2023 Winners & Excellence Awardees

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  • Hundreds of nominations were received from firms and legal departments across the nation. 
  • The Awards research team reviewed all nominations, applying its own knowledge and some third-party information, to identify the outstanding firms, teams, individuals, deals or cases in each category that receive an ‘’Excellence Award’’. 
  • The second phase of the research process involves the ‘’Excellence Awards’’ nominations material being forwarded to the extensive independent judging panel for scoring against strict criteria. 
  • Judges’ scores are aggregated to produce a single ‘Winner’ in each category, a process that is fully verified by the Official Ballot Accountants, PwC.
  • The Winners of each category will be announced during the Canadian Law Awards event on May 11, 2023. 

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DEALS AWARDS


Capital Markets Deal of the Year

Hammerhead Resources' business combination with Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation IV, forming Hammerhead Energy
Canadian Law Firms
Bennett Jones LLP (for Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation IV)

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (for the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Hammerhead Resources Inc.)

Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP (for Hammerhead Resources)

Non-Canadian Law Firms
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP (for Hammerhead Resources)

Pembina Pipeline Corporation’s $1.28 Billion Offering of Subscription Receipts
Canadian Law Firms
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (for Pembina Pipeline Corporation)

Stikeman Elliott LLP (for underwriters)

Non-Canadian Law Firms
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Accountants
KPMG LLP

RBC Dominion Securities Inc.

Scotia Capital Inc.

TD Securities Inc.

Thoma Bravo's acquisition of Magnet Forensics Inc.
Canadian Law Firms
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (for Magnet Forensics)

Dentons Canada LLP (for Special Committee of Magnet)

Goodmans LLP (for Nellore)

McMillan LLP (Canadian Counsel for Thoma Bravo)

Non-Canadian Law Firms
Allen & Overy LLP (for the Lenders)

Kirkland & Ellis LLP (US Counsel for Thoma Bravo)

Organizations
CIBC Capital Markets (independent valuator to the Special Committee)

Morgan Stanley (exclusive financial advisor to the Special Committee of Magnet)

Thomson Reuters’ US$2.2 billion return of capital and reverse-stock-split transaction
Canadian Law Firms
Torys LLP (for Thomson Reuters)

Infrastructure & Projects Deal of the Year

Canada Infrastructure Bank’s $52 million investment in the Thompson Regional Airport redevelopment project
Canadian Law Firms
McCarthy Tétrault LLP (for Canada Infrastructure Bank)

MLT Aikins LLP (for Thompson Regional Airport Authority)

Organizations
Canada Infrastructure Bank

Thompson Regional Airport Authority

Chiniki and Goodstoney First Nations' energy infrastructure equity partnership with ATCO
Canadian Law Firms
Bennett Jones LLP (for ATCO)

Organizations
ATCO EnPower

Oneida Energy Storage Project
Canadian Law Firms
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (for Northland Power)

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (for Aecon Construction Group)

Fogler Rubinoff LLP (for Six Nations)

McCarthy Tétrault LLP (for Canada Infrastructure Bank)

Torys LLP (for Oneida)

Organizations
Aecon Concessions

Canada Infrastructure Bank

Northland Power

NRStor Inc.

Oneida Energy Storage LP

Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation

Umicore's investment in Ontario, building an EV battery components factory
Canadian Law Firms
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (lead; for Umicore

Insolvency & Restructuring Deal of the Year

Bank of Montreal's acquisition of Loyalty One's AIR MILES reward business
Canadian Law Firms
Bennett Jones (for Ad Hoc Group of Loyalty Ventures Inc. Lenders

Borden Ladner Gervais (Canadian counsel to Bank of America, N.A., as Administrative Agent)

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP (for Loyalty One

Dentons LLP (counsel to American Express)

Goodmans LLP (counsel to the monitor)

McCarthy Tetrault (counsel to RBC Investor Services Trust)

Stikeman Elliott LLP (Canadian counsel to Bread Financial Holdings Inc.)

Torys LLP (for BMO)

Non-Canadian Law Firms
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (U.S. bankruptcy counsel to Loyalty Ventures)

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (U.S. counsel to Bread Financial Holdings Inc.)

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP (U.S. counsel to Ad hoc term loan B lenders)

Haynes And Boone LLP (U.S. counsel to Bank of America, N.A., as Administrative Agent)

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP (U.S. bankruptcy counsel to BMO)

Organizations
Alvarez & Marsal Holdings, LLC (Financial Advisor to LoyaltyOne and Loyalty Ventures)

BMO Financial Group

KSV Restructuring, Inc., CCAA Monitor

Morgan Stanley (Financial Advisor to BMO)

Piper Sandler & Co. (Financial Advisor to Ad hoc term loan B lenders)

PJT Partners Inc. (Financial Advisor to LoyaltyOne and Loyalty Ventures)

Groupe Selection's financial restructuring under CCAA
Canadian Law Firms
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (for Investissement Québec, Otéra Capital Inc., and Timbercreek Mortgage Servicing, Inc.)

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (for Revera Inc., Desjardins, Fonds de Solidarité FTQ, Blackstone and SmartCentres)

Dentons Canada LLP (for Laurentian Bank of Canada)

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP (for Scotiabank, CIBC Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP)

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP (for National Bank of Canada)

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP (for Groupe Montoni, Royal Bank of Canada)

Stikeman Elliott LLP (for Groupe Sélection Inc. et. al.)

Woods LLP

Repsol's restructuring
Canadian Law Firms
Bennett Jones LLP (for Repsol Oil & Gas Inc.))

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (for Landlords to Repsol Oil & Gas Inc.)

Xebec and its affiliates' restructuring under CCAA
Canadian Law Firms
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (for National Bank of Canada)

McCarthy Tétrault LLP (for Deloitte Restructuring Inc.)

Goodmans LLP (for Sullair, LLC, the purchaser of Xebec’s California Compression business)

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP (for Export Development Canada)

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP (for Xebec)

Organizations
Deloitte Restructuring

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Richter

M & A Deal of the Year

Cameco/Brookfield acquisition of Westinghouse Electric Company
Canadian Law Firms
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Goodmans LLP (for the independent directors of Brookfield Renewable Partners)

McCarthy Tétrault LLP (for Cameco Corporation)

Stikeman Elliott LLP (for Westinghouse Electric Company)

Torys LLP

Non-Canadian Law Firms
Covington & Burling LLP

Conyers Dill & Pearman

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP

Pan American Silver Corp. and Agnico Eagle Mines' $6.59 Billion joint acquisition of Yamana Gold Inc.
Canadian Law Firms
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (lead counsel; for Pan American Silver Corp.)

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP (for Yamana Gold Inc.)

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (lead counsel; for Agnico Eagle Mines Limited)

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP (counsel to the special committee of the Board of Yamana Gold Inc.)

Non-Canadian Law Firms
Ashurst (UK counsel to Pan American)

Carey y Cia Ltda (Chilian counsel to Pan American)

Mattos Filho Advogados (Brazilian counsel to Pan American)

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (US counsel to Yamana)

Pinheiro Neto Advogados (Brazilian counsel to Yamana)

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (US counsel to Pan American)

Organizations
BMO Capital Markets (financial advisor to Pan American)

Canaccord Genuity Ltd (financial advisor to Yamana)

GenCap Mining Advisory Ltd (financial advisor to Pan American)

Scotia Capital Inc. (financial advisor to the special committee of the Board of Yamana)

Stifel Financial Corp (financial advisor to Yamana)

Rogers Communications' $26 billion acquisition of Shaw Communications
Canadian Law Firms
Bennett Jones LLP (competition counsel to Videotron)

Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (lead counsel; for Shaw Communications Inc.)

Dentons Canada LLP

Goodmans LLP (lead counsel; for Rogers Communications Inc.)

Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP

McCarthy Tetrault (for Bank of America N.A. and Bank of America Securities Inc.)

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP (lead counsel for Quebecor)

Torys LLP (for Rogers Control Trust)

Smith Financial Corporation's US$1.7 billion acquisition of Home Capital
Canadian Law Firms
Stikeman Elliott LLP (for Smith Financial Corporation)

Torys LLP (for Home Capital)

Organizations
BMO Capital Markets

Deloitte

Home Capital Group Inc.

RBC Capital Markets

TD Securities

Strathcona Resources' $8.6 billion acquisition of Pipestone Energy
Canadian Law Firms
Bennett Jones LLP (for Riverstone Pipestone – largest shareholders of Pipestone)

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (lead counsel; for Strathcona Resources Ltd.)

McCarthy Tétrault LLP (for Pipestone Energy Corp.)

Stikeman Elliott LLP (for Waterous Energy Fund)

Non-Canadian Law Firms
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP (US legal advisors to Strathcona)

Organizations
BMO Capital Markets

CIBC Capital Markets

Mizuho Securities USA

Raymond James Ltd.

Scotiabank

Strathcona Resources Ltd.

TD Securities

The Bank of Nova Scotia

TotalEnergies' $5.5 billion sale of its Canadian oil and gas assets
Canadian Law Firms
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (lead for Suncor Energy)

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP (lead for Conoco)

Torys LLP (lead for TotalEnergies)

Organizations
KPMG France (accountant for TotalEnergies)

TotalEnergies

Mid-Market Deal of the Year

Excellence Awardees
Linamar’s acquisition of Mobex Global's Propulsion-Agnostic Business
Canadian Law Firms
Aird & Berlis LLP (for Linamar Corporation)

Non-Canadian Law Firms
Warner Norcross + Judd LLP (US Counsel to Linamar)

Organizations
Linamar Corporation

Sagicor Financial Company Ltd.'s acquisition of ivari
Canadian Law Firms
Stikeman Elliott LLP (for Sagicor)

Torys LLP (for ivari)

Non-Canadian Law Firms
Appleby (for Wilton Re Ltd.)

Paul Hastings LLP (US Counsel to Sagicor)

Organizations
National Bank Financial (lead financial advisor)

J.P. Morgan (financial advisor)

RBC Capital Markets (financial advisor)

ET (financial and due diligence advisor)

RSM (assisted with actuarial diligence)

Goldman Sachs (financial advisor to Wilton Re Ltd.)

Wells Fargo (financial advisor to Wilton Re Ltd.)

Skyservice's investment in Fontainebleau Aviation's fixed-based operator at Miami Opa-Locka Executive Airport
Canadian Law Firms
McCarthy Tétrault LLP (for Skyservice™)

Non-Canadian Law Firms
Cooley LLP

DLA Piper LLP

Organizations
William Blair & Company

Wonderfi, Coinsquare, and CoinSmart business combination
Canadian Law Firms
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP (for WonderFi)

Goodmans LLP (legal counsel to Coinsquare)

Wildeboer Dellelce LLP (counsel to CoinSmart)

Non-Canadian Law Firms
Dorsey & Whitney LLP (US legal counsel to WonderFi)

Organizations
Eight Capital Corp. (financial advisor to CoinSmart)

Haywood Securities Inc. (financial advisor to WonderFi)

Origin Merchant Partners (financial advisor to Coinsquare)

CASE AWARDS


Commercial Litigation Team of the Year

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (“BLG”) - Ouellet c. Compagnie de chemin de fer Canadien Pacifique, 2022 QCCS 4643

Bennett Jones LLP; Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP; Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (“BLG”); Branch MacMaster LLP; Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP; Dutton Brock LLP; Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP; Koskie Minsky LLP; Lerners LLP; Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP; Stikeman Elliot LLP; Thomas Gold Pettingill LLP - Workman Optometry Corporation et al. v. Certas Home and Auto Insurance et al.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP; Dentons Canada LLP - Petty v. Niantic Inc., 2023 BCCA 315

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP; Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP; Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP - Sandoz Canada Inc. v. British Columbia, 2023 BCCA 306

McCarthy Tétrault LLP - Canada (Privacy Commissioner) v. Facebook, Inc., 2023 FC 533

IN-HOUSE AWARDS


Banking & Financial Services Law Department of the Year

BMO Financial Group

Fengate Asset Management

iA Financial Group

OPTrust

The winner of this category will automatically progress to become an excellence awardee in Canadian Law Department of the Year

Canadian Law Department of the Year

Dow Chemical Canada

EY Canada (Ernst & Young LLP)

Linamar Corporation Legal Department

Northland Power

Teck Resources Limited

The Descartes Systems Group Inc.

Winners of the two sector-specific law department awards will automatically progress to become excellence awardees for this category

Law Department Innovation

City of Vaughan

Laurentian Bank of Canada

The Lawson Lundell LLP Award for Law Department Leader of the Year

Bindu Cudjoe - Laurentian Bank of Canada

Carisa Gordon - Calian Group Ltd.

David Taylor - Corporation of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent

Gassim Bangoura - Birks group

Laurie Sargent - Indigenous Rights and Relations Portfolio at the Department of Justice Canada

Sarah Qadeer - Deloitte LLP

Sharon Haward-Laird - BMO Financial Group

The Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP Award for Construction, Infrastructure and Transportation Law Department of the Year

Aecon Group Inc.

BC Ministry of the Attorney General, Legal Services Branch Transportation Major Projects Team (LSB)

CDPQ Infra Inc.

Manitoba Hydro Legal Services

Ontario Infrastructure and Lands Corporation / (“Infrastructure Ontario” or “IO”)

Pomerleau

Transdev Canada

The winner of this category will automatically progress to become an excellence awardee in Canadian Law Department of the Year

The Dye & Durham Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Legal Profession – In-House

The recipient of this award will be announced at the Canadian Law Awards gala

FIRM AWARDS


Boutique Law Firm of the Year

Deeth Williams Wall LLP

Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP

Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP

Landings LLP

Roper Greyell LLP

Smart & Biggar

Litigation & Dispute Resolution Boutique Law Firm of the Year

Adair Goldblatt Bieber LLP

Crawley MacKewn Brush LLP

Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP

Lenczner Slaght

Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP

Thomson Rogers

Litigator of the Year

Craig Ferris - Lawson Lundell LLP

Crawford Smith - Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP

Kimberly Gale - Gale Law Professional Corporation

Morgan Camley - Dentons Canada LLP

Rob Martz - Burnet, Duckworth and Palmer LLP

Sophie Melchers - Norton Rose Fulbright Canada

Managing Partner of the Year

Allan Ritchie - Loopstra Nixon LLP

Anik Trudel - Lavery

Charles Hurdon - Norton Rose Fulbright Canada

Jean-François Gagnon - Langlois Lawyers LLP

Jeffrey Cohen - Torkin Manes LLP

Kevin Kiley - McInnes Cooper

Regional Law Firm of the Year - Atlantic Canada & Prairies

Cox & Palmer

McKercher LLP

Regional Law Firm of the Year - Central Canada

Delegatus

Langlois Lawyers LLP

Lavery

Torkin Manes LLP

WeirFoulds LLP

Regional Law Firm of the Year - Western Canada

Burnet, Duckworth and Palmer LLP

Clark Wilson LLP

Farris LLP

Lawson Lundell LLP

Witten LLP

The LEAP Legal Software Award for Best Use of Technology in a Law Firm

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP ("BLG")

Dentons Canada LLP

Lavery

Legate Injury Lawyers

McInnes Cooper

MT>3, a division of McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Torys LLP

The LEAP Legal Software Award for Family Law Firm of the Year

Crossroads Law

MacLean Law

McCarthy Hansen & Company LLP

Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers

Wood Gold LLP

The Dye & Durham Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Legal Profession – Private Practice

The recipient of this award will be announced at the Canadian Law Awards gala

LEGAL PROFESSION AWARDS


Diversity Initiative of the Year

Aird & Berlis LLP - Black Voices (In)Justice: Supporting Black Youth Representation in the Legal Profession

McCarthy Tétrault LLP - Action Groups

WeirFoulds LLP - Racial Equity Audit

Female Trailblazer of the Year (Academia & In-House)

Angela Yadav - HSBC Bank Canada (Royal Bank of Canada)

Ashley Butts - BASF Canada

Caroline Healey - Transportation Industry

Christine Chen - University Pension Plan Ontario

Jana Prete - Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo)

Sara Ross - Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University

Soma Choudhury - Onex Canada Asset Management Inc.

Female Trailblazer of the Year (Private Practice)

Anne Merminod - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (“BLG”)

Jacqueline Dinsmore - Caravel Law LLP

Karen Sargeant - Fasken

Karima Kanani - Miller Thomson LLP

Katherine Hensel - Fogler Rubinoff LLP

Olga Farman - Norton Rose Fulbright Canada

Rima Ramchandani - Torys LLP

Tara Vasdani - Remote Law Canada

Pro Bono Initiative of the Year

Cochrane Saxberg LLP - Cochrane Saxberg Indigenous Empowerment Legal Initiatives

Fasken - Dickson v Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, SCC docket number 39856

McCarthy Tétrault LLP - McCarthy Tétrault’s work with Egale Canada and 2SLGBTQI+ organizations in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick

McInnes Cooper - Immigration Project

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada - Housing Empowerment Legal Program (HELP)

The Lincoln Alexander School of Law Award for Shaping the Future

Caravel Law LLP

Dentons Canada LLP

Gale Law Professional Corporation for NCA Network

Legal Aid Alberta

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada

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