OVERVIEW & EXPERTISE

 

"From a client perspective, this is a well-oiled machine. They have great communication. They really do have their assistance set up so that they are incredibly responsive. The knowledge is clearly there, they are always at the forefront, and I value the ease with which they handle our work. They understand our business, and they understand the market. They are bold when they need to be bold."

"They've got it all − they're a full-service firm with strong lawyers on the regulatory side."

Client comments, Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2018

 

The food, beverage and agribusiness (FBA) sector is one of growing importance to national and international communities. It encompasses a wide range of activities that contribute to the world supply of food and natural fibres, ranging from research and development to marketing strategies and retail sales. In order to succeed, this dynamic business must respond to technological advances, major changes in trade and policy, and a consumer-driven marketplace. Businesses operating in the FBA sector face complex legal issues that require innovative, practical and effective solutions from legal advisers who understand the industry.

Blakes has one of the most active FBA teams in the country. We are internationally recognized as one of Canada’s leading law firms for global FBA mergers and acquisitions deals. In addition to M&A, lawyers in our FBA group advise on a wide range of legal matters affecting the sector, including corporate/commercial, technology, intellectual property, banking, labour and employment, pension and employee benefits, class action defence, consumer product safety, administrative and regulatory processes, and real estate. Our financial services lawyers also assist our lender clients who are active in this industry.

Well-known consumer brands in the FBA industry regularly retain Blakes to assist with regulatory compliance matters, advertising and marketing of food and beverage products, including structuring promotions, offers and campaigns, as well as the negotiation of advertising agreements. We frequently assist with product claim substantiation and advise on labelling issues; product recalls; the acquisition, licensing, transfer and litigation of patent, trade-mark, copyright and industrial design rights; and regulatory classification issues (food versus natural health product versus drug).

Representing clients in a wide variety of civil, administrative and quasi-criminal proceedings, our litigators and regulatory lawyers regularly resolve disputes between companies and regulatory officials involving interpreting legislation as well as administrative and policy matters. We have resolved numerous agency disputes and complaints with Advertising Standards Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Health Canada; merger reviews before the Competition Bureau and abuse of dominance cases; and international trade rights and disputes, including subsidies, tariffs, food and health regulations impacting market access, and import controls.

Blakes Environmental lawyers often advise on matters such as spills, wastewater, noise and odour emissions, as well as offer regulatory guidance on fertilizer, nutrient management, toxic substances and pesticide issues.

Clients appreciate our cross-disciplinary approach that allows us to represent them efficiently and cost-effectively in business dealings, regulatory challenges and in litigation.


Representative Matters:

Transactional

  • Agrium Inc. on its US$36-billion merger with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan.
  • Emmi International AG in relation to its acquisition of the cheese and dairy-related business of J.L. Freeman Limited Partnership.
  • Safeway on its C$5.8-billion sale of Canada Safeway to Sobeys.
  • Agrium Inc. on its C$1.8-billion acquisition of Viterra’s wholesale and retail agri-products division.
  • Maple Leaf Foods on its acquisition of LightLife Foods and the sale of its rendering and animal nutrition business.
  • Labatt Brewing Company on its acquisition of Mill Street Brewery and Mikes Hard Lemonade.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev on its acquisition of SABMiller.
  • Syngenta International AG on its US$43-billion sale to ChemChina.
  • Canada Bread on its acquisition of Italian Home Bakery and Stonemill Bakery.
  • A publicly-traded specialty grain company with its acquisition of grain elevators and processing facilities in Canada and the U.S. Midwest.

Regulatory and General Advice

  • Syngenta Crop Protection with a wide variety of regulatory and litigation matters, including in relation to the Pest Management Regulatory Agency and new product innovation.
  • Holstein Association of Canada on the preparation of and enforcement of various rules, regulations and bylaws governing breeders and persons involved with agricultural show competitions.
  • A major multinational food company on the reformulation of many of its food products to include healthier ingredients and associated regulatory, claims and branding issues.
  • Plaisirs Gastronomiques Inc. as external general counsel regarding a range of corporate and litigation matters.
  • A major multinational infant-formula manufacturer on regulatory, advertising and claims issues.
  • A major multinational food company in successfully resolving labelling issues with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
  • A North American agriculture association on the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules applicable to regulatory barriers in the EU, Japan, South Korea and Brazil to imports of various agricultural products.
  • A North American supplier of specialty fertilizers regarding the application of the Canada-Egypt Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.
  • A North American government department on the consistency of supply management programs regulating various agriculture and agri-food commodities (chicken, dairy, meat) in light of several WTO decisions and rulings.
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 INDUSTRY RECOGNITION

 

Members of the Food, Beverage & Agribusiness group are consistently recognized as leaders in their fields by the following publications: 

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • The Legal 500 Canada
  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada
  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada
  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • Who’s Who Legal
  • Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Women in Business Law
  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys
     
 

 PEOPLE

 
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Associate | Vancouver, Toronto
Vancouver: 604-631-4201
Toronto: 416-863-3338
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Private Equity, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Pension Funds Investment
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5827
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Life Sciences, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Private Equity, Energy
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3375
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Information Technology, Private Equity, Infrastructure, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5281
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Corporate Governance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Venture Capital
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3391
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Procurement, Outsourcing, Information Technology, Construction, China, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Cannabis
Patent Agent | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3166
Areas of Expertise: Patents, Life Sciences, India, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Intellectual Property
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4031
Areas of Expertise: Anti-spam, Drugs & Medical Devices, IP Licensing & Agreements, Information Technology, Privacy, Life Sciences, Retail & Consumer Products, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Cybersecurity
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4273
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Corporate Governance, Private Equity, Venture Capital, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5840
Areas of Expertise: Trade-marks, Copyright, IP Licensing & Agreements, IP Litigation, Hospitality & Leisure, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Life Sciences, Retail & Consumer Products, Anti-Counterfeiting , Cannabis
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3314
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Governance, Private Equity, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Retail & Consumer Products, Corporate & Commercial
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2634
Areas of Expertise: International Trade, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Aviation/Aerospace, Tax, Sales & Commodity Taxes, Cannabis
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3296
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Private Equity, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Capital Markets, Pensions & Benefits, Equity Capital Markets, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9674
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Energy, Oil & Gas, Infrastructure, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Hospitality & Leisure, Construction, United States, Transportation, Major Projects, LNG, Downstream & Marketing, E&P Conventional, E&P Unconventional, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures, Pipeline & Midstream
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9744
Areas of Expertise: Energy, Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Oil & Gas, Infrastructure, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Transportation, Major Projects, E&P Conventional, E&P Unconventional, Joint Venture & Co-ownership Structuring, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures, Pipeline & Midstream, Oil Field Services, Power
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9717
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Oil & Gas, Energy, Mergers & Acquisitions, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Corporate Governance, Joint Venture & Co-ownership Structuring, Pipeline & Midstream, Middle East, Transportation, Major Projects, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2219
Areas of Expertise: Acquisitions, Dispositions & Joint Ventures, Leasing, Real Estate Financing, Corporate & Commercial, Mining, Power, Construction, Development, Mining Lending, Mining Streaming & Royalties, Commercial Real Estate, Financial Services, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, REITs, Pension Funds Investment, Europe, United States
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2938
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Constitutional & Charter of Rights, Corporate Litigation, Tax Controversy & Litigation, Brownfields Redevelopment, Chemical & Waste Regulation, Environmental Assessment & Approvals, Communications, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Manufacturing, Mining, Mining Streaming & Royalties, Environmental Litigation & Enforcement, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Class Actions, Constitutional & Charter of Rights, Corporate Litigation, Cannabis, Environmental, Aboriginal
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3868
Areas of Expertise: Environmental, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Municipal & Planning, Renewables (Wind, Solar, Hydro & CleanTech), Automotive, Manufacturing, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Mining, Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Brownfields Redevelopment, Chemical & Waste Regulation, Climate Change, Environmental Assessment & Approvals, Environmental Litigation & Enforcement, Mining Law, Mining Streaming & Royalties, Cannabis, Aboriginal
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9663
Areas of Expertise: Energy, Mergers & Acquisitions, Oil & Gas, Corporate & Commercial, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Power, Renewables (Wind, Solar, Hydro & CleanTech), Transmission & Distribution, Equity Capital Markets, Automotive, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, Major Projects, E&P Unconventional, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures, Pipeline & Midstream
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2467
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Private Equity, Life Sciences, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Automotive, Oil & Gas
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9646
Areas of Expertise: Energy, Oil & Gas, Power, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Middle East, Downstream & Marketing, Transportation, Major Projects, Oil & Gas, E&P Conventional, E&P Unconventional, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures, Pipeline & Midstream
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3082
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Product Liability, Life Sciences, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Retail & Consumer Products, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2278
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services, Corporate & Commercial, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Banking, Asset-Based Finance, Debt Finance & Lending, Equipment Financing, Project Finance
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-5089
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Corporate Litigation, Construction Dispute Resolution, Product Liability, Procurement, Public-Private Partnerships, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Competition Litigation, Securities Litigation, Insurance Litigation, Media & Defamation, Insurance
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2243
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Infrastructure, Energy, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Automotive, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles
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