals  jostled  for  pole  position  in  29 prestigious  award  categories. The  quality  of  talent  was  exceptional  across  the  board. The  team  at Lexpert and Canadian Lawyer would like to extend hearty congratulations to all the winners, excellence award recipients and nominees, as  well  as  a  sincere  thank you  to each of the 57 esteemed judges who dedicated their time to reviewing the submissions and also to our wonderful sponsors.

Read on to find out who won big this year.

GOLD Winners of Canadian Law Awards 2020:

Deals & Case Awards

Capital Markets Deal of the Year

TransAlta strategic Partnership with Brookfield
Firms: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Stikeman Elliott LLP, Torys LLP
Organizations: Brookfield Asset Management; TransAlta Corporation
Banks: CIBC World Markets, Inc., RBC Global Asset Management

Infrastructure & Projects Deal of the Year

Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project
Firms: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, McMillan LLP, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Stikeman Elliott LLP, Torys LLP
Organizations: Ministry of the Attorney General
Banks: CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC, Scotiabank, TD Bank

Insolvency & Restructuring Deal of the Year

Catalyst Paper Restructuring
Firms: Bennett Jones LLP, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Goodmans LLP, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, Jones Day, Lawson Lundell LLP, Miller Titerle Law Corporation, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, Stikeman Elliott LLP

M&A Deal of the Year

Air Canada Acquires Aeroplan
Firms: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Miller Thomson LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Stikeman Elliott LLP, Torys LLP
Organizations: Air Canada
Banks: American Express, CIBC, TD Bank

Private Equity Deal of the Year

BC Partners Buys GardaWorld
Firms: McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Stikeman Elliott LLP, Séguin Racine, Attorneys

Cross Border Deal of the Year

Newmont Acquires Goldcorp/Newmont Barrick Joint Venture
Firms: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP‎, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Goodmans LLP, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Class Action Team of the Year

Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP - Federal Indian Day School Class Action

Commercial Litigation Team of the Year

McCarthy Tétrault LLP - Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov, and the dual appeal in Bell Canada v. Canada (Attorney General)

Canadian Deal of the Year

Newmont acquires Goldcorp/Newmont Barrick joint venture
Firms: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Goodmans LLP, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Firm Awards

IP Boutique Law Firm of the Year

Smart & Biggar LLP

Litigation & Dispute Resolution Boutique Law Firm of the Year

Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP

Best Use of Technology in a Law Firm

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Atlantic Canada Law Firm of the Year

Cox & Palmer LLP

Ontario Law Firm of the Year

WeirFoulds LLP

Prairies Law Firm of the Year

Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP

Quebec Law Firm of the Year

Lavery de Billy LLP

Western Canada Law Firm of the Year

Farris LLP

Litigator of the Year

Linda Plumpton - Torys LLP

Managing Partner of the Year

Les Viner - Torys LLP

Canadian Boutique Law Firm of the Year

Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP

In-House Awards

Banking & Financial Institutions Law Department of the Year

BMO Financial Group

Construction, Infrastructure & Transportation Law Department of the Year

Aecon Group Inc.
Air Canada

Energy & Resources Law Department of the Year

Pembina Pipeline Corporation

Law Department Leader of the Year

Kerry O'Reilly Wilks - TransAlta Corporation

The Fasken Award for Law Department Innovation

Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan

Canadian Law Department of the Year

Bell Canada

Legal Profession Awards

The Gowling WLG Award for Woman of the Year

Audrey Boctor - IMK LLP
Claire Hunter, Q.C. - Hunter Litigation Chambers

Pro Bono Initiative of the Year

BMO Financial Group – “Closing the access to justice gap through pro bono activities”

The Bereskin & Parr Award for Diversity Initiative of the Year

McCarthy Tétrault LLP – “Inclusion Now”

Featured Winners:

 

Atlantic Canada Law Firm of the Year

Wagners Law Firm

Raymond Wagner, Q.C. is the founder of Wagners. He has dedicated his legal practice to representing injured plaintiffs. His practice primarily focuses on class actions, medical negligence with a special focus in birth trauma, and personal injury litigation. He obtained his law degree from Dalhousie Law School and was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1980. Ray is a compassionate advocate, known for his candor, civility and practical advice. He places value on timely and equitable resolutions and has achieved significant settlements for his clients. Ray is known for litigating complex, technical and novel issues within his medical negligence and class action practice areas, and he has consistently strived to advance the law on behalf of injured plaintiffs. He is an experienced trial lawyer repeatedly recognized by peer review publications. He is a recipient of the H. Bruce T. Hillyer Award and the Lorne Clarke QC Access to Justice Award. Ray routinely presents to members of the CBA, the Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association, the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice, and other associations and conferences. Ray has participated as an active member of the Nova Scotia Statutory Costs and Fees Committee, the NSBS Rules Committee, a Contingency Fee Agreement subcommittee and the Nova Scotia Bar and Bench Civil Procedure Rules Committee. He organized and addressed the first Nova Scotia Barristers Society Class Action Conference. Ray was one of four founders of APTLA, was the first president of APTLA, and was also first Chairman of the Canadian Caucus of the AAJ.

 

IP Boutique Law Firm of the Year

Smart & Biggar LLP

Smart & Biggar is Canada’s largest intellectual property and technology law firm, with over 100 professionals in five offices across Canada. We work directly with global and domestic businesses and law firms, to help them secure, protect and maximize the value of their innovations and intellectual property investments in Canada. We are consistently recognized as the leading Canadian IP firm by a wide range of third party domestic and international rankings. We have been providing the world’s most successful and innovative businesses with sophisticated and creative IP solutions for over 100 years.